The IDFA DocLab Open Call for Research & Development Proposals for 2021 is now closed. Look back on the call below and stay tuned for next year's call in spring 2022.
We are happy to announce the IDFA DocLab Open Call for Research & Development Proposals for 2021. Our goal is to discover and commission interactive and immersive non-fiction works that challenge traditional relations between art, audiences, and technology. Whereas our annual call for festival submissions (to be published in the upcoming weeks) is open to finished works only, this Open Call for R&D Proposals offers up to €10,000 support to realize a new work and premiere it at IDFA 2021. The call is open to experienced artists as well as new talent from around the world, and the application deadline is Friday, March 26.
As part of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), IDFA DocLab has been exploring the art of interactive and immersive storytelling since 2007. Besides being one of the world's leading platforms to present emerging media and documentary art, IDFA DocLab commissions new works and collaborations between artists across disciplines. Works are showcased throughout the twelve-day IDFA festival as part of competition programs, exhibitions, experimental live performances, industry events, and a conference. Other activities to support the emerging interactive and immersive industry include the IDFA DocLab Forum and the IDFA DocLab R&D Program.
In 2018 IDFA DocLab launched a five-year R&D program in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Open Documentary Lab), among other partners, to expand the festival into a living lab for artistic experimentation, research, and development across disciplines. Our goal is to support emerging media by facilitating the creation of ground-breaking artworks, connecting them to audiences, and sharing insights gained during this process with the field.
Partners, institutions, and studios that we work with include the National Film Board of Canada, Phi Centre, ARTIS-Planetarium, CreativeXR, Diversion cinema, the Netherlands Institute of Sound & Vision, Atlas V, Anagram, Upian, Submarine, Het Nieuwe Instituut, POPKRAFT, The Immersive Storytelling Studio (National Theatre), and Tolhuistuin. Take a look at our previously supported projects.
We welcome project submissions by independent artists, production studios, and organizations from all over the world working on interactive and immersive artworks. We are looking for innovative, feasible experiences that challenge traditional relations between art, audiences, and technology. We are open to projects that are already in development, as well as proposals for a radically different presentation form of an existing work (e.g., a video game turned into a theatrical live performance, or a book turned into an outdoor augmented reality experience for public spaces). Although we won’t be able to consider works that are purely fiction, we love works that challenge definitions of what a documentary artwork can be.
We offer four to eight selected creators direct financial support for the realization of a new work to premiere during IDFA 2021 (November 17-28). We can provide a commissioning budget ranging from €2,500 to €10,000 per project. The exact amount depends on the overall number of selected proposals and the scope of each project. We can also provide a limited number of projects additional support through matchmaking and consultation with partners and experts within our network.
For Dutch (co-)productions, specific funding in the form of the Film Fund DocLab Interactive Grant (up to €20,000) is made available by the Netherlands Film Fund. All projects (co-)produced by Netherlands-based artists or filmmakers are eligible for this funding and will automatically be considered for the Film Fund Doclab Interactive Grant.
All realized projects are to be presented publicly as part of DocLab exhibitions and events during the IDFA 2021 festival, and may be included for further audience research and case studies executed by MIT Open Documentary Lab.
The application deadline is Friday, March 26, but we are happy to receive earlier applications. All proposals will be evaluated by both an internal as well as an external selection committee. In some cases, further details may be requested around Friday, May 3. We will notify you of the selection committee’s final decision by late May. A prototype of the project should be delivered by mid-August, and the project is to be premiered at IDFA in November 2021.
Fill out the online entry form and upload your project proposal as a PDF file, written in English, with a maximum of five pages following the structure below:
Page 1: Cover page containing:
Page 2: Written project description (max. 500 words) that includes the following:
Page 3: Visual presentation of the project:
Page 4: Realization plan & technical specifications, including:
Page 5: Presentation of the creators involved and their respective roles, containing:
IDFA DocLab is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Netherlands, CLICKNL, Gieskes-Strijbis Fonds, Netherlands Film Fund, Flanders Audiovisual Fund, VIVE, VIVEPORT, and Special Friends+.
DocLab research collaboration partners are MIT Open Documentary Lab, Beeld en Geluid, ARTIS-Planetarium, CreativeXR, Diversion cinema, Het Nieuwe Instituut, National Film Board of Canada, POPKRAFT, The Immersive Storytelling Studio (National Theatre), Submarine Channel, and Tolhuistuin.