IDFA DocLab Open Call for Festival Commissions 2022

    The IDFA DocLab Open Call for Festival Commissions 2022 is now closed.

    This open call offers artists working across interactive and immersive media financial support to realize a new work and present it during the upcoming edition of IDFA, taking place November 9–20, 2022. In total, a commissioning budget of €50,000 is made available through the IDFA DocLab R&D Program. Our main goals are to support artists who push the boundaries of emerging media and to present our festival audiences with new works that challenge traditional relations between art, reality, and technology. The call is open to both experienced artists and new talent from around the world. The application deadline was Friday, March 25.

    For works seeking funding above 10k, please consider submitting to our co-financing and co-production market IDFA DocLab Forum. For finished and fully funded works, we invite you to submit to IDFA 2022 through the festival’s general call for interactive / immersive projects and performances.

    What can we offer?

    We can offer four to eight selected creators direct financial support for the realization of a new work to premiere during IDFA 2022. Selected projects will be presented publicly as part of the IDFA DocLab festival program and can also be considered for the DocLab competition sections. The commissioning budget ranges from €2,500 to €10,000 per project, and is intended to cover artist fees, production costs, materials, and travel costs related to the installation and presentation of the work. IDFA DocLab will offer basic technical support as well as a basic travel stipend corresponding to the program section the project is selected for.

    Please note: for Dutch (co-)productions, we offer specific funding in the form of the Film Fund DocLab Interactive Grant. Of the total budget, €20,000 is made available by the Netherlands Film Fund. All projects (co-)produced by Dutch artists or filmmakers who submit a proposal are eligible for this funding and will automatically be considered for this grant.

    What types of projects can we support?

    We are open to supporting all kinds of interactive, immersive, and new media works—including online experiences, games, physical installations, live performances, full-dome films, and outdoor experiences. Although we won’t be able to consider works that are purely fiction, we do love works that challenge definitions of what a documentary artwork can be. Projects will be publicly showcased as part of the DocLab exhibition and event programming during IDFA 2022, so please consider the stage, scale, and anticipated development of your project carefully.

    We are open to commissioning projects funded solely through the IDFA DocLab Open Call for Festival Commissions. We are also open to providing completion funding for works with a larger scope and budget that have other financiers or commissioners on board. If the latter applies, we do require the majority of your overall budget to be secured already.

    Selection procedure

    The application deadline was Friday, March 25. All submitted projects will now be assessed by external and international program advisors, followed by a final round of selection and production checks by the IDFA DocLab curatorial team.

    In some cases, further details may be requested around Monday, May 2, either in writing or via a video call. By late May, we will notify all applicants.

    If selected, you will receive a formal agreement with further details about the granted amount, timeline, deliverables, and the DocLab R&D Program.

    In the event of selection, a prototype of the project should be delivered by mid-August. All realized projects are to be presented publicly as part of the IDFA DocLab program during IDFA, taking place November 9–20, 2022, and may be included for further audience research and case studies executed by MIT Open Documentary Lab.

    Why hold the Open Call for Festival Commissions?

    As part of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), IDFA DocLab has been exploring the art of interactive and immersive storytelling since 2007. 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. Take a look at our previously supported projects.

    ​How to submit a proposal

    Fill out the online entry form and upload your project proposal as a PDF file, written in English, with a maximum of six pages following the structure below:

    Page 1: Cover page containing:

    • Name of the project
    • Tagline
    • Names of the creators and their full contact information (address, email, and phone number)
    • Cover image or visual that captures the work

    Page 2: Written project description, including:

    • Description of the project (e.g., concept, story, artistic vision) and type of experience (e.g., interactive installation, live performance, game)
    • Duration of the experience
    • Number of people that can do the experience
    • Explanation of the audience experience
    • Type(s) of platform(s) used, including specification of whether presentation is online or on site
    • Clear explanation of the premiere status of the work. If certain parts of the work/proposal are not a premiere, please specify which ones and at which other event(s) the work has been shown

    Page 3: Visual presentation of the project:

    • Please illustrate what the work will look like using original images, mockups, or reference visuals

    Page 4: Financial plan, including:

    • Total budget of your project
    • Specification of the support requested from IDFA
    • Status of other potential and confirmed funding partners, differentiating between requested, confirmed, and still-required financing
    • Running cost of the project/experience

    Page 5: Production specifications, including:

    • Description of the current status of the project
    • Intended/expected devices and technologies used
    • Dimensions and type of space required (if flexible, provide a range or estimate)
    • Other relevant production details to exhibit the work
    • Key practical challenges you foresee in realizing the project by November 2022

    Page 6: Presentation of the creators involved and their respective roles, including:

    • Examples of previous work that demonstrate the candidate's expertise with respect to the challenges of the proposal

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