IDFA Forum Setup

    IDFA Forum offers different presentation formats tailored to each project

    IDFA Forum offers producers, directors, and creators of artistic, innovative projects with international (theatrical) potential the opportunity to present their projects to leading professionals in the documentary and new media industries.

    We facilitate encounters through four market platforms, each designed to meet the needs of film and interactive/immersive projects in specific production stages:

    Producers Connection – for documentary projects in an early stage seeking international co-producers & for independent producers keen to find new projects to co-produce.

    Forum Pitch – for documentary projects, both one-offs and series, looking for financing and distribution partners.

    Rough Cut Presentations – for documentary projects nearing completion, looking to showcase their rough cut to potential sales, distribution, and exhibition stakeholders.

    DocLab Forum – for non-fiction interactive/immersive artworks in all production and financing stages seeking new collaborators in the field. All presentation formats are followed up by one-on-one meetings.

    To learn more about the submission process and how to send in your project, please visit our submission page.

    IDFA Forum setup in 2021

    This year’s edition will be a comprehensive live event that welcomes professionals and film teams to take part in the Forum in person. We look forward to hosting a physical event in Amsterdam where film teams, decision makers, and observers attend on site. The Producers Connection, Forum Pitches, DocLab Forum, and Rough Cut Presentations will all include in-person presentations and curated one-on-one meetings in Amsterdam.

    To accommodate those who are unable to travel, we will facilitate online participation in presentations and meetings where necessary.

    In the overview below, you can find the most up-to-date information about the different Forum categories. More details about how to participate this year to follow.

    Key dates for IDFA Forum 2021

    IDFA Forum takes place from Saturday, November 20 to Friday, November 26.

    • Producers Connection: Informal presentations on Saturday, November 20 and one-on-one meetings on Sunday, November 21
    • Rough Cut Presentations: Sunday, November 21
    • Forum Pitches: Monday, November 22 to Wednesday, November 24
    • DocLab Forum Pitches: Sunday, November 21 to Wednesday, November 24
    • In-person meetings between Forum Pitch/Rough Cut projects and decision makers: Monday, November 22 to Wednesday, November 24
    • Online meetings between Forum Pitch/DocLab Forum Pitch/Rough Cut projects and decision makers: Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26

    Producers Connection

    This year, the Forum is introducing a new market service focusing solely on supporting projects looking to finance their films through international co-production. The presentation format is open to projects that are in development or late development stages, and to independent producers with a strong track record of co-production whose countries of residence offer funding or other support for minority co-productions.

    The Producers Connection provides an intimate presentation environment and networking format, catered specifically for projects in very early stages. Only one hundred participants will be selected to attend this in-person event.

    For attendees who cannot travel to Amsterdam, we will facilitate remote participation online.

    The program is spread over two days. During the first day, each project team is invited to introduce themselves, their project, and the kind of collaboration they are looking for. The second day is dedicated to one-on-one meetings between projects and independent producers. Participants of the Producers Connection will also gain access to other Forum activities as Observers.

    There are separate submission processes for producers wanting to submit a project to the Producers Connection, and for producers wanting to attend as an independent producer. Please note that the deadline for submitting is the same for both.

    Forum Pitch

    A long-established element of IDFA Forum, the pitch caters to projects in development or production seeking financing or distribution. The project team (consisting of the producer and director) presents the project to a hand-picked group of decision makers ranging from five to six people. The Pitch is an opportunity to discuss the content and form of the project and discover the relevant steps to take the project further.

    Approximately sixty project teams will each get twenty minutes for their presentation: The pitch, including visual material such as a trailer or selected scenes, lasts around ten minutes; the following ten minutes are set aside for feedback from the panel. All presentations can be customized to fit the needs of the team and the project. The teams will get feedback from a tailor-made group of potential financiers matched to each project being pitched to allow room for in-depth conversations about the artistic intentions and goals of the team.

    For this year’s edition, we welcome projects targeting an audience of nine- to twelve-year-olds as well as wider family audiences. Please scroll down to the bottom of this page for more information about the Children's Documentary category.

    For project teams that cannot travel to Amsterdam, we will facilitate remote participation online.

    ​Rough Cut Presentations

    This presentation format caters specifically to film projects in the last stages of production or in rough cut stage that are looking for sales, distribution, buyers, or other exhibition opportunities for their films.

    During the event in Amsterdam, the Forum will host Rough Cut Presentations in a cinema, where project teams show an excerpt of thirty minutes and participate in a short, moderated Q&A. All Rough Cut Presentations are available to decision makers with a Forum or Docs for Sale accreditation.

    The Rough Cut Presentations also allow you to feature your full rough cut on IDFA’s online platform, where it is made available to key groups of acquisitions and exhibition professionals. If you wish to inform the viewer about the current status of the rough cut, you can also include a short introduction to the rough cut file in which you provide more context. Possible formats include a filmed introduction, a typed information page, or equivalent.

    Rough Cut project teams who are unable to attend in person can still show their rough cut excerpt in the cinema. More info on how to participate in the Rough Cut Presentations remotely will be announced.

    If selected, we will need your full rough cut and the thirty-minute excerpt by mid-October. Please note: If you have already submitted this project to the IDFA festival, you are not eligible to apply here.

    ​DocLab Forum Pitch

    This presentation format is dedicated to creative non-linear projects using emerging media to represent reality.

    The DocLab Forum is open to all kinds of immersive/interactive projects in all production stages, ranging from web docs, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence projects to physical installations, multimedia journalism, live performances, and everything else that tells a documentary story or explores unknown realities.

    The DocLab Forum features two different presentation formats. To read more about how this market element works, please visit IDFA DocLab Forum.

    For project teams that cannot travel to Amsterdam, we will facilitate remote participation online.

    One-on-one meetings at the Forum

    Parallel to all Forum presentations, we organize and curate one-on-one meetings for the selected projects.

    For projects at the Forum Pitch and Rough Cut Presentations, places are reserved for approximately 1,000 prearranged one-on-one meetings between the project teams and various decision makers and other experts. At this year's on-site event, meetings will be arranged in person in Amsterdam. For Forum attendees who are unable to travel to Amsterdam, we will facilitate remote participation on online meetings.

    Likewise, for attendees of the Producers Connection, we facilitate meetings between the selected projects and independent producers who are interested in entering into a co-production. To maintain the intimacy of the event, Producers Connection meetings will be arranged in person in Amsterdam. For attendees who are unable to travel to Amsterdam, we will facilitate remote participation in online meetings.

    ​Matchmaking in pitches and one-on-one meetings

    We facilitate which decision makers attend specific pitches and one-on-one meetings based on the following criteria: input from decision makers who indicate upfront which pitches they would like to attend; input from the pitch teams; and the matchmaking expertise of the Forum team.

    Matchmaking at the Producers Connection follows a similar process, based on independent producers who indicate upfront which projects they would like to learn more from; input from the project teams; and the matchmaking expertise of the Forum team.

    In order to inform all participants in time about the projects, we will distribute project information several weeks before the Forum kicks off.

    ​Observers in the Forum Pitch, DocLab Forum, and Rough Cut Presentations

    IDFA Forum values the process of transparent knowledge sharing, which helps the international documentary community connect, grow, and flourish. For this reason, we give Forum delegates the opportunity to attend the Forum pitches, DocLab Forum pitches, and Rough Cut Presentations as Observers.

    For Observers who are unable to travel to Amsterdam, we will facilitate remote participation online for the Forum pitches and DocLab Forum pitches. As Rough Cut Presentations take place physically in a cinema, we cannot accommodate online participation for this element; Observers must attend the Rough Cut Presentations in person.

    Due to the intimate nature of the Producers Connection, please note that an Observers pass does not include entry into this element of the Forum. Producers who wish to attend the Producers Connection without a project must follow a separate accreditation and selection process to be considered.

    IDFA starts accepting accreditation requests for Observer seats on Thursday, July 1.

    Children's Documentaries at the Forum

    Since 2014, the IDFA Forum has created a dedicated space for film teams working on narratives for young audiences. For this year’s edition, we welcome projects targeting an audience of nine- to twelve-year-olds as well as wider family audiences. Film teams wanting to submit to the Children’s Documentary category can indicate this in the Forum entry form. Due to the format of the Forum this year, the selected children’s documentary projects will be presented as part of the regular pitch program, rather than in a separate pitch as done in previous years. Exact details of the full side program focusing on children’s documentaries, including additional discussions and/or networking events, will be announced later this year.

    The Producers Connection is made possible by Eurimages. IDFA Forum is made possible by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands.

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