IDFA Forum Setup

    IDFA Forum offers different presentation formats tailored to each project

    IDFA Forum offers producers, directors, and creators of artistic, innovative projects (one-offs and series) with international (theatrical) potential the opportunity to pitch their projects to leading professionals in the documentary and new media industries. Creative non-linear new media projects with an emphasis on interactivity are welcome to apply to the IDFA DocLab Forum.

    Presentations are done in two formats: the Round Table Pitches or the Rough Cut Presentations. Both presentation formats are open for all Forum attendees, and are followed up by one-on-one meetings. In all cases, the project teams will be introduced to industry experts and potential collaborators who can dramatically shape their future trajectories and potential for success.

    ​IDFA Forum Setup in 2020

    Current distancing and crowd limitations mean that IDFA Forum will take place online, ensuring that accredited guests all over the world can participate. Nevertheless, guests who can travel in November will be welcome to watch films in cinemas and participate in industry activities in Amsterdam.

    For the Forum, that means—as always—a commitment to careful matchmaking between producers, directors, new media artists, and decision makers. Our existing pitch categories—the Round Table and Rough Cut presentations—will remain intact, albeit in an online format. Selected teams will still pitch their projects to a hand-picked group of potential co-financing and co-production partners, with the presentation setup tailored to individual needs. Curated one-on-one meetings with interested parties will still follow the pitches.

    In addition to the open pitches, the Forum will offer a special category this year to help producers follow up on previous encounters and make new connections during the pandemic. The new category will feature approximately 20 of the top projects that have recently pitched at online markets in Europe and abroad, and will include curated one-on-one meetings between project teams and decision makers.

    Round Table Pitch

    The project team (consisting of the producer and director) presents the project online to a hand-picked group of decision makers ranging from 10 to 15 people. The pitch is an opportunity to discuss the content and form of the project and discover which relevant steps can take the project further.

    Project teams get 20 minutes total for their presentation: the pitch, including visual material such as a trailer or selected scenes, lasts around 10 minutes; the following 10 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.

    Alternatively, some projects that are solely looking for co-producers may benefit from a presentation without feedback; this option can be discussed as well.

    Observers in the Round Table Pitch
    IDFA Forum values the process of transparent knowledge sharing, which helps the international documentary community to connect, grow and flourish. For this reason, we will give Forum delegates the opportunity to attend the pitches online in 2020. By creating a platform where both seasoned and less experienced participants can learn, share, and interrogate documentary trends, IDFA Forum contributes to an open and pluriform documentary network. The Round Table Pitches are open for Forum delegates to observe.

    Genre-specific Round Table Pitches

    Within the Round Table Pitch category, there are also two genre-specific pitches:

    1. Documentaries for Children
    Projects targeting an audience of 9 to 12 years old are presented in this genre-specific slot, in which 2 to 4 projects are presented to professionals working in this field. Additional discussions and/or networking events are organized in collaboration with RealYoung for professionals interested in this genre.

    2. New Media
    The IDFA DocLab Forum is open to all kinds of interactive projects in all production stages, ranging from webdocs, 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.

    Rough Cut Presentations

    This presentation format caters specifically to 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.

    The Rough Cut Presentations 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. You will also be able to accompany the rough cut with an online presentation.

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

    IDFA also offers a secured video presentation of your rough cut on the Docs for Sale online catalogue.

    Extra slate of projects in 2020

    In addition to the open pitches, IDFA Forum will offer a special category this year to help producers follow up on previous encounters and make new connections during the pandemic. The new category will feature approximately 20 of the top projects that have recently pitched at online markets in Europe and abroad.

    As we adjust to the new reality of digital marketplaces, without the physical corridors and cocktails to gather us, this extra category will aim to stimulate increased opportunities by offering decision makers the chance to (re)connect with selected film and new media projects deserving of the world’s attention.

    All teams selected will have the opportunity to meet a tailor-made group of decision makers via one-on-one meetings organized by the Forum team.

    One-on-one meetings & finding potential co-producers
    Parallel to all presentations, we organize online one-on-one meetings between all project teams and various decision makers and other experts. Over the course of IDFA Forum, places are reserved for approximately 1,000 prearranged one-on-one meetings. If project teams indicate that they are looking for co-producers, the Forum team will also schedule meetings with producers attending the Forum.

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