IDFA Forum activities

    IDFA Forum offers different presentation formats tailored to each project

    IDFA Forum offers producers, directors, and creators of artistic, innovative projects with international 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 at any stage of production, 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.

    To learn more about the submission process and how to send in your project, please visit our submission page. We will start accepting Forum project submissions on June 13, with a submission deadline August 1.

    IDFA Forum setup in 2022: New location

    This year’s edition will be a comprehensive live event that welcomes professionals and film teams to take part in person in a new venue: Felix Meritis. Located in the heart of Amsterdam’s historic Jordaan district, steps from the festival center, the new location will house both IDFA Forum and Docs for Sale under the same roof for the first time. A dynamic marketplace focused on bringing the industry together, the location will welcome film and new media teams, industry representatives, financiers, and observers to physically attend on site. For Forum guests, the market sections Producers Connection, Forum Pitch, 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 project presentations and meetings where necessary, and provide recordings of key presentations and industry talks after each event.

    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.

    Producers Connection

    In 2021, IDFA introduced a new market service focusing solely on supporting projects looking to finance their films through international co-production. The Producers Connection is open to projects that are in development or late development stages, and to independent producers with a strong track record of co-production.

    With only 15 projects selected, 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.

    The program is spread over two days. During the first day, each project team (consisting of a producer and director) is invited to introduce themselves, their project, and the kind of collaboration they are looking for in a moderated conversation-style presentation format. The second day is dedicated to one-on-one meetings between projects and independent producers. Participants of the Producers Connection are automatically given an Observer status at the Forum Pitch, Rough Cut, and DocLab presentations to continue networking with invited professionals.

    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.

    The Producers Connection is supported by Eurimages.

    Forum Pitch

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

    Approximately twenty project teams will each get twenty minutes for their presentation: The pitch, including visual material such as a trailer or selected scenes, lasts maximum 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 to allow room for in-depth conversations about the artistic intentions and goals of the team.

    The Forum Pitch is open to all kinds of documentary narratives, both stand-alone films and series. Since 2014, the Forum has also hosted projects aimed for younger audiences. For this year’s edition, we welcome projects targeting an audience of nine- to twelve-year-olds as well as narratives for wider family audiences that can engage children and adults alike. Film teams wanting to submit to the Children’s Documentary category can indicate this in the Forum entry form. The selected children's documentary projects will be presented as one program during the Forum Pitch, and industry professionals working with nonfiction stories for young audiences will additionally be invited to attend these presentations. 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. Read more about children’s documentaries at IDFA Forum here.

    ​Rough Cut Presentations

    This presentation format caters specifically to film projects in editing or in rough cut stage that are looking for sales, distribution, or other exhibition opportunities for their films.

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

    The Rough Cut Presentations also allow the team to feature the full rough cut on IDFA’s online platform, where it is made available to key accredited groups of acquisitions and exhibition professionals. The team can include a short introduction directly into the rough cut file to provide more context.

    If selected, the full rough cut and the twenty-minute excerpt must be delivered by October 26. 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 sorts of non-fiction artworks in all production and financing stages that use emerging media to represent reality—including web experiences, multimedia journalism, digital art, games, audio experiences, immersive experiences (such as VR/AR/MR, social VR, and full-dome films), physical installations, live performances, and immersive theater.

    To read more about how this market element works, please visit IDFA DocLab Forum.

    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 in the Forum Pitch, DocLab Forum Pitch, and Rough Cut Presentations, places are reserved for approximately 1,000 prearranged one-on-one meetings between the project teams and various industry representatives, financiers, 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 exploring co-production opportunities.

    To accommodate those who are unable to travel, we will facilitate online participation in project presentations and meetings where necessary, and provide recordings of key presentations and industry talks after each event.

    ​Matchmaking in the Forum Pitch and one-on-one meetings

    The Forum team facilitates which industry representatives and financiers attend specific pitches and one-on-one meetings based on the following criteria: input from decision makers who indicate upfront which presentations they would like to attend; input from the project 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 and teams they would like to learn more from; input from the project teams; and the matchmaking expertise of the Forum team.

    To inform all participants in time about the projects, the team distributes project information several weeks before the Forum kicks off.

    Attending the Forum as a producer without a selected project

    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 Pitch, DocLab Forum, and Rough Cut Presentations as Observers.

    Please note that the Producers Connection is not accessible to Observers. Producers who wish to attend the Producers Connection without a project must follow a separate accreditation and selection process to be considered.

    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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