IDFA Project Space offers first- or second-time directors the opportunity to work on their project with highly esteemed filmmakers and film professionals who are willing to share their knowledge and experience with emerging film talent.
First launched in 2020, IDFA Project Space is the youngest brainchild of IDFA’s Filmmaker Support department and has since grown into an in-depth talent development program carefully tailored to filmmakers’ individual needs. While taking initial inspiration from our old training program IDFAcademy Summer School, the past two years have attested to the importance of a program that extends beyond a pressure-cooker week of workshopping and looks to support filmmakers organically over a several-month period.
In 2022, IDFA Project Space took the best of both worlds. The program was spread over four months, from June to September, with two online modules and one in-person week in Amsterdam. Filmmakers had the chance to engage in a continuous process of growth with a program that flexibly adjusted to their specific needs.
This is a project-driven program in which participants focus on strengthening the narrative of their documentary film project. Project stages can vary from the late development or early production stage to the advanced editing or rough cut stage.
The online component of the program, which took place at the beginning and end of summer, consisted of two elements:
During the summer, the in-person part of the program took place in Amsterdam, where participants spent an intensive week together working on their projects. Participants with a project in development or production worked on the creative aspects in individual sessions. For participants with a project in the rough cut stage, tutors helped refine their rough cut in the editing suite.
The 2022 program supported eleven creative documentary projects in the Development & Production section and five in the Rough Cut section.
This section aims to strengthen film projects by working intensively on a strong narrative in its early stages—either on the narrative or, when the project is more advanced, the production processes.
Focus is on:
The Rough Cut section requires shooting to be near completion when applying, with a rough cut ready in time for the start of IDFA Project Space. The participants will work intensively with an experienced editor to refine the rough cut.
Focus is on:
IDFA Project Space is open to directors making their first or second feature documentary. Film school students are not eligible. The focus is on creative documentary projects.
Filmmakers who are selected also have the opportunity to bring a sparring partner: a creative producer or a co-director. Filmmakers who are participating in the Rough Cut section must bring their editor. Participants are expected to have a working knowledge of English and to be available for the full duration of IDFA Project Space.
IDFA Project Space aims at a broad division of creative projects. Some participants will be chosen from projects that have already received a grant from the IDFA Bertha Fund, which supports filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and parts of Eastern Europe.
Applications will open at the beginning of 2023.
The following information is required to apply:
If you are submitting a project for Development & Production:
If you are submitting a project for Rough Cut:
In assessing projects, we will consider the project’s qualities, its fit with regards to the program timeline, and the motivation and goals of the participants. All applications that are complete will be considered for selection. Within four to six weeks, filmmakers will be informed if their project is pre-selected. If a project is pre-selected, we will contact you to conduct an online interview.
Projects submitted to IDFA Project Space cannot be withdrawn after selection. From the selected projects, we expect commitment and availability to attend all the sessions of the program, both online and in person.
Selected projects pay a participation fee that must be wired to the indicated IDFA account. The participation fee is €850 for one person and €1,250 for two people. This fee does not cover travel and food expenses. For international participants, accommodation is included.
Please check in advance for local or regional funds that can support with transport and fee costs.
For projects supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund, the fund will pay the fee, hotel costs, and part of the travel costs.
IDFA Project Space online & in Amsterdam: Dates to be announced