IDFA hosts a dynamic marketplace that caters to filmmakers, producers, and industry professionals throughout the full life cycle of documentary film. For three decades, our array of market services has a proven track record in the international documentary industry, whether you are looking to form new partnerships, initiate dialogue, find financial support, meet distribution partners, or gain knowledge about the current documentary climate.
Below, you can read an overview of the various market activities to find the one that best suits your needs.
Founded in 1993, IDFA Forum is one of the leading co-production and co-financing markets for documentary film. Every year, the event gathers hundreds of attendees and a broad international slate of ground-breaking artistic projects for both the large and small screen, helping filmmaking teams find their way to co-production, financial, or distribution partners. For film projects in development, production, or rough-cut stage, the Forum offers three respective categories: Producers Connection, Forum Pitches, and Rough Cut Presentations. For new media projects in all stages of production and financing, there is IDFA DocLab Forum. All of these elements include project presentations and one-on-one meetings tailored to the teams’ stage and needs.
Read more about IDFA Forum here.
IDFA Forum’s newest category, the Producers Connection is an intimate space devoted to facilitating international co-productions. The event is open to independent producers with a project in development who are seeking co-production partners, and, on the other hand, to independent producers who are on the lookout for new projects to co-produce.
With an environment and format carefully designed for projects in an early stage, the Producers Connection consists of short presentations by selected project teams and pre-scheduled meetings between project teams and other participating producers. The event specially caters to project teams looking for financing via international co-production, and producers experienced in international co-production.
During the Forum Pitch, filmmaking teams with projects in development or production come to present their projects, receive feedback, and find financial or distribution partners. On the other side of the pitch table sit industry representatives: a hand-picked panel of five to six experts made up of the industry's top financiers, commissioning editors, distributors, sales agents, film funds, digital platforms, film institutes, NGOs, film festivals, markets, or other stakeholders looking to discover strong international documentary narratives. Following the pitches, several days of pre-arranged one-on-one meetings act as a matchmaking service for filmmaking teams to meet with industry representatives, financiers, and other experts, and discuss possible partnerships.
Finally, alongside the filmmaking teams and industry representatives, international producers attend the Forum as Observers in order to increase their awareness of current trends in the documentary film industry, learn the priorities and current trends of industry funders, and widen their networks.
In addition to the Producers Connection and the Forum Pitch, the market hosts the Rough Cut Presentations, a separate exclusive program for projects in the rough cut stage looking for sales, distribution, buyers, or other exhibition opportunities.
In this category, filmmaking teams introduce and screen an excerpt of their rough cut to both Forum attendees and Docs for Sale buyers in a cinema. As in the Producers Connection and Forum Pitch, IDFA Forum staff arrange one-on-one meetings between the filmmaking teams and potential partners.
Beginning as a new media track at IDFA Forum, IDFA DocLab Forum has since grown into a full-fledged market activity for all sorts of non-fiction artworks that use emerging media to represent reality. Web experiences, multimedia journalism, digital art, games, audio experiences, immersive experiences (e.g. VR/AR/MR, social VR, and full-dome films), physical installations, live performances, and immersive theater are all welcome at the DocLab Forum, with the market open to projects in all production and financing stages.
Like its film counterpart, the DocLab Forum includes a large pitching event where artists who are looking for financing and distribution present their projects. In turn, they receive feedback from a panel of industry representatives—from private and public funds, museums, galleries, festivals, tv channels, online and location based platforms, XR production, and tech companies. Beyond the project teams and industry professionals stated above, artists also attend the DocLab Forum presentations as observers in order to gain insight into the new media industry, learn about the profiles of attending stakeholders, network with peers, and meet new players in the field. After the public presentations come the one-on-one meetings, where artists with a selected project are matched individually with relevant industry representatives and potential partners to discuss future collaboration.
Read more about IDFA DocLab Forum here.
As a central component of IDFA, the Docs for Sale market is an unmissable event for industry representatives looking for the best creative documentaries for their festival program or TV, cinema, or platform slot, the flagship meeting place for sales agents looking to showcase their roster and for filmmakers wanting to maximize the launch of their film. The longstanding distribution incubator and sales market showcases the year’s best in creative documentary cinema, with an emphasis on finding audiences for the selected films. At this market, recently completed films or series looking for sales, distribution, and exhibition partners come into contact with distributors, TV buyers, festival programmers, and other professionals seeking creative documentaries. As such, Docs for Sale is an important breeding ground for all professionals in the sales and exhibition phase of the documentary infrastructure. The market welcomes artistic documentaries from all over the world that target cinema, television, and online audiences.
During the festival, Docs for Sale consists of a physical event with vidéothèque-style screening booths where professionals come to peruse the annual catalogue of 300 to 400 titles, including many that premiere at IDFA. Another important component of the market is the large hub for meetings between professionals with a film in the Docs for Sale catalogue and buyers attending the market, both via pre-arranged meetings and informal networking sessions.
Outside the festival, the market also publishes the catalogue online, where the selected films remain available to subscribed buyers in a secure online environment for one year. Finally, Docs for Sale sellers can attend a series of informative sessions about the latest developments in distribution through IDFA’s Industry Program.
Read more about Docs for Sale here.