Program sections

    Every year, our festival program showcases the latest work by beloved documentary filmmakers, reviews the past year's festival hits, presents focus programs with social or artistic urgency, and much more. There's lots to see and do! For IDFA's competitions, click here.


    In Frontlight, IDFA presents a selection of exceptional films that tell stories not covered by mainstream media, or films that explore familiar stories in greater depth. The program contains premieres only.


    Luminous includes films that immerse the viewer in a cinematic experience. These documentaries are character-, story- or author-driven, and make the universal tangible through the individual. The program contains premieres only.

    Focus programs

    Whether about specific film techniques, the cinematic treatment of physical space, or a certain period in history, IDFA's focus programs deal with complex subjects through a selection of new films and classic masterpieces.

    IDFA DocLab

    IDFA DocLab showcases the best interactive art that plays with our behavior, our fears, and our dreams. From virtual reality to multimedia journalism and live performance, the IDFA DocLab program makes the future tangible in the here and now.

    IDFA on Stage

    IDFA on Stage presents a series of unique events that explore the space between documentary film and the performing arts.


    Paradocs moves between film and art. Through innovative forms, the filmmakers seek freedom of the documentary genre.


    Masters includes the latest films by auteurs whose work IDFA closely follows, and who have an unmistakable cinematic signature.

    Retrospective & Top 10

    Every year, IDFA pays homage to a renowned documentary filmmaker, welcoming them to the festival as the esteemed Guest of Honor. During the festival, 10 of their favorite films are screened, in addition to a retrospective of their work.

    Best of Fests

    Striking documentary films from the international festival circuit are central to Best of Fests. The program showcases prize-winners, public favorites, and high-profile titles from the past year.