Submit to IDFA Forum

    Scroll down for more information about submitting to IDFA Forum, including entry regulations, eligibility and practical info for Round Table Pitches and Rough Cut Screenings, selection regulations, fees, and our checklist and FAQ.

    Key dates:

    • Updated rules and regulations available: early May
    • Entry form available: June 1
    • Submission deadline: August 1
    • IDFA Forum: November 22-25

    General entry regulations

    What we're looking for

    1. Producers with documentary projects (one-offs and series) looking for co-producers, funds, television and platform commissions, distribution, or a combination of these, are encouraged to submit. We are specifically looking for artistic and innovative ways of storytelling and cutting-edge stories. Projects (also) aiming for cinema release are importunately invited to submit. Documentaries in the realm of arts and culture as well as those made for children aged 9-12 are also invited to submit their projects to present in our genre-based programs.

    2. Immersive/interactive new media projects in all stages of production. The IDFA DocLab Forum is open to all sorts of formats that tell a documentary story or explore unknown realities, including web docs, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, physical installations, multimedia journalism, and live performances. Artists looking for co-producers, creative input, and financing possibilities are invited to submit.

    Eligibly criteria and practical information for Round Table Pitches

    Eligibility criteria

    • Creative documentaries intended for theatrical distribution, tv broadcasting and /or other platforms are eligible.
    • Projects can be in all stages of production, except post-production/rough cut stage.
    • There are no restrictions regarding the amount of financing already in place.
    • In cases where a fund, TV station or platform is already on board, their presence at the pitch is highly desirable. Commitment from financial partners is not required to apply or be selected.

    Practical information

    • Pitches are at Compagnie Theater. We have 2 small halls (50 seats) and one big hall (350 seats). The majority of the approximately 30 selected projects will be presented in the small halls.
    • Pitches for linear projects take place November 25-27; pitches for new media projects take place November 24-26.
    • Each project will have one-on-one meetings at Compagnie Theater with professionals interested in the project. These are arranged by the Forum staff based on preferences of the project team and decision makers, as well as input with the Forum staff.
    • Meetings will be scheduled on November 25, 26 and/or 27.
    • A moderator is present to coordinate post-pitch discussion and stimulate connections.
    • All projects are featured online through IDFA Forum (with text and photos), where they can be viewed by decision makers who have a password.

    All projects undergo a stringent selection process. Only projects that have been submitted according to the IDFA Forum entry regulations below will be considered.

    Eligibly criteria and practical information for Rough Cut Screenings

    Eligibility criteria

    • Creative documentaries intended for theatrical distribution, tv broadcasting and/or other platforms.
    • A minimum of 75% of your material must be shot and the project is in post-production/rough cut stage.
    • Projects previously pitched at IDFA Forum are encouraged to submit.
    • Projects need to be looking for festivals, distributors/sales agents and/or tv buyers. Preference is given to projects without a world sales agent.

    Practical information

    • Around 8 projects will have a screening in a cinema hall (100 seats). There is a 40 min. presentation slot per project, including a short introduction and a short Q&A with the moderator.
    • Screenings are on Sunday, November 24.
    • The screening is open to Forum pass holders and Docs for Sale acquisition pass holders (distributors, sales agents, and festival programmers).
    • Each project will have one-on-one meetings at Compagnie Theater with professionals interested in the project. These are arranged by the Forum staff based on preferences of the project team and decision makers, as well as input from the Forum staff. Meetings will be scheduled on November 25, 26 and/or 27.
    • All projects are placed online through IDFA Forum and Docs for Sale, where they can be viewed by decision makers who have a password.
    • If you are selected, the online presentation (incl. rough cut) and scene selection for the Rough Cut Screening (approx. 30 minutes) must be delivered by Monday, October 21, 2019.

    General entry regulations for all categories

    • IDFA Forum is open to independent production companies and producers from all over the world.
    • Providing visual materials (trailer or other examples of your project) is highly recommended.
    • Incomplete applications without sufficient documentation will not be considered for selection.
    • By submitting a project to IDFA Forum 2019, you agree that the project will not be withdrawn after selection.
    • Please make sure to complete the IDFA accreditation form as well. The accreditation form offers producers the opportunity to indicate if they would like to attend the IDFA Forum even if their project is not selected. You can find the accreditation form in your MyIDFA account starting July 1.
    • If your project was previously selected for the IDFA Forum, you can only apply again for the category Rough Cut Screenings.
    • Unfortunately, due to the high number of entries we cannot give feedback about the decision for projects which are not selected. To make a balanced selection, the selection committee will take into consideration: the artistic quality, uniqueness of the content, stage of development, subject, team, extent of exposure at other internationals markets, country of production, amount of financing in place, and genre, among other criteria.
    • If you have submitted, or are planning to submit, to IDFA and/or Docs for Sale 2019, the project is not eligible for IDFA Forum.
    • There is an entry fee of €25 (excl VAT). Exemptions can be made for countries from the DAC list, mail the Forum staff to request a fee waiver.

    Entry fee

    • All Forum entries will be charged an administration fee of €25 (excl. VAT) per entry.
    • In case you fill in a company which is based outside the Netherlands in the billing address, you will not be charged additional VAT by IDFA, but you will have to pay your VAT duties in your own country.
    • If this country is a member of the European Union, you need to fill in your VAT details in the billing address field. For general VAT rules within the EU please go to EU Tax and Customs info.
    • If you have a company based outside the EU, IDFA will not charge VAT but you will need to check the tax regulations in your own country and act accordingly.
    • All Dutch submissions and all submissions done by private persons only (with no company attached) will need to pay VAT and will be charged in the IDFA invoice.


    • Your entry or accreditation will not be taken into consideration until we receive your payment.
    • We apply a NO REFUND policy to which we can make no exceptions.
    • Your payment will be handled by Adyen. This name may appear on your bank statement.

    General selection regulations

    • A maximum of two projects can be selected per company.
    • For each selected project, two participants (the pitch team) are allowed to attend the Forum.
    • The pitch team (producer and director) must be present for the three full Forum days to pitch and have meetings (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday). In case of participation at the IDFA DocLab Forum or a Rough Cut Screening, the pitch team should be there Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.
    • If your project is selected, you must include contracts or letters that prove any financial investment listed in your entry form. These contracts or letters of commitment from broadcasters and financiers must state the amount of the investment and must be written in English. The letters must be dated and signed.
    • After selection of the project, the participation fee must be wired to the indicated IDFA account before October 21, 2019.
    • The Forum staff strongly advises first time pitchers at IDFA to attend the pitch training (for selected projects only).
    • Access to the Forum venue is restricted to accredited Forum participants only. If you schedule meetings with people who are not attending the Forum, you must arrange them elsewhere.
    • After IDFA Forum, all participants are asked to participate in a questionnaire to help us evaluate the year’s edition.
    • By providing your trailer or other visual material and stills, you give IDFA permission to use the material at, and for promotional purposes for IDFA Forum 2019. If for safety reasons this cannot be published, let us know immediately after selection.
    • If the selected project is completed in due time, IDFA Forum will be referred to in the credits as 'This film was presented at IDFA Forum 2019' or ‘This project/or work was presented at IDFA DocLab Forum 2019.’ Forum logo can be provided by the staff.
    • All participating projects are offered to add their film (upon completion) for free to the catalogue of Docs for Sale, IDFA’s marketplace for creative documentaries.
    • All participating projects are offered a fee waiver code to submit to the IDFA festival (upon completion). Please contact the Forum staff.

    Selection fees

    Fees for participation in IDFA Forum 2019 are:

    Presentation fee per project
    €550 (€665,50 incl. VAT 21%)
    Pitch training (separate registration after selection)
    €220 (€266,20 incl. VAT 21%)

    These fees include:

    • presenting your project at the four-day IDFA Forum.
    • one-on-one meetings with attending delegates of your choice and vice versa
    • a maximum of two IDFA Forum passes for the project team*
    • access to the IDFA Forum opening reception
    • access to the Forum networking coffee breaks and lunches
    • access to all regular festival screenings and events (with a free ticket)
    • access to all industry screenings (no ticket needed: first come, first served)
    • access to all Industry Talks and all other secondary programming**
    • access to the daily Guests Meet Guests drinks for all accredited guests
    • access to the daily Docs for Sale Happy Hour
    • access to the services and sessions of the Industry Office
    • access to company profiles, strand profiles, biographies, and contact information of accredited guests through, the Forum catalogue, the program guide, and the producers guide

    * Additional for Rough Cut projects:

    • two Docs for Sale Participants passes for the project team
    • Rough cut will be added to the Docs for Sale catalogue

    ** Additional for DocLab Forum projects:

    • access to a special interactive program, organized in collaboration with IDFA DocLab

    For questions about pitching and training fees, please e-mail the Forum team.

    For questions about Forum passes and fees, please consult Guest Services. Guest Services will contact you about your eligibility for the pass or passes you requested.