Submit to IDFA Forum

    IDFA Forum closed for project submissions on August 1st. This year we are putting extra attention on driving, connecting and supporting the international documentary film industry through every means available. Current distancing and crowd limitations mean that the Forum will take place online, ensuring that accredited guests all over the world can participate. Nevertheless, guests who can travel in November will be welcome to watch films in cinemas and participate in industry activities in Amsterdam. We look forward to receiving your work.

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

    Key dates:

    • Updated rules and regulations available: June 12
    • Entry form available: June 12
    • Submission deadline: August 1
    • IDFA Forum: November 16-20
    Checklist for IDFA Forum entry

    General entry regulations

    What we're looking for

    1. Producers with new 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. Additionally, for this year's online Forum we also encourage you to submit projects that were pitched at a (digital) market in 2020.

    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. Additionally, for this year's online DocLab Forum we also encourage you to submit projects that were pitched at a (digital) market in 2020.

    Eligibility 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

    • Online pitches and meetings for film and new media projects take place November 16-20.
    • Pitches are done in an online format. The Forum staff are currently researching the best possible solutions.
    • Each project will have online one-on-one meetings 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. The majority of online meetings will be scheduled November 19 and 20.
    • A moderator is present to coordinate post-pitch discussion and stimulate connections.
    • All projects are featured online through IDFA Forum (with a trailer or other sample material, project information, and a still), where they can be securely 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.

    Eligibility criteria and practical information for Rough Cut Presentations

    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

    • The Rough Cut Presentations and meetings take place online during the Forum. Exact dates to be announced.
    • The rough cut presentation format allows you to feature your full rough cut on IDFA’s online platform, where it is made available to key groups of acquisitions and exhibition professionals. You will also be able accompany the rough cut with an online presentation.
    • Each project will have online one-on-one meetings 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.
    • 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 (including rough cut) for the IDFA Forum and Docs for Sale collections must be delivered by Wednesday, October 21, 2020.

    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 2020, 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 IDFA Forum, you can only apply again for the Rough Cut Presentations category.
    • 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 2020, 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. Please e-mail the Forum staff to request a fee waiver.
    • The applicant will guarantee to have secured clearance from the copyright holders of any copyrighted materials included within the submitted film/project and any photographs submitted relating to the film/project for all purposes for which the material will be used by IDFA. The applicant will guarantee to hold IDFA harmless from any claims from copyright holders in relation to use of the submitted film by IDFA for the agreed purposes. IDFA reserves the right to disqualify any film with unauthorized inclusion of copyrighted materials.

    Entry fee

    • All Forum entries will be charged an administration fee of €25 (excl. VAT) per entry.
    • Exemptions can be made for countries from the DAC list. Please e-mail the Forum staff to request a fee waiver.
    • 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, as included in the project fee.
    • The pitch team (producer and director) must be present for the five full Forum days to pitch and have meetings (from Monday, November 16 to Friday, November 20). We may ask you to be flexible about your business hours to make the most of your participation.
    • 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, 2020.
    • The Forum staff strongly advises first time pitchers at IDFA to register for the online pitch training (for selected projects only).
    • 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 2020. 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 2020' or ‘This project [or work] was presented at IDFA DocLab Forum 2020.’ 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 the online IDFA Forum 2020 are:

    Presentation fee per project
    €275 (€332.75 incl. VAT 21%)
    Pitch training (separate registration after selection)
    Price TBA
    Project fee for additional category in 2020
    €200 (€242 incl. VAT 21%)

    These fees include:

    • presenting your project at our tailor-made online event during the IDFA Forum days, from November 16 to 20
    • featuring your project in the official Forum selection, as included in our online catalog
    • curated online one-on-one meetings with attending delegates of your choice and vice versa
    • a maximum of two online IDFA Forum accreditations for the project team*
    • access to social and networking events arranged during the Forum
    • access to the online Industry Program including talks, sessions and networking events**
    • access to IDFA-selected films to view online
    • online access to company profiles, strand profiles and contact information of accredited guests

    * Additional for Rough Cut projects:

    • You rough cut will be added to the Docs for Sale catalog online, where you can make use of the system's viewing reports

    ** Additional for DocLab Forum projects:

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

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

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