IDFAcademy Summer School

    A week-long program for emerging film talent to elevate their script or rough cut

    Below, you can read all about our former training program IDFAcademy Summer School. Want to apply to our new program? Then head over to the IDFA Project Space page.

    IDFAcademy Summer School offers first- or second-time directors the opportunity to work with highly esteemed filmmakers and film professionals who are willing to share their knowledge and experience with emerging film talent.

    This is a project-driven program in which participants work on their film project in the script or editing phase. Participants in Script Development work on the narrative in individual sessions. Tutors help Editing Consultancy participants perfect their rough cut in the editing suite.


    Focusing on creative documentary projects, the program supports approximately eight projects in the script development phase and eight projects in the rough-cut phase.

    Script Development

    The program's Script Development section is intended to strengthen film projects by working intensively on a strong narrative in its early stages. Participants are encouraged to focus on their own film projects as well as each other's work.

    Script Development focuses on:

    • Structuring the initial film idea or concept into a film project with a strong narrative.
    • Interweaving different story lines into a solid narrative structure.
    • Choosing the main characters – how do they add to your story line?
    • Visualizing the story – how should the camera, sound and editing be used to strengthen the narrative?

    ​Editing Consultancy

    The Editing Consultancy section requires shooting to be near completion, with a rough cut ready for the start of IDFAcademy Summer School. The participants will work intensively with an experienced editor, during which time they refine the rough cut, depending on the editing stage at the time of the workshop.

    Editing Consultancy focuses on:

    • Defining the structure of the film.
    • Identifying characters and building the story line.
    • Fine-tuning the film’s rhythm and dramatic structure.


    IDFAcademy Summer School is open to directors making their first or second feature documentary. Film school students are not eligible. Selected filmmakers also have the opportunity to bring a sparring partner: a creative producer or a co-script writer. In the case of participation in Editing Consultancy, the filmmaker must bring an editor. Participants are expected to have a working knowledge of English and to be available for the full duration of IDFAcademy Summer School.

    IDFAcademy aims at a broad division of creative projects. Some of the projects, either for Script Development or Editing Consultancy, will be chosen from projects that have already received a grant from the IDFA Bertha Fund, which supports filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe.

    Application and Eligibility

    Projects submitted to IDFAcademy Summer School cannot be withdrawn after selection. 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. For projects supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund, the Fund will pay the fee, hotel costs, and part of the travel costs.

    The following information must be included in the entry form:

    • A synopsis (400 words max.) and a logline (50 words max);
    • A project description, including visual style, description of characters, storyline, background information, etc. (1.500 words max.);
    • A clear indication of the stage of development/production, and a tentative production schedule;
    • A detailed biography and filmography for the Summer School participant(s) (500 words max.);
    • Optional: recommendations from experienced film professionals (film directors, producers, official funding bodies, film schools).
    • A personal motivation for attendance that details the (research/production) stage of the project and the goal(s) to be achieved during the Summer School (750 words max).
    • Still(s) of your project (if available).

    If you are submitting a project for Script Development:

    • Previous work (visual material).
    • Visual material of the project (if available).
    • Please note that if you are selected we will ask you to send us a written update on your progress in the time between submission and selection.

    If you are submitting a project for Editing Consultancy:

    • Previous work (visual material).
    • An edited sequence of the project or a selection of scenes (20-30 minutes).
    • Please note that the Rough Cut should be ready no later than the end of May. If not, we cannot let you enter the program.

    For submissions to both Script Development and Editing Consultancy, please take care to:

    • elaborate which phase your project is currently in
    • indicate the progress you expect to make with your project before July
    • thoroughly describe your motivation for applying to IDFAcademy Summer School

    IDFA's talent development program is made possible by The Netherlands Film Fund, Creative Europe Media, NPO Fund and Videoland.

    This website uses cookies.

    By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

     here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies