Towards an inclusive documentary film industry

    In September 2018, IDFA committed itself to the 5050x2020 Pledge, following film festivals around the world to commit to greater gender parity within the film industry. At IDFA, we believe that meeting quotas in the film program is not enough. As the world’s largest documentary film festival, IDFA is in a position to do more. We seek to create long term change, which requires examining and transforming an industry built on inequality. In addition to the IDFA film program, it is through the IDFA Bertha Fund, IDFAcademy, IDFA Forum, Docs for Sale, Doc School, and all the other IDFA activities that we seek a solid policy of inclusion. With these efforts, IDFA hopes to enable and empower a new generation that is more inclusive, and provide more opportunities to build a new and different reality.

    We strongly believe that equality begins with gender, but doesn’t end there. To act inclusively is to ensure a fair representation of filmmakers from the global south, from marginalized communities, and from all under-represented communities and regions in the four corners of the world. All these groups should have the opportunity to make good films, take ownership of their narratives, and share their work with the world, equally.

    As such, the question of inclusion is intrinsic to most of this year’s Industry Talks, Think Tanks, Sessions and Meetups. Moreover, several events during IDFA 2018 address inclusion as their central theme, and provide a platform to examine how to achieve a solid policy of inclusion within the documentary film industry. The (invitation-only) Think Tank All Inclusive: Discussing Diversity with Documentary Film Festivals invites fellow festivals to examine the question of inclusion, and develop measures to achieve inclusion within our organizations, activities, and audiences. On November 17, the Industry Talk Code of Conduct: Towards and Ethical Way of Co-producing discusses the growing need for fair co-production practices. On November 18, IDFA is proud to host the network meeting of the European Women’s Audiovisual Network’s Documentary Working Group. On November 19, the Industry Session Creating Inclusive Realities draws hands-on inspiration from immersive storytelling to create more diverse and authentic stories. Also on November 19, the Industry Talk World Film Heritage: Who Decides? examines how to come to a fair system of selecting which documentaries ‘deserve’ to be preserved for the future.