Watch films and projects in the IDFA collection

    A viewing guide for our online collection

    Nearly 800 IDFA films and projects are available to view in our online collection. Here’s how you get started.

    Free vs. paid streaming

    Did you know that, for several years now, we have a collection of IDFA films and new media projects you can watch online? If not, we invite you to take advantage of it now.

    Many titles in the IDFA collection are available to stream for free. Others are available to rent for a small contribution, which goes directly to the filmmaker, distributor, or other rights holder. On our collection page, you can proceed directly to free films or rented films. Not sure where to start? Then take a look at our film tips.

    You can also navigate between free streaming and rentals from our entire collection of documentaries. Simply go to Documentaries, click the ‘Watch online’ tab under the search bar and select either ‘Free’ or ‘To Rent.’

    Navigating the collection

    • Within the list films and projects you can watch online, the titles are listed alphabetically.
    • You can search for a specific title or filmmaker via the search bar at the top of the screen.
    • You can also navigate the collection using filters such as:
      • program section in which the title screened at IDFA;
      • the film or project length (run time);
      • and the IDFA edition (year) in which the title screened.

    ​Tips for better viewing conditions

    • As there’s no dedicated app for iOS, Android, or smart TVs yet, our online collection is best navigated on a web browser.
    • While you can watch the films however you like, our advice is to use the largest screen available. Please keep in mind that if you watch on a small screen such as a mobile phone, you will miss some elements of the image as well as the sound.
    • If available, we suggest using an HDMI cable from a computer to your TV screen. An alternative option is a screen sharing solution such as Apple TV or Chromecast.
    • Audio quality is equally important as image quality. Using headphones is one way to get good sound and enjoy a more immersive experience. If you have a sound system, simply connect it the same way you would when watching Netflix or Amazon Prime: directly from your TV’s HDMI ARC, or Optical Audio Out.
    • If your Internet connection allows, choose the highest streaming quality available in the settings of the player window. If the video is stopping or buffering, try lowering the streaming quality settings, or set them to Automatic.

    How to watch a film

    Once you have navigated to the film or project you would like to watch, click on the title. This will take you to the film page. Once you’re on the film page, hit the play button on the top left of the screen, above the film’s title. This will take you to a third-party streaming platform such as Vimeo, YouTube, or iTunes.

    Free films

    Once you’ve clicked through to the provided streaming platform, a pop-up window or new browser tab will open. If the film is available for free, it will start streaming immediately.

    Rented films

    Once you’ve clicked through to the provided streaming platform, the film’s trailer will start playing via a pop-up window or a new tab in your browser. These pages are set up by the films’ rights holders; all proceeds made from online streaming will go directly to them.

    If watching in Vimeo, you’ll see a price in the top right corner of the pop-up window. Click on the price, and follow the instructions provided to pay the contribution online and start watching the film.

    If watching on YouTube or another platform, follow their respective instructions to pay the contribution and start watching. You will need to make an account with the individual streaming platform before you can rent (or in some cases, buy) the film.

    Regional availability

    Please note: depending on individual distribution licenses, some of the films and projects are not available to view worldwide. We are currently developing a new feature to better indicate which titles are available for international viewers. We look forward to sharing this update with you soon!

    Film tips

    Not sure where to start? Take a look at some tips from our programmers, which include curated pathways through the collection as well as a selection of IDFA films that were scheduled to be cinemas but are now available online.

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