Read all the latest news from the festival and IDFA's year-round programs here, in addition to in-depth articles.

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    Special call for submissions: IDFA Bertha Fund Classic – Ukraine Support

      With support from the Open Society Foundation, the IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a special call for documentary projects from Ukraine. The application deadline is August 1.

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      The ethics of documentary imagination: Clare Weiskopf and Nicolás van Hemelryck on making Alis

        Sometimes, a lengthy development phase is necessary to keep director-character power dynamics in check, say the IDFA Bertha Fund-supported filmmakers. And contrary to popular belief, that can actually lead to a more creative film.

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        “Almost any subject can be tackled in a youth documentary”

          Filmmaker Martijn Blekendaal believes that the unwritten rules of youth documentary must be broken to bring the genre to maturity.

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          Rebecca Day: Filmmakers need mental health support funds

            Psychotherapist and producer Rebecca Day on the growing need for psychological and emotional support to filmmakers in the documentary industry.

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            Call for submissions: IDFA Bertha Fund Classic

              The IDFA Bertha Fund is now accepting submissions for IBF Classic, the flagship grant program that supports documentary projects in development or (post-)production. As announced late last year, the Fund is pleased to offer increased amounts to selected filmmakers from now on, with maximum contributions of €7,500 for development support and €25,000 for production support per project. In addition to funding, selected filmmakers will receive tailored support from IDFA’s Filmmaker Support department and opportunities for connecting with IDFA’s professional network year-round. The submission deadline is June 10, 2022.

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              Call for applications: IDFA Project Space 2022

                IDFA Project Space is now open for applications! Launched in 2020 by IDFA’s Filmmaker Support department, this innovative talent development program offers first- or second-time documentary directors the opportunity to work on their project with highly esteemed filmmakers and film professionals who are willing to share their knowledge and experience with emerging talent. In 2022, the program is spread over four months, from June to September, with two online modules and one in-person week in Amsterdam. Filmmakers will have the chance to engage in a continuous process of growth with a program that flexibly adjusts to their individual needs through individual consultancies, inspirational talks, group mentoring, and more. Apply by March 20, 2022 to be considered.

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                Pros and cons of international co-producing for filmmakers from the Global South

                  Documentary filmmakers from the Global South frequently face a difficult dilemma. Sufficient financial support in their own countries is often hard to come by, so they have to rely on international funds, co-producing partners, workshops, co-production markets, and commissioning editors. In such an environment, it can be a challenge to keep your vision intact and tell your story the way you want to tell it.

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                  Catching life on film: Ruslan Fedotow’s world of images

                    Don’t make the mistake of telling Ruslan Fedotow his films are beautiful. “For me, it’s really, really bad to hear that,” the young Belarussian filmmaker explains on Zoom one cold winter morning. “When you don’t have a really strong story, but you have a strong visual thing, it’s dissonant... and then what can people say after watching it? ‘It was beautiful’,” he says. “I’m a cinematographer who wants to slowly become a director, and then people tell you your work is beautiful, and it’s like...” Ruslan’s sentence trails off into a groan, and then he catches himself. “But also, I really can’t avoid the visual, because I start from it.”

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                    Emerging producer Mathilde Niekamp: Stepping onto an international stage

                      Mathilde Niekamp has her fingers in many pies. As a team member at the Amsterdam-based Witfilm, you might know her as the Executive Producer on Lessons for Luca, Salvador Gieling’s engaged yet affectionate family portrait that was nominated for the IDFA Award for Best Dutch Film (pictured above). This past November, Niekamp also took part in the Young Producers program, a specialized route through the festival for local up-and-coming producers. Cut to 2022, and she’s warming up for a co-production with Romanian-Dutch director Raluca Lupaşcu, another IDFAcademy alumnus. Over Zoom, she gave her two cents about the ups and downs of shooting during Covid, financing an international film in the Netherlands, and fine-tuning a festival strategy, among other lessons learned.

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                      Documentary film in development: In conversation with directors Viv Li and Lucy Parker

                        On the surface, Viv Li and Lucy Parker have a lot in common. Both are up-and-coming women filmmakers currently participating in IDFA Project Space. Both have also enjoyed great acclaim in IDFA’s competition programs—Parker winning Best First Appearance in 2019 with Solidarity, Li earning a Special Mention in last year’s student competition with I Don’t Feel at Home Anywhere Anymore. Yet despite the apparent similarities, their films couldn’t be more different. Parker’s work is a testament to direct cinema, with the ability to transform politicized subjects into “a disquieting universal warning,” as the IDFA jury put it. Li’s filmmaking is a deeply personal, humorous affair that homes in on herself and her family within a broader cultural context. Nevertheless, speaking to the two talents as they research and develop new projects reveals an important affinity: a common process of discovery that is wholly creative, original, and often-times surprising.

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