Children’s Documentaries at IDFA Forum

    IDFA Forum presents a special pitch and industry day focused on children’s documentaries.

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    Launched in 2014, the Industry Day for Children’s Documentaries looks to stimulate international development, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing within the field of children’s documentaries.

    Building on IDFA’s focus on children’s documentaries and young audiences—through festival programs such as the Kids & Docs competition and IDFA Junior, as well as year-round activities such as Docschool Online and the IDFA school screenings—this industry day aims to support the professionals bringing these documentary stories to life. The full-day event gathers filmmakers and industry stakeholders working with documentary content for young audiences and features a number of different pitches and sessions.

    IDFA Forum Pitch for Children’s Documentaries

    Every year, IDFA Forum selects two to four documentary projects aimed for audiences aged 9 to 12, and provides a special round table pitch platform for these projects. Presented as part of the overall Forum program, these pitches are open to all attending Forum decision makers and delegates. For this pitch, the Forum team also invites professionals working specifically with documentary content for children, such as broadcasters, online platforms, and consultants.

    Presenting a project at the IDFA Forum Pitch for Children’s Documentaries therefore gives projects the opportunity to reach both children’s media professionals and the wider documentary industry. In doing so, this initiative also encourages the wider documentary industry to support and get involved in narratives for young audiences.

    The Pitch is open to linear projects, projects that combine linear and new media components, and projects that tell stories fully through immersive means.

    Projects that have previously pitched in this category include:

    • Anbessa (Premiere at Berlinale - Generation Kplus, 2019; IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs 2019)
    • The Distant Barking of Dogs (winner - IDFA Competition for First Appearance 2017)
    • Gods of Molenbeek (Top 10 audience favorite at Hot Docs 2019)
    • If You Are Not There, Where Are You?
    • Kids on the Silk Road episodes 6 -15
    • Tongue Cutters (IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs 2017)
    • Winter Lake (IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs 2019)

    Other industry sessions

    The IDFA Forum Pitch for Children’s Documentaries takes place on the final morning of the Forum (on Wednesday), kick-starting the Industry Day for Children’s Documentaries. Building on the momentum of the Forum, the afternoon sessions aim to gather professionals working with content for young audiences for a range of events that inspire and inform.

    The program varies year to year, and features a mix of presentations, panels, and screenings, including a special focus on children’s documentaries in Docs for Sale. Topics from previous years’ panels include alternative outreach for children’s documentaries, the potential of serialized children’s documentary content, and a think tank on more sustainable models for the co-production and distribution of children’s documentaries.

    In the last two years, the Forum has also hosted the Dok Junior Pitch, presented by the Netherlands Film Fund. Launched in 2018, Dok Junior is a collaboration between the Netherlands Film Fund, HUMAN, Cinekid, and IDFA, aimed at the development, production, and distribution of distinctive and original long-form documentaries for children aged 9 to 12 years. Two Dutch teams who have been granted development support through the scheme present their children’s documentary projects to the attending industry professionals and receive recorded feedback from the target group—children.

    Get involved

    The Industry Day for Children’s Documentaries takes place on Wednesday, November 25 2020.

    IDFA Forum starts accepting submissions for the Children’s Documentary Pitch on June 1. More information about this year’s regulations and application process will be available online in May.

    Are you an industry professional who would like to attend the Pitch for Children’s Documentaries at the Forum? Do you have ideas for sessions or panels? Then please get in touch with us at

    The Industry Day for Children’s Documentaries is presented in collaboration with RealYoung—an initiative by IDFA and M:Brane (previously the Financing Forum for Kids Content) to elevate documentaries for children to the next level.

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