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IDFA Bertha Fund

IDFA around the globe

2018 was an exciting year for the IDFA Bertha Fund, which continued to stimulate and empower the creative documentary sector in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and parts of Eastern Europe (IBF regions). The year brought strong collaborations, old and new. In November, the Fund announced the new Netherlands Film Fund + IDFA Bertha Fund Co-production Scheme, offering co-production grants for IBF-supported projects that get a Dutch co-producer on board. The Fund was also delighted to announce a renewed partnership with the Bertha Foundation for a period of three years, until 2021.

Through the funding schemes IBF Classic and IBF Europe, the Fund provided development, production, and distribution grants to documentary projects from IBF regions. In 2018 the IBF received 541 applications for the IBF Classic grant, which offers development and production support to filmmakers from these regions. A total of

€ 222,057 was granted to 21 projects hailing from El Salvador, Bhutan, Mozambique, and Philippines, among other countries.

IBF Europe was no less impactful. With IBF Europe – International Co-production, catering to international co-productions with at least one European and one non-European producer, the Fund awarded six projects with

€ 40,000 each. Selected co-productions covered countries such as Chile, the Netherlands, Afghanistan, Germany, India, and Ukraine. With IBF Europe – Distribution of International Co-production, the Fund granted a total of

€ 90,000 for the worldwide distribution of two projects from Egypt and one from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Come festival time, the Fund’s harvest was abundant: 15 IBF-supported films were realized, of which 10 made it into IDFA’s selection. Five IBF projects pitched at IDFA Forum, and seven IBF projects participated in IDFAcademy. Finally, two IBF-supported films won awards: the Special Jury Award for Feature-Length Documentary went to Los Reyes, and Kabul, City in the Wind took home the Special Jury Award for First Appearance, in addition to opening the festival.

Outside Amsterdam, several IBF-supported films took the festival circuit by storm, scoring Oscar nominations in the process. Of Fathers and Sons, for instance, screened at over 100 festivals and won 28 awards, leading up to an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature. Other IBF films proved exceptional cases in their home countries: the successful release of When the Guns Go Silent broke records in Colombian cinemas, while Heiress of the Wind became the first Nicaraguan blockbuster ever.

IDFA Bertha Fund was supported by Bertha Foundation and Creative Europe Media.