IDFA for professionals

The industry meeting place

IDFA for professionals

With over 3,400 professional guests in attendance, IDFA 2018 proved to be the most important meeting place for the documentary industry. As a result, Amsterdam ballooned with a diversity of selected filmmakers and film professionals. In 2018, IDFA Industry welcomed young talent and new players alongside established stakeholders; focused more on artistic documentaries as well as topic-driven docs; and created sales opportunities for interactive projects, theatrical releases, and television. Whether in the markets, talks, or cinema halls, the result was a world-class platform that prepared film professionals to meet a rapidly transforming industry head on.

Beyond the festival grounds, the IDFA Industry team was busy travelling the globe. Throughout 2018 the team traveled to dozens of festivals and industry events, where they met with emerging filmmakers and awarded the most promising new documentary projects. A total of 8 awards were handed out at events in Beirut, Calcutta, Taipei, Prague, Durban, Montevideo, Sarajevo, and Bali. The winners were jetted to IDFA as part of a tailor-made package with attendance at IDFAcademy and IDFA Forum, a meeting with a script consultant or sales agent, and other networking opportunities. In November, 15 international delegations joined the festivities as well, including new delegations from West Africa and Palestine, for networking, sharing local resources, and finding co-producers.

Industry Program

Once again, our Industry Program invited all pass-holders to share knowledge, learn from experts, and network. Our extensive talks, sessions, and consultancies aimed to inspire, inform, and keep our guests up to date on the latest developments in the world of documentary film. Co-producing came to the fore via events like the Producers Network and a talk on the ethics of co-producing, among other sessions. Meanwhile, a new slate of think tanks set the agenda on pressing issues ranging from SVoD (Subscription Videon on Demand) to diverse festival programming.


For the first time, we structured our Industry Program along five different themes, each reflecting important subjects in today’s shifting documentary landscape:   

Documentary in Demand examined the influx of new players, platforms, and technologies, and where they stand in relation to established distribution models.


Shifting Paradigms shined a light on the evolution of co-producing, its necessity for documentary filmmaking today, and the new possibilities and challenges introduced for making and disseminating documentary films.


Diamonds Are Forever looked to the future of film heritage, discussing the big questions in our contemporary archival landscape, and its often-obscured power structures.


Rehearsing the Future dove into everything the non-linear documentary dreams of being, from live performances and immersive installations to augmented reality and AI. 


Among Filmmakers explored the experiences of authors, as well as the stories, perspectives, and struggles posed by today’s industry.