IDFA for professionals


In 2018 IDFAcademy breathed new life into the documentary field with its training programs for emerging filmmakers. By stimulating new talent and high-level documentary production, IDFAcademy kickstarted filmmakers’ international careers, providing visibility and market access with the IDFA ‘stamp.’

A spirit of innovation and openness towards new approaches underscored all four training programs. Moreover, the IDFAcademy team focused on maintaining ongoing relationships with its talents, encouraging all to feel like part of the IDFA family.

IDFA was made possible by Dioraphte, VEVAM and Creative Europe Media.

IDFAcademy Summer School

In July, IDFAcademy Summer School welcomed 16 international projects to Amsterdam, where the filmmakers spent a week working on their scripts or rough cuts with guidance from esteemed filmmakers and film professionals. Eight luminaries joined as tutors: producer Gema Juárez Allen, sales agent Gitte Hansen, directors Aliona van der Horst and Pawel Lozinksi, and editors Katja Dringenberg, Niels Pagh Andersen, Menno Boerema, and Jesper Osmund.

IDFAcademy during IDFA

During IDFA, 100 emerging directors and producers from around the globe flew into Amsterdam for IDFAcademy’s four-day training program. There, they gained up-to-date market knowledge of the documentary industry and learned first-hand about the current trends in documentary filmmaking. Experts such as directors Nicolas Philibert and Errol Morris, sales agent Anaïs Clanet, producer Catherine Dussart, and impact producer Suhad Babaa shared their knowledge in panels and masterclasses.

IDFAcademy & NPO Fund Workshop

The IDFAcademy & NPO Fund Workshop focused on the next generation of Dutch filmmakers, selecting six documentary talents to develop a plan for a mid-length documentary. Tutored by renowned filmmakers Marjoleine Boonstra and Tom Fassaert, participants were linked to producers and given € 5,000 to develop a teaser. During the festival the results were presented to Dutch public broadcasters. Rising star Shamira Raphaëla was awarded the Karen de Bok Talent Award, consisting of a € 25,000 development grant from the NPO Fund along with € 5,000 for a new teaser.

The IDFAcademy & NPO Fund Workshop was made possible by the NPO Fund.

Kids & Docs Workshop

Last but not least, the Kids & Docs Workshop continued to take the youth doc to new places. In 2018, award-winning filmmaker Ester Gould guided 6 emerging Dutch filmmakers to develop a children’s documentary plan with the expertise of guest lecturers and support of Dutch broadcasters. Three films from the workshop were realized, going on to premiere at IDFA and Cinekid. This year, Kids & Docs even inspired a new collaboration with the Flemish Audiovisual Fund and JEF, initiating a similar workshop in Belgium.

The Kids & Docs Workshop was made possible by the NPO-fund.

All in all, 6 films developed at IDFAcademy Summer School and the Kids & Docs Workshop made it into IDFA’s selection: 180cc, A Haunted Past, Home Games, The Man Who Looked Beyond the Horizon, Skip and the Rhythm Rangers, and The Sound of Masks.