School program

Broadening horizons

Watching documentaries helps children form opinions and broadens their view of society. With a good dose of fun, IDFA teaches a generation growing up in a world flooded with images to critically evaluate what they see.

Watching in the cinema: school screenings

Each year, both during and outside the festival, IDFA holds school screenings in cinemas throughout the Netherlands specially for pupils in primary, secondary, and vocational schools. IDFA brings these students into contact with documentaries that show the world as experienced by their (often young) main characters in a personal, creative way. We also facilitate more in-depth discussion of the themes raised through additional teaching materials and Q&As after the screenings.

In 2018, we organized an Education Special around the web series Echoes of IS, showing portraits of people whose lives have been impacted in different ways by IS. Moderators, protagonists, and pupils discussed radicalization, how opinions are formed, and young people’s own experiences in light of this documentary series.

Watching in the classroom: Docschool Online

Docschool Online makes the best documentaries from IDFA’s collection available to teachers in primary, secondary, and vocational schools free of charge. These films can be watched in the classroom all year round. Teaching materials are available to accompany each documentary, giving students insights into the social context and making of the film. In 2018, we reached more than 20,000 pupils in the classroom with Docschool Online.

Educational workshops and projects

By making their own documentary, children can discover the crucial roles played by camerawork, editing, and sound, allowing them to better evaluate the images they see all around them. IDFA organizes workshops and lessons for students, as well as training for teachers, in cooperation with filmmakers and partner organizations such as The One Minutes Jr., De Animatiebus, and FOAM.

Kids Top 15

To underline the importance of documentaries as an educational resource, in 2018 we compiled the Top 15 documentaries for young people that we believe children should see. Most of these films can be seen by everyone – at home and in the classroom – immediately and for free at