Talent Development

Nurturing talent

Talent Development

The IDFA Bertha Fund offers its selected filmmakers a range of training opportunities to stimulate their development and strengthen their documentaries. The Fund aims to support filmmakers in their creative process and, where necessary, help them bring their work to an international level.

In most countries where the Fund is active, there is little or no film training and hardly anything that could be called a film industry. Often there are no funds offering support to documentary filmmaking and filmmakers struggle with inadequate screening opportunities for their documentaries.

Therefore, the IDFA Bertha Fund has made it a priority to not only give financial support to filmmakers, but also provide tailor-made practical guidance. Since 2008, filmmakers with projects selected by IBF have been able to participate in the IDFAcademy Summer School. And since 2013 the Fund invites IBF filmmakers of projects still in production to take part in the IDFAcademy program at IDFA.

When the timing of these two programs don’t fit the production process of a project, the Fund offers feedback from the IDFA staff on rough cuts, festival strategy, co-producing or distribution. Also, international experts are asked to give feedback on story development, a rough cut or any other subject for which expertise is necessary.

IDFA's Artistic Director, Orwa Nyrabia, in discussion with Katja Dringenberg, a German editor and tutor at IDFAcademy Summer School 2018.

IDFAcademy Summer School

The 2018 edition of the Summer School took place July 2-7. A select group of up-and-coming international filmmaking talents got the chance to work on their film scripts or rough cuts with esteemed film professionals in Amsterdam. Two types of training possibilities were offered: Script Development, intended to strengthen film projects by working intensively on a strong narrative in the early stages, and Editing Consultancy, during which the participants refined a rough cut of their film.

Of the 16 selected projects, 6 were previously supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund. The Fund covers all travel costs and facilitates participation in this program.

You can find a video report of the 2018 Summer School here.

IBF participants at Summer School 2018

Script Development

Trees Floating - Salomé Jashi - Georgia

Aswang - Alyx Ayn G. Arumpac (dir.) & Armi Rae S. Cacanindin (prod.) - Philippines

Untitled – Anonymous

Editing Consultancy

As I Want – Samaher Alqadi (dir.) & Ahmed Abousaada (edit)

The Last Year of Congo Mirador - Anabel Rodríguez (dir.) & Sepp Brudermann (prod.) - Venezuela, UK, Brazil

Bullet Catcher - Ruslan Batytskyi (dir.) & Lesya Kalynska (dir.) - Ukraine, United States, Norway

IDFAcademy during IDFA 2018

From November 15-18, IBF filmmakers of seven projects in production were invited to attend the IDFAcademy program during IDFA 2018. The participants were able to attend sessions giving insights into co-producing, pitching a project, applying to film funds, sales strategies, how to create impact, emotional risks of making films and digital distribution. They had the chance to meet well-known filmmakers and experts like the renowned Polish director Pawel Lozinski, the IDFA Guest of Honor Helena Třeštíková, documentary master Nicolas Philibert and legendary director Errol Morris. The Fund covers all travel costs and facilitates participation in this program.

The IDFAcademy kicked off with a close reading with Aboozar Amini, director of IDFA 2018 opening film Kabul, City in the Wind, which was supported by IBF. Another highlight during IDFAcademy was the public brainstorm on the IBF project A Rifle and a Bag, from India, during the 'How to Create an Impact' session.

IBF participants at IDFAcademy 2018

As I Want - Samaher Alqadi (dir.), Karim el Hakim (prod.), Ahmed Abousaada (edit) - Egypt

Between Two Wars - Alina Gorlova (dir.) & Maksym Nakonechnyi (prod.) - Ukraine

Embodied ChorusMohamed Sabbah (dir.), Danielle Davie (dir.), Yara Abi Nader (prod.), Julia Wagner (prod.) - Lebanon

The Other Side – Iván Guarnizo - Colombia

A Rifle and a Bag Arya Rothe - India

InhabitantsMery Aghakhanyan - Armenia

Smog DirectorVincent Du - China

IBF Talent Development outcomes

For most of the filmmakers the IDFAcademy provides a much-needed push, resulting in powerful documentaries screened all over the world.

Since the first IDFAcademy Summer School in 2008, the Fund has facilitated participation by 66 projects. 41 of these have since been realized of which 35 were selected for IDFA. Almost half of the selected films were screened in one of the festival's competitions, and six of them won awards at IDFA.