Encouraging European Co-productions

IBF Co-productions

Through the IBF co-production programs, the IDFA Bertha Fund aims to encourage European producers to participate as co-producer in high-quality documentary projects by filmmakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. By focusing on funding documentary films from IBF-focus countries (see button below) through European partners, the Fund is able to increase the support to these films, to strengthen the creative participation of the European partners and to stimulate the circulation of documentary films from the IBF-focus regions in a world that is mostly dominated by western media. The Fund offers support through three funding categories: IBF Europe - International Co-production, IBF Europe - Distribution for International Co-productions and the newly created NFF+IBF Co-production Scheme.

For IBF Europe the applications are assessed by an international selection committee consisting of members active in the documentary film industry in various capacities, taking into account certain selection criteria (see button below). One of the goals of the IBF Europe program is to support European producers in the smaller EU countries and to encourage them to co-produce with the regions the IBF supports. The NFF+IBF Co-production Scheme is a collaboration with the Netherlands Film Fund and the goal is encourage Dutch producers to get involved in international co-productions. The application and selection processes are organized by the Netherlands Film Fund and IDFA Bertha Fund is involved in the selection of projects.

Brief overview per category

International Co-production In this category the Fund supports the production of documentary films co-produced between European producers and producers from IBF focus countries. This category is for documentary projects in any stage of production that have a director from an IBF focus country. The maximum amount awarded per project is €40,000.

Distribution for International Co-productions This category is designed to support innovative distribution plans for documentary films co-produced between European producers and producers from IBF focus countries. Distribution plans should seek to reach a broad global audience. Financing is made available for plans that make use of both innovative means of distribution and more traditional distribution forms. The maximum amount awarded per project is €30,000.

NFF+IBF Co-production Scheme This category is aimed at supporting the realization of international documentary co-productions between Dutch producers and producers from IBF focus countries. Projects which have previously received a contribution for development or production from the IDFA Bertha Fund are eligible. The maximum contribution per project is €50,000.

Still from The Billion Dollar Road, by Dieudo Hamadi

Selection 2019

In 2019, 6 projects received IBF Europe - International co-production support, 3 projects received IBF Europe - Distribution support, and 1 project received the NFF+IBF Co-production grant. IBF Europe - International Co-production The Billion Dollar Road by Dieudo Hamadi, France/ Democratic Republic of the Congo Since two decades, the victims of the Six-Day War have been fighting in Kisangani for the recognition of this bloody conflict and demanding compensation. The Earth is Blue as an Orange by Iryna Tsilyk, Lithuania/Ukraine In the surreal conditions of the war in the Donbas region of Ukraine, Anna and her children decide to make a feature film about their own life, re-coding their traumas as an artwork. The Golden Thread by Nishtha Jain, Bosnia-Herzegovina/ India/United Kingdom Outside Kolkata, jute mills crank on, virtually unchanged since the industrial revolution. How does the work powered by steam and sweat dance with the labour of filmmaking? My Darling Supermarket by Tali Yankelevich, Denmark/ Brazil Between repetitive actions such as stocking shelves and scanning groceries, anonymous Brazilian supermarket employees reflect frankly on their lives. Radiograph of a Family by Firouzeh Khosrovani, Norway/ Iran A Pre- and Post-revolutionary story of the daughter of a secular father and a devout mother as they co-exist under one roof. Zinder by Aicha Maki, France/Niger The filmmaker explores the origins of radicalization in her hometown Zinder, Niger, and the prospects for escaping it.

IBF Europe - Distribution Aswang by Alyx Ayn Arumpac, Philippines/France/ Germany/Norway/Qatar Aswang follows people whose fates entwine with the growing violence during two years of killings in Manila.

With this grant Aswang is distributed in the Philippines, Sweden and Denmark. Cocaine Prison by Violeta Ayala, France/Bolivia The errand boys of the cocaine business can spend years awaiting trial in Bolivia's overcrowded prison system. With this grant Cocaine Prison is distributed in France, Bolivia and Colombia. Talking About Trees by Suhaib Gasmelbari, France/Chad/ Germany/Qatar/Sudan In Sudan, cinema is a thing of the past and out of favor with the current regime, but four directors and lifelong friends refuse to accept it. With this grant Talking about Trees is distributed in France, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. NFF+IBF Co-production Scheme Smog Town by Meng Han Langfang is one of the most air-polluted cities. There, the interests of the local environmental protection bureau clash with those of industry.

The Selection Committee

IBF Europe co-production round: Adriek van Nieuwenhuijzen (Head of Industry, IDFA) Bianca Oana (Producer, Nanau Production) Isabel Arrate Fernandez (Managing Director, IDFA Bertha Fund) Mikael Opstrup (Doc Developer) Martha Orozco (Producer, Mart Films) IBF Europe distribution rounds: Anne Vierhout (Managing Director, Cinema Delicatessen) Daan Vermeulen (Acquisitions, Cinema Delicatessen) Isabel Arrate Fernandez (Managing Director, IDFA Bertha Fund) Liselot Verbrugge (Sales & Acquisitions, Deckert Distribution) Mélanie de Vocht (Project Manager, IDFA Bertha Fund)

Overview of 5 Years IBF Europe

Since 2015 the Fund has worked to facilitate international co-productions between Europe and IBF focus countries through the IBF Europe scheme. In 2019 the Fund conducted a research among the European producers who have received project funding through this scheme. Several conclusions with regards to the IBF Europe scheme were drawn from this research. To start with, the research shows that through receiving IBF Europe support, European producers can expand their horizon, get experience, and become enthusiastic about co-producing with IBF filmmakers. Another outcome is that European producers actively search for and co-produce documentary film projects from IBF focus countries, with more diverse and untold stories. Further, receiving IBF support opens doors to other sources of funding for European producers. It enables them to bring their project to the next level, creating higher quality for the project.

There were several outcomes that were not expected at the beginning of the research: especially European producers who are just starting their career in the documentary film industry, experience moral support and trust in relation to the Fund. Furthermore it shows that receiving IBF support helps to expand the European producers’ networks, the support ensures a wider reach and exposure for their documentary films, and they feel better positioned to promote their projects and have more visibility locally and internationally.

Lastly, the research shows the first indications that the IDFA Bertha Fund contributes to IDFA’s goal of increasing the cultural diversity and diversity of stories in the documentary film industry.

International Co-production

6 projects € 240,000

Distribution for Co-productions

3 projects € 90,000

NFF+IBF Co-production Scheme

1 project € 50,000