The IBF has an extensive industry network encompassing both the international film industry and organizations active in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The Fund utilizes this network to provide information to filmmakers and organizations and to mediate between supported projects and the international film industry. Meeting at IDFA Each year, the Fund invites all makers of IBF-supported documentary films selected for the IDFA program, as well as a number of supported filmmakers with projects still in production, to attend IDFA. Attending IDFA is a great opportunity for documentary professionals to expand their networks, broaden their knowledge of the documentary industry and see many documentary films that are difficult to access in their own regions. This enables them to make direct contact with the approximately 3,300 international professionals present in Amsterdam during the festival. During IDFA, many activities take place aimed at stimulating filmmakers to network, such as the IDFAcademy, IDFA’s Industry Program and the daily Guests Meet Guests drinks.
Within the context of its collaboration with the Netherlands Film Fund, the Fund has organized additional activities to encourage the makers of IBF projects and producers from the Netherlands to get to know one another. Alongside informing the Dutch film producers about the IBF filmmakers present and their projects, meetings are arranged during the Producers’ Network and the Forum’s one-on-one meetings. To further encourage networking between IBF-supported filmmakers and producers at the festival, the Fund organizes a get-together every year for all IBF filmmakers and producers, European co-producers involved in IBF-supported projects as well as IBF partners and the selection committee. Given the informal setting and the profiles of the guests attending, this IBF get-together has always proved to be a great networking encounter.
Manuel Abramovich (director) and Gema Juárez Allen (producer), the team behind Cowboy Love, during the one-on-one meetings at IDFA Forum 2019.
IBF at IDFA Forum
In 2019, five projects supported by the Fund were selected for pitching at IDFA Forum, the international co-production and co-financing market for documentary films, and one of the most influential meeting places for filmmakers, creators and producers working on creative documentary films and new media projects. Of these projects, four were selected for the Round Table Pitches and one was selected for the Rough Cut Screenings. The Golden Thread, directed by Nishtha Jain, was the 2019 Opening Pitch at IDFA Forum. During the Forum, the projects were presented to an industry delegation of 692 film professionals from around the world. Besides the public pitches, the project representatives were able to pitch their ideas and plans to interested funders, co-producers, sales agents and distributors in pre-arranged one-on-one meetings. IBF facilitated the participation of all projects in the Forum and represented The Golden Thread as a financier during the pitch itself.
IBF projects selected for IDFA Forum Cowboy Love by Manuel Abramovich (Argentina) - Round Table Pitch The Golden Thread by Nishtha Jain (India, Bosnia-Herzegovina, United Kingdom) - Round Table Pitch Pandora’s Box by Liang Zhao (China,France) - Round Table Pitch Porvenir by Alfredo Pourailly De La Plaza (Chile) – Rough Cut Pitch The Witnesses from the Shadows by Ousmane Samassekou (Mali,France) - Round Table Pitch Forum observers In addition to the IBF-supported projects selected for IDFA Forum, the Fund invited several producers of IBF supported projects that participated in the IDFAcademy, to also attend IDFA Forum as observers for one or more days, in order to broaden their networks and meet potential financiers or co-producers.
Zhao Liang, director of Pandora's Box, during his Round Table Pitch at IDFA Forum 2019.
Collaboration with International Organizations
Throughout the year, the Fund is in contact with various organizations to exchange information and knowledge about documentary films, filmmakers, organizations and contacts, such as Dox Box in Berlin, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program in the US, DOCUBOX in Kenia, Afridocs in South Africa, the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Documentary Fund in Canada, AFAC in Lebanon, In-Docs in Indonesia and the Movies that Matter Foundation. The IDFA Bertha Fund is also part of a network of co-production funds which includes the Hubert Bals Fund, World Cinema Fund, ACM Distribution and Torino Filmlab. These funds consult each other on a regular basis and share experiences on the implementation of the co-production schemes in the Creative Europe program. The Fund also maintains a number of structural relationships with organizations in IBF focus countries. Every year, the IBF sends consultants to workshops and festivals all over the world in order to promote the Fund and IDFA, to extend its network and to provide concrete professional support to filmmakers from IBF focus countries. Through these visits local organizations are incorporated into the Fund’s network. In 2019, such working visits were made to documentary film events in Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Georgia, India, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, South Korea and Ukraine.