Nurturing Talent

Talent Development

The IDFA Bertha Fund offers its selected filmmakers a range of training opportunities to stimulate their development and strengthen their documentary projects. 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 a film industry is non-existent, or limited and focused on commercial fiction film. Often there are no funds offering support to documentary filmmaking and filmmakers struggle with inadequate screening opportunities for their documentary films. 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 annual IDFAcademy Summer School. And since 2013 the Fund invites IBF-supported filmmakers and producers to follow the IDFAcademy program held during IDFA.

IDFA’s training programs do not always correspond to the production schedule of a project, so the Fund also offers filmmakers the opportunity to receive feedback on story development and their rough-cut from IDFA staff or international experts throughout the year. Furthermore, through its staff or network of international experts, the Fund can offer filmmakers advice on festival strategy, co-production, safety measures and other subjects relevant to the production of their films.

Kamar Ahmad Simon (left, director) and Saikat Sekhareswar Ray (editor, middle) discussing their project Day after... with mentor Jeroen Berkvens during IDFAcademy Summer School 2019.

IDFAcademy Summer School

The 2019 edition of the Summer School took place July 1-6. A select group of up-and-coming international filmmaking talents got the chance to work on their film scripts or rough cuts with esteemed international 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, 7 were previously supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund. The Fund covered all travel costs and facilitated participation in this program. You can read more about the 2019 Summer School here.

IBF participants at IDFAcademy Summer School 2019 Script Development Embodied Chorus - Danielle Davie (dir.) & Mohamad Sabbah (dir.) Loving Martha - Daniela López (dir.) & Sara Nanclares (prod.) The Mother of All Lies – Asmae El Moudir (dir.) & Lucie Rego (prod.) The Witnessess from the Shadows – Ousmane Samassekou (dir.) Editing Consultancy Between Two Wars – Alina Gorlova (dir.) & Olga Zhurba (editor) Day after... - Kamar Ahmad Simon (dir.) & Saikat Sekhareswar Ray (editor) My Darling Supermarket – Tali Yankelevich (dir.) & Marco del Fiol (editor)

Participants of the IDFAcademy Summer School 2019.

IDFAcademy during IDFA 2019

From November 21-24, IBF filmmakers of nine projects in production were invited to attend the IDFAcademy program during IDFA 2019. The participants were able to attend sessions giving insights into co-producing, pitching a project, digital storytelling, sales and distribution strategies, the effects of challenging relationships in film and how to work with complex protagonists. They had the chance to meet well-known filmmakers and experts like the renowned self-taught master Mohsen Makhmalbaf, the festival’s guest of honor Patricio Guzmán and the acclaimed filmmaker Alan Berliner. The Fund covered all travel costs and facilitated participation in the program. During IDFAcademy 2019 several IBF-supported projects took center stage at the ‘Pitch and Trailer workshop’: Lana Daher (Lebanon) pitched her project Do you love me? and Diem Ha Le (Vietnam) pitched Children of the Mist. They both received feedback from a professional panel on their pitch. During the session ‘How to Create Impact’, a public brainstorm took place with a focus on the impact strategy for Ousmane Samassekou's (Mali) project The Witnesses from the Shadows.

IBF participants at IDFAcademy 2019 Children of the Mist – Diem Ha Le (dir.) & Swann Dubus (prod.)

Do You Love Me? - Lana Daher (dir.)

The Mother’s Crusade – Hanna Badziaka (dir.) & Alexander Mihalkovich (dir.)

The Mother of All Lies – Asmae El Moudir (dir.) & Lucie Rego (prod.)

Roma – Olga Zhurba (dir.)

The Witnesses from the Shadows – Ousmane Samassekou (dir.)

Zinder – Aicha Macky (dir.)

Two of the selected projects wish to remain anonymous, due to the sensitive topic the projects touch upon.

IDFAcademy Summer School

7 IBF projects participated in 2019 71 IBF projects participated since 2008

IDFAcademy during IDFA

7 IBF projects participated in 2019 36 IBF projects participated since 2015

IBF Talent Development outcomes

For most of the filmmakers the IDFAcademy provides a much-needed push, resulting in powerful documentary films screened all over the world. Since the first IDFAcademy Summer School in 2008, the Fund has facilitated participation of 71 projects. 46 of these have since been realized of which 38 were selected for IDFA. Almost half of the selected films were screened in one of the festival's competitions, and seven of them won awards at IDFA.