Connecting people

The team of the Malinese project The Last Shelter during their Rough Cut Presentation at IDFA Forum. Photo by Jurre Rompa.

Network and Knowledge Expansion

To offer supported filmmakers greater opportunities in the realization of their projects, the broadest possible use is made of IBF’s extensive industry network—such as attending IDFA and participating in the IDFA Forum and the IDFAcademy.

Attending IDFA

Due to COVID-19, it was impossible to invite IBF-grantees to physically join IDFA in 2020. Nevertheless, from November 19-25, the online edition of IDFA offered a wide range of activities to help film professionals to expand their network and broaden their knowledge of the documentary industry: the IDFA Industry Program. Activities included livestreaming talks from the studios in Amsterdam, watching films in the Press & Industry Library, joining consultancies with industry experts, meeting emerging filmmakers and delegations, and catching up on recorded sessions in the Talks Library.

The online program provided the Fund with the unique opportunity to invite significantly more filmmakers, from all corners of the world, to participate in the Industry activities — inviting such an extended group of IBF-grantees would not have been possible under normal circumstances. As a result, the Fund could provide 72 IBF-supported filmmakers with an IDFA accreditation, providing access to the industry program. 27 of these filmmakers also received an extra observer status on their accreditation, providing access to the IDFA Forum pitches and IDFAcademy plenary sessions, and six IBF -supported producers participated in the Producers Network, an event bringing together producers from all over the world through one-on-one meetings.

The team of Kamay (middle screen) from Afghanistan during their IDFA Forum Round Table Pitch.

IBF at IDFA Forum

IDFA Forum took place entirely online during IDFA 2020, during which projects were presented to an industry delegation of almost 800 film professionals from around the world. Eight projects supported by the Fund were selected to present their project at IDFA Forum. Of these projects, three were selected for the Round Table Pitches and two were selected for the Rough Cut Presentations. In addition to the open pitches, the Forum offered a special category to help producers follow up on previous encounters and make new connections during the pandemic. Three IBF-supported projects were selected for this category. IBF facilitated the participation of all projects in the Forum. In addition to the IBF-supported projects selected for the Forum, another five IBF-supported producers received full access to the IDFA Forum program, including network opportunities and consultancy sessions.

IBF Projects selected for IDFA Forum

Airborne, dir. Shaunak Sen India - Forum Extra Project

Anhell 69, dir. Theo Montoya Colombia, Argentina, Romania - Forum Extra Project

The Golden Thread, dir. Nishtha Jain India, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Netherlands - Forum Rough Cut Presentation

Kamay, dir. Shahrokh Bikaran & dir. Ilyas Yourish Afghanistan - Forum Round Table Pitch

The Last Shelter (previous: Witnessess From the Shadows), dir. Ousmane Samassekou France, Mali, South Africa - Forum Rough Cut Presentation

Letters from Ms. Iran, dir. Farahnaz Sharifi & dir. Leyla Rouhi Iran - Forum Round Table Pitch

Motherland (previous: The Mothers' Crusade), dir. Hanna Badziaka & dir. Alexander Mihalkovich Belarus, Ukraine, Sweden - Forum Extra Project

Testament, dir. Meena Nanji & dir. Zippy Kimundu United States, Kenya, Portugal - Forum Round Table Pitch

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. These include 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, Docedge in India, and Movies that Matter Foundation in the Netherlands. While travel restrictions minimized the exchange and (physical) contact among film industry colleagues, this network and maintaining contact with our network online made it possible for the Fund to stay up to date. 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 the IBF regions. Every year, in collaboration with consultants, the IBF participates in 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. These visits enable the Fund to add local organizations to its network. While it was not possible to travel to events in 2020, IBF-consultants participated, from their own homes, in online documentary film events in Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Qatar, South Africa, South Korea, and Ukraine.