Creative and Professional Support

IDFAcademy participants - IDFA 2021

More than just a fund

In addition to financing, the IDFA Bertha Fund offers filmmakers tailor-made consultancies and training programs to support them in their creative and production process. Additionally, filmmakers are invited to participate in the different industry events that IDFA has to offer, and broaden their international network and knowledge of the documentary industry.

Talent Development

In 2021, 34 IBF-supported filmmakers took part in IDFA's training programs: the year-round IDFA Project Space and the IDFAcademy program during the festival.

IDFA Project Space 2021

The second year of the IDFA Project Space welcomed sixteen international filmmaking teams with projects in development or the editing phase, ten of which were previously supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund. Due to the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation, the IDFA Project Space took place entirely online from May until October 2021. During this period, the participants were matched with experienced tutors—directors, producers, or editors—to receive in-depth individual consultancies tailored to the team’s specific creative development and needs. Additionally, group meetings were set up for the filmmakers to get to know each other and share experiences. The core group of IDFA Project Space participants were joined by a larger cohort of talents for the first time in 2021.

IDFA offered all participating talents a wide range of masterclasses, Filmmaker Talks, and unique film selections from IDFA's online collection. The program was intended to inspire and empower the filmmakers through the filmmaking process—a pointed effort on sustaining projects with an extra push to get through the pandemic. Highlights of the overarching program included a workshop from the team behind Collective on dealing with characters, and Filmmaker Talks with Alice Diop discussing the relationship between society and cinema and with Audrius Stonys about his work and development as a filmmaker. You can read more about the IDFA Project Space in 2021 here and here.

IDFAcademy 2021:

In Amsterdam and online

IDFAcademy during IDFA 2021 took place both in-person and online, not as a hybrid event, but rather as two consecutive programs designed for different needs of participants. This year, all participants were split into smaller groups led by a group tutor. This new structure made it possible to create more interaction amongst the participants and to respond to personal needs. The participants were offered an array of talks, sessions, and round tables—ranging from the opening talk with Four Journeys director Louis Hothothot, the visual language of storytelling with Aliona van de Horst and Salomé Jashi, long-term collaboration on a project with After a Revolution filmmakers Giovanni Buccomino and Naziha Arebi, creative approach with Karim Aïnouz, as well as on financing and funding, sales strategies, and publicity.

The in-person event took place in the first half of the festival with 64 participants in total, of which eleven were IBF-supported filmmakers. The online program took place in the second half of the festival for a smaller group of 20 participants who were unable to travel to Amsterdam, of which seven were IBF-supported filmmakers. The online program focused on the exchange of ideas, experiences, and feedback. The participants were able to follow pre-recorded talks, specially produced content with inspirational speakers from the studio live in Amsterdam and took part in group meetings.

All IBF projects and participants at IDFAcademy can be found on the next section, IBF at IDFA 2021.

IDFAcademy Talk: Four Journeys with Louis Hothothot - IDFA 2021

Network and Knowledge

64 IBF-supported directors, producers and co-producers attended IDFA to expand their network and broaden their knowledge at IDFA 2021 by taking part in the Industry Program, the IDFA Forum, and/or by watching documentaries and Filmmaker Talks. Another 32 IBF-supported filmmakers were offered an online IDFA accreditation, to enable them to watch documentary films and Industry Talks online.

Attending IDFA on-site and online

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. The IDFA guests were offered an array of talks, sessions, and consultancies: including an Industry Talk with the filmmakers behind Writing with Fire and Zinder, who discuss maintaining their editorial voice within an international collaboration; an Industry Session on why, when, and how to work with sales agents by The Party Film Sales; a Filmmaker Talk with filmmaker, writer, and IDFA's Guest of Honor Hito Steyerl; Industry consultancies about funding, festival strategy, producing, streaming platforms, and much more. The whole IDFA Industry program can be found here. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IDFA had also offered an online program to filmmakers and other industry guests who could not travel to Amsterdam. This 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. The online IDFA accreditation provided access to the online Press & Industry Library, the online Talks Library, online group consultancies, and access to the online Guest List with contact information, company profiles, and biographies of all accredited guests.

Participating in IDFA Forum

In 2021, eleven projects supported by the Fund were selected for the IDFA Forum. Six of these projects were selected for the IDFA Forum Pitch—for projects looking for financing and distribution partners. Three projects were selected for the Rough Cut Presentations—for projects nearing completion, looking for potential sales, distribution, and exhibition stakeholders. Two projects were selected for the new Producers Connection—for projects in an early stage seeking international co-producers. During the Forum, each project gave one public pitch to an industry delegation of 704 film professionals from around the world. The eleven IBF projects had 229 one-on-one meetings with interested funders, co-producers, sales agents, and distributors. IBF facilitated the participation of all projects in the Forum and represented The Land of Women as a financier during the public pitch.

Forum observers

In addition to the IBF-supported projects selected for IDFA Forum, the Fund invited eight 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. 

On the next page you can find all about IBF at IDFA 2021 and the overviews of IBF-supported filmmakers that were selected in different IDFA activities.