What is IDFA?

Mission and vision

IDFA aims to bring creative documentaries and audiences together. Therefore, it stimulates the production and distribution of a wide range of documentary films while also developing the demand for them. In this way, IDFA contributes to expanding and improving the international documentary climate, specifically by promoting inclusivity and giving a voice to underrepresented filmmakers.

IDFA believes in the power of documentaries. In creative documentaries that deepen, reveal and inspire. In documentaries that bring people closer together. And in documentaries that stand for change by inspiring people to act.


In recent years, IDFA has grown into an international documentary institute that guides, inspires and shapes opinions. This institute consists of a public festival, a fund, two markets, programs for new media, talent development and education, and an online platform. With the interests of the general public, professionals and educators in mind, the IDFA institute aims to base its selection of documentary films and projects not only on artistic quality, but also on urgency and accessibility, to be an institute where inclusivity and gender equality are driving forces and where all departments are committed to talent development, new media and diversity. Over the past four years, IDFA has strengthened its position as the largest and most important documentary event in the world. It has experienced steady growth with a record 295,000 visitors in 2019, including 40,000 schoolchildren and almost 3,300 industry professionals. In addition, research shows that IDFA’s activities continue to be highly valued and numerous international coalitions have been forged. The course set four years ago has thus proved successful. By sharpening its artistic quality and increasing diversity, IDFA has been able to reach a wider audience, more professionals and more students. The festival has a very strong media platform, with partners such as de Volkskrant newspaper, WeTransfer, the NPO (Dutch Public Broadcaster), broadcasters VPRO and VICE, and news magazine De Groene Amsterdammer, in addition to benefitting from unparalleled media attention every year.