IDFA, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, was founded in 1983, and is unique for its international film program featuring a wide variety of documentary genres with political and socially conscious themes. The festival presents many European and world premieres each year, and is a major annual gathering place for filmmakers, producers, distributors and students to meet and network.
IDFA began as a small festival located in one area of Amsterdam, but in order to house screenings of the more than 250 films shown during the eleven day schedule and accommodate the more than 120 spectators who attend each year, the festival has spread to venues throughout the city. Venues now include de Balie, Pathé City Theater, Filmmuseum Cinerama, Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, Paradiso, the Ketelhuis, the Hotel American, Tuschinski Cinema, Pathé De Munt multiplex, Theatercompagnie and Arti et Amicitiae.
Emphasis on Creative Documentaries
IDFA is known as the pre-eminent festival for 'creative documentaries,' with creative roughly defined as expressing the filmmaker's point of view in a creative and cinematic manner. The film selection takes place on the basis of clear criteria. IDFA searches for documentaries that are cinematically intriguing or innovative, are relevant or highly topical to society at large, and stimulate the viewer to reflect, discuss and ask questions. IDFA also strives to present an international program that is diverse, topical and politically committed.
International Documentary Institute
IDFA also runs three programs intended to improve the international climate for creative documentary filmmaking:
* The Jan Vrijman Fund - Offers support to documentary filmmakers, projects and festivals in developing countries
* The FORUM - Europe's biggest co-financing market for international documentary productions
* Docs for Sale - An international documentary market where buyers, sales agents and distributors can see a selection from the best creative documentaries of the past year.