Co-producing & co-financing
Rough Cut Presentations

Rough Cut Presentations

Everything you need to know about IDFA's Rough Cut presentations.

About the Rough Cut Presentations

This presentation format caters specifically to film projects in editing or in rough cut stage that are looking for sales, distribution, or other exhibition opportunities for their films.

During the event in Amsterdam, the Forum will host Rough Cut Presentations for six projects in a cinema, where project teams show an excerpt of twenty minutes and participate in a short, moderated Q&A. All Rough Cut Presentations are available to industry representatives or financiers with a Forum or Docs for Sale accreditation.

The Rough Cut Presentations also allow the team to feature the full rough cut on IDFA’s online platform, where it is made available to key accredited groups of acquisitions and exhibition professionals. The team can include a short introduction directly into the rough cut file to provide more context.

Practical information

  • Rough Cut Presentations will take place over two days, on November 12 and 13, 2023.
  • During the event in Amsterdam, the Forum will host Rough Cut Presentations in Pathé City cinema (Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 15-19) on November 12 and host additional Rough Cut Presentation by Ukrainian filmmakers in IDFA Vondelpark Pavilion (Vondelpark 3) on November 13. During the presentations, project teams briefly make a moderated introduction and show an excerpt of twenty minutes. Project teams who cannot travel to Amsterdam will still be able to show their rough cut in the cinema, accompanied by recorded introduction, upon discussion with the IDFA team.
  • The presentation format allows you to feature your full rough cut on IDFA’s online platform, where it is made available to key groups of acquisition and exhibition professionals. It is also possible to include a short introduction to the rough cut file, to give context on e.g. what stage you are in and what work still will be done on the film.
  • Each project will have one-on-one meetings with professionals interested in the project. These are arranged by the Forum staff based on preferences of the project team and industry representatives and financiers, as well as input from the Forum staff.
  • For project teams and industry representatives/financiers attending the event in person, pre-arranged meetings take place November 13 to 15.

Key dates

  • The Rough Cut Presentations will be held on Sunday, November 12, 2023 at Pathé City cinema in Amsterdam. 
  • Pre-arranged meetings are scheduled for project teams and industry representatives/financiers attending the event in person from November 13 to 15.
  • Project submissions open on June 21 and close August 1.
  • Selected project teams must deliver their full rough cut and twenty-minute excerpt by October 26.

Eligibility criteria

  • Creative documentaries intended for theatrical distribution, TV broadcasting, and/or other platforms.
  • A minimum of 75% of your material must be shot and the project must be in post-production/rough cut stage.
  • Project teams wanting to apply in this category need to have a rough cut file available by October 26.
  • Completed films are not eligible to apply in this category (see instead Docs for Sale).
  • Projects that previously presented at IDFA Forum or Producers Connection are encouraged to submit.
  • Projects must be looking for festivals, distributors/sales agents, and/or TV buyers. Preference is given to projects without a world sales agent.

Application process

Entry regulations

  • It is only possible to apply for one Forum category with the same project. If you are uncertain which category to apply in, please get in touch with the Forum team.
  • IDFA Forum is open to independent production companies and producers from all over the world.
  • Providing visual materials (trailer or other examples of your project) is highly recommended. Depending on the category, this can be a trailer, mood board, or other visual examples of the project. Incomplete applications without sufficient documentation will not be considered for selection.
  • By submitting a project to IDFA Forum 2023, you agree that the project will not be withdrawn after selection.
  • Please make sure to complete the IDFA accreditation form as well. The accreditation form offers producers the opportunity to indicate if they would like to attend the IDFA Forum even if their project is not selected. You can find the accreditation form in your MyIDFA account starting June 21.
  • If your project was previously selected for one category, you can only apply again for another category relevant to your stage of production. E.g a Producers Connection project can apply to IDFA Forum, and then to Rough Cut Presentation.
  • If you have already submitted this project to the IDFA festival, you are not eligible to apply here.
  • Unfortunately, due to the high number of entries we cannot give feedback to projects that are not selected.
  • To make a balanced selection regarding geography, gender and point of view, the selection committee takes into consideration: the artistic quality, uniqueness of the content, stage of development, subject, team, extent of exposure at other international markets, country of production, amount of financing in place, and genre, among other criteria.
  • If you have submitted or are planning to submit to IDFA and/or Docs for Sale 2023, the project is not eligible for IDFA Forum.
  • The applicant will guarantee to have secured clearance from the copyright holders of any copyrighted materials included within the submitted film/project and any photographs submitted relating to the film/project for all purposes for which the material will be used by IDFA. The applicant will guarantee to hold IDFA harmless from any claims from copyright holders in relation to use of the submitted film by IDFA for the agreed purposes. IDFA reserves the right to disqualify any film with unauthorized inclusion of copyrighted materials.

Entry fee

  • All Forum entries will be charged an administration fee of €30 (excl. VAT) per entry. Exemptions can be made for countries on IDFA Bertha Fund Country List as well Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Estonia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia. Please e-mail the Forum staff for more information.
  • In case you fill in a company that is based outside the Netherlands in the billing address, you will not be charged additional VAT by IDFA, but you will have to pay your VAT duties in your own country.
  • If this country is a member of the European Union, you need to fill in your VAT details in the billing address field. For general VAT rules within the EU, please go to EU Tax and Customs info.
  • If you have a company based outside the EU, IDFA will not charge VAT but you will need to check the tax regulations in your own country and act accordingly.
  • All Dutch submissions and all submissions done by private persons only (with no company attached) will need to pay VAT and will be charged in the IDFA invoice.


  • Your entry or accreditation will not be taken into consideration until we receive your payment.
  • We apply a no-refund policy to which we can make no exceptions.
  • Your payment will be handled by Adyen. This name may appear on your bank statement.

Selection process

General selection regulations

  • A maximum of two projects can be selected per company. For each selected project, two participants (the team presenting the project) are allowed to attend the Forum, as included in the project fee.
  • The project team (producer and director) must be present for the full Forum activities, including for their presentation and meetings. The exact days of participation depend on presentation format and whether the team can attend in person in Amsterdam. The Forum will run from Sunday November 12 to Wednesday, November 15.
  • If your project is selected, you must include contracts or letters that prove any financial investment listed in your entry form. These contracts or letters of commitment from broadcasters and financiers must state the amount of the investment and must be written in English. The letters must be dated and signed.
  • After selection of the project, the participation fee must be completed online by October 6, 2023, so within two weeks of the selection results.
  • The Forum staff strongly advise first-time project presenters at IDFA to register for the pitch training (for selected projects only).
  • After IDFA Forum, all participants are asked to participate in a guest survey and a questionnaire of the financial impact of the Forum to help us evaluate the year’s edition.
  • By providing your trailer or other visual material and stills, you give IDFA permission to publish the material on and use the material for promotional purposes for IDFA Forum 2023. If, for safety reasons, the material cannot be published, let us know immediately after selection.
  • If the selected project is completed in due time, IDFA Forum will be referred to in the credits as 'This film was presented at IDFA Forum 2023”. The Forum logo can be provided by the Forum staff. All participating projects are invited to add their film (upon completion) for free to the Docs for Sale catalogue, IDFA’s sales market and distribution incubator for creative documentaries.
  • All participating projects are offered a fee waiver code to submit to the IDFA festival (upon completion). Please contact the Forum staff on
  • All projects are hosted online in a secure environment where they can be viewed by industry representatives/financiers who have a password and an IDFA Forum or Docs for Sale accreditation.
  • All projects are also featured in IDFA Forum's printed publication, which is distributed to IDFA Forum passholders.
  • If selected, the full rough cut and the twenty-minute excerpt (and potential presentation) must be delivered by October 26 in order to be included online and shown in the cinema.

About the selection process

Selecting projects for IDFA Forum is a collaborative process that involves a dedicated team of experienced industry professionals. Assessing each and every project thoroughly, these experts from around the world join in the discussion that leads up to the Forum’s final project selection.

  • Projects submitted to the Rough Cut Presentations category are subjected to a two-fold selection process. First, projects are sent to teams of two reviewers that assess the projects solely based on artistic and innovative merits and international potential.
  • All preselected projects are then discussed in a three-member selection committee that examines artistic merit as well as financial and distribution strategy documents.
  • Preselection and selection committees are changed every year and consist of new and returning industry professionals and leading experts. The names of the 2023 committee members will be announced later in the year.
  • All projects must be submitted through an entry form in MyIDFA. All submissions are reviewed thoroughly and carefully by our selection committee members. Priority will be given to projects without a world sales agent attached.

Selection fees
All selected projects are charged a presentation fee for their participation in the Forum. Here below an overview of what the fee covers. 

Presentation fee per project: €475 (€574.75 incl. VAT 21%). This fee includes:

  • Presenting your project at the IDFA Forum event, taking place November 12 to 16, 2023.

  • Featuring your project in the official Forum selection, as published in our online and print catalogue.
  • Curated (in-person and/or online) one-on-one meetings.
  • A maximum of two IDFA Forum accreditations for the project team.
  • Access to social and networking events arranged during the Forum in Amsterdam.
  • Access to IDFA's Industry Program of talks, sessions and networking events.
  • Online access to company profiles, strand profiles, and contact information of accredited guests.
  • Two Docs for Sale Participants passes for the project team.
  • The rough cut will be featured on the Docs for Sale webpages.

Fee waivers for teams where the main producer is from and living in a country on the IDFA Bertha Fund List are available.

Teams where the main producer is based in one of the following countries are eligible for a 25% discount on the participation fee: Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Estonia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia.

With a generous contribution from IEFTA, a travel grant is available to a selected project team coming from a country on the IDFA Bertha Fund List.

Please inquire with the Forum team for more details.

Attending Forum as an Observer
Submission checklist