Yes, you can apply for funding in different IBF categories with your project, provided the project meets the eligibility criteria for that category.
Yes, you can still apply for other IBF categories even if your project has been rejected for funding in one category, provided your project meets the relevant eligibility criteria for that category.
If you are a producer, you can submit and be attached to multiple projects.
If you are a director, you can submit and be attached to multiple projects, however:
- only one project can be selected for IBF funding;
- if you are a director of a project that is already selected for IBF funding, you cannot submit another project for which you are a director.
The IDFA Bertha Fund is looking for creative documentary films. In a creative documentary film, the director gives form to their subjective vision of reality in a creative manner. Please read more about creative documentary films in IDFA’s mission statement. We do not apply rigid criteria but judge each project on its own merits.
The Fund does not support documentary films about art forms (applied arts or portraits about artists), cultural heritage, and cultural traditions.
All required documents and materials per category should be in our office by 23:59 (time zone of the applicant) on the given deadline date.
Fill out the relevant entry form via MyIDFA. If you do not have an existing account, you must register for a new account. You will then receive a password by email. Once you have received the password, go back to MyIDFA and login with your email address and password, then click on ‘My Submissions’. After that, you can select the IDFA Bertha Fund entry form.
Once you have filled out the whole form, you can submit it at the bottom of the page. All required information must be filled out before you can submit the form. You can only submit the form once. If you find any inconsistencies in your application after submitting, please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A project description should include:
- Story structure: Describe the anticipated story structure and narrative trajectory or potential character arcs for your project. Discuss your access to the story and characters.
- Character description: Describe the main characters extensively and the potential character arcs for your project. Discuss your access to the characters.
- Artistic approach: How are you going to tell this story? Describe your creative vision for the finished project—its visual look and feel. Explain your intended use of cinematic language or the particular artistic approach that informs the storytelling. If applicable, mention any creative elements and assets, interactive elements, new technologies, or non-traditional media that you intend to utilize. Explain how these elements will enhance the experience and interaction between viewers and the world of the story.
In the field for topic summary or motivation, you should describe why this topic is important, timely, or relevant. Things to consider include: Why do you want to make this film? Why are you the best person to make a film about this topic? Explain the cultural or social relevance and context for the topic, and why this project is timely or urgent. Give detailed information about the topics, issues, themes, challenges, stakes, or questions that your project will cover. All applicants have the option to send their motivation in the form of a short video instead of text. If you prefer to make use of this option, the link to the video can be pasted in the entry form.
When you submit the entry form, we’ll receive it automatically.
Links to Vimeo (with the password, if required) or YouTube can be filled out in the entry form or can be sent by email to email@example.com. If emailed separately, we still need the link on the day of the deadline at the latest.
Additional documents for IBF Europe can be uploaded in the entry form.
- We accept a Vimeo or YouTube link.
- We do not accept .mov files, .avi files, or any other downloadable files.
- We do not accept PowerPoint presentations.
- Please don’t send unedited rushes of your project. Most of the time they are not representative of the end result and do not help your application. In case you don’t have a trailer or rough cut, make a selection of your material and try to make an edited sequence.
Once your application is complete, we’ll send you a confirmation. Please note that it takes a while to process all the projects we receive, especially around deadline time.
If we have questions or if we are missing any information, we will contact you, but please make sure your application is complete.
IDFA Bertha Fund – Classic
For applications in the Project Development category, the director of a project is eligible to apply. The entry form must be submitted by the director.
For applications in the Production & Post-production category, a producer or director attached to the project is eligible to apply. The entry form can be submitted by the director or producer of the project. Projects without a producer will also be accepted.
To be eligible, the director, and if applicable the producer, must meet the following requirements.
Requirements for the director(s):
• All directors attached to the project should have the nationality of a country defined on the IBF Classic Country List and should live and work in this country.
• The Fund supports both starting and experienced directors.
Requirements for the producer(s):
• The main producer must be based in a country on the IBF Classic Country List.
• If a producer from another country is attached to the project, then we still expect the producer from a country on the IBF Classic Country List to be involved as main producer. In this case, we need a co-production agreement after being pre-selected.
No, you cannot apply for Project Development and Post-production support with the same project for the same selection round.
No, you can only submit the same project once per category.
There is one exception: if a project was rejected within the Production and Post-production category when it was in production stage, it can be re-submitted only when all filming is completed, the project is in post-production stage ánd there is a rough cut available to submit.
We accept short, mid-, and feature-length documentary films.
No, unfortunately the Fund does not accept projects that are part of a study curriculum.
No, unfortunately the Fund does not accept documentary film series.
• Quality of the content of the documentary
• Cinematic qualities of the project
• Originality of the idea, the subject, the story, or the perspective towards the subject or story
• Importance of the subject
• Quality of the visual material sent with the project
• The situation of documentary production in the region or country
• Previous work of the director
For the IBF Classic categories it is necessary to complete the relevant entry form in MyIDFA before the deadline. In addition to basic contact information and project details, the entry form includes a synopsis (max. 400 words), a biography and filmography of the director(s) and producer(s), a project description (max. 1,500 words), a topic summary/motivation (max. 1,000 words), and a schedule and plan for the development or production of the documentary film. A project description should include story structure, details about protagonists, and artistic approach.
Only after being pre-selected will it be necessary to complete an extra form, which will be sent by email after pre-selection. This form includes the following:
• Fundraising strategy: describe the strategy for raising the additional funds necessary to complete the project.
• Extensive budget that specifies on which items you are going to spend the contribution.
• Finance plan: how are you going to finance the total budget?
• How can the Fund give extra support to improve the project (contacts, advice, mentors)?
• Co-production agreement (only when a production company based in a country not on the IBF Classic Country List is attached to the project)
• Optional: max. 1 page with extra information about the content of the project, if not yet provided in the entry form, such as more information on characters or background.
All applicants have the option to submit a short video by the director introducing themselves and explaining their motivation for the project. If you prefer to make use of this option, the link to the Vimeo or YouTube link can be pasted in the entry form.
Please refer to the specific requirements for each IBF Classic category below. In all cases, make sure you add or enable subtitles of your material if the spoken language is not English.
• Project Development submissions will only be accepted when accompanied by original visual material of the project. This can be a teaser or selected research material, preferably representative of the style. A photo presentation or material from other resources that serve merely as stylistic example is not accepted.
• In addition to the above, Project Development submissions should also be accompanied by one previous work, preferably representative of the style of the director. This previous film, although required for the jury’s selection process, is viewed only if necessary for decision making during the selection process.
Production & Post-production category
• If your project is in the production stage, you must submit a trailer, demo, edited sequence, or other audiovisual material from the project with a minimum length of 3 minutes and a maximum length of 20 minutes.
• If your project is in the post-production stage, you must submit an edited sequence or a selection of the rough cut of approximately 20 minutes. Projects that have finished shooting will be considered post-production applications.
• If your material is longer than 20 minutes, please indicate which part we need to watch or make a selection of 20 minutes which you think is most representative and/or complementary to the end result.
• Please don’t send unedited rushes of your project. Most of the time they are not representative of the end result and are not helping your application. In the event you don’t have a trailer or rough cut, make a selection of the material and try to make an edited sequence.
We need all submissions in English, except for those from francophone Africa and Haïti, which can be in French.
A pre-selection committee will evaluate all submissions and will make a pre-selection within 8 weeks of the deadline. The applicants of the pre-selected projects will receive a more extensive application form, which must be completed and returned within a week. If applicants do not comply with this requirement, projects will be automatically rejected. The pre-selection form includes, among others, an extensive budget, finance plan, and production schedule. These applications will then be sent to the final selection committee, whose findings will be announced around 3 months after the deadline.
IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe
This category is for documentary projects that have a director from a country on the IBF Europe Country List. Projects must also be realized through an international co-production in which at least one European producer from a MEDIA sub-program country and one non-European producer from a country on the IBF Europe Country List is involved. The application has to be submitted by the European co-producer and should involve a creative element, like a key crew member or postproduction service, from Europe.
• As of 2022, the restrictions towards the participation of Eurimages-members in projects have been lifted. An eligible co-production structure should consist of one co-producer (applicant) from a country participating in the MEDIA Sub-program and one co-producer from a country on the IBF list of eligible countries (that is not participating in the MEDIA Sub-program).
• Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and North Macedonia are MEDIA sub-program countries (they can participate in the Creative Europe Media Program) and therefore are eligible to apply for IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe (as the European co-producer). These countries do not qualify anymore to apply for IDFA Bertha Fund – Classic.
• creative documentary projects of a minimum length of 60 minutes with international distribution potential.
• For the January 2024 deadline, the project should be in mid-production to rough cut stage.
• documentary projects finalized in March 2025.
• documentary projects to be shot in one of the countries as defined on the IBF Europe Country List.
• documentary projects with a global marketing and distribution strategy.
Before applying, please check the regulations carefully.
• The IBF Europe entry form (MyIDFA > Professionals > My submissions). In addition to basic contact information and project details, the entry form includes a synopsis (max. 400 words), a biography and filmography of the filmmakers, a project description (max. 2,000 words), and a topic summary/motivation (max. 1,000 words). A project should include: story structure, character description, and artistic approach.
• A complete production budget (fill out tab 1 + 2 +3), using this Excel sheet.
Before applying, please check the IBF Europe regulations carefully to see what other additional materials you will have to send to complete your application.
We need all submissions in English.
Three months after the deadline of the selection round, we will publish the results on our website, and you will receive an email about the result of your project.