Co-producing & co-financing
IDFA DocLab Forum

IDFA DocLab Forum

Everything you need to know about IDFA DocLab Forum.

About IDFA DocLab Forum Presentations

For over 15 years, IDFA Forum has given space to documentary projects in the field of new media. Building on this momentum in 2019, IDFA together with IDFA DocLab introduced a new, complete cross-media market called IDFA DocLab Forum, where the projects presented can find their way to new partnerships, receive in-depth feedback, and explore new ways to move forward. The DocLab Forum is open to all sorts of non-fiction artworks in all production and financing stages that use emerging media to represent reality, including web experiences, multimedia journalism, digital art, games, audio experiences, immersive experiences (such as VR/AR/MR, social VR and fulldome films), physical installations, live performances, and immersive theater.

Approximately 15-20 project teams (consisting of the two main creators, usually the producer and creative artist or the producer and director) present the project to a hand-picked panel of maximum three new media representatives and an audience of industry professionals. This presentation is an opportunity to discuss the content and form of the project and discover which relevant steps can take the project further. Project teams get 15 minutes total for their presentation: The presentation, including visual material such as a trailer or other visuals referring to the project, lasts around 8 minutes; the following 5 minutes are set aside for feedback from the panel. All presentations can be customized to fit the needs of the team and the project. Upon selection, the DocLab Forum team will get in touch with all projects to discuss their pitch.

Additional to the DocLab Forum pitches, we organize one-on-one meetings between all selected project teams and various potential partners such as funding, exhibition, and distribution partners; co-producers; and festivals. Over the course of the market days, places are reserved for approximately 1,000 prearranged one-on-one meetings for all Forum projects. In case a project has a demo ready, it can be showcased during these meetings with potential collaborators.

Practical information

  • DocLab Forum pitches are presented live in Amsterdam. Project teams who are unable to travel need to get in touch with the IDFA team.
  • Only two team members can present, preferably one producer and the director.
  • A moderator is present to coordinate post-presentation discussion and stimulate connections.
  • 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.

Who can attend?

All new media professionals working in emerging media and interactive/immersive storytelling and art, who have a serious and demonstrable interest in the non-fiction sector, are welcome to register for active attendance, whether as independent producer or creator, buyer, curator, distributor, technologist, exhibition platform, financier or fund.

All accreditation applications undergo a selection process; registration for IDFA DocLab Forum does not guarantee accreditation. The organizers reserve the right to accept or reject an application.

After the accreditation deadline, we will let you know as soon as possible if access to the Forum is granted. Due to high demand, the number of participants is limited to one participant per production company. If the Forum pass cannot be granted, you have the option to change your accreditation to a festival pass.

Attending the DocLab Forum without a selected project 

IDFA Forum offers independent XR studios and production companies the opportunity to attend the Forum to observe the pitches and to coordinate their own meetings with Forum industry professionals. If you are a XR producer who applied for IDFA DocLab Forum but your project was not selected, you can also still apply to attend the event as an Observer. By attending the presentations and listening to the responses of the industry representatives and financiers, Observers get unique insight into the new media market and can learn more about the preferences and profiles of individual companies, funders, buyers, and other new media stakeholders. There are also social events targeting Observers, such as the Producers Breakfast and Forum Lunch as well as access to the Felix Meritis Industry Lounge.

Industry representatives and financiers

Funders, buyers, and other new media stakeholders are also invited to attend IDFA DocLab Forum as industry representatives, whether you are working at a new media fund, institute, broadcaster, museum, gallery, distribution platform, festival, tech company, or other new media organization looking for content and collaboration.

Industry representatives and financiers are requested to be present and actively participate in the DocLab Forum pitches in addition to signing up for one-on-one meetings with the project teams. These follow-up meetings between the industry representatives and creators provide an opportunity to discuss potential collaboration in a more intimate setting. Industry representatives and financiers who are already on board with a project are invited to endorse the project team during their presentation.

New to IDFA DocLab Forum?

Are you new to IDFA DocLab Forum and interested in attending the next edition as an industry representative and/or financier? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the DocLab Forum team at to set up a phone call, where we can give you more detailed information about how the event works.

Key dates

  • Project submissions open on June 21 and close August 1, 2023.
  • IDFA DocLab Forum will be held on Monday, November 13 and Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at Felix Meritis in Amsterdam. 
  • One-on-one meetings are scheduled from Monday, November 13 to Wednesday, November 15.
  • To attend the Doc Lab Forum as Observer, accreditation opens on June 21 and closes October 1, 2023.

Eligibility criteria

Immersive/interactive projects in all stages of production and financing. IDFA DocLab Forum is open to all sorts of formats that tell a documentary story or explore unknown realities, including web docs, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, physical installations, multimedia journalism, and live performances. Artists looking for co-producers, creative input, and financing possibilities are invited to submit.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

All projects undergo a stringent selection process. Only projects that have been submitted according to the IDFA Forum entry regulations below will be considered.

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 Sunsday 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 DocLab Forum 2023”. The Forum logo can be provided by the Forum staff.
  • 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 featured through the IDFA Forum online project collection (with a trailer or other sample material, project information, and a still), where they can be securely viewed by industry representatives/financiers who have a password.
  • All projects are also featured in IDFA Forum's printed publication which is distributed to IDFA Forum passholders.

DocLab Forum selections

  • Projects submitted to the DocLab Forum are subjected to a two-fold selection process. First, projects are sent to one team of two readers that assess the projects solely based on artistic and innovative merit and international potential.
  • All pre-selected projects are then discussed in a four-member selection committee that examines artistic merit as well as financial and distribution strategy documents.
  • Preselection and selection committees are changed every year, as we continuously strive to invite (new) professionals from different backgrounds and fields of expertise. The names of the 2023 committee members will be announced later in the year.

Selection fees
All selected projects are charged a presentation fee for their participation in the Forum. Below is 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 15, 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.

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.

Pitch Training

Fees for the pitch training, which require separate registration after selection, will be announced.

For questions about pitching and training fees, please e-mail the Forum team.

Attending Forum as an Observer
Submission checklist