Call for entries – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 2020

22 May, 2020

Filmmakers can submit their documentary films for the 33rd International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) until August 1st, 2020. Performances and interactive/immersive new media projects have a submission deadline of July 1st, 2020.

IDFA’s new media program DocLab has been exploring the art of interactive and immersive non-fiction since 2007. Over the years, IDFA DocLab has developed into one of the leading platforms for interactive documentary art and storytelling.

The submitted documentaries must be English spoken or subtitled in English, and they need to be a world, international, European or Dutch premiere.

IDFA selects some 250 new documentaries each year for various competitions: feature-length documentary (longer than 70 minutes), mid-length documentary (between 40-70 minutes), short documentary (up to 40 minutes), student documentary or Kids & Docs (up to 13 years of age), as well as the following program sections:

First Appearance – Open to a director’s first film of 70 minutes or longer only;

Luminous – Films that immerse the viewer in a cinematic experience and make the universal tangible through the individual;

Frontlight – Films that examine the present and provide context for stories which are not covered by mainstream media;

Best of Fests – International non-competitive section consisting of films that have made an impact on the international film festival circuit;

Masters – International non-competitive section consisting of films made by renowned filmmakers;

IDFA on Stage – A section that bridges the festival’s film and new media programs, exploring the space between documentary film and performing arts;

Paradocs – International non-competitive section consisting of experimental documentaries and documentary experiments (also open to video installations).


The new media section is open to all sorts of works that use new media to represent reality, ranging from digital non-fiction storytelling and art to physical installations, XR experiences, live performances, games and multimedia projects.

Projects can be submitted in the IDFA DocLab or IDFA on Stage section. Projects selected for the competition program are eligible for the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling or the IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award, as well as the Special Jury Award for Creative Technology.

The IDFA DocLab program and competition are open to unreleased projects, as well as projects that have been made publicly available on the internet after August 2019. The deadline for entries in the new media section is July 1, 2020.

The 33rd International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam will take place between November 18-29, 2020. Further information on submitting your documentary film can be found here, and for submitting new media projects, go here.

Writer, photographer and videographer. For Films in Frame she writes news about the latest happenings in the film world and brings to the readers' attention the productions that can be seen at the cinema. When she's not writing articles, she's photographing people in a small studio or searching for new cake recipes.