The IDFA Bertha Fund supports documentary filmmakers (and festivals) in developing countries by offering them financial contributions to complete their projects.

The Fund is always looking for new creative documentary projects from these countries, and they can be submitted in the following categories:

  • project development,
  • production,
  •  post-production and
  • documentary festivals (to be confirmed in February).

Upon selection, the organization will work with the filmmakers to determine which form of assistance and coaching would be the most suitable to their project.

Program details

Creative documentaries are films that are interesting from a stylistic point of view, or are particularly innovative, relevant to social issues and successfully manage to communicate with their audiences. The creative documentary is an art form, which means that the documentary filmmaker is an artist, not a journalist. Like reportage, documentaries provide insight into the world around us, but they are also characterized by artistic qualities: innovation, originality, professional skill, expressiveness and cultural/historical value. The fund is not dedicated to documentaries about art forms (applied arts or portraits about artists), cultural heritage and cultural traditions
How to apply

  • Read the Regulations to see if your project meets the basic criteria.
  • Complete an entry form. (available on MyIDFA website)
  • For a production or post-production application, post a video on Vimeo or YouTube containing audiovisual material from the project. This could be a trailer, an edited sequence or an introduction to the subject or subjects. The video must be in English or have English subtitles, and it must remain online for at least two months following the deadline. Send the link to [email protected] If possible, please allow for free viewing of the material (no password required).

Selection Process

Note that in 2013, the IDFA Bertha Fund started with a new selection process. From now on, it will only be necessary to complete an entry form, and in the case of a production or post-production application, post a video on Vimeo or YouTube.

In addition to basic contact and project details, the new entry form includes a synopsis (max. 400 words) and a project description (max. 1,100 words). A project description can include the visual approach, director’s statement,  background information, details about protagonists, information about access to protagonists and locations,  etc.

After the deadline, all submissions will be evaluated within 20 days by a pre-selection committee. The filmmakers of the pre-selected projects will receive a more extensive application form about 20 days after the deadline, which must be completed and returned within a week! These applications will then be sent to the final selection committee, whose findings will be announced two months after the deadline.

Eligible Categories

  • Project development: A contribution for project development can be spent on research and on the development of a script and/or on the production of a trailer. It must be spent in a developing country. The maximum contribution for project development is €5,000. (You are allowed to include 1 DVD of your previous work if it is relevant to the project.)
  • Production: A contribution for production can be spent on all forms of production, but it must be spent in a developing country. The maximum contribution for this category is €17,500.
  • Post-production: A contribution for post-production can be spent on all forms of post-production, but it must be spent in a developing country. The maximum contribution for this category is €17,500.
  • Other activities (Documentary festivals): Please note that applications for this category are unsure for 2014. Applications can not be submitted for the February deadline. In March the fund will announce if applications will be accepted for the May deadline. (A contribution for a documentary festival can be spent on all forms of festival organization, but it must be spent in a developing country. The maximum contribution for this category is €15,000.)

Deadline: Application closes on February 3, 2014

Click here for details and to apply online

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