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A Visual History 15 years of the IDFA Fund The IDFA Fund works with filmmakers and festivals in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe seeking to make a difference in their own countries. Creating opportunities to finance and screen documentaries allows powerful, urgent stories to reach audiences worldwide. The architecture office XML, in collaboration with the IDFA Fund, has created a series of visual stories to show the diversity and reach of the IDFA Fund over the past 15 years and the role it has played in giving documentary filmmakers from non-Western countries a voice in an industry dominated by the West.

Opportunities The IDFA Fund allows documentary filmmakers from developing countries to join the international documentary scene.


Kazan City Int. Film Festival

The documentary Bilal is produced in Calcutta, India, thanks to support from the IDFA Fund. Vancouver Int. Film Festival

Yamagata Int. Documentary Film Festival

Busan Int. Film Festival

Bilal premieres in the IDFA Fund screenings at IDFA 2008.

Las Vegas Int. Film Festival

Taiwan Int. Documentary Festival Mexico Int. Film Festival


Zanzibar Int. Film Festival

Jakarta Int. Film Festival

Cape Winelands Film Festival Auburn Int. Fest. for Children & Young Adults

Bilal then screens at 52 film festivals worldwide. 3

Int. Film Festival Uruguay

Missing Link

The IDFA Fund works as a catalyst: most of the budget is obtained after support has been received from the IDFA Fund.

A contribution from the IDFA Fund attracts other financiers.

On average, the IDFA Fund contributes 13% of selected projects’ budgets. On average, projects have just 19% of their budget in place when they apply to the IDFA Fund.

Balanced View IDFA Fund-supported documentaries help create a balanced view of developing countries. 5 Broken Cameras

Burnat started filming after his fourth son was born in 2005. Since then, he produced 500 hours of footage. The IDFA Fund allowed him to edit this material into a film.

5 Broken Cameras premieres at IDFA in 2011.

5 Broken Cameras started a debate about the conflict.

‘(A) powerful record of the Palestinian village of Bil’in’s course of civil disobedience.’

The film goes on to screen at 52 film festivals.

‘Presents vivid witness to the power of the image to help with… healing.’

‘A compelling personal tale.’

5 Broken Cameras picks up 20 awards.

The film is released theatrically in the USA, Canada, Japan, Sweden, the UK, Ireland, France, the Netherlands and Israel.

The documentary is broadcast on TV in 13 countries.



‘Eye-opening! Sharpened into an adrenalizing narrative...’

505.000 Results

‘[A] rigorous and moving work of art.’ ‘(W)e so often hear of either a pro-Israel or an anti-Israel sentiment. Yes or no. On or off. 5 Broken Cameras proves that this situation is not that simple. ‘

‘Uniquely powerful, putting faces and human consequences to a political dispute that will seemingly never end.’ ‘Startlingly intimate and direct. ‘ ‘A balanced View’

The Rest and the West The documentary scene is dominated by films made in the advanced economies.

Advanced economies according to the IMF.

71% of films that screened at IDFA between 2008 and 2012 were produced in the advanced economies.

29% of the films that screened at IDFA between 2008 and 2012 were produced in the rest of the world ‌

Economies in transition, less developed economies and least developed economies according to the IMF.

‌ of which 32% received support from the IDFA Fund.

Catalyst The IDFA Fund has helped boost the production of documentaries in development cooperation countries.

Recently, the IDFA Fund’s focus has shifted from Latin America and Eastern Europe towards countries with fragile, dictatorial regimes such as Syria, Afghanistan, Tunisia and Iraq.

From 1998 to 2002, the IDFA Fund supported 24 documentaries from Latin America.

Support IDFA Fund (1998-2012) 1-4 projects supported 5-9 projects supported 10-15 projects supported 16-20 projects supported 21+ projects supported

In the Early Years (1998 – 2002), 50% of projects supported were in Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Of the 33 African projects supported between 2003 and 2007, 50% were festivals and workshops for filmmakers.

In the Middle Years (2003 – 2007), Asia became more prominent in the Fund’s selections. Support for Chinese documentaries increased and countries such as Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan and Indonesia began to appear on the IDFA Fund map.

In Recent Years (2008 – 2012), support for African documentaries, festivals and workshops accounts for more than 25% of the total. 10 documentaries have already been completed and 23 are currently in production.

Driver of Change IDFA Fund-supported documentaries tell stories that stimulate dialogue within communities. Presumed Guilty

Tonio was arrested on December 12, 2005 as a first degree murder suspect and was convicted.

Presumed Guilty uncovers staggering facts about the Mexican judicial system.

Even though, according to 5 witnesses, Tonio was 20 min. away from the crime scene.

Tonio got a retrial thanks to help from the filmmakers and lawyers.

93 % of inmates are never shown their arrest warrant.

99% of accusations are based on a single witness testimony.

93% 99% 92% 93% 92% of verdicts are based on no physical evidence.

The film opened in Mexico in February 2011, after screening at several festivals.

The judge suspended screenings of the film in Mexico on grounds of violation of privacy.

This backfired gloriously. Pirate copies sold by street merchants...

However, Tonio was convicted again. He appealed his case. At his hearing, footage of his earlier trial was presented to the appellate court.

As a result, the appellate court overturned the verdict and released Tonio.

Police officers are rewarded for the number of arrests they make.

93% of defendants never see a judge.

...elevated Presumed Guilty to a box-office hit.

Presumed Guilty received an Emmy for Best Investigative Journalism.

Thanks to support from the IDFA Fund, the film could show Mexicans their justice system at work for the first time.

Latin America Support from the IDFA Fund has played a major role in forming a documentary community in Latin America.

Since 1998, the IDFA Fund supported 126 projects in Latin America.

IDFA Fund supported 12 documentaries in Brazil With support of the IDFA Fund, EDOC (Encuentros del Otro Cine) celebrates its tenth anniversary.

79 IDFA Fund documantaries from Latin America premiered at the IDFA festival The IDFA Fund supported 19 festivals and workshops in Latin America. The IDFA Fund supported 33 documentaries in Argentina.

Local effect Documentaries supported by the IDFA Fund are proving popular in their home countries and regions.

The documentary Journalists produced in Belarus screened at 9 regional festivals.

Shakespeare and Victor Hugo´s Intimacies played at 35 regional festivals.

Looking at the Life Through My Eyes screened at 9 regional festivals.

Dolls - A Woman from Damascus played at 5 regional festivals.

Addicted in Afghanistan screened at 40 international and 6 regional festivals. The Banglasdeshi film The Last Rites played at 15 regional festivals.

Congo in 4 Acts screened at 17 African film festivals.

The Malaysian documentary The Last Communist screened at 9 regional festivals. Tambogrande: Mangos, Murder, Mining screened at 24 festivals in South America. The South African film See Point Days screened at 15 local and regional festivals.

Press Freedom The IDFA Fund supports filmmakers working in countries where freedom of the press is limited.

The IDFA Fund has supported 13 documentaries in Iran. Iran ranks 175th on the Press Freedom Index.

The IDFA Fund has supported 3 editions of the Int. Documentary Festival in Agadir, a platform for freedom of expression.

4 4



8 The IDFA Fund has supported 8 documentaries in Mexico.

4 3


6 5 8 13 3 3

The IDFA Fund has supported several editions of Doc Ă Tunis.

The IDFA Fund has supported 8 projects in Palestine.



The IDFA Fund has supported 10 projects in China, 5 of which were documentary festivals.





During the past 5 years, the IDFA Fund has supported 4 projects in Indonesia.

4 No. of projects supported

between 2008 - 2012 good situation satisfactory situation noticeable situation difficult situation very sensitive situation no data Source: Reporters without borders (2012)

In Kinshasa, the IDFA Fund supported the Balabala Cine mobile documentary cinema.

Trendsetter Support from the IDFA Fund has been a major factor in the formation of documentary communities in Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria. 160


Thanks to help from the IDFA Fund, a strong documentary scene has developed in the Balkans.





Number of films submitted to IDFA from Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria.



The number of films submitted is increasing.
















Amount of support given by the IDFA Fund to Croatian, Serbian and Bulgarian documentaries in EUR x 1,000.






0 1998














A VISUAL HISTORY: 15 years of the IDFA Fund  

A VISUAL HISTORY: 15 years of the IDFA Fund

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