Past events

Live: Super Stream Me 26 Nov 2015 at 20:00

A look back on one of the most ruthless live streaming experiments ever with Tim Den Besten and Nicolaas Veul as well as several special guests.

Live: VR Cinema Showcase 24 Nov 2015 at 20:00

Virtual reality pioneers show their latest works and reflect on both the hype and artistic potential of virtual reality and immersive media.

Live: The Art of Artificial Intelligence 23 Nov 2015 at 20:00

Live cinema event on artificial intelligence, including live presentations of Kyle McDonald, Dries Depoorter and Ross Goodwin.

more events

Jury Report | IDFA DocLab Competition 2015

Winners of the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling and IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award announced at IDFA’s 28th award ceremony.

Members of the jury: Hay Kranen (The Netherlands), Margaux Missika (France), Oscar Raby (Chile)
Documentary is supposed to make us understand the world better. But reality is harsher than pictures and in the face of a violent and incoherent world, we find shelter in personal, humble stories. Stories in which the characters speak directly to us. Their voices have been driving us through the festival. We’re discovering sound again. The intimacy of the voice is a driving force behind many of this year’s projects, and seems a natural tool to facilitate immersion.
The internet is fully grown up now. Projects focus on what’s needed to tell a story, instead of what is possible with technology. Instead of adding, we’re subtracting, taking away what is superfluous. We’re starting to master the medium, and are learning that it’s usually best to do one thing, and do it well.
We believe our two chosen projects are exemplary for this trend.IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award
For this new award, we chose a project that has simplicity at its heart. The tools used for this project are indeed state of the art: the real world and human imagination. At it’s core it has an urgent question: how do we learn to live together, to trust people who are different from us? The winner awkwardly challenges us with the idea that we can be characters in other people’s lives. The winner of the IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award is Someone Else by Ant Hampton.IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling
Our choice for the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling gives the user the chance of coloring their experience and connecting the dots with their imagination. In a time when we can access anything online, it felt welcomed to hear a personal story, a point of view. Poetry, contemplation and emotions are pieces of a puzzle that fall naturally into place in this work. The winner of the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling is Drawing Room bij Jan Rothuizen and Sara Kolster.

Content for Cardboards

Explore non-fiction content to watch on your cardboard

IDFA Cardboards

IDFA 2015

Waves of Grace: (9 minutes, 2015) VRSE iOS & Android
Liberia has endured the largest Ebola outbreak in history. As communities rebuild, one woman seeks healing through faith. This is the story of Decontee Davis, an Ebola survivor who uses her immunity to care for orphaned children in her village.
Directors: Gabo Arora, Chris Milk

LoVR (5 minutes, 2015)  iOS & Android
A virtual reality love trip through the brain activity that occurs in the staggering moment you fall in love; a poem written in data.
Created by:Aaron Bradbury

IDFA 2014:

The Polar Sea (2014)  Android iOS
A 360-degree documentary that shows the climatological and cultural changes taking place in the Arctic area, literally from all sides.
Created by:Thomas Wallner

Other VR Content

War of Words VR  (3 minutes, 2014) Android  iOS
‘War Of Words: VR’ uses virtual reality to take you back to 1916, and into a mindset captured by Siegfried Sassoon in his controversial poem ‘The Kiss’.
Directed by: BDH

Clouds Over Sidra: (8minutes, 2015) VRSE iOS & Android
The Zaatari Refugee Camp is home to 130,000 Syrians fleeing violence and war. Children make up half the camp’s population. This is the story of Sidra, a 12-year old girl who has spent the last 18 months in Zaatari.
Directors: Gabo Arora, Chris Milk

The Displaced: (11 minutes, 2015) NYTVR iOS & Andriod
War has driven 30 million children from their homes. These are the stories of three of them. 11 minutes 2015
Directors: Imraan Ismail, Ben C. Solomon

Walking New York (7 minutes 2015) NYTVR iOS & Andriod
Vrse and the New York Times come together to capture the birth of a new large-scale street art installation in New York. Renowned French artist JR, famous for posting massive photographs in urban environments, attempts to create a poetic awareness of New York’s storied history as a city of immigrants. The monumental portrait was conceived as a cover for the NYT’s Walking New York issue.
Creators: JR + Chris Milk + Zach Richter

Squarepusher – Stor Eiglass VR (4 minutes, 2015) Android iOS
UK-based electronic musician Tom Jenkinson — a.k.a. Squarepusher — has released a highly entertaining, and at times bizarre, fully immersive virtual reality video for “Stor Eiglass,” the latest single from his new album, Damogen Furies
Creators: Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF), Blue Zoo and Rob Pybus

Google Street View App (2015) [Android|iOS]
Want to take a virtual tour of Stonehenge? How about downtown Chicago? Or your very own town? It’s now possible thanks to Google’s Street View app
created by: Google

Vice News Vr : Millions March Nyc 12.13.14: (8 minutes, 2015) VRSE iOS & Android
The first ever Virtual Reality news broadcast covers the Millions March in New York City. 60,000 New Yorkers took to the streets and marched as one to call for an end to racial profiling by police. Alice Speri reports from inside the protest.
Directors: Chris Milk, Spike Jonze

IDFA DocLab Selection 2015!

Explore this year’s selection with works ranging from virtual reality and interactive narratives to data art, multimedia journalism and immersive installations.

Fifteen projects will compete for the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling (€5,000). New this year is the IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award (€2,500), for which the jury can also choose from projects and installations included in this year’s Seamless Reality program.

Full details on the DocLab Seamless Reality exhibition (19-29 November), our series of Live Cinema Events (19-26 November) and the fourth annual Interactive Documentary Conference (22 November) will follow soon.

IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling 2015
The Deeper They Bury Me by Ted Biggs/Angad Bhalla (Canada, 2015)

DMZ: Memories of No Man’s Land by Hayoun Kwon (South Korea, 2015, 20 min.)

Drawing Room by Jan Rothuizen (The Netherlands, 2015, 7 min.)

Exhausting a Crowd by Kyle McDonald (USA, 2015, 720 min.)

Imperial Courts by Eefje Blankevoort/Dana Lixenberg (The Netherlands, 2015)

Lahore Landing by Jeremy Ho (Singapore, 2015)

Life on Hold by Reem Haddad/Dima Gharbawi Shaibani (Qatar, 2015)

LoVR by Aaron Bradbury (England, 2014, 5 min.)

Network Effect by Jonathan Harris/Greg Hochmuth (USA, 2015)

The Quipu Project, Talking Knots by Maria Court/Rosemarie Lerner (Peru/England, 2015)

RecoVR Mosul: A Collective Reconstruction by Ziv Schneider/Laura Chen (USA, 2015)

The Unknown Photographer by Loïc Suty (Canada, 2015)

Waves of Grace by Gabo Arora (USA, 2015)

Witness 360: 7/7 by Darren Emerson (England, 2015, 13 min.) by Ross Goodwin (USA, 2015)


Special Focus 2015: Seamless Reality

The DocLab: Seamless Reality program is a co-production of IDFA DocLab and De Brakke Grond, made possible by the Creative Industries Fund NL and the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.

Bistro in Vitro by Bruno Felix/Koert van Mensvoort (The Netherlands, 2015, 100 min.)

Cue China by Ant Hampton (England, 2014, 28 min.)

Do Not Track by Brett Gaylor (France/Germany/Canada, 2015, 10 min.)
Pitched at IDFA Forum in 2013

The Enemy by Karim Ben Khelifa (France/Canada, 2015, 17 min.)

Famous Deaths by Frederik Duerinck/Marcel Brakel (The Netherlands, 2015)

Rebuild Fukushima by Bert Hana (The Netherlands, 2015)

Sheriff Software by Dries Depoorter (Belgium, 2015)

Someone Else by Ant Hampton (Belgium, 2015, 45 min.)

Super Stream Me by Tim den Besten/Nicolaas Veul (The Netherlands, 2015)

That Dragon, Cancer by Ryan Green/Amy Green/Josh Larson (USA, 2015)

HIGHRISE: Universe Within by Katerina Cizek (Canada, 2015)

Walden, a Game by Tracy Fullerton (USA, 2015, 360 min.)

Kiya by Nonny de la Pena/Brad Lichtenstein (USA, 2015)

Way to Go by Vincent Morisset (France/Canada, 2015)

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DocLab Academy 2015: Open Call for Participants

Working in the field of documentary storytelling and interactive media? Apply for this year’s DocLab Academy.

DocLab Academy 2015 is an international program for new talent in the field of documentary storytelling and interactive media. The program takes place November 19-24 during the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

DocLab Academy is an initiative of IDFA’s new media program DocLab, and Flemish Arts Center De Brakke Grond. The program is supported by Creative Industries Fund NL, Amsterdam Fund for the Art, The Flanders Audiovisual Fund, Creative Europe Vlaanderen and the Dutch Film Fund.

DocLab Academy 2015
Digital technology has become increasingly entangled with everyday reality. The consequences are far-reaching and can be alarming, but it has also lead to a new era of artistic innovation in non-fiction storytelling and art across multiple disciplines.

But how do we tell an interactive story? What artistic opportunities do new technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and interactive media have to offer? How do the world’s most successful digital pioneers use the endless opportunities of the internet without getting lost? And how do you finance interactive documentaries, find the right partners and reach your audience?

The DocLab Academy program addresses a variety of challenges and opportunities through exclusive workshops on virtual reality and interactive storytelling by international new media pioneers. Portfolio reviews and one-on-one meetings offer insights into more specific questions while the Live Cinema Events and the Interactive Conference provide inspiration. There will also be plenty of time to network and reflect on each other’s work.

Who can participate
This program is open to national (Dutch and Flemish), as well as international documentary filmmakers and new media professionals. The deadline for application is October 1.

Participation to DocLab Academy 2015 costs €125,-

What we offer
Exclusively for DocLab Academy participants:

  • Access to masterclasses & workshops
  • Portfolio reviews & one-on-one meetings
  • Guided tour of the IDFA Crossmedia FORUM (Europe’s largest co-financing market)
  • Networking opportunities
  • Access to IDFA Festival screenings and industry events

Additional access to Seamless Reality program:

  • Interactive Conference on November 22
  • Seamless Reality exhibition
  • DocLab Live Cinema Events

For Flemish participants

  • Five nights of accommodation in Amsterdam for the duration of the program

How to apply
Send us an email in English by midnight (CET) on October 1 with the following details:

  • Short bio (25 words)
  • Motivation detailing why you would like to participate (max 100 words)
  • Description of your current or most recent new media project, including visuals (max 100 words)
  • Description of what you would like to research in the field of interactive storytelling
  • Three links to digital or interactive projects that inspire you
  • Contact details
  • Website and link to online portfolio
  • Headshot (portrait)

Application for DocLab Academy 2015 is now closed.

{THE AND} Live in Amsterdam’s open air

This summer IDFA DocLab joins forces with one of Europe’s most exciting open air film festivals Pluk de Nacht to bring {THE AND} back to the big screen on Thursday August 13.

The And Live op Pluk

After its world premiere at IDFA DocLab 2014, World Press Photo Winner and Emmy nominated interactive documentary {THE AND} is coming back to Amsterdam for an interactive Live Cinema Event at Pluk de Nacht on Thursday August 13.

Together for three months and head over heels, or married for a quarter of a century and familiar with every wrinkle and idiosyncrasy. In both cases, love is hard work and in any relationship this work consists mainly of talking, asking questions and listening. In the interactive documentary {THE AND}, director Topaz Adizes has 30 couples – gay and straight, inexperienced teenagers and senior citizens who have been through all the highs and lows – ask one another 412 candid questions. All aspects of a relationship are investigated: the distribution of power, the biggest annoyances, greatest expectations and most beautiful memories. And of course sex.

On Thursday August 13, one of Europe’s most exciting open air film festivals Pluk de Nacht is inviting everyone, from young lovers, pining singles and parents with children to groups of friends and struggling siblings to experience and help create this unique live event. The ingredients are simple: couples, questions, an audience, and total honesty.

Pluk de Nacht runs from August 5 to 15 at Stenen Hoofd in Amsterdam. The bar and outside seating opens at 3PM with a short film starting as soon as it gets dark around 9PM. When the sun has set, the feature film or live event will start. Make sure to be there on time to get a good spot. Find out more details about the event here.

Want to be part of the interactive documentary?
{THE AND} is looking for romantic partners as well as non-couples to participate in the filming new episodes in Amsterdam on August 15th + 16th. A bit like an experimental couple therapy session, provides you the space to openly discuss the topics you’ve been curious to address. It only takes 1 hour of in-studio filming per couple or duo and there’s no preparation needed. Find out more here or email: Julia at for more information about participating or to sign up!

DocLab Live: Love/digital sins

{THE AND} Live at IDFA DocLab 2014, photo by Nichon Glerum