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IDFA DocLab 2016: Save the Date!

Key dates for IDFA DocLab 2016


This year marks the 10th anniversary of IDFA’s new media program DocLab, which showcases the best interactive non-fiction storytelling and explores how the digital revolution is reshaping documentary art. We are pleased to announce that this year IDFA (16-27 November, Amsterdam) will offer a wide range of events and opportunities for people interested in the creative potential of digital technology, virtual reality and interactive media.

DocLab Schedule
Thursday 17 November: DocLab Opening Night
Saturday 19 Nov: Immersive Network Summit (Invite only)
Sunday 20 Nov: Interactive Conference
Monday 21 Nov: Expert Meeting: Interactive Documentary Preservation (Morning session – Invite only)
Monday 21 & Tuesday 22 Nov: Crossmedia Forum (Invite only)
DocLab Live Cinema Events from 17 to 22 November
DocLab Exhibition open from 17 to 27 November
DocLab Academy runs from 17 to 21 November (application is now closed)

How to attend DocLab events?
Accredited guests can buy tickets from 3 November 12:00 via MyIDFA
General public can buy tickets from 7 November 19:00 via MyIDFA
Some events are by invitation only

DocLab Live Cinema Event
Regular tickets: €10,50
Accredited Guests can book free tickets for Live Cinema Events on the day before or the same day, or buy a ticket for €5,50 from 3 November

Interactive Conference

Regular tickets: €37,50
Accredited Guests: €27,50

17 Nov to 26 Nov from 9:00-23:00
27 Nov from 9:00-18:00
Some installations have varying opening hours. On site reservation may be required.
Free entrance.

IDFA DocLab Progam
The full IDFA DocLab selection will be published on 10 October. More details about speakers, live events and panels will follow early November.

IDFA DocLab 2016 Volunteers

Support the festival and expand your knowledge of new media!


DocLab is the official new media program at IDFA, exploring how the digital revolution is reshaping documentary art. As a DocLab volunteer, you will spend most of your time at the exhibition. Your responsibilities might include explaining to visitors how to use VR head sets like the Oculus Rift of Gear VR, keeping track of reservations or offering clarification on any number of projects. You will be based at the Vlaams Cultuurhuis De Brakke Grond, DocLab’s partner and home base.

Most of the program takes place from 11am – 9pm, but you may need to arrive as early as 9am or stay as late as 11pm for your six-hour shift.

You should be social and friendly, speak English and have no fear of technology, and affinity with new media or virtual reality is a definite plus. Please note that special technical knowledge isn’t required.

At DocLab, you can expand your knowledge of new media and virtual reality, as well as improve your social and communication skills.

Apply to Volunteer via MyIDFA here: Volunteer Form

If you have any further questions about volunteering at IDFA, you can reach us here: volunteers@idfa.nl

DocLab Interactive Conference 2015 is now available online

Watch digital pioneers and artists present their most provocative works, lessons learned and visions for the future.

doclabinteractiveconference (1)

All of the presentations from the DocLab Interactive Conference 2015 are now available to watch online. Find them on the IDFA DocLab Vimeo channel!

The DocLab Interactive Conference took place on Sunday 22 November as part of the Seamless Reality program of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). The question of the conference was how do we redefine physical space and the art of documentary storytelling in the digital age?

Angelo Vermeulen,
Amy Rose and May Abdalla (Anagram),
Bianca Giaever (This American Life),
Errol Morris,
Gabo Arora (UN/VRSE),
Jessica Brillhart (Google Creative Lab),
Jason Spingarn Koff (Netflix),
Kathleen Lingo (New York Times)
Karim Ben Khelifa,
Margaux Missika(Upian/PXN) and Opeyemi Olukemi (Tribeca Film Institute)
Michelle Kasprzak,
Ross Goodwin,
Thomas Wallner,
William Uricchio (MIT),

Made possible by: Creative Industries Fund, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, Mediafonds. In collaboration with: De Brakke Grond

IDFA 2015 | DocLab Interactive Conference | Errol Morris from Idfa on Vimeo.

IDFA 2015 | DocLab Interactive Conference | Ziv Schneider from Idfa on Vimeo.

IDFA 2015 | DocLab Interactive Conference | Angelo Vermeulen from Idfa on Vimeo.

IDFA 2015 | DocLab Interactive Conference | Bianca Giaever from Idfa on Vimeo.

Open Call for DocLab Academy 2016 Participants

We are now accepting applications for the DocLab Academy 2016!


The DocLab Academy is an international program for new talent in the field of documentary storytelling and interactive media. The program takes place November 17-21 during the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

DocLab Academy 2016
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 documentary filmmakers and new media professionals working both nationally (Dutch and Flemish) and internationally. The deadline for application is September 12, 2016.

Participation to DocLab Academy 2016 costs €130,-

What we offer:
Exclusively for DocLab Academy participants:
• Access to masterclasses & workshops
• Portfolio reviews & one-on-one meetings
• Attendance of the IDFA Crossmedia Forum (Europe’s largest co-financing market)
• Networking opportunities
• Access to IDFA Festival screenings and industry events

Additional access to the DocLab program:
• Interactive Conference on November 20
• DocLab Exhibition
• DocLab Live Cinema Events

How to apply:
Send us an email in English by September 12 (midnight CET) 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 learn and research in the field of interactive storytelling (max 50 words)
• Three links to digital or interactive projects that inspire you
• Contact details
• Website and link to online portfolio
• Headshot (portrait)

Send your application or questions to IDFA’s New Media Producer Wotienke Vermeer at doclabacademy@idfa.nl.

DocLab Academy is an initiative of IDFA’s new media program DocLab and Flemish Arts Center De Brakke Grond.

The program is a.o. supported by Creative Industries Fund NL and The Flanders Audiovisual Fund, Creative Europe Desk Flanders.

Call for entry 2016: IDFA DocLab & IDFA Crossmedia Forum

For those interested in the creative potential of digital technology, virtual reality and interactive media, the 29th edition of IDFA will have more to offer than ever before.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of IDFA’s new media program DocLab, which showcases the best interactive non-fiction storytelling and explores how the digital revolution is reshaping documentary art. We will look back on the past 10 years with special anniversary events and the IDFA DocLab program will showcase the best new work from across the field. DocLab Academy presents a unique interactive training program and the IDFA Crossmedia Forum offers new funding and co-production opportunities for innovative non-linear projects.

New this year is the IDFA DocLab Immersive Network, in which IDFA organizes cross-sectoral networking events, commissions new works and invites the interactive industry to explore the art of immersive technology. A key event will be the invite-only Immersive Network Day on Saturday November 19; more details will be available online in August.

We look forward to receiving your projects and please feel free share this call among your network.

Submission deadline: August 1
DocLab is open to all sorts of interactive projects, ranging from webdocs, virtual reality and artificial intelligence projects to physical installations, multimedia journalism, live performances and everything else that tells a documentary story or explores unknown realities. All projects submitted for the DocLab anniversary program will be considered for the Digital Storytelling Award and the Immersive Non-Fiction Award. Preference is given to pieces that have not been widely presented at other events.
» Click here to submit

IDFA Crossmedia Forum
Submission deadline: September 1
IDFA Forum, the festival’s international co-production and co-finanancing market welcomes new media projects with an emphasis on interactivity seeking professional input, co-production and financing partners. Through public pitches, one-on-one meetings and networking events the Crossmedia Forum is a meeting place for creative producers and a diverse group of professionals in the field of interactive storytelling.
» Click here to submit (from July 1)

DocLab Academy

IDFA and interdisciplinary arts centre De Brakke Grond invite emerging interactive artists, storytellers and documentary filmmakers to apply for a unique 5-day training program, which includes masterclasses, workshops, and access to key industry events. The application deadline is September 12; more details can be found here.

Key festival dates

  • Immersive Network Day Saturday November 19 (by invitation only).
  • DocLab Interactive Conference Sunday November 20: digital pioneers and artists present their most provocative works, lessons learned and visions for the future.
  • IDFA Crossmedia Forum November 21-22.
  • DocLab Summit November 21: industry think tank event (by invitation only).
  • DocLab Live Cinema Events November 17-22: an exclusive series of five unpredictable evenings, ranging from interactive showcases to experimental multimedia performances with live music and contributions from the audience.
  • DocLab Seamless Exhibition November 17-27: showcasing installations and interactive projects exploring the future of documentary storytelling.