Past events

[The Brain] 24 Nov 2018 at 20:00

Discover what it’s like to be part of a collective brain: a self-organizing, complex system that generates autonomous output.

Doclab Live: Jacco Gardner’s Somnium 23 Nov 2018 at 20:00, 22:00

Sensory live performance in the ARTIS planetarium of Jacco Gardner’s new album Somnium and the kinetic installation Volverium by Thijs Biersteker.

DocLab Academy: Workshop Day at Lava Lab 20 Nov 2018 at 9:30

A full day of hand’s on workshops by several professionals, taking place at design and technology innovation lab Lava Lab.

more events

DocLab Expo Specials

Join the makers of the DocLab: Humanoid Cookbook exhibition, and let yourself be surprised by sensory experiments and interactive performances, including a small culinary journey from France to Iraq (Flavours of Iraq) and a disruptive social experiment on your phone (The Social Sorting Experiment).

The DocLab Expo Specials run from November 15-24 in de Brakke Grond. Admission is free.  

Fri 16 November:

  • DocLab Expo Special: The Social Sorting Experiment 12:00 – 12:30 
  • DocLab Expo Special: Leaked Lunch 14:00 – 14:30 
  • DocLab Expo Special: Eat|Tech|Kitchen 16:00 – 16:30 

Sat 17 November:

  • DocLab Expo Special: Leaked Brunch 12:00 – 12:30 
  • DocLab Expo Special: Eat|Tech|Kitchen  14:00 – 14:30 
  • DocLab Expo Special: Algorithmic Gardening 16:00 – 16:30 

Sun 18 November:

  • DocLab Expo Special: Leaked High Tea 14:00 – 14:30  
  • DocLab Expo Special: Flavours of Iraq 16:00 – 16:30 

Mon 19 November:

  • DocLab Expo Special: Eat|Tech|Kitchen  12:00 – 12:30 
  • DocLab Expo Special: Leaked Lunch 14:00 – 14:30 
  • DocLab Expo Special: Tatsuniya 16:00 – 16:30  

Tue 20 November:

  • DocLab Expo Special: Leaked Brunch 12:00 – 12:30 
  • DocLab Expo Special: Eat|Tech|Kitchen  14:00 – 14:30  
  • DocLab Expo Special: Pilgrim 16:00 – 16:30 

Wed 21 November:

  • DocLab Expo Special: The Collider: Chapter One 16:00 – 16:30  

Fri 23 November:

  • DocLab Expo Special: Ahorse! 16:00 – 16:30 

Sat 24 November:

  • DocLab Expo Special: The Industry VR 16:00 – 16:30  

 DocLab is made possible by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the NetherlandsCLICKNLThe Netherlands Film FundGoogleARTEDiversion cinemaFlemish Arts Centre De Brakke Grond and Flanders Audiovisual Fund.

Looking for IDFA DocLab Volunteers 2018

Support the festival and expand your knowledge of new media!



DocLab is the new media program at IDFA, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, 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, Oculus Go or Gear VR, keeping track of reservations or offering clarification on any number of projects. DocLab takes place 14-25 November at the Vlaams Cultuurhuis De Brakke Grond, DocLab’s partner and home base.

Volunteers are an important and intrinsic aspect to the successful organization of IDFA. You will run into them in every corner of the festival: at the theater doors, manning the box office, or delivering the festival daily, lunches and posters. They welcome our guests and audiences, function as our eyes and ears during the festival, and are ambassadors of IDFA thanks to their enthusiasm for the festival.

IDFA DocLab Volunteer Shifts
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 as a volunteer for IDFA 2018

Do you want to be a part of new media team at the largest documentary festival of the world? Then sign up as a volunteer! We will contact you shortly after receiving your application.

Apply to Volunteer via MyIDFA here: Volunteer Form
Choose DocLab as your preference in the volunteer form.

By filling out the form you agree to comply with the General Terms and Conditions.

Please note: if you are from outside the EU, you will need a work permit for the Netherlands. Unfortunately it’s not allowed to do volunteer work on a Student Visa.


There are some requirements for becoming a volunteer at IDFA. They are described in our Volunteer Policy, together with everything that you can expect from IDFA when working as a volunteer.


Here are some key Doclab festival dates for this year’s edition:

DocLab Interactive Conference, Saturday November 17:

Digital pioneers and artists present their projects, lessons learned, and visions of the future of the industry.
Please note that the Interactive Conference will be taking place on Saturday (and not Sunday) this year!

DocLab Live Events, November 15-20:
A series of five unpredictable evenings, ranging from interactive showcases to experimental multimedia performances with live music and interaction with the audience.

DocLab Exhibition, November 15-25:
Expo of installations and interactive projects on new ways of documentary storytelling.

IDFA Crossmedia Forum, Monday November 20:
Co-production and funding opportunities for innovative non-linear projects.

Open Call for IDFA DocLab Academy 2018 Participants

The deadline has now passed.

DocLab Academy is an international program for new talent in the field of documentary storytelling and interactive media. This five-day program takes place from November 16 to 20 at De Brakke Grond and is part of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).

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

What artistic opportunities do new technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and interactive media have to offer? How do you tell an interactive story? How do successful digital pioneers use the endless opportunities of the internet without getting lost in its countless possibilities? 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. There is also plenty of time to network and reflect on each other’s work. Participants also have access to relevant parts of IDFA’s other industry activities, a.o. IDFAcademy workshops and new media pitches at the Crossmedia Forum. Alongside the IDFA DocLab program, which includes Live Cinema Events and the Interactive Conference, the complete IDFA program is also open to DocLab Academy participants.

Who can participate:
DocLab Academy can facilitate 20 (documentary) makers and new media professionals, ½ from The Netherlands & Flandres and ½ from the rest of the world.

What we offer:
• Exclusive masterclasses & workshops
• Portfolio reviews & one-on-one meetings
• Exclusive context of the DocLab Exhibition with selected artists
• Studio visits
• Attendance of the IDFA Crossmedia Forum, the co-production and co-financing market for innovative non-linear projects
• IDFA DocLab Interactive Conference
• IDFA DocLab Live Cinema Events
• Networking opportunities
• Access to selected parts of the IDFAcademy program
• Access to IDFA Festival film screenings and industry events

For Flemish participants:
• 4 nights accommodation in Amsterdam during DocLab Academy supported by VAF

How to apply:
Fill out the online DocLab Academy Accreditation form via MyIDFA from July 1. The application deadline is September 1 at 23:59 hrs (CET).

Applications are in English and consist of:
• Contact details
• Short biography (max. 50 words)
• Motivation (max. 100 words)
• Description of your current or most recent new media project (max. 100 words), including a link to visuals
• Learning goals (max. 50 words)
• Links to three digital or interactive projects that inspire you
• Link to online portfolio
• Profile picture

The application deadline is September 1 at 23:59 CET. Selection will be made by an external committee and the participants are announced early October. DocLab Academy takes place 16-20 November in Amsterdam. If selected, additional information will be requested.

Participating in DocLab Academy 2018 costs €230,-.

The online application form for DocLab Academy will be available from July 1.

DocLab Academy is an initiative of IDFA’s new media program DocLab and Flemish Arts Center De Brakke Grond. The program is supported by The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF).

Send your questions to
More information on DocLab Academy: and
More information on IDFA DocLab: en

Submissions to IDFA DocLab 2018 are now open!

We’re looking for all kinds of new media projects ranging from web-documentaries, virtual reality films and games to installations, live performances, and more.

We invite you to submit your interactive and immersive projects to IDFA DocLab 2018. You can submit your project for the upcoming edition via the online submission form between 1 March and 1 August, 2018. We love to hear about your ideas, so you can also get in touch via if you are working on something that might fit the program.


Submitted projects will be considered:
(1) for the two IDFA DocLab Competitions.
(2) as an installation for our festival exhibition.
(3) as a performance at our live cinema events.
(4) for the IDFA DocLab Online Database.
Projects selected for the competition programs are eligible for the IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling or the IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award.
We can view projects on most platforms/devices, including MAC, PC, iOS, Android, Steam, Sony Playstation, Xbox, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, Samsung Gear, HTC Vive or Google Daydream, and Cardboard.
Projects should be submitted via a password-protected streaming link, a download link to the VR build/360 video file (preferably by Dropbox/Google Drive), an app download package or game install.
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 2017. Priority is given to projects that have not yet been presented at other events or festivals.

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.

Please note that submission deadline has passed on August 1, 2018.