Past events

DocLab Live: Bloodless – Guided by the Ghost of a Korean Sex Worker 25 Nov 2017 at 17:00

Special presentation on VR installation Bloodless, in which director Gina Kim and guests discuss the influence of American military presence on the South Korean people since 1956.

DocLab Live: Order, Chaos and Everything 21 Nov 2017 at 20:00

Join Jonathan Harris on a secular pilgrimage: from physical reality to the chaos of YouTube, and a digital simulation of consciousness.

Industry Session: Making VR Work for Audiences 20 Nov 2017 at 10:00

Zillah Watson, Commissioning Editor for Virtual Reality at the BBC, on how to make VR work for audiences.

more events

IDFA DocLab 2017 Awards

We’re pleased to announce the winners of the two IDFA DocLab competitions. Have a look at the full jury reports below.

IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling
The jury of the IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling consisted of Hugues Sweeney (Canada), Annelies Termeer (Netherlands) and Dan Tucker (United Kingdom).

As commissioners, creators and curators in this field, being here and being part of the DocLab Digital Storytelling jury has been humbling and enriching. It has in fact been a learning experience for all three of us also. IDFA DocLab continues to stretch the limits of non-fiction storytelling in new and surprising ways – and helps us all to understand how the documentary form is evolving. We were really pleased to see projects from a great variety of origins: Russia, Guinée, Scandinavia, South Korea, United States, France, Denmark, South Africa, Belgium, Australia, United Kingdom and The Netherlands. We look forward to IDFA DocLab continuing to bring us stories from new places around the globe. We were also happy to see such a great diversity in platforms. Even if this meant hard work for us as a jury because we have to judge and compare almost incomparable projects: from a 360 VR experience, a text messaging app, a game, to wandering through Amsterdam on an audio walk. Makers are exploring more and more digital platforms to tell their stories. From all of these very diverse stories, the ones that appealed to us most were the ones where we could really feel an emotional and personal connection to the story.

This project brought a big smile to the face of all three jurors. We love its tone of voice, the visual style and the interaction. We can tell that the creators worked in a cross-disciplinary team and that they did loads of user testing to get it right; two things we encourage all digital storytellers to do. The platform chosen by the makers felt like the perfect one for this specific story: together with the main character, you dive into the secret history of her father, assembling pieces of the puzzle along the way. The winner of the IDFA DocLab Digital Storytelling Award 2017 is: Cosmic Top Secret by Trine Laier (Denmark).

IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award
The jury of the IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction consisted of Toby Coffey (United Kingdom), Shirin Anlen (Israel) and Klasien van de Zandschulp (Netherlands).

The diversity of formats was highly commendable; the presence of, amongst others, communal storytelling, VR and an outdoors audio tour reflects the vibrant potential for the ongoing development of the age old tradition of storytelling. The selection encouraged us to interrogate what we understand by immersion; a range of experiences used it to truly allow us to understand society in new ways and with greater depth. It is inspiring to see artists choosing to implement the very technologies that they question. They find ways that compel us to address the issues they inherently bring to society: ones that are affecting us now and ones that we need to keep an eye on. Equally inspiring is seeing the evolution of formats that we as audiences are especially familiar with, from intimate one-on-one experiences (through) to more social and communal. With completely new forms competing with inspiring takes on existing ones, the deliberations were definitely not quick and certainly not easy: testament to strength of the work and the
affect it had on the judges.

Technology is becoming as important as it is intrusive in our lives. This project takes that premise and uses the form to discuss itself. It examines the influence of technology on humanity, and the need for humanity to influence technology. Whilst evidently a project about tech and software, it is also a fascinating insight into how people build relationships and who or what they let into their lives. The winner of the IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award 2017 is: Lauren by Lauren McCarthy (United States)

Immersive Network Summit

The Immersive Network Summit brings together experts from all corners of the interactive and immersive storytelling industry.

The Immersive Network Summit is an international think tank event bringing together experts from all corners of the interactive and immersive storytelling industry. The program includes presentations from new platforms, case studies and knowledge gained from audience research and other experiments. The event includes a networking lunch, project demo’s and roundtable discussions.

With the Immersive Network program, IDFA DocLab supports research and development across the interactive and immersive storytelling industry. Realised in collaboration with ARTE, NFB, Sound and Vision and supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands.

DocLab Expo: Uncharted Rituals

The 11th edition of IDFA DocLab takes place 16-26 November 2017 in the center of Amsterdam.

Robots and computers are acting more and more like people. They’re driving around in cars, hooking us up with new lovers and talking to us out of the blue. But is the opposite also true— are people acting more and more like robots?

The computers may think so: addicted to our phones, caught in virtual filter bubbles and dependent on just a handful of tech companies, people are acting more and more predictably. The breakthrough of artificial intelligence and immersive media doesn’t just pose the question what technology does to us, but also what we do with this technology. That’s why this year, DocLab, IDFA’s platform for interactive media art, is investigating the ritual dance between man and technology.

The DocLab: Uncharted Rituals program offers up all kinds of new stories and experiences, challenging how we interact with technology and the world around us—in theaters, on your phone and in the street.

On site reservation may be required and some installations have varying opening hours:

VR Cinema
{The And} VR
The Last Chair
Potato Dreams
A Thin Black Line
11:00 – 21:00

Physical Installations
The Cave
Dance Tonite
Greenland Melting
11:00 – 21:00

AR & Audiowalks
I Swear To Tell The Truth
It Must Have Been Dark By Then
11:00 – 21:00

Patent Alert AR
11:00 – 15:30

Live Performance: Lauren
During IDFA Lauren McCarthy invites the audience to observe as she assists people in their morning ritual in Los Angeles.
Thursday 18 to Saturday 18 November 16:00 – 18:00. Times may vary due to the nature of the performance.

Available on your Phone:

DocLab: Uncharted Rituals is supported by the Netherlands Film Fund, the Mondriaan Fund, the Flemish arts center De Brakke Grond and Diversion.

Jonathan Harris Retrospective & Top 10

IDFA will present the world’s first retrospective of Jonathan Harris’ work including his early sketchbooks, interactive works, and his latest project about rituals.

In honor of American internet art pioneer Jonathan Harris, IDFA is presenting an exhibition that brings together 10 projects he created in the last 15 years. Harris is one of the most significant artists and innovators to emerge in the digital era. He has achieved widespread recognition for projects such as the interactive We Feel Fine, The Whale Hunt and I Love Your Work.

In addition to the retrospective, the festival is screening the artist’s Top 10 favorite documentary projects. Following in the footsteps of filmmakers like Werner Herzog, Pirjo Honkasalo and Errol Morris, Jonathan Harris has made an eclectic selection that includes classics of non-fiction cinema, as well as a book, a radio project, a video game and an internet platform.

This program is made possible with support from the Mondriaan Fund.

Financing Market: IDFA Crossmedia Forum 2017

New media projects will be pitched for a broad audience of attending broadcasters and other decision makers from around the world.

The IDFA Forum is one of the most important co-financing and co-production markets in the international documentary industry. Its annual Crossmedia Pitching event is a breeding ground for new interactive documentary projects. Projects that were previously pitched at here include GazaSderot, From Zero, Farewell Comrades, Prison Valley, 18 Days in Egypt, Alma a Tale of Violence, Do Not Track, and from this year’s official selection, Poppy Interactive.

The following new crossmedia projects will be pitched to potential financiers from the documentary industry:

Simon Wood, Meghna Singh | South Africa

The Internet of Shit
Brett Gaylor | Canada

Pre-Crime – A Simulation
Jan-Joost Verhoef, Michaela Pnacekova | Germany

Milica Zec, Winslow Porter | United States

Killer, Penguin, Tom, Doll Face
Tomas Tamosaitis | Lithuania

The Master’s Vision (VR)
Georg Tschurtschenthaler | Germany

No Visible Trauma
Marc Serpa Francoeur for Lost Time Media | Canada

Putin Roulette
Elizabeth Rocha Salgado, Lyangelo Vasquez, Hyper Epic | The Netherlands

The Racial Terror Project (working title)
Michèle Stephenson, Yasmin Elayat, Sarah Wolozin, Katerina Cizek | United States

Romain De la Haye Serafini | France