IDFA Bertha Fund for Filmmakers in Developing Countries 2018 – Netherland


Last updated on April 23rd, 2018 at 10:20 am

The IDFA Bertha Fund, formerly known as the Jan Vrijman Fund, is a Funding Plan to aid do

About the Award: 

The IDFA Bertha Fund is the only fund in the world dedicated solely to stimulating and empowering the creative documentary sector in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe.  The IDFA Bertha Fund aims to stimulate and empower the creative documentary sector in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe by supporting the development, production and/or post-production of documentary projects by filmmakers from developing countries. The Fund not only provides financial support to realize this endeavour, but plays a crucial advisory role as well.

In short, the IDFA Bertha Fund supports documentaries that make a difference. Documentaries that are both a creative form of artistic expression, but also an expression of a world-view and a lifestyle.



cumentary filmmakers in developing countries. Its goal is to stimulate local film cultures and to turn the creative documentary into a truly global film art.


To be taken at (country):

 Amsterdam, Netherlands


Eligible Countries: 

developing countries


Documentary projects can be submitted for two categories: Project Development or Production & Post-Production. The application has to be submitted by a director or producer from a country on the DAC-list. The core rule of the fund is that the director of the project should have the nationality of a DAC- country and live and work in this country.

  • The director of the project should have the nationality of a country as defined on the DAC-list and primarily live and work in this country. In addition the production company attached to the project must be based in a country on the DAC list.
  • In the category Production & Post-production the following countries cannot apply: Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.
  • Filmmakers from Brazil can apply for development, but only when they’ve completed a film education.
  • Eastern Europe: only projects from Belarus, Kosovo, Moldova, Turkey and Ukraine can apply. Filmmakers from all other Eastern European countries have access to funding from the MEDIA programme.
  • Filmmakers from the Caucasus can all apply: Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan (till the moment they’ll have access to funding from the MEDIA programme)
  • If a production company from a non-DAC list country is attached to the project, it is also necessary that the project has a producer and production company based in a country on the DAC-list. In this case, the application to the fund must be filed by this producer.
  • If a project is selected, the contribution must be spent in a country on the DAC-list.
  • A project can be submitted only once for each category.
  • A project can be submitted for Project Development and at a later deadline for Production or Post-Production, whether or not the Project Development submission was successful.

Submission requirements:

  • Application deadlines in 2017 are February 1 and May 15. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. (See Submit your project in link below) Completed applications must be in our office on the day of the deadline.
  • Entry forms must be filled out in English. Only for applications coming from French-speaking African countries and Haiti, the Fund offers the possibility to submit the entry form in French.
  • Production applications will only be accepted when accompanied by a trailer, demo, edited sequence or other audio-visual material of the project with a minimum of 3 minutes.
  • Projects that have finished the shooting phase will be considered as Post-Production applications. In this case applications have to be accompanied by an edited sequence, rough cut or first edit with a minimum of 20 minutes.
  • Project Development applications can be accompanied by one previous work when relevant to the project or when representative for the style of the filmmaker. If available a trailer or selected research material from the project is recommendable if representative for the style.
  • DVD’s and Vimeo or YouTube links must be in our office on the day of the deadline. Make sure that dvd’s are clearly marked with the project title.
  • DVD’s and Vimeo or YouTube links must be in English or have English subtitles. Links should remain online for at least two months following the deadline. If possible, please allow for free viewing of the material (no password required) or make sure you send us the password.

Only projects that have been submitted according to the IDFA Bertha Fund regulations will be considered.

Selection Criteria: 

Project’s originality, cinematic quality and market potential.

Selection Process: In assessing projects the fund will consider (1) the strength and originality of the treatment, (2) the originality and urgency of the story, (3) the vision and ability of the director and (4) the financial feasibility of the project.

Please note that fund is very competitive and can only select around 5 % of applications received.

All applications that are complete will be considered for selection. After a first selection round the fund will make a pre-selection. The filmmakers of the pre-selected projects will receive a more extensive application form. Within two months after the deadline the Fund will inform applicants of the selection results.


Value of Programme: 

  • Project development: The maximum contribution for project development is €5,000. A contribution for project development can be spent on research and on the development of a script and/or on the production of a trailer. It must be spent in a developing country.
  • Production & post-production: The maximum contribution for production & post-production is €17,500. A contribution for production & post-production can be spent on all forms of production & post-production, but it must be spent in a developing country.

 Each year, also the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) screens a large part of the year’s harvest of completed films supported by the IDFA Bertha Fund. These may be selected in Competition or in the sections Panorama, Masters or Best of Fests. And every year the Fund works with numerous international film festivals, including Cannes, Berlinale, Thessaloniki, Locarno, Toronto and Pusan, to screen the films that have received IDFA Bertha Fund support.

Application Deadline: Updates on deadline will be brought to you shortly, please stay tuned 


How to Apply: Submit your project

Visit Programme Webpage for details

Award Provider: The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Protection Status



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