Guidedoc wants you to shape the idea of a documentary film that you have in mind. Here we present four prestigious international project laboratories dedicated to documentary films.
The goal is not only to be selected for one of these spaces, but also to be inspired by the films that have been made thanks to these prominent programs.
IDFA Doc Lab
In an earlier article, we chose the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) as the most important documentary-only festival in the world. That means that its IDFAcademy is, without a doubt, a place where every documentary filmmaker would like to be.
The program seeks to stimulate emerging filmmakers from around the world and provide a space for meeting with professionals in the documentary industry to create high-quality non-fiction films. The IDFAcademy has two modalities, the IDFAcademy Summer School in July, and another intensive four-day version in November during the festival.
The lab is not intended for film students or filmmakers with more than two feature films made, and to apply to the laboratory it is not necessary to have a documentary project in hand.
Sundance DFP Lab
The prestigious Sundance Institute organizes three editions a year of its DFP Lab, a space for teams of filmmakers based in the United States who want to develop a documentary feature film project with one-on-one mentoring given by professionals in the documentary field and the support of the Sundance staff for a whole year.
Only the producer of each project can apply to the laboratory, which will finally choose five trios of producers, editors and directors who will attend several workshops and instances to nurture their projects, including the attendance to the renowned Sundance Film Festival.
Film Independent Documentary Lab
Based in the city of Los Angeles, Film Independent has a set of laboratories to support emerging and experienced filmmakers in their projects. Its non-fiction aspect is expressed in the Documentary Lab, focused on American or international projects that are already in production or are about to be completed.
This space offers personalized feedback with industry professionals through a series of conferences and workshops for two consecutive weeks. The goal is to help complete the film and design distribution and exhibition strategies. The laboratory accepts documentary series under construction and to apply it is necessary to have a sample of the postulated project.
This laboratory, or rather a complete accompaniment program, happens under the shelter of the Venice Film Festival, the oldest in the world. Its objective is to train young filmmakers from all over the world so that they can make their first or second fiction, documentary or hybrid feature film guided by masters and experts from the international industry.
The laboratory accepts micro-budget projects that require a maximum of 150,000 Euros, which are awarded by the Bienalle College to the three projects that reach the last stage of competitive selection among the nine projects chosen in the first stage. These three final projects will have an integral accompaniment to ensure the financing, production, editing and exhibition of the film during the Venice Film Festival.
Watch the most inspiring documentary films now on Guidedoc