IDFA adds “Special Jury Awards” to competitions

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam has unveiled a new awards structure to its competition categories, aimed at "acknowledging other outstanding achievements" in documentary.
September 1, 2015

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam has unveiled a new awards structure to its competition categories aimed at “acknowledging other outstanding achievements” in documentary.

The new arrangement will replace the nominations process, which normally sees nominees announced two days before the awards event, and instead hold just one announcement during which juries select two winners in each competition – one for best documentary and a special jury award worth €2,500 each.

Now, without a separate announcement for the nominees, all jury awards will be presented on the one day, which for this year’s festival, will be November 25 in the Rabozaal in Amsterdam’s Melkweg venue.

IDFA’s Audience Award, meanwhile, will continue to be announced on the last Friday of the festival. This year that award will be presented on November 27.

The festival, which takes place from November 18 to 29, will also introduce a new award to be presented to the best international youth documentary through the IDFA Competition for Kids & Docs. A single award worth €2,500 will be granted in this category.

The new jury awards in each category are as follows:

VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary (€12,500)
IDFA Special Jury Award for Feature-Length Documentary (€2,500)

IDFA Award for Best First Appearance (€ 7,500)
Special Jury Award for First Appearance, in memory of Peter Wintonick  (€ 2,500)

IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary (€ 10,000)
IDFA Special Jury Award for Mid-Length Documentary (€ 2,500)

IDFA DocLab Award for Digital Storytelling (€ 5,000)
IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award (€ 2,500)

Beeld en Geluid IDFA Award for Dutch Documentary (€ 7,500)
IDFA Special Jury Award for Dutch Documentary (€ 2,500)

IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary (€ 5,000)
IDFA Special Jury Award for Student Documentary (€ 2,500)

IDFA Award for Best Kids & Docs Documentary (€ 2,500)

The IDFA DOC U Award, presented by a youth jury (€ 2,500)

Also to be presented at the November 25 ceremony are the Oxfam Global Justice Award and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.