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iDOCS International Documentary Forum is the first independent international film festival who got the official permission of China. It was firstly held on December 12th to 16th, 2009 in Beijing Film Academy. IDOCS is an annual event held in mid December in Beijing.
iDOCS International Documentary Forum is derived from the five years¡¯ experiences of Beijing Channel Zero in holding Documentary Screening Salons and Documentary Production Workshops. Under the social context of China with no market for documentaries and narrow channels of communication, iDOCS aims to connect the Chinese audience with some of the world¡¯s best documentaries, and hopes to build a platform for the Chinese filmmakers to learn from the leading film artists who produced those excellent documentaries and get the first-hand information about the international documentary industry.
As the initial letter ¡°i¡± in iDOCS conveys in its Chinese pronunciation ¡°°®¡± (love), while ¡°I¡± in English. It shows the passion of the organizers for documentaries and the willingness to spread love and warm through those excellent documentaries. The slogan of the forum ¡°New views, better world¡± demonstrates that the organizers expect to spread open, diversified, beautiful and constructive content.
Every piece of the film screened by iDOCS is elaborately selected from the most recent award-winning releases from international film festivals as well as the popular audience-participated picks. Meanwhile, the design of the symposiums have been based on a decade old of experiences from distribution, documentary production workshops, seminars, and Master sessions with the hopes to meet the industry needs and demands. Back in 2009, the forum focused on the issues of research and scriptwriting. In 2010, the topics of post editing and fund raising are added to the agenda. The Master Class Workshop in iDOCS has the greatest honor in inviting the world renowned filmmakers to come and share to the best of their knowledge with the local Chinese film community.
As a non-profit project, all the capitals of iDOCS come from individual sponsors and institutional sponsors, including IDFA festival, Swedish Film Institute, the American Documentary Showcase and the embassaies of Netherland, Australia, the United States and England. Over the past two years, iDOCS has received ten individual donations from Chinese mainland.
The first and second iDOCS were held between December 12th to 16th in 2009 and 2010 in Beijing Film Academy. It consists of two parts: International Documentary Screening and Industry Activities.
iDOCS has screened more than 40 latest award-winning documentaries from 2009 to 2010. More than 6,000 people attended the screening in 2009 and in 2010, the totoal number reached 16,000. The two years¡¯ opening films were both screened in Standard Theatre of Beijing Film Academy and the 800 seats are all occupied. The 2009 opening film Forever winned over one minute applause after screening while Babies of 2010 made the 800 audiences laugh from the beginning to the end.
The Industry Activities of 2009 were held in the Small Theatre of Beijing Film Academy. Almost 900 people attened the five-day event while more than 1,000 people attended the 2010 professional activities held in the Mid Theatre of Beijing Film Academy. The 2009 iDocs Industry Activities consist of Documentary Master Classes Workshop and Topic Seminar. In 2010, we added another sections, TrailerPark which was well appreciated: the masters commented the works of the documentary makers on the spot.
The two years¡¯ iDOCS got the attention of over 50 media companies and institutions. About 150 media got involved with the screening and professional activities of iDOCS every year including CCTV International, Glabal Times, Southern Metropolis Weekly, Modern Weekly, and so on.
iDOCS also earns worldwide recognition of the international documentary industry. World-renowned Canadian documentary filmmaker Peter Wintonick thought that iDOCS is China¡¯s most meaningful and constructive event for exchanging ideas of documentaries. Hot Docs, Canadian international documentary film festival and Leipzig International Documentary Festival sent their invitations to iDOCS for further communication and cooperation.
The third iDOCS international documentary forum is going to be held on December 12th to 16th in Beijing this year. Based on the success of the two-year experiences, we¡¯ll add Doc Library this year besides Master Classes Workshop, Seminars, Screening and Trailer Park. We¡¯ll include all the documentaries screened during iDOCS over the three years in the Doc Library. People who missed the chance of watching them in the theatre can enjoy them there.
We hope iDOCS can stick to its independence and the purity of its content. We want to provide more and more latest industry information as well as more and more professional services to benefit China¡¯s real documentary filmmakers and lovers.
Besides individual donations, special and institutional foundations, we hope more and more documentary professionals and fans can get real involvement in iDOCS Screening and Industry Activities by registration and buying film tickets. We hope all the participants can get some new insights through iDOCS and in turn iDOCS can realize its self-fulfilling cycle in this way.
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