IF/Then Global Pitch with IDFA and RYOT Films

Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) is thrilled to collaborate with IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), and RYOT Films to celebrate the art of short-form documentary storytelling on an international playing field. 

Applications are now closed.

TFI, IDFA, and RYOT Films are inviting short documentary filmmakers from around the world to apply for a new IF/Then Shorts global pitch opportunity during IDFA 2019. The pitch calls for original stand-alone short documentaries (10-20 minutes) that explore climate stories through the lens of the people and communities directly impacted by this global crisis.

Climate change is seen and felt in every region. It has devastating impacts on our agriculture, ecosystems, economic well being, energy supply, food security, human health, transportation, water supply, and more. The rapid warming of Earth’s climate will have a ripple effect on societies and ecologies for generations to come. We believe the documentary film community has a responsibility to highlight these issues and ground this topic in the personal, emotional or philosophical realms. Through creative, nuanced, and emotional storytelling, we have the opportunity to connect to international audiences in profound and meaningful ways.

TFI will lead this effort with IDFA and RYOT Films through a new funding and distribution opportunity with TFI’s IF/Then Shorts Program. We are looking for regional, narrative-led, character-led, cinematic stories that shine a new light on climate change and its many dimensions. Eligible projects must be completed within 6 months of receiving funding, be factually accurate, follow best practices in documentary ethics, either in English or subtitled in English.

Following an open call this summer, up to 6 finalists will be selected to present their projects at a live pitch event at IDFA 2019 before a panel of judges. Each team will have 7 minutes to pitch their project, followed by a short moderated discussion with a jury comprised of documentary filmmakers and industry/sector representatives.

One winning project will receive a production grant of USD $25,000 from RYOT Films and will participate in TFI’s year-round IF/Then Shorts Program, which provides year-round mentorship and career development opportunities. Additionally, a second project will be awarded an honorable mention prize of USD $1,000.


Online registration opens: July 15, 2019
Project application deadline: September 16, 2019
Notification of project selection: mid / late October
IF/Then pitch competition in Amsterdam: November 26, 2019


Filmmakers from around the world are eligible to apply, with a preference for filmmakers working in their home regions, within their own communities.

Your project tells a climate story and/or addresses issues around the topic of climate change.

These projects must be completed within 6 months of receiving funding, be factually accurate, follow best practices in documentary ethics, and be in English or subtitled in English.

After initial non-festival release, RYOT Films shall be granted a non-exclusive license to distribute the completed project on digital platforms in the North American territory, for a period of five (5) years. Please make sure any distribution commitments that you might have allow for this. 

Please make sure your project fits our general eligibility requirements presented on our Pitches & Eligibility page.


If chosen as a finalist, it is mandatory that you attend and participate in the event.

Each selected project will receive a travel stipend and IDFA will help with the travel and accomodation arrangements.  

You will receive a complimentary IDFA Festival/Forum pass.