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Tribeca Film Institute®, Ryot Films, and Idfa Launch New Partnership to Elevate Climate Stories

New York, NY – WEBWIRE

Tribeca Film Institute (TFI), Verizon Media’s RYOT Films, and International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) have announced their first-ever partnership: a collaboration at IDFA 2019 to elevate stories of climate change by filmmakers from affected communities around the world. TFI, RYOT Films and IDFA are inviting global storytellers to apply for a IF/Then Shorts pitch opportunity during IDFA 2019. The pitch calls for original stand-alone short documentaries (10-20 minutes) that explore climate change through the lens of the people and communities directly impacted. Online registration is now open and the deadline to submit is September 16, 2019

One winning project will receive a production grant of USD $25,000 from RYOT Films and year-round mentorship and career development through TFI’s IF/Then Shorts Program, which TFI created to empower more inclusive voices in short-form storytelling. A second project will be awarded an honorable mention prize of USD $1,000.

“We’re excited to partner with RYOT Films and IDFA to launch this new initiative for artists who are telling the stories of how the global environmental crisis impacts their own communities,” said Amy Hobby, Executive Director of Tribeca Film Institute. “This topic is top-of-mind for all of us in the documentary field, and we hope it is a fantastic opportunity for filmmakers to reach new and unlikely audiences through creative and nuanced storytelling.”

“We are looking forward to receiving surprising, artistic short documentary proposals from filmmakers with various cultural backgrounds. We are very pleased to partner in this initiative that will contribute to the flourishing creative short documentary genre. It will help audiences to better understand  the complexity and effects of global climate change. The collaboration allows us to welcome six filmmaker teams to share their unique stories with the world” said Adriek van Nieuwenhuyzen Head of Industry at IDFA.

“Since the beginning, we have always admired and deeply valued the work that both TFI and IDFA do to support filmmakers bringing timely stories to light,” said Hayley Pappas, Head of RYOT Films. “We are honored to be able to collaborate with them on a documentary initiative that focuses on an issue as urgent and consequential as climate change, and look forward to seeing the impact of the films that come of it.”

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 seven minutes to pitch their project, followed by a short moderated discussion with a jury comprised of documentary filmmakers and industry and sector representatives.


Online application 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


TFI, IDFA, and RYOT Films are looking for regional, narrative-led, character-led, cinematic stories that shine a new light on climate change and its many dimensions. Filmmakers from around the world are eligible to apply, with a preference for filmmakers working in their home regions, within their own communities. Eligible projects must be completed within 6 months of receiving funding, be factually accurate, follow best practices in documentary ethics, and be presented either in English or subtitled in English.

For full IF/Then Shorts application information, please visit: ;

About Tribeca Film Institute (TFI)
Tribeca Film Institute is a New York-based nonprofit organization founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff after 9/11 as a means to bring a community together through the power of film. Today, TFI works across the U.S. and globally to ensure that filmmakers and creators have the tools and resources they need to tell their stories, connect with audiences, and build thriving careers. We do all of this in service of the storyteller in order to break barriers to access, exposure, and sustainability that result from imbalances in representation and power. Working in documentary, scripted, and immersive media, TFI supports more than 225 storytellers each year through grants, mentorships, labs, and workshops valued at more than $2.25 million. For more information about TFI, please visit

About RYOT Films
RYOT Films is Verizon Media’s Emmy Award®-winning, Academy Award®-nominated premium film studio. RYOT Films has produced a slate of critically acclaimed projects that have debuted at Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, and Hot Docs, among others. RYOT Films’ documentaries have been distributed with partners from HBO and POV to Showtime, Netflix, Amazon, NatGeo, and ESPN. Highlights include three Academy Award® nominations for Best Documentary Short Subject for BODY TEAM 12, WATANI: MY HOMELAND, and LIFEBOAT. In 2018, as part of its commitment to funding groundbreaking storytelling, RYOT Films launched a multi-year multimillion dollar equity fund with Vice studios to produce premium documentaries. Current feature titles include THE BRINK, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER, CHE CHE LAVI, SEARCHING EVA, THE SEER & THE UNSEEN, FIRE ON THE HILL, SATAN & ADAM, and ON HER SHOULDERS. 

About IDFA
IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) offers an independent, inspiring meeting place where audiences and professionals can see a diverse, high quality program. The diverse nature of the event applies to the form and content of the films as well as to the cultural backgrounds of the filmmakers. IDFA offers an alternative to mass entertainment and uniformity, confirming that there is an increasing need among audiences for high-quality films that delve deep and urge us to reflect. Since 2007, the festival’s New Media program IDFA DocLab has been showcasing the best interactive non-fiction storytelling and exploring how the digital revolution is reshaping documentary art. In addition to the festival, IDFA has developed several professional activities, contributing to the development of filmmakers and their films at all stages. At the co-financing and co-production market IDFA Forum, filmmakers and producers pitch their plans to financiers; at Docs for Sale new documentaries are on offer to programmers and distributors; the IDFA Bertha Fund supports filmmakers and documentary projects in developing countries and the IDFAcademy offers an international training program for up-and-coming documentary talent.

IDFA 2019 takes place November 20 – December 1 in various locations in Amsterdam.

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