VdR–Development Lab

The VdR–Development Lab is conceived as a workshop for the development of projects from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. It offers the directors and producers the opportunity to be tutored through the development-phase in order to more easily reach and access the international market.

With the support of the SDC (The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation)

Our call for projects is now closed. The selected projects will be announced in January 2023.

The aim of VdR–Development Lab is to stimulate the creative documentary sector in regions where independent filmmaking is particularly challenging and help new projects to reach the international market.

The 2023 edition of the Lab provides a tailor-made programme to best accompany the development phase of 4 projects, it consists in:
– online preparation in March on varied development aspects to the April session planned on site (or online in case of exceptional circumstances) during the 2023 edition of Visions du Réel;
– participation in the 2023 edition of Visions du Réel with the VdR-Development Lab delegation, offering discussions, consultancies, and networking opportunities with international decision-makers.
– personalised guidance, post April session, regarding the priority development next steps, particularly in relation to the international market.

The precise programme of the Lab will be communicated later to the selected participants, based on their profiles and projects. The VdR–Development Lab will take place from March to December 2023.

In addition to the accompaniment during the development phase, each participating team will receive a grant of CHF 2,000.- This development grant can be spent on research, development of the screenplay or production of promotional material (such as the production of a teaser).

The call for the 2023 VdR–Development Lab is now closed.
The selection of the 4 projects will be announced by January, 2023.
The VdR–Development Lab will run from March, 2023 until December, 2023.
Visions du Réel takes place 21–30.4.2023

We are looking for projects:

– in feature length which reflect the strong vision of the author, with precise formal intentions and which have the potential to reach a global audience.
– with international potential, both in terms of production and distribution,
– at development stage: with the idea of the story already fleshed out, ideally with a draft of the script already written and some images already shot (projects entirely shot are not eligible),
– directed by filmmakers exclusively from the below-mentioned regions and countries


– Applying projects have to be developed as a feature length film (duration over 60’).

– All directors attached to the project must have the nationality of a country from the South and East as listed here.

– The Festival welcomes projects with or without a main producer attached, preferably also based in a country included in the same eligible country list.

– Applications must be accompanied by visual material of the project. It can be a teaser or selected research material. Link to at least one previous work is also requested.

– Entry forms must be filled out in English. Visual material and the full current version of the dossier can also be sent in French for the selection process, but the Lab participant must speak English.

For further information regarding this activity, we invite you to read our Terms and Regulations.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at industry@visionsdureel.ch


Here are the six projects that participated in VdR–Development Lab during Visions du Réel 2022:

  • Bamboo Family
    directed by Sein Lyan Tun
  • Buffalo King
    directed by Yara Costa
    produced by Lara Sousa
  • La Química
    directed by Emilia Mello
    produced by Leonor Zuniga
    (Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Brazil)
  • Nzonzing
    directed by Wezam Moimi
    produced by Nelson Makengo
    (Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • The Pass
    directed by Yiyun Chen
    produced by Wenxin Zhong (China)
  • Anonymous project
    (India – due to political issues, for the time being it is in the interest of the director and producers to keep their identities confidential)

2023 Selection Committee

Violeta Bava Pre-selection Committee Member
Ming-Jung Kuo Pre-selection Committee Member
Katy Lena Ndiaye Pre-selection Committee Member

2022 Participants

Yiyun Chen



Yara Costa



Nelson Makengo

– Producer
Democratic Republic of Congo

Zero Attitude Flix

Emilia Mello


Encyclopedia of Imaginary Places

Lara Sousa

– Producer

Kulunga Filmes

Sein Lyan Tun

Myanmar [Burma]

PS Films

Wezam Moimi

– Producer
Democratic Republic of Congo


Wenxin Zhong

– Producer

Jade Pass Project

Leonor Zuniga

– Producer
Costa Rica

CaLé producciones

2022 Tutors

Jean-Laurent Csinidis


Films de Force Majeure

Maryam Goormaghtigh



If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at industry@visionsdureel.ch