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.

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

The 2024 edition of the Lab provides a tailor-made programme to best accompany the development of the selected projects. It consists of:
– in March, an online preparation on varied development aspects for the April session planned on site during the 2024 edition of Visions du Réel;
– the participation in the 2024 edition of Visions du Réel with the VdR-Development Lab delegation, which offers discussions, consultancy, and networking opportunities with international decision-makers;
– after April, a personalised guidance regarding the development’s priority next steps, particularly in relation to the international market.

The detailed 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 2024.

In addition to support 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 2024 VdR–Development Lab is now closed.

The VdR–Development Lab will run from March, 2024 until December, 2024.
Visions du Réel takes place April 12–21 2024

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 a 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 application 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 five projects that participated in VdR–Development Lab during Visions du Réel 2023:

  • Just Like a Dream by Corine Shawi
    Production : Nancy Sabbagh
    Lebanon, Germany
  • Olympic Rifle by Manuel Muñoz
    Production : Mauricio S. Burckhardt (Haus Kino)
    Honduras, Argentina, Colombia
  • The Road Ahead by Carla Valdés León
    Production: Rosa María Rodríguez (GatoRosa Films) and Carla Valdés León
  • The Birdwatcher by Sai Kong Kham
    Production : Lin Sun Oo (Tagu Films)
  • Few Monuments More, Few People Less by Aneta Lesnikovska
    Production : Kornelija Ristovska, Aneta Lesnikovska (AKA Film)
    North Macedonia, Netherlands

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

Development Lab Tutors

Sergio Oksman


Diana El Jeiroudi


No Nation Films