Opening scenes lab is a special programme for the 16 filmmakers invited to the opening scenes section of the festival, dedicated to first short films or student films. Accompanied by 2 tutors, the filmmakers get the opportunity to get better acquainted with the international market for documentaries and its decision makers, to look for distribution for their short film as well as to meet potential partners for their next project.

They will take part in several networking events, always guided and accompanied by their tutors. Such events are the New Generation Drinks where they can connect with other film students from Germany, Italy and Switzerland and the daily Magic Hours.

Before they meet festival representatives from all over the world at Meet the Festivals, they will receive an introduction to methods of developing a festival strategy for their film.

A breakfast with producers attending the festival will enable them to discuss specific questions about documentary production – development, production and editing - and maybe find a partner for a new project.

Last but not least, several specialised short film distributors and festivals have been invited in order to discuss opportunities and challenges for the distribution of short films.

For more information about the Opening Scenes competition, please check our Sections & Awards pages.


Aurélien Marsais

Co-responsable du bureau de programmation
+41 22 365 44 57

Opening Scenes 2019 Awards


The IDFA Talent Award goes to the short film MARS, OMAN by Vanessa Del Campo Gatell. Congratulations! She will be invited to IDFA’s next edition to participate in a tailor made program within the IDFA Industry and training activities (travel & accommodation included).


The Tënk Award goes to the short film DEAD SEA DYING, by Katharina Rabl and Rebecca Zehr. The Award: Purchase of broadcasting rights for the film and editing residency for the filmmakers. Congratulations!


The Meta Cultural Foundation Award goes to the short film ANGOR PECTORIS, by Sophie Dascal. Congratulations! The filmmaker is invited to a creative film residency in Slon (Romania).