IDF Competition

IDF Competition is the main section of West Lake International Documentary Festival. Its aim is to highlight outstanding documentary filmmakers, all the while encouraging documentary filmmakers to be curious and persistent on their journey of creation. The festival conducts an open call for submission and the recommendation by international film selection consultants. The submission opens to feature-length documentaries (60 minutes and above), short documentaries (less than 60 minutes) and documentary series (2 episodes or more, or associated series) completed after 1st January, 2020.


The competition begins with the selection committee conducting the first round of evaluation of works from all over the world. Afterwards, the professional judges invited by the IDF Academic Committee conduct a re-evaluation and then vote, selecting outstanding documentaries to be nominated in IDF Competition. The jury of the IDF Competition is formed by international and Chinese scholars, directors and producers, all invited by the IDF Academic Committee. The finalists compete for a grand prize of 750,000 RMB.


* for more details please refer to the announcement of open call for entries of IDF Competition of the 5th West Lake International Documentary Festival

2020  IDF Best Documentary of the Year
  • Country/Area of ProductionSweden
  • Language of DialogueSpanish,Swedish
  • Runtime104 min
  • DirectorTorbiörnsson
  • Type of WorkFeature-Length Documentary
  • ProducerStina Gardell
Introduction: For forty years, director Peter Torbjörnsson has been filming life in the village of San Fernando/Nicaragua. What began as a portrait of a village became the story of Ninosca, a woman who broke from her abusive husband and set off into the world with the dream of a better life in Europe and in search of a way to support her family. Yet, h…
2020  D20 Best Documentary Series
My Legacy
  • Country/Area of ProductionChina
  • Language of DialogueChinese
  • Runtime45 min
  • DirectorTeam of My Legacy
  • Type of WorkDocumentary Series(8 Episodes)
  • ProducerZHU lingqing,LIN Jingjing,WANG yingtong
Introduction: "My legacy" is a series of character documentaries produced by Tencent News. The program invites ethnic Chinese representatives in different fields——Yuan Longping, Shu Qi, Chen Qigang, Kris Wu, Zhang Xiaogang, Deng Yaping, Wang Jingchun, Zhang Weili, to conduct long-term documentary shooting, trying its best to be close to their daily liv…
2020  D20 Best Feature-Length Documentary
Love Child
  • Country/Area of ProductionDenmark
  • Language of DialogueFarsi, Azerbaijani, Turkish, English
  • Runtime110 min
  • DirectorEva Mulvad
  • Type of WorkFeature-Length Documentary
  • ProducerSigrid Jonsson Dyekjær
Introduction: LOVE CHILD offers a poignant portrait of Leila and Sahand, an Iranian couple who, outlawed for their love, flee the country with their four-year-old son, Mani. In Tehran, they committed the crime of having a secret affair while being married to other people and were forbidden to get divorced. Neither could they acknowledge that Mani was a…
2020  D20 Filmmaker of the Year
The Whale from Lorino
  • Country/Area of ProductionPoland
  • Language of DialogueRussian
  • Runtime59 min
  • DirectorMaciej Cuske
  • Type of WorkShort Documentary
  • ProducerMikolaj Pokromski
Introduction: The Whale From Lorino is a film about the descendants of the oldest of Siberian tribes on the far away land of Chukotka. For them, the yearly hunt for the endangered whale is not only a tradition, but a necessity for surviving winter in a fragile place devastated by Soviet influence. The clash of two disappearing worlds; Chukchis civilisa…
2020  Special Mention
Babenco - Tell Me When I Die
  • Country/Area of ProductionBrazil
  • Language of DialogueEnglish, Italian
  • Runtime75 min
  • DirectorBárbara Paz
  • Type of WorkFeature-Length Documentary
  • ProducerBárbara Paz
Introduction: “I have already lived my death and now all that is left is to make a film about it.” So said the filmmaker Hector Babenco to Bárbara Paz when he realized he did not have much time left. She accepted the challenge to fulfill the last wish of her late partner: to be the main protagonist in his own death. In this tender immersion into the li…