The International Documentary Challenge (IDC) is a timed filmmaking competition developed by Doug Whyte of KDHX Community Media, in cooperation with the creators of the 48 Hour Film Project and the National Film Challenge. It is sponsored by Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival, the International Documentary Association, SILVERDOCS AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, the Documentary Organisation of Canada and Film Action Oregon.

Replica Audemars Piguet

The Premise Filmmaking teams have just five days to make a short documentary (4-7 mins). All creativity – research, writing, shooting, editing and adding a musical soundtrack – must occur beginning Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8 AM and ending Monday, March 10, 2008. On Thursday, to make things interesting, each team is given the choice of 2 genres for its film, be it Biography, 1st Person, Historical, etc. In addition, all filmmakers will be given a broad theme (such as “Freedom”) that must be addressed at some point in their film. To ensure the films were made within the required time frame, each team must prove the date the film was made by adding a time element to the film or credits (such as the main subject holding a newspaper.) Then the film must be sent to IDC Headquarters with a postmark no later than Monday. The top 12 films (determined by a panel of judges) will screen at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival in Toronto where the Grand Prize Winner will be announced. After the premiere, their will be additional theatrical screenings in major cities, possible television exposure and eventually the top films will be available for viewing and voting on

Every documentary film completed within the IDC rules, and within the competition period, will be eligible for prizes and judging.


The genres are assigned to give participating filmmakers a direction in which to take their film. This year filmmakers will be given 2 genres that they can choose from. Some genres are content related and some are form related. You can mix genres as long as it is obvious to a judge that one of your assigned genres is the predominate one. The documentary genres that will be randomly assigned are:


  • Told from the point of view of the Director – either through off camera narration or an on-camera presence.


  • Focuses on stories of past events and/or people.


  • Focuses in some way on music and/or musicians.


  • Focuses on a social and/or political issue.


  • The application of innovative techniques to non-fiction material – experimenting with new ideas, forms, techniques and expressions. An exploration of how the camera can emulate and/or enhance visual and audio perception.


  • Focuses on events and/or people involved in sporting activities (an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition.)


  • Focuses on an aspect of the natural physical world, including animals, plants, landscapes, etc.


  • A full account of the facts of the life of a particular person, or closely related group of people (Biography) or an exploration of a single character’s personality and current life situation (Chracter Study).


  • Focuses in some way on art and/or artists.

For more information, e-mail the Producer of the International Documentary Challenge at [email protected].