West Lake International Documentary Festival

West Lake International Documentary Festival(IDF)is a high quality platform for the arts and the humanities that promotes documentaries through screenings, competitions, pitchings, forums and workshops. The festival is held at the China Academy of Art, by the side of the West Lake in Hangzhou every year during the "golden" autumn season.


IDF stands for I Documentary Fact and aims to explore the relationship between documentary creation subjects, objects and methods. The festival is centered on "discovering documentary subjects, designing experiment s for youth, holding high the will of the people, and reshaping the poetry of oriental culture". Furthermore, IDF promotes the values associated with honest observation and humanitarian responsibility. IDF encourages reflection on human existence, especially in the natural world, through the lenses of documentaries. Through this form of record we can also think about the inheritance of culture through changing times, about the artistic expression of oriental poetry in a pluralistic society, and about initiating the return of documentary to its authentic core, returning us to the positive values of humanistic care.


The 1st IDF was successfully held at China Academy of Art in Hangzhou in April 2017 with the theme of Things & Sentiment, which attracted 26 outstanding documentaries from 8 countries on 3 continents and more than 300 domestic and international documentary professionals and guests. The 2nd West Lake International Documentary Festival (IDF2018), with the theme of Epoch & Scope, attracted 453 documentaries from 51 countries on 6 continents and nearly 400 documentary professionals and more than 5000 audiences. The 3rd West Lake International Documentary Festival (IDF2019), with the theme of Something·Somewhere, attracted 632 documentaries from 6 continents, 61 countries and regions. It has seen an unprecedented level of public participation with over 10000 audiences, including general public, industry representatives and special guests participated in various events. The 4th West Lake International Documentary Festival(IDF2020), with the theme of Life, Lives, attracted 472 documentaries from 72 countries and regions on 7 continents. IDF arranged 22 online and physical Q&As during this special time. More than 5000 audiences gathered in Hangzhou for the documentaries. West Lake International Documentary Festival is becoming one of the most academic, professional and international documentary festivals in China, presenting a good Chinese brand and reputation effect in the world.


The 5th West Lake International Documentary Festival (IDF2021) will be held from 22nd to 25th Oct. 2021, in Hangzhou, China. IDF2021 consists of  IDF Competition, IDF Pitching, Glory of Documentary Screening Section, IDF Forum and IDF Academy, which will invite documentary filmmakers, production companies, distribution companies, scholars and media from home and abroad to gather by the West Lake, Hangzhou to share the glory of documentary.


Opening Ceremony

Opening Show

Opening Film

West Lake Night Party

IDF Forum

This section consists of four sessions: Seminar, Academic Forum, Industrial Summit and Master Classes.

IDF Competition

This section conducts an open call for submission and recommendation by international film selection consultants. After evaluation by academic committee, 20 documentaries will be selected for IDF Competition to compete for grand prizes including feature-length documentaries, short documentaries and documentary series.

IDF Academy

This section is aimed to cultivate the emerging documentary talents through master classes, tutorials and one-on-one sessions with the advisers.

IDF Pitching

This section looks to support documentaries in the production or post-production stage, including feature-length documentary and documentary series.

Glory of Documentary

This section focuses on the screening of outstanding international documentaries and the post-screening Q&A with the director.

Closing Ceremony

Award Ceremony

West Lake Night Party