Short documentary film is an excellent format to convey urgent issues and diverse perspectives to a growing worldwide digital audience. It is also the most common format for young emerging filmmakers to develop their voice and craftmanship as well as to establish their marketability.

IF/Then program was conceptualized by Tribeca Film Institute to provide special mentorship to filmmakers from story-rich regions. It is a fund and also a distribution initiative – the first of its kind to support independent short-form storytelling in an effort to maximize revenues and garner the widest possible international audience for our films.


In 2020, IF/Then Southeast Asia have selected 19 project nominees which include 35 filmmakers from 5 Southeast Asian countries. Each nominee receives a four-day mentorship and an opportunity to pitch their projects in a two-day pitching forum attended by international industry professionals and experts. Due to COVID-19, all mentoring and pitching sessions are conducted online from 17th to 23rd June 2020.

Read more about IF/Then Southeast Asia 2020 on our page.


IF/Then Southeast Asia program began in 2018 in partnership with In-Docs. The program has awarded four films with completion funding and distribution support, along with one film which was fully commissioned by the major news network Al Jazeera, as part of its “Witness” Documentary series. The films supported has gone to numerous film festivals worldwide including Visions du Réel, Sheffield/Docs Fest and DMZ Docs. The films supported includes:

Diary of Cattle, the story of a 24-hour life cycle of a herd of cows that live and graze on a landfill site in Indonesia by David Darmadi dan Lidia Afrilita 

Sejauh Kumelangkah, a story about two visually impaired childhood friends, Andrea and Salsabila, teenage girls living with their blindness in two different places—USA and Indonesia who share the same idea for the future: to gain independence for a better life by Ucu Agustin

Bullet-Laced Dreams, a story about children of indigenous tribes in Mindanao fight for their right to education as the government militarize their schools to quell rebel conflicts by Cha Escala dan Kristoffer Brugada

The Songbirds of Aceh, which tells a story in one of the strictest Muslim states in the world, where an all female teenage Muslim choir tackles gender inequality and Islamic extremism using nothing more than their voices in song by Aminda Faradilla

To read more about IF/Then Southeast Asia 2018, access the catalog here.