In total, IDFA - International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam programmes some 200 documentaries, divided among more than ten festival programmes. The festival has three competition programmes:
1. Joris Ivens Competition (films and videos longer than 60 minutes)
2. Silver Wolf Competition (films and videos up to and including 60 minutes)
3. First Appearance (first or second documentaries and graduation projects from film schools)
Apart from these competitions, IDFA presents five regular programme sections, recurring annually, complemented by special sections. These special programmes focus on specific countries, directors and/or themes.
During IDFA, Docs for Sale takes place; a market place where sellers offer creative documentaries to buyers.