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Film Submission 2019 has ended

Thanks a lot for all your submissions! Our Call for Films for ethnocineca 2019 has ended on December 1st 2018!




Film Submission 2019

Regulations & Submission Form for

13th ETHNOCINECA - International Documentary Film Festival Vienna 

May 23rd - 29th 2019, VOTIV KINO Vienna


Rules & Regulations

Please read the following Rules & Regulations for the 2019 ETHNOCINECA carefully before completing the online entry form (link at the bottom of this page). By signing this form you confirm that you have read and understood the Rules & Regulations and that you fully agree to the conditions of entry. Questions regarding the Rules & Regulations and/or film submission should be directed to programm(at) You find the link to the entry form at the bottom of this page.


1. General Information

From the 23rd to 29th of May 2019, ETHNOCINECA celebrates its 13th edition in Vienna's Votiv Kino and Kino De France. As Austria’s largest film festival dedicated exclusively to documentary and ethnographic films, ETHNOCINECA is provides insight into diverse realities of everyday human life. With our Call for Films we are looking for films of any length and approach that make accessible the diversity, uniqueness, as well as the commonalities of social and cultural life worldwide, while narrating this view critically and innovatively.

ETHNOCINECA has  five competition sections, to which films may be submitted to. Additionally, all submissions will be considered for the general programme, in which films run out of competition.


2. Competition Sections

All submitted films are automatically in the selection process for the main program. For each film it is mandatory to specify in the online entry form, to which of the five competitions (EVA, IDA, ADA, ISA, ESSA) one wants to apply for. Please make sure that the film meets the respective competition criteria (multiple choices are not accepted). 

2.1 Overview of Competitions 

EVA – Excellence in Visual Anthropology Award

This competition reflects the diversity of ethnographic film and honors outstanding achievements and innovative works that contribute to a progressive understanding of Visual Anthropology. Films, which have been made within academic research as well as independently produced films will be accepted. Traditional and experimental methods and approaches are equally welcome, as long as they correspond to anthropological principles in perspective and style. Prize money: EUR 1.000.-

•   Innovative films in the field of Visual Anthropology
•   Length: min. 45 minutes

IDA - International Documentary Award 

IDA celebrates documentary film as a dynamic art form and honours its rich diversity: here the format has no limits and submissions from classic to animated documentary formats are equally welcome. This competition category is dedicated to outstanding works that go beyond the factual communication of content and stimulate a reflexive and innovative analysis of human lifeworlds and societies. Films from any region and on any subject are welcome, as long as people are at the center of their focus. 

Prize money: EUR 1.000.- 

•   International documentaries, traditional to experimental
•   Length: min. 45 minutes

ADA – Austrian Documentary Award

To promote Austrian Documentaries an international jury will select the best Austrian documentary film. Films with a minimum length of 45 minutes can be submitted for this either if they are produced by an Austrian production company or if the director lives and/or works in Austria. 

Prize money: EUR 1.000.- 

•   Films by Austrian production companies or by directors with residence in Austria
•   Length: min. 45 minutes

ISA – International Shorts Award

The International Shorts Award (ISA) pays well-deserved attention to the genre of short films within the festival program. Nominated documentaries stand out due to their range of subjects and show the dynamics and expressive opportunities of the short film format. Submissions to this category cannot be longer than 45 minutes. Apart from this formal requirement, there are no limits to their audio-visual expression. The audience will elect the winning film of this competition. 

Prize money: EUR 500.-

•   International short documentaries, traditional to experimental
•   Length: max. 45 minutes

ESSA – Ethnocineca Student Shorts Award

Young talents – Big cinema! With ESSA, ETHNOCINECA pays attention to the multifaceted inspiration of young documentary filmmaking. The award not only presents an international platform for young filmmakers but allows the participants to discuss their works with more established filmmakers and a large festival audience. Student works and first works from the documentary field and ethnographic filmmaking with a maximum length of 30 minutes can enter this competition. ESSA is an audience award. 

Prize money: EUR 500.- 

•   Student works and first works
•   Length: max. 30 minutes


2.2 Program Focus: AT RISK

For the festival edition of 2019 we especially invite filmmakers to submit films for this year's program focus AT RISK. This focus deals with all the values that are currently being discussed in a highly polarized manner in media and the political discourse: human rights, democratic political understanding, women's rights, workers' rights, freedom of speech and personal autonomy with regard to gender, origin, religion, culture, habitat, sexual orientation and political attitude. It deals with all those big issues that seem to be at risk in times of political upheaval on the societal level as well as in the private sphere, since from today's perspective future developments can not be clearly predicted.

We want to reflect in particular on the role of filmmakers and their protagonists. Directors, their teams, as well as their protagonists, often endanger themselves – politically as well as physically – and risk a lot in order to make their stories visible and accessible for larger audiences. 

For our program in 2019, we are looking for films that remind us of the risks and the immense personal engagement of individuals in the production of documentary films. With the upcoming film program and an the numerous side-event, we want to highlight this aspect of documentary filmmaking and channel the audience’s attention to this often undervalued element of production.

Documentary film can show profound alternative perspectives on these current questions and thus make their contribution. Once again, ETHNOCINECA understands itself as a discourse platform for a lively and socially relevant filmmaking.


2.3. Information on the Selection of Films and Prize Money

The curators of ETHNOCINECA carry out the selection of films for the festival programme and their final assignment to the competition sections. It is therefore possible that the selected films run in a competition other than the one selected during submission. The organisers reserve the right to change the type and number of the listed competition sections. The overall amount of € 4.000.- will be awarded to all competition sections. All mentioned prizes are subject to change. An external jury decides on the winning films in each competition section and winners will be announced during the Award Ceremony and  via email. Films that have already been screened in the program of ETHNOCINECA cannot be taken into consideration for the 2019 program.


3. General Submission Criteria & Film Entry

Films must have been completed on or after Jan 1, 2017. If submitting for a competition, the film must meet the stated criteria. All films will be shown in the original version with English subtitles. Thus only entries with English subtitles will be taken into consideration for the programme selection. The entry form must be fully completed and all the requested documents must be submitted. One entry form must be filled out for each film. Applications will only be accepted if all required information is submitted by December 1, 2018.

Overview of General Submission Criteria:

•   Submission Deadline: Dec. 1, 2018
•   Year of production: 2017 or more recent
•   Films must not have been broadcasted on the internet or on TV.
•   Original version with English subtitles
•   Fully completed submission form
•   A preview copy


4. Preview Copy

Preview copies can be submitted via download link (no date limitation!) or online screener (e.g. vimeo). In exceptional cases we offer an upload to our FTP server or you can send us a DVD/Blu-ray. In that case please contact us via e-mail: programm(at)


5. Legal Information

The applicant warrants that s/he is authorised to allow the Festival the use of the film, as well as that its use during the festival does not violate rights of third parties (e.g. copyrights, performance, personal rights). It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to secure authorisation for all copyrighted material that may be used in the film. ETHNOCINECA cannot be held responsible from any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses, which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, or screening of any film.

The filmmaker agrees that the organisers can use clips or trailers of her/his work as well as any additional materials, which have been submitted to our organisation for advertising purposes for the film as well as for the festival.

The online entry form must state the form of provision of the film. Costs of sending screening copies to the festival are at the expense of the sender. Submitted viewing material cannot be returned. ETHNOCIENCA will not incur any shipping fees of the screening copies.

IMPORTANT! ETHNOCINECA does not pay screening fees. The applicant may not withdraw her/his entry from the Festival.