1st Innovative short film festival

Women’s Empowerment – Live the change, change lives (WE – LCCL) is an international campaign to empower women through creative works. In particular, the campaign advocates for new creative approaches to addressing women’s empowerment. We invite filmmakers from around the world who want to work for gender equality to participate in our project, a campaign that will include an art exhibition, a book project and a matchmaking workshop. The innovative short film competition portion of the WE-LCCL [featuring films in three categories of short films, documentary and a special category of short films with run times of 90 seconds or less] will begin its activity in 2023 in Dortmund. We invite your participation. 

A critical aspect of promoting gender equality in all areas of societal development is empowering women, focusing on identifying and redressing power imbalances and giving women more autonomy to shape their own lives. Gender equality and women’s empowerment means that access to opportunities and changes in life are neither dependent on nor limited by gender. To move towards the requisite gender equality in all areas of societal development, from human rights, peace and security, to economic growth, education and sustainability, women must be empowered. When women (accounting for half of the global population) are empowered, everyone benefits.

Our goal is to address women’s empowerment with art and culture makers from different perspectives. This is to contribute to human rights, peace and security, economic growth, poverty reduction, education, climate change and sustainability. When women are empowered, everyone benefits. 

The theme of the film competition is women’s self-determination, which can lead to a big change in the lives of many women. From this contest, we hope to procure many examples of women’s self-determination, which has led to great change in women’s lives. This can be presented as examples of the advancement of women. Our platform will serve as an exchange platform for those interested in giving the successful changes in the lives of others an exemplary character, stories women from around the world can adapt for their own lives and cultures. 

The competition is concerned about the fact that in most film competitions, most of the directors are men. As we are committed to gender equality, we hope that fully half of the directors in our competition will be women.  

We want to fight more for the equality of women. Equality does not mean that men are excluded. But since the number of men is always more than women, we want to give women the chance to stand in equal distribution to men.

Our competition is a meeting point for filmmakers, a source of inspiration and new knowledge for experts, students and film lovers.

1.The competition rules

The competition consists of three categories: 

1.1. Short films (between 1 and 35 minutes)

The short films should not be longer than 35 minutes. They may fall into subcategories such as narrative films, animated films, experimental films or children’s films, but all must address the theme, Women’s Empowerment – Live the change, change lives!

  • Narrative films
  • Animated films
  • Experimental films
  • Children’s films

1.2. Documentaries (no longer than 45 minutes)

The documentary category should be no longer than 45 minutes. The topic must be Women’s Empowerment – Live the change, change lives!

1.3. 90-second films (must not be longer than 90 seconds)

Every 90 seconds, a woman is the victim of a sexual assault. In that same minute and a half, another woman is the victim of domestic violence by a current or former partner. Every sixteen hours, one of these intimate partners shoots and kills a woman. Nearly two in ten women are stalked, and one in sixteen women is raped during her first sexual experience. Despite these staggering statistics, conducted by Oxford University in 2022, we are all well practiced at viewing such acts as everyone else’s problem. But the violence against women is intertwined with the most discussed and debated issues of our time: access to health care and education, immigration, gun policy, economic security, and criminal justice reform, issues that affect all of us, almost every day. To make progress on these and other issues, we must address violence against women. 

But the acts of violence can be communicated. We developed the 90-second film format to gather in this short amount of time the most important messages, solutions, and proposals to empower women. 

With our 90-second film contest, we want to explore this “virtual world” without exclusion and without fear, but with creativity and understanding. As long as it addresses women’s empowerment for change, this film can be: 

  • a message
  • a solution
  • a proposal 

2. Competition conditions

    • Productions from all over the world 
    • In the categories: short films, documentaries and 90-second films (narrative films, animated films, experimental films, documentaries and children’s films). 
    • All genres accepted
    • Not produced prior to 2021 
    • Must not have been released in cinemas yet 
    • Must not have been published on the Internet
    • Short films may be between 2 to 35 minutes. 
    • Documentaries must not be longer than 45 minutes
    • 90-second films must not be longer than 90 seconds.

The competition is determined to come close to or achieve a 50/50 balance between male and female directors.

3. Films are admitted in the following screening formats:

Approved as screening format is exclusively:

  • DCI compliant 2K DCP (24 or 25 fps, InterOp or SMPTE). 
  • Pro-Res and H264 file
  • Audio is possible up to 5.1 sound system.

4. Submission details

4.1. There is no submission fee. Submission implies full acceptance of the regulations. By submitting, you agree to the selection of your film for the competition. Film submission is online only and only until June 30th, 2023. 

You can submit your films using the platform Filmfreeway.com or by the e-mail kurzfilm@thinkup-editions.com, writing the link of the film together with any information about the title.

4.2. Subtitles

English language versions or original versions with English subtitles are preferred. 

  • If the original language is English, then no subtitles are necessary.
  • If the original language is other than English, English subtitles are required. 

5. Jury and Award: 

The pre-selection and decision are as follows:

  • The Pre-selection will be made by our creative director. 
  • The expert jury consists of three people and decides the winner of each category

6. Selection

You will receive notification by March 31, 2024 (Extended) at the latest whether your entry has been included in the festival program. In this case, you must make sure that the film copies/DCP film files intended for screening will arrive at our office in Dortmund by June 30th, 2023.

Important Note:
Due to organizational and thematic reasons, we’re extending the notification and festival dates to carefully review all submitted movies.

Notification Date: March 31, 2024
Festival Date: between April to June 2024

Thank you for your understanding and support!

7. Rights of use

The films selected for the competition program will be shown in several public screenings during the event. No film may be withdrawn from the competition program after its participation has been made public. The rules and program could be changed if there won’t be enough valid shorts available.

The Short Film Competition receives the right to appropriate free use and reproduction of the works for the purposes of Short Film Competition and Competition promotion – including in print, television and digital media. The Short Film Competition receives the right to use excerpts from the film free of charge as part of the reporting and promotion of the festival, to pass them on to reporting media (television, radio, Internet) for non-commercial use and to place them online on its website. In doing so, 15% of the total running time of the film may not be exceeded. 

The Short Film Competition reserves the right to use and archive selected films for internal purposes and non-commercial, non-public educational work. Commercial use of the archived films by the Short Film Competition is excluded.

8. Transport of copies

The transport costs for the screening copies to the festival in Dortmund will be borne by the participant. The submitted works will not be returned. Shipments from abroad must be accompanied by a pro forma invoice. Since there is no value of goods in the actual sense (the goods are not sold, no profit is made), an amount as low as possible should be used as the value of goods in order to keep any customs duties as low as possible.

Shipments containing screening copies must be marked “NO COMMERCIAL VALUE, FOR CULTURAL/ COMPETITION PURPOSES ONLY”.

Submit Here