AFO is currently one of the most important European festivals in the area of science film. It aims to present science as an attractive, dynamic and diverse sector through films charting natural, humanities and social science disciplines. Each year, hundreds of documentary films and television programs enroll in the competition sections of the festival. Traditionally, renowned stations such as BBC, Discovery Channel or National Geographic submit their films. In past years, the festival introduced for example Albert Barillé, the creator of the legendary cycle series Once Upon a Time... Life; Jeff Lieberman, host of Time Warp, an American popular show; Martha Holmes, exclusive producer of the BBC series Life; a world-renowned biologist Steve Jones; renowned populariser of science and medicine, Lord Robert Winston, popular British biologist and BBC associate Nigel Marven, executive producer of CBC series The Nature of Things Sue Dando. The festival takes place in April in Olomouc. It originated in 1966.
Science film is a unique category of documentary film, an important field of cinema, that represents a substantial part of contemporary television broadcasting. AFO´s active programming seeks significant works in Czech and world science cinema, and present them to general as well as academic public. It focuses not only on current productions, but reviews, and revives the history of the genre in special program sections. Each year, a dominant topic brings together films and guests from all over the world, presenting science as a thrilling adventure.
What is a science documentary film for AFO? Science documentary films present the results of systematic observation and exploration of the world in us and around us. Films focused on scientists as professionals or personalities are also considered as science documentary films. The main theme of the film may also become science itself as an institution and a firm part of our society, including its ethical boundaries, methods and procedures.
*** INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION ***
- films produced outside the Czech Republic
2023 Constant (United Kingdom, Germany; dir. Sasha Litvintseva, Beny Wagner)
2022 Fathom (USA, dir. Drew Xanthopoulos)
2021 The Last Artifact (USA, dir. Jamie Jacobsen, Ed Watkins)
2020 The Serengeti Rules (United Kingdom, dir. Nicolas Brown)
2019 The Joy of Winning (United Kingdom, dir. Catherine Gale)
2018 The Hole: Apocalypse Avoided (United Kingdom, dir. Jamie Lochhead)
2017 Lake Vostok (Russia, r. Ekaterina Eremenko)
2016 La Glace et le Ciel (France, dir. Luc Jacquet)
2015 The Joy of Logic (United Kingdom, dir. Catherine Gale)
2014 More Than Honey (Switzerland/Germany/Austria, dir. Markus Imhoof)
2013 The Grammar of Happiness (Australia, dir. Michael O'Neill, Randall Wood)
*** CZECH & SLOVAK COMPETITION ***
- films produced in the Czech Republic and/or Slovakia
2023 Invisible Landscapes (dir. Ivo Bystřičan)
2022 Industria: Manufacturing War (dir. Ivo Bystřičan)
2021 A Day with Particles (dir. Vojtěch Pleskot, Martin Rybář, Daniel Scheirich)
2020 Joachim Barrande – The Lost Seas (dir. Pavel Jirasek)
2019 Magion (dir. Marek Janac)
2018 llllllIIIIl (dir. Petr Salaba)
2017 One Step Towards the Absolute: The Hunt for Parkinson's (dir. Jiri Ovecka)
2016 Chronicle of Kings (dir. Roman Vavra)
2015 Suppressed Letters (dir. Tomas Kudrna)
2014 Whose Is My Child? (dir. Marek Duda, Radim Prochazka)
2013 In Focus (dir. Kamila Zlatuskova)
*** SHORT FILM COMPETITION ***
- films produced outside the Czech Republic with a maximum running time of 30 minutes
2023 Haulout (United Kingdom, dir. Evgenia Arbugaeva, Maxim Arbugaev)
2022 The Problem of the Hydra (Finland, dir. Maija Tammi)
2021 Hysterical Girl (USA, dir. Kate Novack)
2020 A Rare Breed (Australia, dir. Thomas José Field)
2019 Analog Astronaut (Germany, dir. Felix Klee and Linda-Schiwa Klinkhammer)
2018 Desolation Follows (United Kingdom, dir. Burnham Arlidge)
2017 Below 0° (Costa Rica, dir. Itai Hagage, Jonathan Gomez)
2016 When AIDS Was Funny (USA, dir. Scott Calonico)
2015 Supercomputers (Spain, dir. Fernando Cucchietti)
2014 Mesiaciky (Slovakia, dir. Diana Fabianova)
The 59th issue of Academia Film Olomouc, International Festival of Science Documentary Films, will take place from the 23rd of April to the 28th of April, 2024 in Olomouc, Czech Republic. The festival is organized by the Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic.
1.1. The festival accepts science films from all over the world, and of any length. The film can be submitted only by the holder of audiovisual fixation rights to the film in terms of § 80 of the Act No. 121/2000 Coll. on Copyright, Rights Related to Copyright and on the Amendment of Certain Laws (Copyright Act), as amended, required for festival presentation (producer, distributor, sales, or director).
1.2. In case of series, one episode or the whole series can be submitted. The festival reserves a right to select one episode of the submitted series for the competition
1.3. Submitted films/series must be produced after the 1st of January, 2022, and before the 1st of February, 2024.
1.4. The regular deadline for submission is the 1st of December, 2023.
1.5. Films can be submitted through AFO FilmFreeway Profile: https://filmfreeway.com/AFO
1.6. By submitting the film, the applicant gives consent to a possible screening of the film in the competition held within AFO59, 2024.
1.7. A screener copy of the film and English subtitles or a dialogue list in English must be received by 31st of December, 2023.
To protect our environment we accept screeners to be sent via data storages with the possibility to download the screener (e.g. We Transfer; Vimeo; copy must be available for download at least 14 days and eventual password must be attached).
1.8. The submitted film must be either in English or have English subtitles.
1.9. Due to a large number of submissions, screener media will not be returned. By submitting the film in the competition held within Academia Film Olomouc, the applicant transfers free of charge the ownership of to the tangible medium containing the screener copy of the film to the organizers.
2. COMPETITION SELECTION PROCEDURE
2.1. From all submitted films, the program board of the Festival selects films for the International Competition (films produced outside the Czech Republic), for the Czech & Slovak Competition (films produced in the Czech Republic or Slovakia), and for the Short Film Competition (films produced outside the Czech Republic with a maximum running time of 30 minutes).
2.2. Applicants of films selected for the competitions will be notified by email before the 15th of February, 2024. If no notification has been received by that date, this means that the film has not been selected for any competition.
2.3. Following the selection, the applicant will be asked to supply a screening copy of the film, English subtitles and/or a dialogue list in English, biography, and filmography of the director, and promotional materials (at least 2 stills from the film in the minimal resolution of 300DPI, a trailer, possibly a press book, posters, etc.).
2.4. The Festival must receive the screening copy prior to the 25th of February, 2024.
To protect our environment we accept screening copies to be uploaded on our pCloud or sent via data storages with the possibility to download the file (e.g. WeTransfer; Vimeo; the copy must be available for download at least 14 days).
2.5. The Festival reserves the right to use segments of selected films up to 3 minutes for promotional purposes, incl. production of festival promo video, promotion in partner media and at the website address www.afo.cz.
3. FESTIVAL SCREENING
3.1. Selected films will be publicly screened during the festival, all the screenings are free. The winners of the statutory categories will be selected by four juries (The International jury, The Czech&Slovak jury, The Student jury, and The Short Film Competition jury). The AFO festival also gives the AFO Audience Award, Lifelong Contribution to the Popularization of Science Award, and can grant other non-statutory awards.
3.2. By submitting the film, the applicant agrees with two, in case of the winning films, three, screenings free of charge, at the festival or its official events, and undertakes that if the film is selected by the organizer to any of the above-mentioned competitions the applicant will submit the organizers on the basis of their call a written statutory declaration in which the applicant (producer, distributor or director) declares the ownership of the right to audiovisual fixation rights to the film in terms of § 80 of the Copyright Act, and that submission of the film was made by a person authorized to act on behalf of the applicant. In case this called for the statutory declaration is not provided by the applicant, the film submitted by the applicant will be excluded from the competition.
3.3. In case a film that has not been selected for competition, displays exceptional qualities, the program board may decide upon its screening in the non-competitive program of the festival. In this case, the production/distribution company will be notified and asked for permission.
4. DATA PROTECTION
By submitting a film, you accept our data protection policy in accordance with the GDPR.
By submitting a film the applicant agrees with all the above-mentioned regulations.