Yes, we are in an unusual time.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world as we know it has changed.

One of the most resilient groups that will come out of these challenging times is the artists. We will create. We will problem solve. We will find purpose in all of this. We will forge a new path for a greater world.

It's with that understanding that we have decided to move forward by pivoting our ARTS x SDGS Festival online. We believe that we need a festival of this focus on social good, to boost morale, create community and document the historical narrative of this time through art.

The ARTS x SDGS Online Festival is an artist-led festival, bringing together members of the growing creative economy and influential UN/NGO actors to promote arts, creativity and storytelling to promote acceleration of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.)

A combination of creative arts programming, workshop facilitation and unique networking opportunities, the ARTS x SDGS Online Festival invests in the development of artists and storytellers who want to forge a career path or produce creative content around social good issues such as gender equality, climate change, sustainable production and consumption, health, education, peace and security and more.

We, therefore are opening up this Call for Submissions for a variety of creative content (documentary/narrative films, music, spoken word poetry, dance, visual arts) on the following SDGs:

GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
GOAL 13: Climate Action
GOAL 14: Life Below Water
GOAL 15: Life on Land
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships to Achieve the Goals

The ARTS x SDGS Online Festival will include showcasing of the most powerful, moving and informative content submitted. Creative workshops will include those focused on developing sustainable partnerships and securing contracted work with UN/NGO agencies, grant writing/fundraising, curating high-quality arts and storytelling into policy and programming events, and more.

The ARTS x SDGS Online Festival is a festival by and for artists. It is founded and curated by Create2030 Founder, Lisa Russell, MPH who is an Emmy-winning filmmaker with 15+ years producing films and creative projects for UN/NGO agencies. She has also been the curator for the Women Deliver Film Festival since 2010. The festival is co-founded by Chesney Snow. Chesney is an award-winning, New York-based theater artist, poet, songwriter, educator, life-long student, and one of NYC’s premiere human beatbox/vocal percussionists and a pioneering figure in American beatbox culture.

For the April 15-21, 2021, version of the festival, we will be focusing on SDG #17 Partnerships for the Goals in celebration of the UN declared International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.

Guest speakers and participating creative professionals will be announced on a rolling basis.

Join our webinar on January 26, 2020 for more information.

Every artist accepted to the ARTS x SDGS Festival will receive a VIP festival pass and a festival laurel for the 2021 ARTS x SDGS Festival.


* Artists from around the world are invited to submit their original work to the ARTS x SDGS Festival. Artwork of all genres relating to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will be considered.

* Submissions must be in English or with English subtitles.

* The production can take place at any time. A premiere status is not necessary.

* We welcome submissions via the FilmFreeway secure online screener system.

* More than one entry may be submitted. Each entry must be accompanied by an official entry form and entry fee.

* If your art is selected, then you will be asked to provide stills or clips; press materials; headshot and filmography of artist; b&w and/or color and video trailer (if available). Please do not send in press materials until asked to do so by the festival.

*Entry fees vary depending on time of submission and are non-refundable.

* DVDs and other submitted materials will not be returned. Please do not send original artwork, film prints, or other.

* All art entries selected for the Festival grant Create2030 the rights to use select footage, stills and/or titles and information from the film for promotional purposes upon approval by the artist.

* All artwork submitted must be free from any legal disputes and the artist must have cleared all rights for music and exhibition.

* We cannot offer any payment for screening your artwork but during the festival offer several skills-building workshops for participating artists.

Overall Rating
  • Great Gratitude to Lisa Russell. The ARTS x SDGS Festival screened an exceptional line-up of engaged films. I so appreciate that 'Kuno Sings' had the international premiere direct from Mombasa. Lisa curated an extraordinary multi-day event with artists/presenters, from around the world, who are leaders in both their art form and addressing a wide spectrum of global concerns in innovative, impactful, and creative ways. All the best for 2021 - United Nations Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. Go Create2030 and the Arts Envoy! Sincerely, Odette Laramee

    January 2021
  • I feel very honored to participate in this festival. Many thanks to Lisa, for all her work and effort. Long live the Festival.

    November 2020
  • Greg Karnilaw

    I was honored to be chosen to participate in the ARTS x SDGS Festival. As the creator of a socially conscious work, dealing with SDGS, I couldn’t have conceived of a better festival to share my work. The festival was also a amazing learning experience. Lisa Russell, put together a amazing week of guest speakers and films from creators, in the SDGS sphere. The festival was imbued with positive energy, and a sense of community. I highly recommend it.
    Thanks Lisa!

    November 2020
  • Ji ber ku we kurte filmè min helbijart ez gelek sipasiya we dikim.

    November 2020
  • Antoine Therrien Chevalier

    I'm happy to have submitted my film and to have been part of your festival. your festival is awesome despite the fact that is online. I will send you my next works at your festival with pleasure.

    September 2020