Films have the unique ability to transcend cultural and linguistic barriers. They can easily convey and simplify complex socio-political issues and cultural perspectives to diverse audiences around the world. In light of films unique nature, the Arab Film House invites amateur filmmakers in the United States and globally to submit short films that they believe convey the stories representing their culture, heritage, and creativity.

The Arab Film House is an initiative of the Qatar America Institute for Culture (QAIC), in partnership with the Doha Film Institute. QAIC’s overarching mission is to create, curate, and execute programming that amplifies the prominence of art & culture from America, Qatar, and the Arab & Islamic worlds. As part of that mission, the Arab Film House acts as an integral component to achieving that mission.

This competition is for films made by individuals or groups for no commercial gain

First Prize: $1000

Second Prize: $750

Third Prize: $500

Honorable Mention: Arab Film House Award & Digital Promotion of Film Maker


1. Entries for the Arab Film House Short Film Festival are open to anyone ages 18+.

2. This competition is for films made by individuals or groups for no commercial gain.

3. Short Film submissions can be based on any subject or concept. Submissions relevant to QAIC’s overarching mission will be preferred but all submissions will receive equal treatment.

4. The short film can be in any language, but all films must include sub-titles in English.

5. The total runtime of submissions, including opening & closing credits, is limited to a minimum length of 3 minutes and a maximum length of 10 minutes.

6. All content used in the short film must be either owned or licensed. If any copyrighted material is used in the film, the participant must have written permission and be ready to make it available upon request.

7. The Last Date for Submissions is September 30th, 2022.

8. Short films must be uploaded to QAIC’s FilmFreeWay account and must be made available for download to contest administrators. YouTube & Vimeo links are not accepted.

9. Short Films produced & completed after January 1st, 2021 are eligible for the contest.

10. There is no entry fee associated with this contest.

11. Multiple entries from the same participant are accepted, but each film must be accompanied by a separate entrance form through FilmFreeWay.

12. The Qatar America Institute for Culture reserves the rights to copy or use the material submitted by the participants in any form, online or offline, for the festival’s promotional and archival purposes.

(Note: participants’ entries will never be shared with anyone or uploaded online without the explicit written permission of filmmaker.)

13. The short films that are selected for final screening will not be allowed to withdraw under any circumstances until the festival is over.

14. Judges’ decision will be final and binding.

15. Submissions must be the original work of the applicants. If a film or series is based upon another person’s life or other underlying work, applicant(s) must secure necessary rights. QAIC nor its judges will investigate or attest to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you represent that you have secured all necessary rights.

16. Applicants are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions for third-party materials included in their films, including but not limited to music, trademarks, logos, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights. QAIC expressly disclaims all liability or responsibility for any violations of the foregoing.


1. QAIC reserves the right to change / modify / alter any rule or its part or event of this competition anytime.

2. QAIC has no obligation to disclose any of the following information:

i) identities of screeners or judges;
ii) notes, feedback, or information relating to the submitted project;
iii) and/or details regarding the submission review or selection process.

3. QAIC explicitly disclaims any liability or responsibility for any comments, notes, or opinions expressed about a submission, whether by QAIC or by its volunteers.

4. Winners will be announced on October 30, 2022. The judges’ decision is final. Judges reserve the right not to grant an award.

5. Winners receiving cash prizes are solely responsible for payment of all applicable local, state, and federal taxes.


All submissions will be initially reviewed by QAIC’s pre-screening officials. Following the submission deadline in September, the judging committee will be provided a list of semi-finalists during the second week of October. Judges will have the ability to take into consideration any comments provided by the pre-screeners but retain the right to view each and every submission. Judging committee will decide the winners of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prize. All honorable mentions will be included in the program line-up and compose the bulk of content of festival programming.

Following the judging committee’s decisions, a list of finalists will be determined by the third week of October 2022. QAIC’s executive director will send notice to participants informing them of their acceptance to the festival and extending an invitation to attend their films screening at the Arab Film House theater at QAIC’s headquarters in Washington, DC via e-mail. Regular correspondence will be conducted to inform all Filmmakers of their progress.