Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival is an annual thematic Film Festival that takes place in a different Balkan city each year. It celebrates Balkan diversity and engages audience and creators to reflect on pressing contemporary issues through the medium of short film. The festival is a creative cultural space with a competition programme built around a different theme each year, curated screening programmes, cultural events like photo exhibitions, visual art events, master classes and workshops, performances and networking events.

This year we delve into the theme ‘human traces’. Pondering upon our need to re-articulate the word 'beauty', we encounter the footprints that we, humans, have been imprinting on earth through our everyday practices. This realisation exposes a fundamental misconception regarding our relationship with the environment and living beings. What we consider beneficial for ‘our-selves’ does not necessarily hold true for the delicate ecosystems we inhabit. What is ‘beauty’ in the era of the Anthropocene?

The 15th edition of the Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival will take place in September, on the island of Spetses, in Greece. Through a selection of short films, the festival becomes a space to present new narratives and experiences on the notion of place - ‘topos’ and the climate crisis within the context of human activity. Thus, the 15th BBB SFF invites us to collectively re-imagine our understanding of 'beauty', and how we might create a more enriched, diverse, and inclusive society.

Eligible short film submissions
Age: short films by filmmakers up to 35 years old, or older than 35 under the condition that their submitted film is their debut
Origin: filmmakers with their origin from a Balkan country or/and their film to be a Balkan production
Duration: up to 30 minutes
Genre: fiction, animation, experimental and documentary short films, video art
Subject: short films relevant to the festival’s topic ‘human traces’

All submissions will go through our Preselection Committee which consists of young professionals from the film industry ensuring that finalists meet all eligibility criteria. The final Jury Team consisting of well known professionals from the film industry will select the BBB Best Film which will be awarded with 1000 euros and the BBB First Entry Award, along with three Special Mentions. The Audience will vote for the BBB Audience Award.

BBB strives to create a diverse and open community of filmmakers, artists, creative individuals and everyone interested to share and present their work and experience through film, to meet and collaborate with other passionate people, and co-create a space of inclusion and creative exploration. The main objective of BBB is to motivate and empower young peoples to creatively investigate and reflect upon their environment, cultural landscape and experiences, and re-imagine what belonging and living in the Balkan region might mean to them.

2024 Destination: Spetses, Greece

Since 2010 the Festival has taken place in Belgrade, Tirana, Athens, Bucharest, Sarajevo, Thessaloniki, Sofia, Brussels, Novi Sad and again Athens), Izmir, Pristina, Bitola and Niksic featuring over 420 Balkan and over 200 non-Balkan short films. In every Festival we invite participating directors, guest speakers, BBB Ambassadors and local partners in order to create a hub for productive networking and cooperation among the region’s stakeholders. It is all about a growing community of artists, researchers, journalists, and partners.

Best Film Prize (1000€)
Audience Prize (300€)
New Entry Prize (400€)

1. Period for admission of films: 20th of March to 10th of May 2024
2. The theme: Human Traces (Check our website for more information on the theme).
3. Age: Eligible to participate with their film are filmmakers under 35 years of age, or over 35 under the condition that their submitted film is their debut.
4. Origin: The origin of the filmmakers should be from a Balkan country or/and their film should be a Balkan production or co-production.
5. Films’ duration: Maximum 30 minutes.
6. Film categories: fiction, documentary, animation, experimental, video art.
7. Filmmakers should apply through the FilmFreeway platform.
8. The files of the films should be in one of these formats: AVI, MP4 or MOV and high quality (frame size 1080*1920).
9. The film should be uploaded in its original format with English subtitles and STR file.
10. In case the filmmaker has the subtitles captioned for d/Deaf and hard of hearing people, they must attach the file in their application.
11. Regardless of the number of submitted films only one film per filmmaker will take
part in the competition programme
12. Optional: Participants can send all relevant information about the film as well as
photos of their film for promotional reasons for the festival.

Film Festival Terms

1. Balkans Beyond Borders (BBB) is a non-profit organization based in Athens with the purpose to promote intercultural dialogue and an innovative way of learning through the Art of Filmmaking and Image. To this extent, BBB organizes a film festival every year, with a different theme which travels to a different Balkan city.
2. Τhe 15th Edition of Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival will take place in Spetses, Greece in September 2024. The exact date will be announced in due time.
3. The main title of the festival is: Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival.
4. The number of films that will be projected during the festival depends on the number of participants and the final decision of the organizing team.
5. The final films will be selected by the International Jury of the Film Festival until the end of August 2024.
6. The jury consists of 3 well-known film experts from three Balkan countries.
7. The selection of the projected films, the order of projection and the programme are decided by the organisers, based on the technical specifications, the duration and the grouping of the films.
8. The finalists will be informed in July about the acceptance of their film in the competition section.
9. BBB Film Festival organizing team reserves the right to screen part of the final films whenever it is needed, for reasons of promotion of the Festival and under no circumstances for commercial causes.
10. The finalists must inform the organisers whether they are going to attend the festival in Spetses, so that the organising team can coordinate their travel and accommodation.
11. The Jury awards two prizes, a third is awarded through the audience voting process. The organisers will decide about the possibility of awarding special prizes regarding the number and the characteristics of the finalist films.
12. The award ceremony will take place in Spetses, in a special ceremony right after the end of the Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival.
13. BBB BEST FILM AWARD amounts to 1000€. The BBB FIRST ENTRY award amounts to 500€ and the BBB AUDIENCE AWARD amounts to 300€. The Festival selects also three Special Mentions.
14. Participants agree to give interviews to communication sponsors and to be photographed if asked.
15. Parts of the Festival will be filmed for the BBB archive and for its promotion to the public. Members of the audience and participants that may appear in these parts cannot claim anything from the organising company.
16. During the Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival parallel events will take place.
17. BBB Film Festival organizing team reserves the right to cancel the Festival if it is necessary.
18. The sending out of the signed participation form entails the complete and unconditional acceptance of the above terms of participation.
19. Due to possible pandemic circumstances, if the Festival turns the implementation into digital form we will need the consent of the filmmakers to screen the films online through the selected platform. The Festival will take into consideration the protection of the films’ copyrights.

Overall Rating
  • Thank you so much for this amazing experience!

    April 2024
  • Mihai Dragolea

    The Balkans are rising! Great event, very good media campaign and hospitable team. f you want your film to be shown, BBBSFF is the way to go

    October 2023
  • We had such a great time in Kosova this year. Such a great festival, such a great people! Thank you for everything. After the pandemic, it was kind of a luxury to attend a festival physically but Balkans Beyond Borders made it possible. And this year's theme is connecting, you're sure we connected :) Thank you again!

    November 2021
  • We were glad to be part of BBB Short Film Festival for another year!
    Continue the great work!

    November 2021
  • Fivos Imellos

    One of the best Festival ❤

    October 2021
    Bbb logo
    Response from festival:

    Thank you!