“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 framed by other cultural events like photo exhibitions, visual art events, master classes, live bands, networking events.

On the 12th edition we build upon the title: Skin to (Screen to) Skin taking inspiration by the connection and the disconnection we faced during the pandemic of 2020 which broke for some the global life, but made us realise more than ever our common heritage and our common vulnerability. In 2020 we experienced loneliness, suffocation, isolation. We lost touch and we lost the beauty of reading the lips. It definitely was all about image. We invented numerous ways to get re-connected and technology was the key in eliminating this physical distance. Was it enough? In 2021 we won't go back to globality as we used to know it but we want to reconnect with our origins, the land, the nature and our senses.

We invite young filmmakers to get inspired by this year’s topic and send their film until the 20th of May. We accept all film genres (fiction, animation, experimental and documentary shorts, as well as digital arts) with duration up to 30 minutes. Eligible submissions are a) those from filmmakers up to 35 years old or older than 35 under the condition that their submitted film is their debut b) with their origin from a Balkan country or/and their film to be a Balkan production and c) connected to the festival’s topic. 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 consisted of well known professionals from the film industry in the Balkans will select the BBB BEST FILM which will get the first prize and 1000 euros. The other Prizes are BBB FIRST ENTRY, Special Mentions and the BBB AUDIENCE AWARD.

BBB gives the opportunity to the next generation of film makers to create, share and present their films, meet and collaborate. The main objective of BBB is to motivate young people to make use of their creativity in order to reflect on issues of concern in their region.

2021 Destination: Pristina
Since 2010 the Festival has taken place in 10 cities (Belgrade, Tirana, Athens, Bucharest, Sarajevo, Thessaloniki, Sofia, Brussels, Novi Sad and again Athens), featuring over 380 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. Next destination will be Pristina, Kosovo where we are going to expand the BBB growing community of artists, researchers, journalists, and partners in the region.

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

Participation Terms
Period for admission of films: 8th of February to 20th of May 2021

2. The theme: Skin to (Screen to) Skin (Check our website for more information about the theme. It is very broad and we are very open)

3. Age: Eligible to participate with their film are filmmakers under 35 years old or older than 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. Film makers should apply through FilmFreeway platform

8. The files of the films should be in one of this format: 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 srt file

10. In case the filmmaker has the subtitles captioned for 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
Balkans Beyond Borders (BBB) is a non-profit organization based in Athens with purpose to promote intercultural dialogue and an innovative way of learning through the Art of Film- making and Image. For this reason, it organizes a film festival that every year has a different theme and travels to a different Balkan city.

Film Festival will take place in Pristina, Kosovo in October 2021. The exact date will be arranged by the organizers of the festival

The main title of the festival is: Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival

4.The number of the films that will be projected during the festival in Pristina 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 2021.

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 August-September about the progress of their film in the contest

9. BBB Film Festival organizing team reserves the right to project 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 organizers whether they are going to attend the festival in Pristina so that the organizing team can organize their trip and accommodation in Pristina.

11. There will be a prize from the Jury and a prize from the audience that will attend the Festival. The organizers will decide about the possibility of giving special prizes regarding the amount and the characteristics of the finalist films.

12. The award ceremony will take place in Izmir in a special ceremony right after the end of the Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival.

13. BBB BEST FILM AWARD will get the first prize and 1000 euros. The BBB FIRST ENTRY award gets 400€ and the BBB AUDIENCE AWARD 300€. The Festival gives three Special Mentions.

14. Participants agree to give interviews to the 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 the pandemic circumstances, if the Festival turns the implementation in digital form we will need the consent of the filmmakers to screen the films online through the selected platform. The Festival will take in consideration the protection of the films’ copyrights.

Overall Rating
  • Merve Bozcu

    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
  • NewBorn Short Film Agency

    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!

  • I was very pleased that my short documentary film could find an audience at festival online screening despite the circumstances. Thanks for your good communication and digital hospitality.

    October 2020
  • Stergios Dinopoulos

    Wasn't able to attend but all of the people who went said it was fantastic.

    October 2019