Beldocs (Belgrade, Serbia) was founded in 2008 and based on the idea that the documentary form has a special power to inspire people to think, create, and believe in change.
Beldocs International Documentary Film Festival is one of the main gathering place for creative documentaries and European film professionals in the Western Balkans. Beldocs is recognized as the place for best national and world creative documentaries, that gives a comprehensive overview of the recent worldwide documentary production, discovers, and reveals the new voices and on the other side strengthens, develops, and supports the industry of the region. The festival is oriented towards artistically and socially-relevant cinema and selects the most remarkable European and World documentaries of the year, also bringing the producers and directors to Belgrade for discussions, master classes, networking, etc. Also, Beldocs communicates with younger generations, those that are the keys to future social change, and seeks to strengthen educational platforms through documentaries.
Best documentary of the International competition program
Best short film of the festival
Best documentary of the Teen program
Best documentary of the Serbian competition program
Best editing of the Serbian competition program
Best photography of the Serbian competition program
Entry rules and regulations
International Documentary Film Festival BELDOCS aims to offer a quality selection of creative international documentary and hybrid cinema, as well as XR works. Devoted to offering a platform for and actively supporting non-fiction cinema and related formats, BELDOCS is a dynamic site for encountering local and international talent and for discovering a unique selection of World, International and European premieres.
The 16th BELDOCS will be held in the month of May, 2023. Exact Festival dates will be announced by December 1, 2022 on the Festival website: www.beldocs.rs
Submission to the festival is open to all creative documentaries, hybrid films and XR works of any length completed after 1 January 2022. Selected films are invited to various program sections, both competitive and non-competitive ones. Preference for selection to competitive program sections will be given to the films completed after 1 January 2023. Special preference is given to World, International and European premieres. Serbian premiere is the minimum requirement for submission. Films that have already been shown, broadcasted, or have been released on any public platform in Serbia or that will be shown in Serbia before May, 2023 are NOT eligible for inclusion, except by special provision of the festival team. Films previously submitted to the festival that were not selected will not be reconsidered for the subsequent year, unless by special provision of the festival team.
Participation in Beldocs 2023 implies acceptance of the rules and regulations by film’s rights holders.
A feature-length (45 minutes or longer) documentary or hybrid film that is a World, International, European or Serbian premiere at BELDOCS is eligible for the International competition. An international jury will select the winner of the grand prix. Special mentions are also given out occasionally.
Feature-length (45 minutes or longer) documentary or hybrid film that is Serbian production and/or directed by a Serbian director is eligible for the Serbian competition. In order to be considered for the Serbian competition, ALL films MUST have their first public showing in Serbia at BELDOCS. Films that were shown at other Serbian festivals beforehand will not be considered for this selection. An international jury will select the winner of the grand prix. In addition, a special jury award will be presented to exceptional artistic achievements in the fields of editing and cinematography.
Best Short Film
A short-length (up to 45 minutes) documentary or hybrid film that is a World, International, European or Serbian premiere at BELDOCS is eligible for the Best Short Film competition. Short films will be included in various official non-competitive programs, such as Fireworks, Meteors, Front Page, Profile, Landscape, Intermission, Prime Time and other sections, but will regardless also be a part of the Best Short Film competition. Films included in the Special Screenings program will not be included in the competition. An international jury will select the winner of the Best Short Film Award. Special mentions are also given out occasionally.
Non-competitive program sections
Feature-length documentaries or hybrid films (45 minutes or longer) are also eligible for official selection in non-competitive sections: Fireworks, Meteors, Front Page, Profile, Landscape, Intermission, Prime Time and other sections. More details regarding the programs in the Official Selection will be published on beldocs.rs.
XR works are eligible for the non-competitive section dedicated to extended reality works. Both narrative and non-narrative works will be considered. When applying, it is required to send a password-protected build installation downloadable link in a .doc file as well as visual and written documentation.
Additional awards presented at BELDOCS include but are not limited to a FIPRESCI award (an international critic jury) a political engagement award (sponsoring partner to be confirmed), and various technical awards.
Directors, producers, and distributors are urged to respect the deadline for providing all requested publicity materials for promotion.
Directors, producers, and distributors of participating and awarded films in BELDOCS competitions are requested to mention inclusion in the BELDOCS program in future promotional materials. The appropriate logos and laurels will be made available through the festival office.
Films should be submitted through the on-line submission platform FilmFreeway.
The submission deadline for selection purposes, which means the deadline for the festival office to receive all required submission materials, is January 8, 2023. The festival is not obliged to view entries that are received after this date.
Committing to the inclusion in the program
By submitting your film for consideration for BELDOCS 2023, you are agreeing to make the film available for potential multiple screenings during the festival, as well as inclusion in the free of charge online BELDOCS Market video library available to international film professionals with appropriate credentials.
All submitted films will be considered and may be selected for both the competitive as well as the non-competitive programs. After being extended an official invitation to participate, films cannot be withdrawn after February 1, 2023. Selected films may not be screened at any other festival or public event taking place in Serbia prior to the official presentation at BELDOCS.
Required materials for presentation, publicity, promotion and catalog
All rights holders and/or film representatives (directors, producers, and distributors) are urged to respect the deadline for providing all requested materials to the Festival. The requested materials should be sent as soon as possible upon acceptance of the official invitation, but no later than February 15, 2023, unless otherwise agreed upon with the Festival.
Materials for film presentation
For translation purposes and inclusive festival experience, the Festival must receive:
● a good quality screener of the final version of the film with English subtitles
● a time-coded English subtitle file for the entire film
● a dialogue list in the original language
The requested materials should be sent as soon as possible upon acceptance of the invitation, but no later than February 15, 2023, unless otherwise agreed upon with the Festival.
In order to compile the festival catalog for each selected film the festival must receive the following materials for publishing purposes: at least three different 300 dpi resolution film stills and at least one 300 dpi resolution photo of the director(s), synopsis no longer than 500 characters including spaces, director's biography no longer than 500 characters including spaces, director's filmography, full credits and other information and materials requested by the Festival. The requested materials should be sent as soon as possible upon acceptance of the invitation, but no later than February 15, 2023, unless otherwise agreed upon with the Festival. The Festival accepts no liability if its publications reproduce inaccuracies included in the submitted materials.
In principle the festival catalog will include the following credits: original title, English title, Serbian title, country/countries of production, year of production, premiere status, format, film runtime, director, production company, producer, sales company, print source, screenplay, cinematography, editing, production design, sound, music, principal cast. The credit list included in the Festival catalog and website might vary especially in case of XR works.
The publicity contacts of the films participating in the festival will receive a request from the press office to send publicity materials including, but not limited to, film excerpts and trailer and/or teaser, film visuals, press kits, film reviews etc.
The festival is authorized to use excerpts from the work, with a maximum of three minutes, nationally and internationally for promotional purposes. In the event that excerpts are not available, and being understood that under no circumstances the entire work may be lent out, the festival is authorized to copy one or more excerpts from the film for promotional use.
Beldocs Market Video library
Beldocs Market Video Library is intended for professionals, will be made available by invitation only and will be accessible with personal credentials. Festival Selection Committee and Artistic Team are inviting films to be included in Beldocs Market Video Library free of charge. All films submitted through the FilmFreeway platform that receive the "Semi-finalist" Judging status are invited to the video library. By accepting the festival invitation, the rights holders grant permission for their films to be included, unless otherwise stated. For this purpose, all participants will be required to make available a digital file of their film with English subtitles no larger than 700 MB for encoding purposes along with other materials. The list of materials can be viewed here.
Press and industry screenings
The festival will organize press and industry screenings for selected films. Rights holders of films included in the video library and press and industry screenings will receive detailed viewing reports and attendant lists afterwards.
General scheduling and the timetabling of both public screenings and press and industry screenings are entirely at the discretion of the festival organization.
Screening copy delivery & return
Film formats and video systems that can be presented during the festival include: 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, DCP, Blu-ray. Presentation of other formats and video systems or delivery through any other type of disk, formatting or licenses requires the prior authorization of the festival. Without this authorization the festival retains the right to exclude a film from the program. These requirements do not apply to XR works.
Selected films will be screened in their original version. If the spoken language of the film is not entirely in English, screening copy must be subtitled in English. If necessary, and only with the prior approval of the festival, a film will be subtitled using an electronic subtitling system. In this case it is imperative to send the festival the English time-coded subtitle list together with the final version of the documentary no later than February 15, 2023. Any cost incurred for translation, or producing time-coded files or DVDs, must be covered by the rights holders of the film.
Availability of screening copy
Unless authorized by the festival, the screening copy must be made available for the entire festival period. Screening copy must be delivered no later than March 20, 2023, unless a different arrangement is agreed upon with the Festival.
Screening copy delivery
The Festival encourages digital delivery of the screening copy, preferably by sending it through a ftp to the Festival server or via a downloadable link. Should the film need to be delivered physically, detailed shipping instructions along with all needed information will be communicated.
Detailed screening copy shipping information will follow the acceptance of the film.
The sender is requested to inform the festival about the means of dispatch, date of shipment, and the airway bill number. The film must be sent prepaid by the sender. No collect shipments will be accepted unless authorized by the festival. The festival will only pay for the return transportation charges, excluding any additional costs for tax and custom clearance in the country of return.
A pro forma invoice must accompany the screening copy. Pro forma invoice should state a TOTAL VALUE for customs purposes not higher than $10. The sample of the pro forma invoice will be made available by the Festival prior to the shipment of film.
Screening copy return
All screening copies will be returned within four weeks after the festival. It is the responsibility of each participant to inform the festival in due time about any change in the details of the return address as well as the desired date of arrival at the return address. In case there is no confirmation of the address within two weeks after the festival the screening copy will be returned to the print source of the film as listed with the original submission. The festival is not liable for any inconvenience this may cause.
A DCP can be returned upon request after ingesting and testing. If an encrypted DCP will be delivered the DKDM time widow should be valid from April 1, 2023 through June 1, 2023, unless a different arrangement is agreed upon with the Festival.
The insurance for screening copies comes into effect the moment the film has arrived at the festival office or has been received by the shipping agent at Belgrade Airport. The insurance remains in effect until the film is reshipped. In case of damage to or loss of a screening copy during the festival the festival is only responsible for the costs involved in making a new screening copy or replacing the damaged reel or reels based on the current laboratory rates for ordering a standard print.
Damage to the print must be reported to the festival in writing within a month after return and prior to any following screening. Any claims will be judged by the reported state of the print. The insurance does not cover any damage during normal screening use.
2023 edition note
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and in line with general and governmental recommendations, Beldocs IDFF will closely follow all necessary changes in the industry and might opt for an online or hybrid edition. All relevant information will be communicated through all available Beldocs IDFF communication channels.
Entry and participation of films implies unconditional acceptance of these regulations as set forth. The Festival reserves the right to change the Rules and Regulations at any time without notification. In unspecified cases the festival management will make a final decision.
Last updated in June 2022