If your film or web series has an important message for the world, this festival is for you.

Join the world's biggest, online, not-for-profit film festival, inspiring viewers to act on the United Nations Sustainable Develoment Goals (UNSDGs). There are 17 UNSDGs that should be met for the UN 2030 Agenda to ensure a thriving and peaceful future for us and generations to come.

All premiered as well as unpremiered films, web series, documentaries and animations covering important social, economic or environmental topics, created after January 2015, are welcome for the 2020 Big Syn International Film Festival (BSIFF), London.

Join the festival to;

- Win cash prizes.
- Secure worldwide streaming deals.
- Get recognised by a world-class Grand Jury.
- Spread the important messages through your film to a worldwide audience.

The festival organiser, Big Syn Institute, was honoured and proud to have international luminaries from the world of film, media and academia as esteemed members of the Grand Jury (below) for the 2019 Big Syn Film Festival.

1. Amma Asante, MBE (BAFTA award-winning Screenwriter and Director)
2. Gurinder Chadha, OBE (Director, Producer, Writer, BAFTA Nominated Filmmaker)
3. Prof. Paul Montgomery (University of Birmingham)
4. Richard Hatherell (Head of Video, Yahoo UK)
5. Prof. Lyndsay Duthie (University of the Creative Arts, Head of School for Film, Media & Performing Arts)
6. Prof. John Corner (University of Leeds, School of Media and Communication)
7. Prof. Marion Schmid (University of Edinburgh, School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures)
8. Prof. Ioannis Ioannou (London Business School, Strategy and Entrepreneurship )
9. Prof. Kristofer Erickson (University of Leeds, School of Media and Communication)
10. Susan Kemp (University of Edinburgh, Film, Exhibition & Curation)
11. Emma Thomas, BAFTA award-winning Script Supervisor
12. Daniel Gould, Roku Inc

The 2020 Grand Jury will be announced soon.

If your films, web series, documentaries, animations or PSAs address one or more of the following topics, the Big Syn Institute would want the world to know about it.

- Poverty; Hunger; Disability; Health and Well-being; Education; Gender Equality; Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable and Clean Energy; Decent Work and Economic Growth; responsible industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Reduced Inequality amongst individuals and nations; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Protecting Life Below Water; Conserving Life on Land; Championing Peace and Justice and strong Institutions; Partnerships and global synergy of ideas and actions.

INSPIRATION

Good stories with worthwhile messages always leave a lasting impression on the audience. When such stories are told via films, it can inform and influence millions. Meaningful stories, told through films have been catalysts for social, economic and political changes since the birth of the art form. The inspiration for the Big Syn Film Festival is drawn from this unparallel power of effective storytelling via films. When important messages are passed in the context of a visual story rather than just a generic message itself, the impact is far greater than otherwise. The Big Syn Film Festival intends to celebrate films and videos that can brilliantly pass on core objectives of the Centre for Big Synergy and also encourage the civic society to actively participate in meeting the core objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

PLEASE NOTE ALL SUBMISSIONS MUST BE MADE ONLINE VIA FilmFreeway, NO HARD COPIES, DISKS OR DRIVES SHOULD BE POSTED.

ENTRY FEES PAID ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

A) General eligibility

1. To be eligible for the competition, all films or videos should be made on or after 1st January 2015, may or may not have been premiered and/or published online.

2. Films and videos from across the world are welcome. On-screen English subtitles are compulsory for films and videos made in other languages.

3. All films and videos should be viewable on FilmFreeway or YouTube or Vimeo to be considered for the festival. All web series submitted should have at least one season and 2 episodes (not less than 20 mins in duration) to be eligible for entry.

Please do not submit the links to the social media videos when applying for this festival. Social media videos too should be uploaded on FilmFreeway or YouTube or Vimeo.

Please submit passwords of protected videos if they are on Vimeo or YouTube.

B) Mandatory requirements

Subject matters can cover anything and everything (not limited to the ones below) that bring to perspective the need to address the issues below or the solutions that should be adopted to achieve the ultimate goal of creating a better future for all - as far as the society, economy and the environment is concerned. In essence, the topics of the films should be associated with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Poverty; Hunger; Disability; Health and Well-being; Education; Gender Equality; Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable and Clean Energy; Decent Work and Economic Growth; responsible industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Reduced Inequality amongst individuals and nations; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Protecting Life Below Water; Conserving Life on Land; Championing Peace and Justice and strong Institutions; Partnerships and global synergy of ideas and actions.

Watch this video to better understand the UN SDGs: https://youtu.be/RpqVmvMCmp0

C) Sustainability and responsible filmmaking (desireable not mandatory)

These films should ideally be made in the most fair and environmentally friendly ways to minimise their carbon footprint starting from zero use of paper or high wattage lights or equipment powered by fossil fuels, to clever use of stock footage or other reusable and communal video resources as well as utilising innovative cinematic technologies with the least carbon footprint. Other means could include but not limited to used or second-hand costumes and props, use more natural lighting, banning all single use plastics from the sets/locations, encouraging a fully paper-free working culture, using the public transport or carpooling, to name a few.

It is not easy to achieve all of the above, but if you are striving to achieve these or have already achieved some or most of these - you are a star!

D) Screening

In order to keep the overall carbon footprint of the festival to its minimum, while maximising the size of the audience, Official Selections and Winning films will be screened virtually via YouTube and Vimeo.

IMPORTANT: If you have submitted the film to other festivals that require it to be unpublished on the web, please let us know by contacting us directly at https://bigsyn.org/contact-us. These films will NOT be screened at the festival but WILL SURELY be considered for the festival awards.

E) Entry categories

• Feature film
• Short film
• Animation
• Web Series
• Documentary
• Public Service Announcement

Following are the awards for EACH entry category.

1. Winner- Grand Jury Award
2. Special Mention awards
3. All films submitted will be considered for nominations of 'People's Choice Awards' and 'Responsible Filmmaking' categories, and the nominations will be open to public voting until the notification date. Winners will be determined from public votes received for these nominations.

Filmmakers will be entitled to the following.

Cash Prizes
- To be announced in due course.

Streaming deals
- Winning films will be forwarded to major streaming platforms.

Global recognition
- Get recognised by a world-class Grand Jury; BAFTA award-winning filmmakers, and notable British and US film and media professionals from streaming platform/s, film schools, media, government policy and sustainability

Laurels and Crest of Honour
- Award winners and official selections will receive the official laurels and the Big Syn International Film Festival's distinguishing Crest of Honour.

Certificate of excellence
- Only the award winners will receive an official certificate of excellence (soft copy).

Potential for collaboration and funding
- Worldwide exposure of the filmmaker and the work to aid collaboration and funding of future projects via a news release circulated amongst the large international network of the members of Centre for Big Synergy, ranging from investors, entrepreneurs, CEOs, to scientists, authors, politicians and artists.

Interviews
- Winning filmmakers will be interviewed and the interviews will be published on the Big Syn Institute's website and publicised via social media.

Permanent web profile
- A permanent profile of winning works, by category, will be published on the Big Syn Institute's website, post festival.

Publicity
- Winners and official selections will receive social media shout-outs and publicity before and during the festival screenings.

RULES & REGULATIONS FOR SUBMISSION TO THE 2020 BIG SYN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (BSIFF) , LONDON.

The following is an explanation of rules and regulations (“Rules and Regulations”) governing the submission of films or videos (hereafter referred to as “the Project”) to the Big Syn Institute, an initiative of the Centre of Big Synergy, a not for profit company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales (11529720), whose registered office is at 35-37 Ludgate Hill, London, England, EC4M 7J (hereafter referred to as “Institute”), to be considered for the 2020 Big Syn International Film Festival, London (hereafter referred to as “Festival”).

By agreeing to these Terms And Conditions, the individual or organisation submitting the Project (hereafter called the “Applicant”) acknowledges that s/he or it has obtained consent from any and all owners, creators, writers, Producers and/or other authorised representatives of the Project (hereafter called the “Project’s Owners”) whose consent is required to submit the Project to the Institute, and has read and understood the submission rules and regulations set forth below.

In submitting a Project for the Festival, the Applicant is agreeing to abide by the Rules and Regulations below.

Submission Deadlines

Projects must be submitted no later than specified below.

- Final deadline closes at 11.59 pm on 30th October 2020.

Submission procedure and format

2.1 Projects must be submitted in any 2 ways below, both via www.filmfreeway.com.

a) Upload an online screener of the Project/s on FillmFreeway.com

b) Submit link/s of the Project/s as on YouTube or Vimeo. Please include password, if the video is password protected.

The Institute reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees paid by the Applicant, any Project that is not submitted via one of these formats. Note, this registered office address is not to be used as a postal address.

2.2 Please note if the Project is selected as an 'Official Selection' and the Applicant decides to screen it online during the Festival, the video should be viewable on YouTube or Vimeo without a password. The Applicant should inform the Institute if they DO NOT want to screen their Project/s after being selected by the Selection Committee.

2.3 The Institute does not accept films sent over by DVD, Blu Ray, SD card or Hard Drives. Please submit only the final version of the Projects - changing or updating the originally submitted link is not accepted.

Submission eligibility

- All submissions must have been completed after 1 January 2015.

- Multiple entries are allowed. You can submit more than one Project to the same category. Separate fees must be paid for each one.

- The Institute does not require any national premiere for any feature film in its country of origin.

- There is no premiere policy for any entry category.

- Entries in foreign languages must come with on-screen English subtitles or will be disqualified from the completion. The Institute is able to disqualify, without refund of all submission fees previously collected from the Applicant, any Project that contains significant non-English spoken dialogue that does not include on-screen English subtitles.

- At the discretion of the Institute, a Project may be transferred to the correct category, but only if the appropriate level of submission fee has been paid.

- Projects should be based on the topics below

3.1 Subject matters of Projects can cover anything and everything (not limited to the ones below) that bring to perspective the need to address the issues below or the solutions that should be adopted to achieve the ultimate goal of creating a better future for all - as far as the society, economy and the environment is concerned.

- No Poverty; Zero Hunger; Good Health and Well-being; Quality Education; Gender Equality; Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable and Clean Energy; Decent Work and Economic Growth; responsible industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Reduced Inequality amongst individuals and nations; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Protecting Life Below Water; Conserving Life on Land; Championing Peace and Justice and strong Institutions; Partnerships and global synergy of ideas and actions.

Submission Fee
All submissions for BSIFF are to be paid through FilmFreeway platform. The submission fee is non-refundable.

Selection of Projects

5.1 Submissions are reviewed and selected under the following criteria:

- Quality of narrative and production values.

- Potential of positively changing or impacting the viewers' ideas and actions.

5.2 BSIFF, London, will review Projects in their entirety. Projects will be watched and reviewed by members of the Selection Committee; a professional group of filmmakers, film enthusiasts and critics. Projects will be scored accordingly. Except for the awards determined by public voting, the Grand Jury finally selects the Festival winners.

5.3 The Institute may choose to transfer a film to the correct category, but only if the appropriate level of submission fee has been paid.

5.4 After a film has been an Official Selection, the Applicant will be notified.

Scheduling and Screening

6.1 Screenings are scheduled at the discretion of the Institute. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, the Institute reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. the Institute will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling. No Projects may be withdrawn from the Festival programme after its selection.

6.2 All Official Selections will be notified by 15th November 2020.

6.3 In order to keep the overall carbon footprint of the Festival to its minimum while maximising the size of the audience, Official Selections and Winning films will be screened virtually via YouTube and Vimeo in between 24th and 30th November 2020. More details will be shared closer to the date.

IMPORTANT: If you have submitted the film to other Festivals that require it to be unpublished on the web, please let us know by contacting us directly at https://bigsyn.org/contact-us. These films will NOT be virtually screened.

Categories and Awards

Following are the entry categories and awards for EACH entry category.

Entry categories

Feature film
Short film
Animation
Documentary
Web Series
Public Service Announcement

Awards and honours (for each entry category)

- Winner - Grand Jury Award
- Special Mention awards ( x 2)
- All films submitted will be considered for nominations of 'People's Choice Awards' and 'Responsible Filmmaking' categories, and the nominations will be open to public voting until the notification date. Winners will be determined from public votes received for these nominations.

Applicants will be entitled to the following.

Cash Prizes
- To be announced.

Streaming deals
- Winning films will be forwarded to major streaming platforms.

Global recognition
- Get recognised by a world-class Grand Jury; BAFTA award-winning filmmakers, and notable British and US film and media professionals from streaming platform/s, film schools, media, government policy and sustainability

Laurels and Crest of Honour

- Award winners and official selections will receive the official laurels and the Big Syn International Film Festival's distinguishing Crest of Honour.

Certificate of excellence

- Only the award winners will receive an official certificate of excellence (soft copy).

Potential for collaboration and funding

- Worldwide exposure of the filmmaker and the work to aid collaboration and funding of future projects via a news release circulated amongst the large international network of the members of Centre for Big Synergy, ranging from investors, entrepreneurs, CEOs, to scientists, authors, politicians and artists.

Interviews

- Winning filmmakers will be interviewed and the interviews will be published on the Big Syn Institute's website and publicised via social media.

Permanent web profile

- A permanent profile of winning works, by category, will be published on the Big Syn Institute's website, post Festival.

Publicity

- Winners and official selections will receive social media shout-outs and publicity before and during the Festival screenings.

Liability and indemnity

8.1 It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure authorisation and permission from the copyright owner(s) of any and all copyrighted content or materials included within the submitted Project. The Institute does not accept any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorised inclusion of any copyrighted content or materials within or relating to the submitted Project, including any content or materials that are or may become the basis for any third party claims for copyright infringement. The Institute can disqualify, without refund the submission fees paid by the Applicant, any Project with any unauthorised inclusion of copyrighted content or materials. If a claim, dispute, action or proceeding is brought by any person or organisation that alleges that the Project makes unauthorised or unlawful use of any copyrighted content or material, the Applicant agrees to fully indemnify and defend the Institute, the Festival, and each of their representatives and affiliates from any liability in connection therewith and from any fees and expenses, including but not limited to all legal fees or compensation, incurred in connection therewith.

8.2 It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure authorisation and permission from the owner(s) of any and all trademarked content or materials included in submitted Project. The Institute does not take any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorised inclusion of any trademarked content or materials within or relating to the submitted Project. This may include any content or materials that are or may become the basis for any third party claims for trademark infringement, trademark dilution or unfair competition. The Institute reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of submission fees paid by the Applicant, any Project with any unauthorised inclusion of trademarked content or materials. In the event that any claim, dispute, action or proceeding shall be brought or asserted by any person or organisation that alleges that the Project makes unauthorised or unlawful use of any trademarked content or material, the Applicant agrees to indemnify and defend the Institute, the Festival, and each of their representatives and affiliates from any liability in connection therewith and from any fees and expenses, including but not limited to all legal fees or compensation, incurred in connection therewith.

8.3 It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to ensure that the content of the Project is free from any actual or potential legal claims and issues, including, without limitation, claims based upon theories of libel, defamation, invasion of privacy, violation of rights of publicity, theft of trade secrets, breach of confidence, breach of confidential relationship, and breach of express or implied contract (“Third Party Claim(s)”). The Institute does not take any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any inclusion of any content or materials within or relating to the submitted Project that are or may be the basis for any Third Party Claims based upon any of the foregoing legal theories or others. The Institute reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of the submission fees paid the Applicant, any Project that is or may become the subject of any Third Party Claims. If any Third Party Claim(s) shall be brought on by any person or organisation, the Applicant agrees to fully indemnify and defend the Institute, the Festival, and each of their representatives and affiliates from any liability in connection therewith and from any fees and expenses, including but not limited to all legal fees or compensation, incurred in connection therewith.

License

9.1 In submitting a Project for the Festival, an Applicant grants to the Institute from the date of submission of the Project a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free licence to reproduce the content of the Project or a part of it on the website of the Institute and its partners, on print and other publicity materials, as well as associated media and social media including but not limited to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for press and publicity purposes to promote the Project, support initiatives of the Institute and its partners or sponsors, and for future events and Festivals organised by them.

9.2 In submitting a Project for the Festival, the Applicant also agrees to waive all "moral rights" to the content. This is to allow the Institute and its partners to use the excerpts of the Project alongside other media and text, as well as excerpts of Projects from other Applicants for promotions of the Festival at a later date.

9.3 An Applicant has the right to revoke the licenses above with a written notice of one month to the Institute when the content from a Project has not been published. Such content will be removed within 6 months from receipt of a request to revoke a licence if such content has already been published for the purposes above.

Complaints and concerns

Please contact the Institute directly at https://bigsyn.org/contact-us for any complaints or concerns.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Umit Aygul

    I was very happy that my short film was at the Big SYN International Short Film Festival and received the People's Choice Award. It is an honor to be part of UNSDGs. Beauty will save the world. Many many thanks for everything.

    January 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Many thanks Umit for taking all the effort to spread our mission and the messsage of your film to millions of global viewers. Clearly it is through efforts as yours more of us can be made aware of the UNSDGs and act on them to create a more responsible tomorrow!

  • Margarito Dryfly

    A festival with worthy objectives to admire. We were delighted to have been able to participate and it was a real surprise that we were chosen as winners in the animation category. We are infinitely grateful
    and we recommend 100% participation.

    January 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Congratulations on your win- very well deserved indeed! thank you for your participation and we hope to see more from you in due course.

  • Niklas Goslar

    Great new festival with a very important purpose. Honoured to have won the 1st Runner-Up Award with 'Mother of Tibetans' at the People's Choice Awards. It was a great experience. Highly recommended! Best of luck for the years to come!

    January 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Many thanks Niklas- we hope to see more of your inspiring work in the future editions too!

  • very happy to have been part of this amazing festival and to have received an award! thank you for sharing these stories of resistance in Melanesia and for raising awareness on the devastating climate change effects! looking forward to submitting more movies at the next edition :)

    January 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Many thanks Iara- we look forward to seeing more inspiring work from you and your team in the next edition of the festival!

  • Daphné Charpin-Lèbre

    Wonderful experience for me. I really enjoyed. Thank you

    January 2020
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    Response from festival:

    We are very glad you liked the festival and congratulations again!