DokuBaku is the first independent International Documentary Film Festival in Azerbaijan. Since the establishment of the festival 2017, its aim is to present a showcase of handpicked - specially selected documentary films from all over the world in the international program as well as the local competition which aims to support the local filmmakers and non-fiction production.

DokuBaku IDFF supports the screening of the films by the Azerbaijani documentary film directors along with a unique, unrepeatable as-life international documentary film program intended for the general public. The festival includes debates and discussions of local and foreign filmmakers within various fields and film screenings.

The objectives of DokuBaku consist of:
- promoting the development of an independent documentary film industry in Azerbaijan, encouraging local young-amateur and professional filmmakers and cinema lovers;
- creating a platform for documentary films screening and exchange of experience on local and international professionals;
- supporting for the making of new local documentary films;
- encouraging the creation of potential international products.

We believe that DokuBaku has been removing the gap in the cultural life and the cinema community of Azerbaijan. It gives an invaluable result with its individual film program and events for five years.

The fifth edition of DokuBaku IDFF takes place on November 3 - 7, 2021 in Baku. The main topic of this year’s festival is «Senses±». Such a choice was made because in the modern world, people's feelings are subjected to serious tests, such as social development and political environment, financial well-being, and a global pandemic. All these imprints on the person’s perception of the world, including individual’s personal experiences and physical condition. This year, the jury will be especially interested in films devoted to the people’s inner and outer metamorphoses, their search for themselves, and the meaning of their existence on earth.

This year, the out-of-competition films will also be screened. In addition, a retrospective of the Azerbaijani documentary films will be arranged. It will be dedicated to the memory of the late Azerbaijani screenwriter and director Chingiz Rasulzade.

The winning film in each category gets the prize which is a unique artwork made by a local artist.


Currently, the festival program consists of two main sections:
Full-length Documentary Competition (Main Section)
Short Documentary Film Competition
Films from all over the world are accepted for both sections of the program. Local films are eligible to participate in both sections.
Those films are evaluated by the Jury of the Main and Short Film Contests appointed by the Organizing Committee in an apart competition for the local films.
The number of films may be increased and reduced by two sections according to the decision of the Organizing Committee.

The program of the festival will be announced in the late August 2021 on

Festival gets only in contact with the filmmakers of selected films.
Submitted films for the inclusion of the festival program should correspond to the theme of the festival. This year's theme is "Senses±".

Competition Program:
The competition program consists of:
The Main Contest – Full-Length documentaries - over 60 minutes
Short Film Competition - Short- Length documentaries - up to 40 minutes

Out of Competition Program (compiled by the Organizing Committee).
Within the non-competition program, thematic (corresponding to the main theme), as well as retrospective films' screening can be taken into account before or after the Festival. The festival covers Baku and the regions of Azerbaijan. These films are also available in the "DokuBaku On Tour" section.

Organizing 3-5-days workshops is considered for local cinemagoers, amateur or professional ones, and anyone who wants to shoot a film. Masterclasses are arranged for everyone who has interest, love, enthusiasm to documentary films, wants to be acquainted closely with from the selection of new documentary film projects` topics, project/idea development, production, post-production, sale of it, types of documentaries, etc. Master Programs serve to the development of independent documentary filmmaking, bringing to light new local film professionals and to increase interest in documentaries and growth year by year.

Accompaniment Program (side events):
The accompanying program can include exhibitions, performances, concerts, creativity nights, and other events related to the art of documentary or feature film.

Admission Requirements for the Competition Program:
The film should conform with the following conditions for the participation at 5th DokuBaku IDFF:
Reportage, informative video materials, advertisement or in similar audio-visual materials sent to the festival will not be evaluated by the selection committee.

The following films are accepted for the Festival:
- author's films about person's experience and feelings;
- experimental films;
- film-essays;
- films on pandemic effect on people's life (out of competition) .

The film accepted should be produced in 2020-2021.

The copyright of the competition films is regulated by international law.
The person who presented the film (director, producer, or other authorized people) informs that he/she is entitled to have the right on the film and plenipotentiary to the screening of the film at the festival.

Only digital copies are accepted.

Only one film is accepted from the submitter.

The selection committee has a right to define films independently that are presented to the festival within one or another program, category, or section and inform the film's authorized representatives about it in advance.

All films participating in the competition will be shown in the original language, with Azerbaijani and English subtitles. The author must also provide *.srt file with English subtitles.

The submitters of the selected films will be contacted and additional materials (synopsis, poster, information about the director and etc.) will be required for the catalog of the festival.

Note: The submitters of the selected films can participate voluntarily in the festival (depeding on the traveling limitations due to COVID-19 pandemic).

Please take into account that the festival is realized by cinema lover volunteers and professionals filmmakers. The festival is not intended to make a profit.

The festival participant (director, producer, or other authorized people) is to agree with the realization of following rights by sending the film to DokuBaku:

Screening of the exact film in the agreed number within the festival;
Utilization of some parts of the documentary film in the Festival's advertising clips, video footages, and TV reportages, as well as other audiovisual products aimed at broadcasting the festival;
Utilization of the frames and characters in the advertising materials of the festival (catalog, site, etc.);
Holding the film in the archive of the festival.

The Jury:
The jury selects winners in 4 categories. The jury consists of 3 persons in each section. In both sections - juries of full-length and short-length film contests are selected from local and international film industries. The international jury is elected by the Organizing Committee.
The Organizing Committee and the Selection Commission may participate in the discussions of the jury but do not have the right to vote.

The 5th edition of DokuBaku IDFF does not intend to establish cash prizes. Furthermore, the Organizing Committee may provide the right to sponsors to establish their own awards. Winners are announced by the Jury or Organizing Committee at the Closing Ceremony.

DokuBaku is a festival aimed at the general public. DokuBaku's public audiences are ticket buyers or those invited by the festival organizers.

Guests of the Festival:
DokuBaku IDFF organizers do not undertake the expenses of festival guests and participants in 2020. During the organization of the festival, the Organizing Committee and Founders retain a right to change this decision on some guests.

General Provisions:
This Regulation was compiled in Azerbaijani and English.
The text in the Azerbaijani language is preferred when there is a contradiction among the texts of the regulations. Participation in DokuBaku involves accepting the terms and conditions unquestionably that is used in these regulations. Any questions and controversy arising during the preparation and implementation of the festival shall be resolved by the organizer of the festival in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Looking forward to seeing you at DokuBaku IDFF 2021.

Overall Rating
  • José David Apel

    It is a beautiful festival. The organization keeps in touch with you all the time.
    I am very grateful to have participated in the 2021 edition and I recommend the whole film community to participate in DOKUBAKU FF.

    November 2021
  • Hot Chilli Films

    Great festival with a great selection of films.
    I’m very glad that we had our film there and we thank the juries for the best documentary award at No Main Competition.
    Hope to be back with another film in the future.

    November 2021
  • Talal Al-Muhanna

    Though the festival was initially postponed, all was fine in the end. The organizers communicated clearly and well about their requirements. Thank you for the invitation!

    May 2021