DokuBaku is the first independent International Documentary Film Festival in Azerbaijan. Since the establishment of the festival 2017, our aim has been to present a showcase of handpicked - especially elected 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.

This year's 4th edition will be held from the 26th of October to the 1st of November, and the theme of the festival is "Changes".

DokuBaku IDFF will continue supporting films` screening of the local documentary film directors along with a unique, unrepeatable as life international documentary film program intended for the general public. The festival will prosper with debates and discussions of local and foreign filmmakers including various fields along with film screenings.
We believe DokuBaku will fill the gap in the cultural life and the cinema community of Azerbaijan and it will give an invaluable result with its individual film program and events like in years past.

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

Winner of the "Local Competition" gets a chance to pitch his/her project at the goEast Film Festival in Germany, Wiesbaden and get funding.

Directorate of the Festival:
DokuBaku International Documentary Film Festival is the First Independent and the Only – Underground – Non-Commercial Organization of Azerbaijan, which holds the competition for non-fiction.
12-20 October 2017
Imam Jabirowich Hasanow


The Founders of the Festival:
DokuBaku IDFF was founded by Imam J. Hasanow and Veronika Janatkova in 2017.
International Prize Laureate, Director Imam J. Hasanow - Director of the Festival, creative director of the festival since 2020, producer/director Veronika Janatkova is a Festival Programmer and Oktay Namazov is the executive director of the festival since 2020.
"Free Art" (AZ), "DokuBaku International Documentary Film Festival" (AZ) and "Pandistan" (CZECH) are the festival organizers.

Address: 103, Shamil Azizbayov Str. Baku, Azerbaijan;
Tel: + 994503759959 (AZ)
Address: Kladská 1293/15
120 00 Praha – Vinohrady
Czech Republic
Tel: +420604434990

Status of the Festival:
4th DokuBaku IDFF will be held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, between 26th October and 1st of November 2020.

The objectives of DokuBaku consist of the following paragraphs:
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;
Promoting the creation of potential international products.

DokuBaku Organizing Committee:
Preparation and administration of the festival will be carried out by the Organizing Committee headed by the festival director. Representatives of the Committee are appointed by the director.

Election Commission:
The films submitted to the festival are selected by the selection committee. The selection committee consists of independent professionals working in the field of art in Azerbaijan and abroad.
The selection committee is headed by the festival's election director. Decisions of the selection committee are decisive and enter into force immediately from the day of ascent.
The Commission reserves the right not to state the reasons for refusal and not to comment.

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.
In the future, the number of sections of the festival program can be increased or abridged.
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 at the beginning of September 2020, via
Festival gets only in contact with the authors of selected films on the Program.
Submitted films for the inclusion of the festival program (The Organizing Committee chooses each year) should correspond to the theme of the festival. The theme of this year is "Changes."

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:
Out of competition program is compiled by the Organizing Committee.
Within the framework of 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:
On the purpose of participation at DokuBaku IDFF, it can be applied until the 1st of June, 2020.
The film should conform with the following conditions for the participation at 4th 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 human life/destiny with a successful storytelling
experimental films,
Films made in an artistic style on a number of important social, political and global issues.

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.

All films in order to screen in the festival are accepted digitally in accordance with technical parameters that mentioned in the "Application Form":

In 2020, the participant is able to send only one film to the festival;
The selection committee has a right to define films independently that are presented to the festival under 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 subtitles in English with the film.
Information on selected films will be announced at the beginning of September 2020 on the festival's website.
In addition, the authors of the program will be contacted and additional materials (synopsis, poster, information about the director and etc.) will be required for the catalog of the festival.

Note: Authors of the selected films can participate voluntarily in the festival. Therefore, she/he can contact the embassy of the exact country in Baku for assistance to participate or additional information.
Please take into account that the festival is realized by cinema lover volunteers and professionals film-makers. The festival is not intended to make a profit.

The festival participant (director, producer, or other authorized people) is considered 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 (catalog, site, etc.) of the festival;
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 Election Commission may participate in the discussions of the jury but do not have the right to vote.

The Jury members select the winners in 4 categories.
* Best Documentary Film;
* Best Short Documentary;
* Best Local Documentary;
In addition, there is an “Audience Award”. This award is chosen by the audience via voting.

4th DokuBaku IDFF does not intend to establish cash prizes. The Organizing Committee and founders retain a right to change this decision during the festival. 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 this regulation. 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.

See You at DokuBaku IDFF 2020!

Overall Rating
  • 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