Dance-films are liquid. They flow between the categories of ‘dance’ and ‘film’. The camera reveals new aspects of the body, rhythm and movement to dancers. On the other hand, dance expands the meaning of ‘performance’ in film. The tensions in the hyphenation of the two have resulted in a new language capable of complex articulations.

'Manifest’ is the first dance-film festival in India that is onsite and is publishing an open call for submissions. Created by AuroApaar-an artist-run, non-profit arts centre in rural South India, this pioneering event aims to catalyse the explosion of the dance-film genre in India and intensify trans-national artistic dialogue.

Structure : 3 day offline event. Screenings will be followed by audience Q&A and interactions with artists. There will be seminars on screen dance and other related topics.

The entries will be curated and viewing restricted to those who have registered for the event.

Where: The main venue is the recently renovated cinematheque at Alliance Francaise de Pondicherry, an arts center in the seaside tourist hotspot Pondicherry.

What : Dance-films excluding recordings of performance.

A list of some of the featured Films and Artists from our 2022 edition:

Bernard Brown and Jingqiu Guan - 'Weight of Sugar'
Andrea Boll - 'Downriver'
Neo Justyne Li - 'Come Rain or Shine'
Douglas Rosenberg - 'Song of Songs'
Nicola Hepp - 'Songs of the Underworld'
Marine Chesnais - 'Living on the Threshold'
Hyun-sang Cho - 'Pin Drop'
Penny Chivas - 'Out of Time'
Kimmo Leed - 'When the Night Falls'
Martina Faux Marimbo - 'The Invisible Inheritance'

While recognising that art-work cannot be assigned ‘points’, Manifest wants to provide recognition to independent art-work and therefore will include Jury awards of CASH and a TROPHY in 3 different categories - these trophies are unique in their design and have an imprint of a photograph from the winning film. In addition, there will be Special Mention certificates awarded to Technical categories.

Jury Award categories
1. Dance-Film
2. Direction
3. Choreography

Special Mention categories
1. Performance
2. Cinematography
3. Editing
4. Sound Design/Music
5. Costume Design

Physical Awards for Jury Award Categories to be couriered
Cash Awards for Jury Award Category to be sent via Paypal
Signed e-Certificates to be sent by email

The festival accepts – Feature Length Dance-Films (40 min and over); Short Length Dance-Films (up to 40 mins); Student Dance-Films (up to 20 mins)

Recordings of dance performances unless used as a cinematic narrative device will not be considered for screening. If you have any doubts about this please write to us at

All genres of films/video, as long as they are largely based on the relationship between the body movement and the tools of cinema as a medium for story-telling.

All submissions have to be made downloadable and sent as a password protected link on Vimeo or sent as a private link on YouTube or Google Drive or a similar platform.

Student applicants should apply with proof of current enrolment along with a valid student ID.

Submission fee must be paid at time of submission. Submission fees are non-refundable.

Applicants must have all rights and permissions to present the work. AuroApaar, Manifest and individuals associated with these organisations and this event are not responsible for any copyright infringement in the works submitted.

Submission to the festival does not confirm selection in any of the categories or screening of the film.

The ongoing pandemic might compel shifts in the final date. It is also possible that the festival could be completely online or a hybrid model. Filmmakers of selected films agree to screen their films online for restricted viewership and restricted time on a platform chosen by the festival.

IMPORTANT : Technical Requirements: File Extension: .mov or .mp4; Codec: H.264 or Prores; Resolution: Maximum 2K or 1920×1080 (HD); Note: the Data Rate at time of conversion should ideally be a minimum of 5 mbps. The files should not be excessively large - for example a 20 minute film should ideally be no more than 2gb. If there are any queries regarding technical requirements please write to

If the film has speech or text in song or any other form in a language other than English, filmmakers are requested to upload versions with burnt in English subtitles. Please note the subtitles should not be sent as separate files or as caption tracks. The subtitles should be visible as part of the film image upon playing the film copy uploaded or linked to your FilmFreeway account.

Please do not send hard copies of films (DVD or other media) or hard copies of other documents.

The festival does not pay any screening fees.

The festival does not cover travel or other expenses for attending the festival.

The filmmakers of selected films, agree to participate in a live online question and answer session at a date and time mutually discussed and set in advance.

Submitters authorize the organizers of Auro Apaar And Manifest to store copies of their submissions in their archives, for festival and event screenings for non-commercial purposes and use clips/stills for promotional purposes. The filmmakers will be notified in advance for any potential screenings other than this initial event.

Auro Apaar and Manifest Dance-Film Festival and individuals associated with these organizations are not responsible for any loss or theft resulting in piracy in the process of transfer. Auro Apaar and Manifest Dance-Film Festival affirm that submitted works will not be open to any third party access.

Only For Selected Films: The filmmakers will be required to Email to Photo of Director; Photo of Choreographer; 4 Production Stills; 4 Film Stills; Poster; Director’s Biography/Filmography; Choreographer’s Biography/Filmography. Any additional written or visual material that may aid the understanding of the work or the artistic process is welcome.

Overall Rating
  • A very welcoming festival! We feel honored to bring our film to screens in India. Long live to Manifest!
    Um festival muito acolhedor! Nos sentimos honradas em levar nosso filme para as telas da India. Vida longa ao festival!

    August 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Catharina! It was a pleasure to screen your film 'Thru/Através' to our audience here.

  • Martina Faux

    My short film The Invisible Inheritance was selected for this festival. They always communicated with me very cordially and frequently. We had a live webchat with the audience, who after watching the short films were able to ask questions, which by the way were very remarkable.
    It's nice to know that work from all over the world is being seen by different cultures. I regret that I was not able to attend personally, although I was offered accommodation and food for the days of the festival.
    Thank you very much for everything and keep spreading the word about dance!

    Martina Faux

    August 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Martina. It was lovely having your film at the festival and talking to you during the online Q&A to understand your process better. Best wishes!

  • Beatriz Mediavilla

    It was a privilege to be part of this festival. Great selection of films. Even thought I could not be there for the screening, they organized a collective on line directors meeting with the audience for a great Q&A. Also, they are very active in the city and in social medias. Thank you for that great organisation and I hope next time I can be in Pondicherry with them!

    August 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Beatriz. Your film was loved by many here. It was great to talk to you and know more about the work at the online session. Thanks for your support in making the festival achieve its aims.