Faces of Hunger (FOH) is an annual film festival dedicated to increasing awareness of food security issues in the United States of America. We are looking for critical responses to the social and political structures surrounding food insecurity, quality and waste nationwide.

FOH was created by Palms for Life Fund, a NYC based non-profit that works globally with organizations on-the-ground to provide access to food, water, education, and sanitation. We have set up mobile libraries for streetchildren in Ecuador, brought literacy to undermined women farmers in Burkina Faso, and built toilets in Nicaragua to improve school sanitation. With a grant from the European Union, we are now providing sustainable, quality services to the most vulnerable children in Swaziland.

But human rights issues aren’t confined to developing countries. In 2015, one in seven Americans experienced food insecurity; up to 40% of food produced in the United States goes uneaten every year; and because of the obesity rate, the current generation of children will be the first to live shorter lives than their parents. In one of the world’s most developed countries, such food issues should not exist. Through the FOH Film Festival we call upon filmmakers to explore solutions and shed light on this hidden reality.


We are eager to see your point of view on the daily conditions and obstacles Americans face in accessing sufficient and nutritious food for themselves and their families. Let’s bring this discussion to the breakfast table by:

• Encouraging conversation through striking stories and visuals that demand to be shared

• Inspiring individuals who have first hand experience of food insecurity to speak out about their struggles

• Showcasing works by socially conscious filmmakers

The FOH Film Festival will take place on October 16, 2016. You can submit films up to 40 minutes in length under one of three categories: documentary, narrative or animation. They will be voted on by a panel of judges comprised of professional filmmakers, food security experts and food connoisseurs.

The awards are:

Best Narrative, Best Documentary and Best Animation
Best Director, Best Cinematographer, Best Actor and Best Screenplay
Hannah Laufer-Rottman Award for the best film made by someone directly affected by food issues
Facing up to Hunger Award for the film with the most viable solution to a food issue in the United States
Mobile Award for the best film shot on a mobile device
Audience Award as selected by the festival viewers
Impact Award for the video with the most views online


What is a film about food insecurity in the United States of America?

A film about food insecurity focuses on the daily conditions and obstacles working Americans living in poverty – the working poor - face in accessing sufficient and nutritious food for themselves and their families. The film may present possible solutions, or include discussion around food deserts and food waste. The working poor are defined as people who are employed but whose wages are insufficient to cover their basic living costs (their incomes fall below the poverty line). The obstacles faced by the working poor “make it difficult for many of them to find and keep a job, save up money, and maintain a sense of self-worth.”

Some examples of what we consider relevant films:

· Marginalized individuals and communities
· Explore and challenge concepts of marginalization and discrimination
· Challenges working families face every day
· Living conditions of American families
· Basic human rights and food insecurity in American society (and relevant systemic issues)
· Alternative food choices for families living in poverty
· Children's eating habits
· Food insecurity at the family level
· Food waste in America and its connection to food insecurity/hunger
· The American food industry and its connection to food insecurity/hunger
· Personal experiences with food insecurity, waste, and food quality in America.
· Societal beliefs about food insecurity issues
· Food insecurity and its relationship to the environment and sustainability

What exactly is FOH looking for?

FOH is looking for diverse, innovative and creative responses to food insecurity, food quality, and food waste in America. We want films that inspire and engage audiences. In particular, FOH is seeking short films that do so creatively, artistically, and critically and explore political and social structures in place that need to be challenged. It is also important that the films are accessible to the online audience and have a high degree of technical excellence.

Is there a particular genre that we won’t accept?

Not at all. Films of any genre may be accepted, from documentary, narrative, animation, music video, essay film, comedy, horror, sci-fi, adventure and experimental. We love to watch films that take a fresh and creative approach to hunger and to addressing issues around hunger/food insecurity.

Are there particular kinds of content that you won’t consider or that you’re less likely to consider?

· Our audience is intelligent and film-literate. We are less likely to consider films that are didactic and simplistic.
· Films that feature content including racist, pornographic, defamatory, obscene, hateful behavior or other acts or thematic material considered to be both extreme and gratuitous will not be considered.
· Films that are not cinematic or have very low production values may not be as likely to be considered.
· Films do not need to have been produced after the festival launch in order to be submitted to the 2016 Festival.

What about duration?

Films must be between 1-40 minutes.

What are the deadlines for the submissions?

May 18, 2016 Open call for submissions
July 15, 2016 Earlybird Deadline
September 29, 2016 Regular Deadline
October 9, 2016 Shortlist Announced, Online viewing starts
October 16, 2016 Event Date, World Food Day, Winners announced

How much does it cost to submit?

Earlybird entrance to the festival through FilmFreeway is $15 ($10 for students). Regular entrance is $25 ($20 for students).

What should I know before submitting a film to FOH?

Before submitting your film to our Festival, you should make sure you read and understand the FOH Terms and Conditions. These Terms and Conditions outline all of FOH’s conditions of entry and legal issues relating to you submitting the film. These are available on the website, facesofhunger.org. When you submit your online application, we will ask you to confirm that you agree to these terms and conditions.

By submitting a film to FOH, am I assigning ownership to the Festival? Or does it mean that I can’t submit my work for screening anywhere else?

When you submit your film to FOH, you are granting FOH a non-exclusive license to screen your film to the public online as well as at other events we organize, such as schools screenings, conferences and fundraisers.

A non-exclusive license basically means that you are giving us permission to screen your film online at these events. There are no restrictions on your ability to submit your work to any other festival or to do anything else with the film. You retain absolute ownership of your film.

Does FOH have any other rights to use our film?

By submitting a film to FOH, you also grant FOH a license to screen any part of your film for promotional and marketing purposes. This may include taking excerpts of the film to make a trailer, using still images for our program and making a copy of the film for judges or speakers.

Here are a few things we can’t do: FOH can’t pass on, or give rights to other organizations to screen your film without your permission. FOH can’t directly make money from screening your film in a context outside the Festival.

What else do I have to do before submitting a film?

When you submit a film, you’re saying that you have the authority to give us a license to screen the film and that you have obtained all the necessary permissions and consents from the people who may have rights in elements of the film. Before submitting your film, you will need to make sure that you have written permission to, for example, use all the music that features in your film.

I am under 18. Can I still submit my film to FOH?

You certainly can. Please contact us if you have any questions.

I still have questions! Who can I contact?

If you have any questions, whether about our terms and conditions or submission process or selection criteria, please email us at: foh@palmsforlife.org