Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration, working to help ensure the orderly and humane management of this global phenomenon. Over the years, films have been used to inform, entertain, educate and provoke debate. It is in this spirit that IOM launched the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) in 2016. In 2019, an Official Selection of 32 films led to over 700 screenings in 108 countries around the world, attended by a global audience of around 60,000 people.

The goal of the Festival is to pave the way for greater discussion around one of the greatest phenomena of our time: migration. Furthermore, it is an innovative avenue for normalizing discussions of migration through storytelling, and an advocacy tool that can draw attention to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), thus helping all nations as they work to meet them.


The Global Migration Film Festival has an itinerant and unique format. The films that make up the Official Selection are included in a list which is then shared with about 100 IOM offices and partners worldwide. Each participating country office will then select the films to be screened locally during the Festival, which runs from 28 November – 18 December 2020, worldwide.
Filmmakers will receive a final list of countries where their films will be screened by mid-November. Films can be screened in impromptu scenarios, from traditional cinemas and universities worldwide, to open-air theatres in the desert in Niger and detention centers in Libya. All screenings are entrance free. This means that IOM needs the authorization from the films' rightsholder(s) to host screenings without territory and frequency limitations for the duration of the Festival.

/ Full-length Features (TRT over 41 minutes) – to be part of the official selection of the Global Migration Film Festival. The best film selected by an International Jury receives a cash prize.

/ Short Films (films between 15 and 40 minutes) - to be part of the official selection of the Global Migration Film Festival. The best film selected by an International Jury receives a cash prize.

/Online Films-Films of all the genres and lengths which have been agreed to be screened online by the filmmaker. The best film selected by the audience will receive a cash prize.
Other prizes will be announced later this year.

*Deadline for entry*
Films of all genres (feature, documentary, animation, etc.) and lengths will be accepted from --------------------.

*Festival theme*
All submissions should portray the challenges and promises of migration, and the unique contributions migrants make to their new communities. Films that tackle negative perceptions of migrants, defy stereotypes and portray positive and welcoming actions by and toward migrants are encouraged.

Films should be in English or subtitled in English. Subtitles are encouraged, even if the dialogue is in English, to ensure maximum comprehension for global audiences.
Films in other languages are encouraged but must have subtitles in English.

*Production year*
Films completed on or after .................., are eligible for consideration.

Films may only be submitted by individuals with the legal right to negotiate the use of the work.

*Film selections*
The festival will inform applicants by mid-August if their film is selected.
For each selected film, either the filmmaker or the individual responsible for the submission should be prepared to provide relevant still images, a trailer, the filmmaker's biography, a photo of the film’s director and the transcripts for subtitling.

*There is no fee to submit films.*

*Films produced with any financial support from IOM are eligible to be part of the Official Selection. However, they are not eligible for the payment of screening fees.*

Overall Rating
  • Nitsan Tal

    Great festival! My film was screened online followed by a panel discussion on Zoom. Everything was well arranged and very professional. Communication with the organizers was clear, all questions answered promptly. My best screening experience in 2020.

    December 2020
  • Carina Sama

    Hermoso participar. Tuvimos una Mencion especial

    October 2020
  • Jeremy Billon

    Great festival, amazing opportunity to get viewed worldwide in the most incredible places! Awesome team and good communication.

    January 2020
  • A wonderful festival!
    They were very cordial and attentive.
    Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate!

    January 2020
    Response from festival:

    Dear Bill,
    Thank you for your review. Your movie ‘Libertai’ was a rich contribution to the Festival. We had 32 films in the Official Selection List in 2019, which cover a wide range of migration topics. More than 600 screenings were hosted in 106 countries.

  • Regina Udalor

    A really great festival. Th communication was topnotch,even though I didn't attend physically, but I felt carried along and felt good to get this kind of attention that my film needed. Thank you so much GMFF.

    January 2020
    Response from festival:

    Dear Regina,
    Thank you for your review and thank you for submitting your film ‘The Lost Cafe’, which was a rich contribution to GMFF.