HAFF presents films that offer an insightful look at the front lines of a quiet, and sometimes not so quiet revolution taking place in the African continent.

The films paint intimate portraits of Africans, both young and old, in the search for social and economic justice. The films celebrate the resilience and determination of the human spirit to change the course of lives against all odds.

We often hear and see incomplete stories from this part of the world, but in these films the African get to tell their own stories of what they have endured, accomplished and hope to achieve in the coming years.

Varied but more so, creating an avenue for creative expression by Africans and African Directors and Collaborators.

Helsinki African film festival (HAFF) is inviting African filmmakers to submit short films of up to 30 minutes for the festival’s short film competition and feature films. The target of the competition is to promote young and emerging African film talent, but equally filmmakers who have completed a feature-length films are highly welcome to explore the European growing market and taste for African Films . Films entered must have been completed in 2010 or after.

The shortlisted entries will be announced by the end of March 2017. All shortlisted films will be screened at the festival. In addition to the overall first prize selected by the jury, an audience choice award will be selected by the audience at the screenings and announced at the end of the festival

From this shortlist, the competition winner will be chosen by a jury and announced at an awards ceremony at the HAFF in May 2016. The jury will consist of local and international film specialists.
The deadline for short film competition entries is 30 January 2017. Please see below for full submission guidelines.

Please read carefully through the submission guidelines and email the HAFF information desk with further enquires at: info@haff.fi

∙ We accept entries from all filmmakers of African nationality working in Africa or abroad. We are particularly interested in giving exposure to young, emerging African filmmakers living and working in Africa. To this end, filmmakers who enter a film for consideration must not have completed a feature-length film previously. Films could be fiction, documentary, animation or experimental and shot in any format.
∙ Only recent films directed by filmmakers of African nationality will be accepted. The film must have been completed in 2009 or after and could have been screened on television, at festivals and in cinemas previously.
∙ Short Films should be no longer than 30 minutes but can be of any length.
∙ We will only accept films in English or with English subtitles. Participants are responsible for all translation and subtitling.
∙ All films submitted should be accompanied with the title of the film and name of the director.
∙ Viewing copies and promotional materials submitted will be stored in our festival archive. These will be kept exclusively for research and non-commercial purposes.
∙ There is no entry fee.
∙ We welcome stills, press releases and other promotional materials to accompany entries, which we might use for promotional purposes.
∙ By submitting your film to HAFF film competition, the copyright holder of your film authorizes the festival to make clips of a maximum of three minutes available on online broadcast channels. The purpose of this is solely to promote the festival and your film.
∙ We will contact all applicants and update them on progress. If your film is shortlisted we will get in touch with you to arrange for a screening copy to be sent to us (screening copies could be on DVD, but should preferably be on a professional exhibition format such as Betacam SP, Digibeta or HD CAM). Participants are responsible for the cost of sending the screening copies to the festival. The festival will cover the cost of returning/forwarding screening copies.

Overall Rating
  • Mattia Trabucchi

    I v been selected with my docu, it looks a great festival (watching at the film's selected). They reply to my mails for technical questions but when I asked information about travelling (I was ready to pay by my self the ticket) and stay there during the festival, I never had a reply about the opportunities...sad, I really would had loved to be there...

    May 2017
  • Christophe Rolin

    Thank you so much for this great festival and great organisation :-)

    May 2017
  • Yet again looking forward to submitting my feature.

    December 2016
  • Constance Ejuma

    Really wonderful festival. Looking forward to submitting my next film there!

    September 2016
  • Jonathan Stein

    I was not able to attend but the festival team were well organized and a pleasure to deal with. The DCP system at the theater was not working so I had to send a QT backup just days before the screening however everything seems to have gone well in the end.

    May 2016