The International Rare Disease Film Festival Berlin

Please be aware that only films with a focus on rare diseases will be reviewed by the jury.
Please refrain from sending films that do not match this requirement. They will be automatically rejected.

RareDiseaseDay: This special day helped raising awareness and build a community for all those affected by rare genetic diseases, acted as a kick-off for the inaugural International Rare Disease Film Festival 2021 – which includes the Rare Disease Film AWARD.

Students, filmmakers, and all those affected by rare diseases will be given the opportunity to present their films to an international audience, and all participating films will be published on the Rare Disease Film Festival website, if filmmakers agree on this. This competition welcomes entries in all languages with a maximum length of 50 minutes under the following categories:
- short films,
- animations,
- experimental films, and
- feature films.

The aim of all films should be to shine a spotlight on rare diseases – raising awareness for patients and all those affected. While rare diseases usually have negative connotations in the public perception, we want to use film as a medium to set a new narrative: Diseases are more than just suffering. Diseases also bring moments of laughter and companionship, redirect what one considers important, and forces individuals to define new personal priorities. All of these components are part of an outstanding story waiting to be told.

This festival is also an opportunity to build a bridge between creative artists and a reality often removed from public perception: "Rare diseases" are often viewed as only affecting a few, but in reality, there are approx. 350 million rare disease patients around the world, with families, loved ones, and communities also being strongly impacted. As you can see, we are confronted with a large group of people who all too often fall through the cracks, because their disease pattern is often not recognized in time or because therapies simply do not exist yet – a responsibility we have as a global community to change.

While we of course want to recognize artistic achievements, we are just as interested in shining a spotlight on rare diseases and highlighting the perspective of the patients and their families as well as their environment. The categories listed provide a broad framework, allowing for creative freedom. Once again, we would like to stress that when we recognize a story being told, where we see the impact that such a rare disease has on the individual, and when it becomes perceptible - at whatever artistic level - our attention and recognition will follow.

Our mission must be to create a stage for those affected, and in this case, film is the tool to do so. At the same time, this film festival also serves as a chance to create an attention-deserving niche for filmmakers. Rare diseases will increasingly be brought to the public’s attention over the coming years as rare diseases are in fact, not rare at all. With this film festival, we hope to truly depict that.

Please be aware that only films with a focus on rare diseases will be reviewed by the jury.
Please refrain from sending films that do not match this requirement.

1st Prize: 16,000 Euros

2nd Prize: 9,000 Euros

3rd Prize: 3,000 Euros

Special artistic achievement: 2,000 Euros

Please be aware that only films with a focus on rare diseases will be reviewed by the jury.
Please refrain from sending films that do not match this requirement.

Open to all filmmakers, students or those affected by the matter.
Documentaries, Animation films, Short feature films no longer than 50 minutes.
Entries from all countries worldwide. No restrictions.
We ask filmmakers to have their films being shown on the RDFF website ( after the 28 Feb. 2021. We want to give you a stage. But this is not mandatory.

Overall Rating

    It was a great experience to participate in the International Rare Disease Film festival in Berlin.

    March 2021
  • Very interested at your Festival !

    March 2021
  • Pablo Ostarek

    We were so happy to have been a part of the IRDFF this year. 2020 has been a pretty bad year for film festivals, but the IRDFF's team prepared an amazing online virtual experience out of it. There was great communication with the entire team and although we were not able to travel to Berlin due to restrictions, it almost felt like we were there.
    Thanks so much for your hard work!

    March 2021
  • Pulkit Tomar

    Everything about the festival was amazing.
    Especially the team organising the fest made the whole experience flawless.
    Had a great time participating here. Looking forward to submit another film next year!

    March 2021
  • Thank you very much for having my film. And congratulations on doing a great work to help support the struggle with so many people around the world.

    March 2021