Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed filmmakers and film enthusiasts, welcome to the Kotka Human Rights Film Festival (KHRFF), an annual celebration dedicated exclusively to shedding light on human rights issues through the powerful medium of cinema. Formerly known as the Kotka International Film Festival from 2020 to 2022, KHRFF now returns as a hybrid festival, poised to captivate audiences in the heart of Kotka, Finland, and beyond.

For four inspiring days, this festival will exclusively present films that delve into the complexities of human rights, covering a spectrum of crucial social and political topics such as democracy, justice, freedom, and environmental protection from various corners of the world.

At its core, KHRFF remains devoted to curating a selection of films that not only tackle pertinent human rights issues but also demonstrate exceptional artistic quality from diverse global perspectives. This festival serves as a platform inviting emerging and talented filmmakers to express their unique visions while honoring the profound impact of cinema on societal consciousness.

Kotka provides an outstanding setting for this cinematic journey, offering high-quality venues where the films will be showcased to an eager and engaged audience. We are thrilled to announce that the screenings will take place at the prestigious Merikeskus Vellamo in Kotka. This stunning venue, known for its architectural brilliance and maritime heritage, adds a touch of grandeur and significance to our film festival.

Merikeskus Vellamo serves as the perfect backdrop for thought-provoking films that delve into human rights and social issues. Its state-of-the-art facilities and immersive atmosphere will heighten the cinematic experience, enabling the audience to fully immerse themselves in the compelling stories presented.

The festival takes pride in inviting professionals and industry experts to evaluate the works, acknowledging outstanding achievements with well-deserved awards at its commencement.

The program we have meticulously curated encompasses a captivating mix of major international art films, thought-provoking documentaries, captivating features, poignant short films, and innovative animations. Each film is a powerful tool to convey crucial messages, foster empathy, and provoke meaningful conversations.

In line with the Kotka Human Rights Film Festival's commitment to artistic integrity, we wish to emphasize that the festival reserves the right to make necessary adjustments to the program, including scheduling, film selections, and screening venues. These changes will always prioritize the best interests of the filmmakers, the audience, and the festival as a whole.

By retaining the flexibility to make changes, KHRFF ensures a dynamic and responsive cinematic experience that caters to the evolving needs of the festival's participants and attendees. Our goal is to cultivate an environment that encourages open dialogue, artistic expression, and engagement with human rights issues while upholding the filmmakers' exceptional works.

As we embark on this meaningful journey, we kindly request your understanding and support. Any modifications will be undertaken to elevate the overall festival experience, presenting you with the most impactful and thought-provoking cinematic content. Together, let us celebrate the transformative power of film in inspiring positive change and advancing the cause of human rights worldwide.

Dear friends, prepare to be moved, enlightened, and inspired as we unite in the spirit of artistic expression, human rights advocacy, and global awareness. Welcome to the Kotka Human Rights Film Festival – where cinematic stories ignite change.

We eagerly await your presence at Kinopalatsi and Trio 1 in Kotka!

Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed filmmakers and film enthusiasts, as we approach the much-anticipated conclusion of the Kotka Human Rights Film Festival (KHRFF), we are excited to share that a series of distinguished awards will be presented to honor the exceptional achievements of filmmakers who have fearlessly used their art to champion human rights causes and inspire social change.

Among these coveted awards are accolades for:

Best Feature Film
Best Short Film
Best Documentary Film
Best Animated Film
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Director
These awards serve as a testament to the power of cinema to ignite change, evoke emotions, and promote human rights around the world. Each of these categories celebrates excellence in filmmaking and the compelling storytelling that illuminates the complexities of our shared human experiences.

As we draw closer to the festival's culmination, we invite you to join us in celebrating the exceptional works of filmmakers who have contributed significantly to the global discourse on human rights and social issues. The final award winners will be announced during the festival's closing ceremony, recognizing the talent, creativity, and dedication of the artists who have shared their unique voices with us.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the participants for their invaluable contributions to the festival, and we look forward to honoring the outstanding filmmakers and artists who have made KHRFF an extraordinary celebration of cinema and human rights.

Stay tuned for the grand finale, where the winners will be unveiled, and together, let us continue to champion the power of storytelling to inspire positive change and foster a more compassionate and understanding world. Thank you for being a part of this transformative cinematic journey.


At KHRFF, we uphold rigorous standards for feature films, classifying any movie that exceeds 50 minutes in length as a feature film. To ensure accessibility, all selected films must include English subtitles. Once chosen for the festival, filmmakers will be notified via email, and their works will be prominently displayed on our official websites. We welcome feature films that delve into a diverse range of subjects, with a particular emphasis on humanity issues and cultural topics. Embracing tradition while embracing innovation, KHRFF is dedicated to showcasing original, unique features that captivate and inspire our audiences.


KHRFF Film Festival is devoted to presenting compelling documentary films on a wide array of subjects. Our focus this year is on human rights issues, life stories, environmental topics, as well as unique, spiritual, and unconventional themes. We aim to provide a platform for filmmakers to shed light on vital issues, sharing powerful stories that resonate with viewers and encourage meaningful discussions.


Short films, running from 1 minute to 49 minutes and 59 seconds, find a special place at our festival. We welcome filmmakers who bring forth fresh and innovative ideas, pushing the boundaries of storytelling. Our festival places a strong emphasis on this category, ensuring that short films receive the recognition and attention they rightly deserve.


Animation film technology has witnessed remarkable advancements over the centuries, from flip books to cutting-edge 3D animation and CGI. At KHRFF, we carefully select animated films based on their topics and quality, acknowledging the creativity and skill of the filmmakers. Our commitment to showcasing these exceptional works remains unwavering, providing a platform for the artistry of animation.

As part of the submission process, the festival retains the right to use all submitted material, including posters and trailers, without seeking additional permissions.

The festival holds the screening rights for the selected films during the festival dates and sub-events, without any screening fees being paid. While not all selected films will be screened, the festival reserves the right to showcase them at various sub-events, ensuring broader exposure for the filmmakers. All selected films will be accessible to the public during the festival days also online screenings.

To facilitate a seamless experience for our audiences, we request that selected filmmakers make their films easily downloadable, including the film and promotional materials. Failure to provide accessible download links may result in the withdrawal of the film from the program.

KHRFF retains the right to make any necessary changes to the festival's proceedings, ensuring the smooth operation and dynamic nature of the event.

ONLY DCP files are accepted for screenings. FHD- for online screenings.

Overall Rating
  • Is an online festival great to. Win an award for my film SINIOLCHU

    December 2023
  • Priit Laineste

    It was a pleasure to participate in the festival again (after a long corona break) and meet other filmmakers. Thanks!

    December 2023
  • Thank you very much for selecting my film. I am very proud to have been distinguished in your very beautiful festival. It's very important for me to share "A day will come" and I'm glad you like it.
    I wish you all the best,
    Nicolas Cazalé

    June 2022
  • Vladyslav Robskyi

    This is a grate festival.
    Very hostly organizers & nice place.
    Thank you & good luck in the new world where peace will win

    May 2022
  • Damian Matyasik

    It was a joy and honour to participate in Kotka international film festival. Wish you guys all the best and keep up the good work!

    May 2022