The International LET’S CEE Film Festival, based in Vienna, presents a carefully curated selection of the best current feature films, documentaries, shorts and promising debuts from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) including the Caucasus region and Turkey (26 countries in total), shown in the frame of four competitions and various other categories, ranging from legendary classics, topic-related retrospectives and tributes to prize-winning animations and even children’s films. With only a few exceptions, the roughly 150 films are presented in their original versions with English or German subtitles, and most of them are Austrian premieres.

The LET’S CEE Film Festival not only brings a wide range of cinematic masterpieces to Vienna, but, meanwhile, hosts up to 150 directors, screenwriters, producers, actors, cinematographers and other film experts from across Central and Eastern Europe, year after year. The filmmakers themselves have many opportunities to share experiences with their international and Austrian colleagues.

The comprehensive framework programme features exclusive events, ranging from high-class workshops, master classes and lectures to panel discussions, presentations and, last but not least, an attractive party schedule, all of which are open to the general public too. Starting from 2017, the festival addresses Austrian and international film professionals as well with its LET’S CEE Talent Academy and the LET’S CEE Industry Days, being the only one of their kind in Austria.

Awards & Prizes

All filmmakers who will take part in the main Short Film Competition will additionally profit from their participation. At the expense of the festival, one of the involved filmmakers of each short film will be invited as an official guest to Vienna in order to present their work. Those persons will, furthermore, have the opportunity to join the second edition of the LET’S CEE Talent Academy.

15 remaining free seats for the Talent Academy will be filled by Out-of-Competition filmmakers. The most important items on the one-week Academy agenda include the attendance of LET’S CEE Master Classes and LET’S CEE Industry Days, the collaborative finalisation of a short film about Vienna, and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch a film idea to Raindance film festival director Elliot Grove (and win big!) at the Pitching Competition. Of course, all invited filmmakers will enjoy several Get-togethers, where they can get in touch with successful distributors, directors, producers, actors etc., exchange experiences and new ideas and thus strive to new projects and international collaborations. In order to enable as many filmmakers as possible to visit LET’S CEE and present their work to the festival audience, all participants of the section ‘Short Films | Out of Competition’ will receive free festival accreditations and discounts for the official hotel partner on request.

All short films in the Competition will be competing for money prizes. Awards are always rewarded to the director of the winning film. The Main Prize in the Competition: 1.500,- Euro and the Urania statue, will be given by the International Jury. The Audience Award for the Best Film in the Short Film Competition (1.500,- Euro) will be chosen by the audience. There will be also additional awards in services. Furthermore, the jury may award honourable mentions.

Rules & Terms

Attention to all film talents: From 21 November 2017 until 31 January 2018, filmmakers will have the chance to apply for the LET’S CEE Short Film Competition 2018. Not only are two main prizes waiting to be won, moreover, ten finalists will receive an invitation to participate in the second edition of the LET’S CEE Talent Academy in Vienna!

Between 21 November 2017 and 31 January 2018, filmmakers up to the age of 35 from Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus region, Turkey and Austria will have the possibility to submit their short films to the Short Film Competition of the LET’S CEE Film Festival 2018.

However, filmmakers of all ages and from all over the world are welcome as well to send in thematically fitting contributions. Due to the festival’s geographical focus on CEE though, these short films will not be included in the main Short Film Competition, but will very well have the chance to win the Audience Award in the Short Film category and be screened at the festival in the section Short Films | Out of Competition. We furthermore cordially encourage international makers of virtual reality films, 3D productions and avant-garde pieces to apply as we will be offering these genres a stage at our festival as well.

The theme of the Short Film Competition 2018 is TOGETHER OR APART.

Great Britain voted for the Brexit last year and in doing so decided against a EU membership; most recently thousands of Catalan people went to the streets demanding independence from Spain; under the presidency of Donald Trump, the USA is seeking to withdraw from the Paris climate protection agreement and renegotiate various other commercial treaties – these are only three of many examples demonstrating the recent shift of the political mood in numerous countries. A growing migratory pressure, an increasing gap between the rich and poor, as well as justified and unsubstantiated fears – of the consequences of digitalisation, of the loss of jobs and stability and of social change – have discredited globalisation and encouraged a comeback of nationalist and isolationist tendencies, which seemed utterly unfathomable only a few years ago. Even on a national scale, societal cohesion appears to be threatened more and more. How does the growing division of society influence both the community and individuals? Will political agitation, hatred, egotism and greed for profit become the new normal? Well, the situation is critical, but not hopeless, neither on an international nor a national level. There are still representatives of the civil society who make no effort to surrender to the threatening eroding solidarity. Fortunately, there are numerous instances proving how people still advocate for the poor and disadvantaged with great optimism, dedication and empathy – people who rather pay attention to what we have in common instead of what keeps us apart.

The competition’s theme, TOGETHER OR APART, may be manifested in the submitted material in various manners and methods. Interpersonal aspects, such as family and relationship dramas, trials and tribulations, moments of success and happiness or the joint overcoming of challenges can be taken into account just as well as social, political, juridical and/or cultural matters. In other words: everything is possible, as long as it touches on the topic and is done well!

An advisory board chaired by the renowned Austrian-Iranian filmmakers Arash T. Riahi and Arman T. Riahi will choose the best contributions from the submissions for the LET’S CEE Short Film Competition. The short films, which will be screened out of competition, will be selected by the Bosnian-Dutch producer Denis Mujović and festival director Magdalena Żelasko.

After the presentation of the participating productions at the festival, an international jury will decide on the winner of the competing short films and, thus, who will be awarded the main prize – 1,500 Euro and a Urania statuette – at the Awards Ceremony in the Urania Cinema on 20 April 2018. The remaining short films presented during the festival will have, without exception, the chance to win the 1,500 Euro Audience Award in the category Short Film.

All filmmakers who will take part in the main Short Film Competition will additionally profit from their participation. At the expense of the festival, one of the involved filmmakers of each short film will be invited as an official guest*) to Vienna in order to present their work. Those persons will, furthermore, have the opportunity to join the second edition of the LET’S CEE Talent Academy.

15 remaining free seats for the Talent Academy will be filled by Out-of-Competition filmmakers. The most important items on the one-week Academy agenda include the attendance of LET’S CEE Master Classes and LET’S CEE Industry Days, the collaborative finalisation of a short film about Vienna, and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch a film idea to Raindance film festival director Elliot Grove (and win big!) at the Pitching Competition. Of course, all invited filmmakers will enjoy several Get-togethers, where they can get in touch with successful distributors, directors, producers, actors etc., exchange experiences and new ideas and thus strive to new projects and international collaborations. In order to enable as many filmmakers as possible to visit LET’S CEE and present their work to the festival audience, all participants of the section ‘Short Films | Out of Competition’ will receive free festival accreditations and discounts for the official hotel partner on request.

SHORT FILM COMPETITION - REGULATIONS 2018

1. Introduction

The international LET’S CEE Film Festival (‘Festival’) is organised by the Association LET’S CEE Filmfestival based in Vienna, Austria. The Festival features high-quality productions from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), including the Caucasus region and Turkey. The sixth edition of the Festival will take place in Vienna, Austria, between 13 and 22 April 2018.

The LET’S CEE Short Film Competition (‘Competition’) is one of the Festival’s four main competitions. The underlying theme of the Competition in 2018 is ‘TOGETHER OR APART’.

The Competition will give ten young filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe as well as from Austria the chance to present their work personally at the Festival in order to compare their work directly to that of other excellent young filmmakers, and to exchange thoughts with their colleagues. Further short films from Central and Eastern Europe and Austria will be shown within the frame of the LET’S CEE Short Films | Out of Competition (‘Out of Competition’) section. Productions from outside the CEE region will also be considered to be part of Out of Competition.

1.1. General requirements for entry

1.1.1. Competition

Films eligible for the Short Film Competition are to be considered according to the following criteria:

• The film is not longer than 30 minutes.
• The film is produced in one or more of the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia (FYR), Moldavia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.
• The director’s country of citizenship is one of the countries mentioned above.
• The director is up to 35 years of age.
• The film has been completed after 1 January 2016.
• The film has not been screened publicly in Austria.
• All languages will be accepted; however (additional) English subtitles are in any case obligatory.
• The underlying topic of the film has to be related to TOGETHER OR APART. As in the previous years of course, the submitted films will be free to examine the theme in all forms and shapes, from all perspectives and angles. Great imagination and resourcefulness will be welcomed, and free associations are naturally allowed. There are no restrictions regarding the content, except the requirement of an unmistakably clear relation to the topic.

1.1.2. Out of Competition

Films eligible for the Out of Competition section are to be considered according to all criteria mentioned below:

• The film is not longer than 30 minutes.
• The film has been completed after 1 January 2016.
• The film has not been screened publicly in Austria.
• All languages will be accepted; however (additional) English subtitles are in any case obligatory.
• The underlying topic of the film has to be related to TOGETHER OR APART. As in previous years, the submitted films will of course be free to examine the theme in all forms and shapes, from all perspectives and angles. Great imagination and resourcefulness will be welcomed, and free associations are naturally allowed. There are no restrictions regarding the content, except the requirement of an unmistakably clear relation to the topic.

Furthermore:

• Each applicant is allowed to submit more than one film (in separate entries).

2. Procedure and Deadlines

The Call for Entries for the 6th edition of the Festival will be opened between 21 November 2017 and 31 January 2018.

Film submissions will be accepted online through the Festival platform FilmFreeway as well as through the selected festival submission platforms.

The submission fee for every entry is 12.00 €.

Film submissions have to be made online. All additional material sent to the Festival before the final selection will not be returned to the applicants but will be kept in the Festival archive and might be used for the Festival’s purposes.

3. Selecting procedure

There will be a curatorial selection panel consisting of the Festival directors, filmmakers and others. The curatorial panel will select films based on artistic and thematic criteria.

The final selection in all programme sections will be announced until 1 March 2018.

Approximately ten films will be selected for the Short Film Competition, up to 30 further films will be shown in the Out of Competition section.

In case a film is selected, the Festival will notify the applicants via e-mail until 28 February 2017.

Once a film is submitted to the Festival, it cannot be removed from the programme, neither by the institution who submitted it nor by any other person or institution whatever the reason may be.

After the confirmation, the entrant agrees to the condition that the film won’t be publicly screened in Austria until 22 April 2018 beyond its Festival screenings.

4. Invitation procedure

4.1. Invitation of the filmmakers selected for the Short Film Competition

The Festival will decide who shall represent each film in the Competition.

Eligible are members of the film’s main cast (director, producer, writer, main actor/actress, cinematographer, set designer, etc.) up to the age of 35.

The selected representative of the film should come to Vienna between 15 and 22 April 2018.

The LET’S CEE Film Festival will provide the final entrants of the Competition with accommodation of its choice and make a financial contribution to the travelling costs. However, no guarantee regarding covering the full costs can be given.

Furthermore, all final entrants of the Competition will be invited to be part of the LET’S CEE Talent Academy; all costs of participation will be covered by the Festival.

The selected representative of each film should attend at least 80% of the events offered for free within the frame of the LET’S CEE Talent Academy if she or he wants a written confirmation of having attended the programme.

Please note that guests of the Festival won’t be covered by the Festival’s insurance and no extra expenses will be covered either.

4.2. Participation of the filmmakers selected for the Out of Competition section

The Festival will decide who may represent each film in the Out of Competition section.

Eligible are members of the film’s main cast (director, producer, writer, main actor/actress, cinematographer, set designer, etc.) up to the age of 35. However, unlike in the Competition, there is no obligation for a representative from a film shown in the Out of Competition section to be present in Vienna during the Festival.

Based on their portfolio, selected representatives of the Out of Competition films will be offered free participation at the LET’S CEE Talent Academy.

However, no financial contributions to the travelling or accommodation costs can be made.

Please note that guests of the Festival won’t be covered by the Festival’s insurance and no extra expenses will be covered either.

4.2. Transportation, insurance and returning of film copies

The Festival must receive the screening copy of the film before 18 March 2018. If an applicant misses this date, his work may be replaced by a short film from the waiting list.

The print/video material of selected films must be made available for screening during the whole Festival period.

The applicant covers the costs of sending the screening copies to the Festival.

The Festival covers the costs of returning/forwarding screening copies to the destination of choice.

All prints will be returned within four weeks after the Festival.

The applicant is responsible for covering insurance for the shipping of films and videos to and from Austria.

When sending the film from a non-EU country, a non-commercial/pro forma invoice must be sent along with the print or video, stating the name of the sender, the company, the address, the title of the film, its format, its length and the description “without commercial value, for cultural purpose only” and marked as “no value” or “not more than 10 Euro/USD”.

The Festival will not accept shipments for which it would have to bear shipping fees, duties, taxes or customs duties, and will not assume any responsibility for such shipments.

4.3. Film formats

The following film formats and video systems can be accepted for the Competition:

• DCP
• Blue Ray
• Electronic file

5. Short Film Competition

5.1. International Jury

The International Jury will be composed of three to five international filmmakers, journalists and/or other experts who will evaluate the selected films in the Competition.

The Jury will make their winning selections without external influences and in accordance to rules based on general principles determined by the Festival.

The Jury has the right not to award any of the prizes if they believe that one or several criteria are not met.

5.2. Awards

All short films in the Competition will be competing for money prizes. Awards are always rewarded to the director of the winning film.

The Main Prize in the Competition: 1.500,- Euro and the Urania statue, will be given by the International Jury.

The Audience Award for the Best Film in the Short Film Competition (1.500,- Euro) will be chosen by the audience.

Furthermore, the jury may award honourable mentions.

5.3. Screening Date and Regulations

The selected films will be officially presented in the Festival’s Competition and in the Out of Competition programme between 13 and 22 April 2018.

The Award Ceremony will take place on 20 April 2018 at the Urania Cinema.

The scheduling of the Competition and any further screenings are entirely at the discretion of the Festival management.

The Festival has the right to screen the selected films more than once over the duration of the Festival without any screening fees.

The Festival has the right to screen the selected films for promotional reasons two more times outside Vienna in Austria without any screening fees.

In case of faulty projection, the Festival cannot be held liable for immaterial damages suffered by director, producer or distributor.

6. Media and Publicity Regulations

Once the film has been selected for the Competition, the Festival’s logo and the official description may be used for publicity purposes by the film director, producer and any person or institution related to the film. The file plus confirmation will be sent to the primary contact in digital form until 28 February 2018.

The film will be presented in the official Festival catalogue and in the programme. The presentation in the catalogue will include the main technical and artistic credits, a synopsis written by the editing team as well as a film still. More specific information and additional photo material will be published on the Festival’s homepage.

For information and promotion purposes worldwide, the Festival is allowed to use any contributed photo or digital film clip (maximal 10 percent of the film’s duration) of each selected film for all kinds of online, film or printed channels. All materials used for information and promotion purposes are entirely at the discretion of the Festival.

Directors, producers and distributors of participating/winning films are requested to include the mention of participation in/awarding at the Festival in future promotional material. The additional photo and video material will be provided on request.

7. Regulations in case of cancellation of the LET’S CEE Film Festival 2017

If – for e.g. financial, but also for other reasons at the sole discretion of LET'S CEE Film Festival – the LET'S CEE Film Festival 2018 has to be cancelled or will be held in a reduced format, the selected films (in all categories) will be presented between 13 and 22 April 2018 anyway in a format to be chosen by the Festival in one of the Festival’s cinemas in Vienna; nevertheless, the Main Prize might be rewarded and the jury might award honourable mentions. Participants will be informed in due course.

All final participants are welcomed to attend this event, but the Association LET'S CEE Film Festival based in Vienna, Austria, will neither cover any costs for their accommodation, contribute to their travel costs nor will it bear any other costs related to the presentations.

Naturally, for all final participants as well as for those whose films are screened out of competition there won't be any possibility to participate in the LET'S CEE Talent Academy (which would not take place in this case).

8. Conclusion

If the submission of a short film does not meet all of the requirements mentioned above, it will not be eligible for participating in the Competition.

All eventual omissions or doubts remaining within the regulations will be solved by the Festival following rules of equity and good judgement.

In all cases, the Festival management will decide where and how the regulations apply and reserves the right to decide on exceptions to the regulations.

The applicant declares that he or she owns all rights concerning the use of the submitted work, or guarantees to have cleared all rights needed for screening during the Festival.

Entering a film into the Competition implies the acceptance of its regulations; all submissions to the Festival translate full acceptance and no reservations in terms of regulation.