The Leuven DisABILITY Film Festival is organizing its second short film competition. The competition is open to everyone!

The Leuven DisABILITY Film Festival was established in 2009 with the aim of contributing to the realization of a more inclusive society. Central to the philosophy of the film festival is bringing people with and without disabilities together. Beyond screening films, the festival hosts public lectures and workshops which facilitate collaborative reflection and dialogue that not only questions but also challenges existing perceptions about persons with disabilities.

In this spirit, the festival introduced its first short film competition in 2022. The second will be part of the 13th edition of The Leuven DisABILITY Film Festival, which will be held at the public library of Leuven (Tweebronnen) from Monday 8th until Friday 12th, May 2023. The central theme will be “Beyond Staring” and the film competition is open to everyone!

All participants will receive a digital certificate of submission.

The six films nominated by the jury members will be announced on April 1st, 2023 and will be screened at the festival. Our jury is made up of people coming from diverse backgrounds: academics, national and international filmmakers, and various members of disability communities.

A Jury Prize, a Public Choice Prize, and a National Competition Prize for a film situated in Belgium will be awarded on the closing night (May 12th, 2023) of our film festival. Both winners will receive a trophy. Only people directly linked to the winning film will be able to receive the prize.


If selected, you will receive a detailed email asking you to provide the organizers with promotional material needed for our catalogue and website (director's biography and headshot photo and stills from the film).

All the promotional material including the audio-description channel requested must be sent by April 10th, 2023. We will also need the audio-description channel by May 1st.


• Films must be related to the topic of disability. Any genre can be accepted.
• We accept films that have been produced within the last 2 calendar years (since January 1st, 2021).
• Films must be submitted on the FilmFreeway platform at the latest at 23:59 (UTC+1), February 15th, 2023.

Please consult the information below for a more detailed explanation.


Films must comply with the following requirements to be eligible:
• Films shouldn’t be longer than 40 minutes.
• All the films must be subtitled in English. Extra subtitles in other languages (preferably in Dutch) might be added.
• Films must be available for evaluation and festival screening on .mp4.
• You should provide us with a link and the login data to your film on Vimeo or another platform.
• Please be aware that if selected you will be required to submit an audio description channel for your film to be projected.


Films must be submitted through the FilmFreeway page of the festival. All the submissions must contain the following details:

• Title of the film
• Release year
• Length of the film
• Language(s)
• Synopsis of the film, max. 2 pages (including information on why the film is in line with the mission of the festival)
• Nationality of the director and/or producer
• Contact details (phone number and email address) of the director and/or producer

Submissions that do not contain the details above will not be taken into consideration.


The copyright holder(s) will authorize the organizers to screen their film for free at the film festival and make a copy of the film. Please send the organizers any existing subtitles and/or audio descriptions.


In case of exceptional circumstances (such as the Covid-19 pandemic), where the decisions taken by the Belgian authorities would prevent the physical organization of the festival, the organizers will assure the festival can take place virtually on an online secure web platform.


The person who is responsible for submitting the film agrees to have read and accepted these rules and terms. Please visit our website to download the regulations form and send this document to with the subject “Submission - Leuven DisABILITY Short Film Competition” after filling in the details and signing it.