The Nara International Film Festival is a biennial film festival located in one of the most historically rich cities of Japan, Nara. Since the founding year of 2010, the festival has been celebrating emerging film makers with the Cannes winning filmmaker Naomi Kawase as an executive director. The festival has presented two film competitions: NARAtive International Competition and NARA-wave Student film Competition (limited to student films. Submission for the student film section needs to be done from the festival website).
One of the winners of the Competition programs will receive an opportunity to direct a film in Nara, Japan. Along with the film competitions, many other film screenings and interactive events entertain not only the festival visitors and guests but also locals.
The Nara International Film Festival embraces cultural diversity and up-and-coming talent from all over the word and offers a uniquely intimate experience to showcase new artistic talents surrounded by many world heritage sites.

Awards & Prizes

Awards of the Festival
1. The Golden SHIKA Award (the first prize award)
2. The Audience Award (the most voted from the audience)

One of the winners from our two competition programs will be granted with a privilege to make the next NARAtive 2020 film.

*NARAtive is a project to make an original film in Nara, funded by NIFF.
Previous NARAtive projects are:
“Inori” by Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio from Mexico (2012), “A Midsummer’s Fantasia” by Jang Kun-jae from South Korea (2014), and "The Wolves of the East" by Carlos M. Quintela from Cuba (2016).
The 2018 NARAtive film project is directed by an Iranian film maker Ida Panahandeh and currently in the post production process.

Rules & Terms

1. A director’s first or second feature
2. Must have minimum length of 70 minutes
3. Completed after July 1st, 2016.
4. Japan premiere (include festival screening)

1. There is no restriction on the subject and / or genre of the film.
2. Non-Japanese films should be English subtitled if the dialogue is not in English.
3. The directors of selected films need to be present during the festival. For non-Japanese productions, NIFF will provide accommodation and one round-trip Economy Class ticket for the director (one director per film).