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 filmmakers 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.
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 world and offers a uniquely intimate experience to showcase new artistic talents surrounded by many world heritage sites.

★The festival date appeared on this website is perspective dates. The dates will be finalized by January 15th, 2022.

★International Competition Award
1. The Golden SHIKA Award (the first prize award)
2. The Audience Award (the most voted from the audience)
3. The Best Actor Award

One of the winners from our two competition programmes (except the Best Actor Award) will be granted the privilege of making the next NARAtive 2024 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), "The Wolves of the East" by Carlos M. Quintela from Cuba (2016),"The Nikados' Fall" by Ida Panahandeh (2018)
The 2020 NARAtive film project is directed by a Chinese filmmaker PengFei, which has theatrically released 2021 in China and will release in early 2022.



★Student Competition: NARA-wave Award
Competition for student films, videos, and moving-image arts. Some participating works also participate in the Cannes Film Festival’s student competition and works nominated by NARA-wave receive acclaim from other film festivals overseas as well. Works of excellence receive the Golden KOJIKA Award. Award-winners have the opportunity to submit a proposal for the NARAtive project, and if it is accepted, they will be chosen as the film director of the next NARAtive project.

「NARA-wave (ナラウェイブ) 」は、学生が手掛けた映画・映像作品を対象にしたコンペティション。参加作品が「カンヌ映画祭」の学生部門にも参加するなど、「NARAwave」にノミネートされる作品は、 海外の映画祭からも評価されています。最高賞は「ゴールデンKOJIKA賞」。受賞者には「NARAtive」の企画案を出す権利が与えられ、採用されれば次回「NARAtive」の映画監督に選ばれることになります。

★ International Competiton Eligibility
1. A director’s first or second feature
2. Must have a minimum length of 70 minutes
3. Completed after July 1st, 2020
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).


Earlybird Deadline 2022年 1/16 まで 30米ドル
Regular Deadline 2022年 2/28まで 40米ドル
Late Deadline 2022年 4/30 まで 50米ドル

2. 70分以上の作品であること
4. 2020年7月1日以降に完成した作品であること

★Student Competiton Eligibility
1. Must be an original video work by a student. (Completed in May, 2020 or later, when either the director or main filmmaker was a student. A "student" means someone who is a student at a university, a graduate student, a student at an occupational school, or a student that is equivalent to those.)
2. One work per director.
※There are no age restrictions.
※The length of the work does not matter.
※There are no restrictions for the theme. A work that lets us feel the perspective of the director or filmmaker.