The SDGs in Action Film Festival, coordinated by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, is a competition seeking short films that highlight how people and organizations around the world are taking action for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. (SDGs) The Festival was launched in 2018 in connection with the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development that takes place each July at UN Headquarters in New York. The competition offers filmmakers around the globe the chance to submit animated or live-action films up to 20 minutes long that showcase a person or project working on tangible solutions to the world’s biggest threats and making the Global Goals our reality.

Entries will be accepted in the following categories for 2021:
1. Rebuilding communities from COVID-19
2. Protecting our planet
3. Advancing gender equality

The winning film in each category will be shown at the Festival in connection with the 2021 High-level political forum in July, with the winning filmmakers invited to attend and participate in Festival-related activities.

Three filmmakers will get the opportunity for their films to be showcased to the world during a special event at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the central UN platform for follow-up and review of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, in July 2021, as well as an invitation to attend and participate in the Festival and special storytelling workshop in New York.

Are you a filmmaker showcasing the ways people are taking a stand for our planet, fighting inequality, or helping societies recover from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic? The United Nations wants to hear and see from you!

The SDGs in Action Film Festival, organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, is a competition seeking short films that highlight how people and organizations around the world are taking action to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Festival was launched in 2018 in connection with the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development that takes place each July at UN Headquarters in New York. The competition offers filmmakers around the globe the chance to submit animated or live-action films up to 20 minutes long that showcase a person or project working on tangible solutions to the world’s biggest threats and making the Global Goals our reality.

Entries will be accepted in the following categories for 2021:

1. Rebuilding communities from COVID-19

2. Protecting our planet

3. Advancing gender equality

The winning film in each category will be shown at the Festival, which will take place during the 2021 High-level political forum in July, with the winning filmmakers invited to attend and participate in Festival-related activities.

Eligibility

The Festival is open to all individuals and groups. Staff of the United Nations Secretariat and its funds and programmes or those of other organizations of the United Nations system are not eligible.

Participants under 18 years of age may enter with the permission of their parents or legal guardians. If the film of an entrant under 18 years is submitted without written parental or guardian permission, the entry will be automatically disqualified.

Entry & Submission

The following shall constitute the terms of entry to the Festival. The submission of a Film shall constitute entrants' agreement to terms set out herein.

To enter the Festival, participants must upload their film (up to 20 minutes in length) to the FilmFreeway platform, accessible at: https://filmfreeway.com/SDGinActionFilmFestival2021. In doing so, participants should be aware that their use of the FilmFreeway platform requires their acceptance of FilmFreeway’s terms and conditions, and the United Nations assumes no responsibility with any issues that may arise in that regard.

Participants must include a YouTube, Vimeo, or other publicly accessible link to their film in the cover letter of their submission as well as contact information. Participants who cannot be contacted, or whose films become inaccessible prior to the announcement of Festival winners, will be automatically disqualified.

Participants may use any type of film or photo technology in their entries, including but not limited to video, mobile camera, web camera, photography, animation and artwork.

Films may be submitted in one of the six official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish). However, films submitted in languages other than English are required to have subtitles in either English or French, which are the working languages of the United Nations.

Submission of film entries begins 12 a.m. ET on 27 January 2021 and ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on 20 March 2021.

Any delay and/or failure to submit an entry as a result of a network, communication, or system interruption or error shall be the responsibility of the entrant.

Selection Process

Following the deadline, a selection committee comprised of an international jury panel will select six (6) finalist films to premiere at the Festival during the United Nations High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development in July 2021.

Finalists will be notified via email. If no response is provided within seven days of notification, the winner shall be disqualified. All finalists must also provide the UN with a screenable copy of their films as a condition of accepting their prize. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.

The decision by the international panel of judges is considered final and binding.

Terms

Use of any copyrighted material in a film entry, including but not limited to music, film, or still footage, must be accompanied with written permission to use such materials from the appropriate rightsholder(s). If such written permission cannot be provided, the entry will be automatically disqualified.

Entrants must grant the United Nations a worldwide, royalty-free, sub-licensable and irrevocable license to show, screen and/or broadcast their submitted films, in all media, in whole or in part, without limitation for a period of 12 (twelve) months from the contest entry end date referenced above.

The United Nations shall not be liable for any claims of any nature and kind, from either an entrant or any other third-party, based on, arising from, or relating to films submitted by entrants to the Festival, including any damage or defect caused to the submitted films resulting from their use on third-party sites such as FilmFreeway, YouTube and Vimeo, and the use of the films by the United Nations in accordance with the present terms and conditions. Entrants shall be obligated to defend the United Nations from any suits, proceedings, claims or demands arising from the submission of their entries to the Festival.

The United Nations reserves the right to cancel, modify, suspend or delay the Festival in the event of unforeseen circumstances beyond its reasonable control. The United Nations further reserves the right to change, amend, delete or add to these terms and conditions at any time. Participants will be notified [via FilmFreeway] of any changes and may withdraw their entry on request.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Nima Giri

    very good, help to decrease poverty

    December 2019
  • This festival was an incredible opportunity to screen my film and bring wider awareness to One Million Lights Philippines, meet accomplished members of the film community, and create valuable connections. As a young filmmaker, it was an honor to participate alongside such acclaimed filmmakers and festival organizers. Thank you so much to the jury at the United Nations for selecting our film! Truly a once in a lifetime experience.

    July 2019
  • Tadeu Jungle

    It's was a huge pleasure to be part of this amazing and important Festival. Thanks to the United Nations for recognize the value of our VR social impact film RIVER OF MUD.
    We are really proud and hopeful! This award makes us stronger, confident and energized to keep shooting, so one day the SDGs will be replaced by the SDR – Sustainable Development Reality.
    Thank you and congratulations UN!

    July 2019
  • This is the best communicated festival yet, the warmth exhumed by the organisers is second to none.
    Looking forward to the next edition.

    September 2018
  • Well done. Thank you and good luck for the next year edition

    July 2018