Since 2005, the Science Film Festival of the Goethe-Institut, the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany, has been inspiring young viewers about science, technology and environmental awareness. The festival is organized in 20 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

It is the largest audience festival of its kind in the world with over half a million viewers annually. More than 100 international films for all ages are shown, with a wide range of supplementary educational activities in schools, universities and other educational institutions from Brazil to the Philippines.

The Science Film Festival 2024 will center on the theme of Net Zero and the Circular Economy, emphasizing the urgent need for actions beyond solely reducing global greenhouse gas emissions to address climate protection effectively. Recent research findings underscore that focusing solely on cutting CO2 emissions is insufficient to halt climate change. To meet the Paris Climate Agreement objectives, a swift transition to achieving net zero emissions is imperative. Yet, this ambitious goal demands significant changes that cannot be achieved overnight. Maintaining any level of net CO2 emissions above zero will perpetuate the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Net zero concepts aim to counterbalance carbon dioxide production by actively removing it from the atmosphere.

Integral to this pursuit is the concept of a circular economy, which prioritizes the sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, and recycling of existing materials and products for as long as feasible. By promoting the reuse and recycling of products, the circular economy effectively slows the depletion of natural resources, curtails landscape and habitat destruction, and aids in preserving biodiversity.

On the occasion of its 20th Anniversary, the Science Film Festival endeavors to spotlight films from around the world highlighting the crucial role played by net zero concepts and the circular economy in combatting the challenges posed by the climate crises.

The Science Film Festival bestows six awards chosen by an international jury. They are complimented with a cash prize of 500 Euro each. The Prize of the Jury is complimented with a cash prize of 1,000 Euro.

VISUAL EFFECTS & CINEMATOGRAPHY AWARD

Honors the film that demonstrates the highest level of visual craftsmanship through cinematography or animation. Moreover, the effects go beyond the aesthetic by serving an educational purpose. Scientific principles or processes are explained clearly and engagingly through the visual effects.

IPST EDUCATION AWARD

Honors the film that stands as an excellent example of science journalism intended for young audiences aged 6 - 12. Scientific explanations are presented with the cognitive level of young viewers in mind and the structure of the film reflects an effective audio-visual pedagogical approach.

ECOFILMPRIZE

Honors the film that makes an exceptional effort to communicate and proliferate environmental awareness. Ecological issues are discussed and explained clearly. The film inspires to care about nature and cultivates a sense of responsibility in that respect.

DISCOVERY AWARD BY ROLLS-ROYCE

Honors the film that makes an outstanding effort to promote learning about science to the general public. The film generates interest and enthusiasm for science and knowledge acquisition. It showcases an exemplary balance between education and entertainment.

TECHNOLOGY AWARD

Honors the film that sheds light on technologies that improve living conditions and environmental sustainability. The film accessibly introduces decisive technologies that are changing or going to change our lives in the 21st Century in mobility, health, communication or energy.

PRIZE OF THE JURY

Honors the film that makes a particularly strong impression on the jury and is relevant to the theme of the year. The film delivers an emotional and intellectual resonance, which distinguishes it as an overall outstanding work of science journalism through film and television.

1. The Science Film Festival is open to worldwide submissions from broadcasters, producers, filmmakers, film students, researchers, scientific organizations, NGOs, public organizations, and online channels. Please submit your film during the period when the festival is open to submissions.

2. The Science Film Festival is open to all formats of films incl. VR and online interactive films, as well as all genres of films on science, technology and the environment. However, the festival program focuses primarily on edutainment programs for young audiences and documentary films for the general public, which have been broadcast on television or online.

3. There are no fees for submissions to the Science Film Festival. However, the festival as a rule does not pay for screening rights either. This is because all screenings are non-commercial and educational in nature and the Science Film Festival makes no revenue from the screenings or any other related activities. The festival also invests considerably in translating and subtitling or synchronizing films into local language where applicable and makes these versions available to the rights owners after the festival period.

4. The submission must be completed by March 17, 2024. There is NO submission fee, however, the Science Film Festival principally does NOT pay licensing fees for films submitted into competition.

5. We kindly ask you to submit a pre-screening copy of your film as downloadable file (MP4, MKV or MOV) through WeTransfer, Dropbox, Vimeo (download option), FTP Server or other secure file sharing service.

6. It is possible to submit multiple entries to the Science Film Festival. In case the submissions originate from a series, only one submission form needs to be filled out with all pertaining information and materials for the individual films or episodes within the entry. In case the submissions are standalone films or different series, please use a separate form for each entry. Films can not be submitted again if they have already been selected into the Science Film Festival in previous years.

7. Over 30 pre-jury members with expertise in science education and science communication in the participating countries and in-depth knowledge of the local target audience are closely involved in the selection process of the Science Film Festival. When an entry is selected in at least one participating country, the film is considered part of the official selection of the festival in that year and is eligible for one of the six Science Film Festival awards.

8. The Science Film Festival pre-jury committees in the participating countries are looking for outstanding examples of contemporary international science communication and filmmaking approaches. Other considerations taken into account, also include local factors regarding the core festival audience of children and youths, which is why local science education experts are involved in the selection process.

9. The Science Film Festival receives between 1000-1500 entries from over 100 countries annually. However, the festival is limited in the number of entries it can accept into the official selection due to the fact that selected films are translated and synchronized into the local languages of participating countries in order to facilitate accessibility for viewers as an educational initiative. The investment that this effort entails consequently restricts the number of films that can be chosen for the annual festival program. The official selection of the Science Film Festival averages annually between 100 and 150 films of varying length.

10. The Science Film Festival also functions as an educational outreach initiative within the countries in which it takes place and therefore makes the effort to provide the greatest possible degree of accessibility. In many countries in which the event is organized, English or other languages, may not be a widely used language and so for the sake of inclusion, the films are subtitled or synchronized into local language.

11. The Science Film Festival puts together an international jury each year to select six award winners from the official selection. The jury is composed of international experts in the fields of science communication, science education, factual broadcasting, children’s media and scientists in the field of the annual festival theme. The award winners are chosen for their outstanding achievement in the six award categories amongst the entries in the official selection. Please visit the awards section for more information on the six Science Film Festival awards.