In 2019 on the occasion of the first official edition of "Sirene wAVe" dedicated to the world of digital photographic audiovisual, the photographic club “Gruppo Fotoamatori Sestesi” decided to organize an international short film contest to promote an "amateur" way of making films. The aim is to bring the amateur filmmakers of photographic audiovisuals (which derive from the old analogue slide shows), close to the cinema, and more specifically to the short films created by film lovers, videomakers, filmakers in addition to photographers who increasingly use the video medium (now complementary to the photographic one) to propose works worthy of public interest. Since 2021 the competition has been recognized by the FIAF - Italian Federation of Photographic Associations.


First prize - Winner - 200 euros (220$) gift card

The contest is open to authors from all around the world. The term "author" means the person (individual or group) that produced the film personally or has run production using contributions from third parties and is the one to present it to the contest. All works received will be reviewed by the Official Jury. Depending on the number of submissions received, a possible pre-selection could be done by a jury composed by one or more members of the Official Jury. The Official Jury will determine acceptances, prizes and any mentions and special prizes at its discretion. The jury judges the film and not the author. There will be two sections, one competitive for the works with no longer than 15 minutes; a second section, without prizes, for the works without time limit, by invitation only.
Stan Brakhage writes about his home movies, in his "In defense of amateur":
“As these home movies have come to be valued and grown into a public life, I, as their maker, have been called a “professional”, an “artist” and an “amateur”. Of those three terms, the last one –“amateur”– is the one I am truly most honored by.”
Video must bring attention back to the subjectivity and individuality of filmmaking. Like cinema, it allows to enhance the qualities of the physical / material texture of the image, its fabric, but it’s accomplished through a gesture that appears inherent in the recording device itself. Video has a specific grammar, which gives a new meaning to the peculiar grammar of film.
Proximity cinema is therefore a possibility implicit in the same act of filming through digital video tools. Proximity cinema means a transversal path that links family cinema and experimental cinema, in the name of innovation, freedom from industrial and market conventions; an expressive need of the author, free from external productive influences, drawing on already existing or expressly created images, without implying a script, based on an extreme, extemporaneous subjectivity, where the proximity to the treated topics is affective, emotional, but also geographical and economic.
The camera becomes an extension of the author's gaze, allowing a sort of filmed diary.

The short films submitted must meet the following essential requirements:
• They must be self-produced works;
• The topic is free. We are looking for projects of an artisanal and experimental nature, attentive to research into the expressive language of video. The presentation of works that deviate from the usual narrative is encouraged;
• Importance will be given to the originality of the soundtrack: therefore, works in which audio and video complement and enrich each other, avoiding relegating the entire soundtrack to the accompanying music, will be privileged;
• Each author can submit up to TWO film;
• The duration of each single film shall not exceed 15’ including titles;
• Film with original languages other than Italian shall be subtitled in Italian or English;
• The Jury will accept film produced from 2018 onwards;
• Works that have participated in previous editions of the “Sirene wAVe” competitions will be excluded;
• Video art or any work made for commercial purposes will be excluded.
The contest does not oppose the "professional" to the amateur, which is intended in its etymological sense, i.e. lover. Therefore, the discrimination between professional and amateur works will not be based on the funding of the production, but rather on the idea of cinema expressed in the short film.

7 euros fee for ONE short and 10 euros fee for TWO shorts, to be paid directly through the FilmFreeway platform for works up to 15 minutes in length, including titles.
The films participating in the section out of competition for short films lasting more than 15 minutes will not have to pay anything as participation fee.

The jury is composed of three people with proven experience in the cinematography field:
• Ilaria Pezone, director and teacher of filming techniques at the Brera Academy;
• Dario Stefanoni, critic and researcher, collaborates with the Trieste festival “I mille occhi”.
• Alessia Astorri, adapter-dialogist, works as a film critic with the magazines and
The members of the organizing committee, jury members and their families are not eligible to take part in the contest.

Submission starts: July 12th
Deadline for submitting works: September 13th
Due to the COVID-19 situation, the festival will be exclusively VIRTUAL this year. It will be hosted and streamed LIVE on festival dates on the Facebook live page and other affiliate pages. We are working to make the awards ceremony available for playback after live streaming.
For the same reason, the selected works will be made public for the duration of the festival, from Thursday 18th to Sunday 28th November through the dedicated youtube channel "Sirene wAVe". After this period, all the works will no longer be accessible to the public and will be part of the festival archive.
However, if the situation allows the live organization of the meetings or part of them, a room will be reserved for the screening of the shorts selected within the “Sirene Wave event”. The award ceremony and the debate with the authors, whether live or online, of the selected works will take place on the dates of the festival via communication via email provided, on the website and on the social channels of the “Gruppo Fotoamatori Sestesi”. The authors of the selected works will be notified well in advance to participate in the awards days.

The organizer, Gruppo Fotoamatori Sestesi, via Dante 6, Sesto San Giovanni – (Milan) will take care of:
• publication of the notice of the contest and the registration form on the site for the, and the portal as well as in their social channels ;
• collection of all the requested material both via portal and via the following email address: ;
• communicate to the authors of all the decisions taken by the jury regarding rankings, mentions and relative scheduling of events.
Gruppo Fotoamatori Sestesi will have the unappealable right to reject works that do not comply with technical and administrative requirements. These include among others, the correct completion of registration form.

Each author must compulsorily register on the portal (for free) and add his own short film record, taking care also to fill-in all the required fields (synopsis, biography, composition of the team, etc.).
The author must then register his work in the contest, using the following link, making the file compulsorily downloadable by appropriate check when registering the film. The audiovisual file must be of the mp4 type, H.264 compression, min. resolution HD ready 720p - max 2gb.
The author shall also complete and sign the registration form attached to this regulation and send it to with these documents:
• a short bio of the author with English translation (maximum 80 characters);
• a synopsis of the short with English translation (maximum 130 characters);
• a photo of the author;
• the poster of the short film.
If the work is not downloadable and / or the required documentation is not sent by the deadline for sending the works, admission to the final phase will be forfeited.

First prize - 200 euros gift cards
The jury reserves the right to mention other deserving works in the contest, without awarding any prizes. The critical jury reserves the possibility to mention any other worthy films in competition, without assigning monetary award. Each work selected will receive a digital certificate to commemorate the event.
There will also be the possibility to receive the printed catalog at a price to be agreed with the organizer based on the number of requests received.
The previous catalog can be viewed at the following link:

Films submitted to the contest must be free from any kind of rights held by third parties, about the videos and soundtracks. Participants must fully accept the rules and release the organizers from any liability in this regard.

Pursuant to Italian Legislative Decree 196/03, the collected data will be used exclusively for Gruppo Fotoamatori Sestesi archive. They will not be disclosed to third parties. The provision of data is optional, but without references it will not be possible to provide some services. The sending of information by e-mail does not guarantee the anonymity for which the interested party must make an explicit request. The interested party may exercise the rights referred to in Article 7 of Legislative Decree 196/03. The owner of the data processing is Gruppo Fotoamatori Sestesi - via Dante, 6 - Sesto San Giovanni (MI).

By signing the registration form, authors give their consent to playing of their work in events related to the contest and to the use by the organizers for any other projections, upon notice to the authors.

For more information about the contest please visit or or send an email to

Overall Rating
  • An incredible experience for those who love cinema and its countless forms. From the professionalism of the team behind the festival to creativity and experimentalism. It was an honor to be a part of this edition. Thank you so much!

    November 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you very much Valentina for taking part in our contest. It is always a pleasure to receive these enthusiastic reviews. We hope to do even better in the future and to make our small event a little less small. See you next time!

  • Maite Abella

    Very professional team. Their enthusiasm and knowledge about film makes this festival a great opportunity to discover very interesting projects. I like very much the special attention in the Festival to Proximity Cinema. Although I wasn't present in very important moments, luckily I was able to follow the festival later through youtube chanel. Thank you very much for your effort.

    December 2020
  • A festival with a great sense for cinema, welcoming experimentation, innovative but also focused on the past. Critical sense and enhancement of videos, support, and personal growth. Thank you!

    January 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for your feedback Sara! We are preparing for the new edition 2020, we hope to have you among the participants. See you soon!

  • Reham Emam

    I'm extremely honored to have my film screened in such multi art-platform. The communication was very good and resposive and the festival members were quite supportive. I'm extremely pleased and looking forward to participate in the upcoming editions.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Reham for your kind words. They are people like you who give us the strength to organize cultural events every year! We are a very small reality but we hope one day to grow enough to be able to receive and meet artists from all over the world. See you soon!

  • Werther Germondari

    Despite not having had the chance to be present (the festival did not have the opportunity to host the authors), seen through the social media, the event seemed very interesting to me. I hope to be present with a new work, and also in person, in one of the next editions.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Werther! This festival was a great experiment for us with a response from the public beyond our expectations. Unfortunately, having no sponsor, we have limited resources and it was impossible to host all the authors selected. We hope in the future to grow enought to be able to welcome artists from far away. Thank you for participating in the contest, we hope to see your work again next year! See you soon!