We are delighted to announce the 20 th UNAFF (United Nations Association Film Festival), which was originally conceived to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As one of the oldest solely documentary film festivals in the US, UNAFF was founded by Stanford educator and film critic Jasmina Bojic and has grown and earned the respect of audiences and filmmakers alike for its fearless independence and integrity. In addition to providing early outlets for films, many of which later went on to win major awards and accolades, UNAFF prides itself in creating a community forum with year-round programs for discovery and dialogue about different cultures, issues and solutions.It was founded by

The 20th UNAFF will be held from October 19-29, 2017 in Palo Alto, Stanford University, East Palo Alto and San Francisco. This year’s theme RESPECT continues our two decades long celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the reminder that it applies to everyone.

Awards & Prizes

Over the years UNAFF has screened some of the most awarded and talked about documentaries in the industry, including seven that went on to win Academy Awards and thirty that were nominated.

AWARDS include a CASH prize

• UNAFF Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary $2000
• UNAFF Grand Jury Award for Best Short Documentary $1000
• UNAFF/Stanford Video Award for Cinematography $500
• UNAFF/Stanford Video Award for Editing $500
• UNAFF Youth Vision Award $500

UNAFF provides filmmakers with pass credentials, guest festival passes and some assistance with lodging and airfare. In addition to screenings, UNAFF provides filmmakers the opportunity to present their work through panel discussions and Q&As and to meet distributors and leaders of community organizations.

Rules & Terms


SUBMISSIONS ARE OPEN for the 20th UNAFF, which runs from October 19-29, 2017 in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, San Francisco and Stanford University.

UNAFF celebrates the power of international documentary films dealing with human rights, the environment, refugees, famine, homelessness, racism, disease control, women's issues, children, universal education, war and peace.

This year’s theme RESPECT continues our two decades long celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the reminder that it applies to everyone.


• Documentaries only
• No production year limit - but please no films that are available online for free
• No runtime limit – UNAFF accepts both shorts and longs
• Rough-cuts or works-in-progress accepted, but please submit as close to the final cut as possible. UNAFF cannot accept updated versions of a film less than 10 days before the start of the festival
• Preferred submission format: DVD (NTSC/PAL) or Blu-Ray region 0 or 1
• Alternate submission format: Download-enabled online link with a password having an expiration date extending through July 31, 2017

The entrant is responsible for the cost of shipping the entries to our office. Due to the volume of entries we CANNOT return preview discs. Unless otherwise requested, all submissions will become part of the UNAFF archive available for research and educational purposes only. Works submitted will be returned only if accompanied by insured self-addressed return packaging.


• Early Deadline – May 7, 2017*
• Regular Deadline – May 17, 2017*
• Late deadline – May 27, 2017*

Filmmakers will be notified about the status of their submission by August 7.

Entries will be handled with the utmost care, but UNAFF cannot assume responsibility for damage or loss of any film submitted to the festival.

As the producer's authorized representative, I accept the conditions described on this entry form. If this film is selected, I grant UNAFF the rights to publicly display it during UNAFF 2017 and in the UNAFF Traveling Film Festival and its programs internationally and in the US, as well as the permission to use any footage from the film and its publicity materials for UNAFF promotional purposes. UNAFF will not accept new versions of a selected film less than 10 days before the festival unless requested by the programming staff.

4 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Beth MacKenzie

    Such a wonderful festival! The program was outstanding and I was treated with such warm hospitality. A huge thanks to Jasmina and Misha, the Festival Board, and the wonderful volunteers who made it all happen. It was a tremendous honour to have been included in the 20th UNAFF!

    November 2017
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    Pascal Gélinas

    I was highly impressed by the quality of the selected films at UNAFF, by the work of Jasmina Bojic, Founder and Executive Director, and by the whole staff. I appreciated their financial effort to help filmmakers attend the festival.

    November 2017
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    Mark Kaplan

    I hear such good things about the festival but unfortunately was not able to attend as the costs were too high, as I would have been travelling to and from South Africa.

    November 2017
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    Patricia Shih

    This has got to be the most filmmaker-friendly festival on the circuit! They say they are a low- budget fest but they sure treated us like royalty, flying us out, putting us up in a hotel, and feeding us throughout the 10 days we were out there!!! What other festival does that? And because it is an all-documentary festival it really appreciates the genre and doc filmmakers. It was stunning in its scope. Each day I was exhausted from being exposed to the most amazing, deep and moving films, but happily so. I would HIGHLY recommend this fest to any and all documentarians. The organizers, staff and venues couldn’t be nicer.

    November 2017