We are delighted to announce the 23rd UNAFF (United Nations Association Film Festival), which was founded in 1998 by Stanford educator and film critic Jasmina Bojic in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The 23rd UNAFF will be held from October 15-25, 2020 in Palo Alto, Stanford University, East Palo Alto and San Francisco. This year’s theme THE POWER OF EMPATHY continues our two decades long celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, emphasizing our readiness to care about other people’s emotional experiences.

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 Award for Best Cinematography $500
• UNAFF Award for Best 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.


SUBMISSIONS ARE OPEN for the 23rd UNAFF, which runs from October 15-25, 2020 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 THE POWER OF EMPATHY continues our two decades long celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, emphasizing our readiness to care about other people’s emotional experiences.


• Documentaries only - but absolutely no films that are available online for free
• No production year limit
• 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

Submission formats:

- Blu-ray region 0 or 1 or DVD (NTSC/PAL) (see mailing address below)
- Download-enabled online link with a password valid until July 31, 2020. Please email online link and password with attached signed submission form to linksubmit2020@unaff.org
- The language of the festival jury and audience is English, so if your film is in a different language, please translate the title and submit an English subtitled version, or send us an English SRT file.


- Submit online via FilmFreeway
- Send in your disc or downloadable link directly to UNAFF. Visit www.unaff.org for the downloadable Entry Form, which must be filled out and signed and sent with all direct submissions, either printed included in your package, or as an attachment with your downloadable link.

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 2, 2020*
• Regular Deadline – May 12, 2020*
• Late deadline – May 20, 2020*

Filmmakers will be notified about the status of their submission by August 2.

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 2020 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.

Overall Rating
  • Anne Makepeace

    UNAFF is a wonderful festival in all respects. What I most enjoyed this year was meeting very interesting and talented filmmakers from all over the world, and seeing their terrific films. Jasmina and her staff made the festival warm, welcoming, and beautifully organized. Thank you!

    November 2019
  • harleen singh

    One of the best festivals to be a part off. Extremely well planned, great audiences and amazing networking opportunities specially during the opening night. Jasmina, the festival director is par excellence.

    November 2018
  • Marcelina Cravat

    UNAFF is an important festival that offers viewers access to topics that often go missed. Film festival Director Jasmina Bojic is obviously passionate about the films chosen to screen and it is an honor to have been selected. Also appreciated is the genuinely warm welcome. Thank you UNAFF!

    November 2018
  • 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
  • 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