ABOUT WATCH DOCS
WATCH DOCS is one of the largest human rights film festivals in the world presenting documentaries in which commitment to social issues and individual rights is combined with film art.
Each year the festival shows over fifty world-class documentary films. At the international festival in Warsaw, travelling festival organized in more than thirty Polish localities and at the online festival, the total of over one hundred thousand viewers take part in screenings each year.
WATCH DOCS is the oldest documentary film festival in Warsaw, Poland - the first edition of the festival took place in 2001.
The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR) is a non-governmental organization established in 1989 and based in Warsaw, Poland. It originated from an underground movement of civil rights protection during the communist era. The HFHR is one of the most experienced, professional and influential non-governmental organizations operating in the field of human rights in Poland and Eastern and Central Europe. The mission of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights is to foster the culture of human rights and freedoms in Poland and abroad. The Foundation acts for liberty, rule of law and equality before the law as well as respect for human dignity. The Foundation shares its national and regional experience with stakeholders outside its most immediate part of the world.
1) WATCH DOCS Award - awarded to the best feature-length documentary in the main festival competition
2) Marek Nowicki Prize - since 2003, awarded by the Board of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights for excellent lifetime achievements in showing human rights in film. Named after Marek Nowicki (1947–2003), co-founder and the President of the Foundation of many years, co-founder of the Helsinki Committee in Poland.
3) Audience Award - awarded by viewers to the best feature-length documentary of the festival
4) Green Dog Award - awarded by the youth jury to the best film in the Green Competition for documentaries on environment and human rights.
Awards and prizes are subject to change.
TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR SUBMISSION OF FILMS THROUGH FILMFREEWAY.COM
23rd WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film International Film Festival (Warsaw and online throughout Poland, December 1-10, 2023)
1. FESTIVAL ORGANIZER
1.1. The 23rd WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film International Film Festival is organized by the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (Polish name: Helsińska Fundacja Praw Człowieka):
1.1.1. address: ul. Wiejska 16, Warszawa, 00-490 POLAND
1.1.2. contact email address for submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. FILM SUBMISSIONS
2.1. Film genres and other eligibility criteria
2.1.1. Only documentary films and films from the fringes of this genre may be submitted to the festival.
2.1.2. Only films pertaining to broadly-perceived human rights and social issues may be submitted to the festival.
2.1.3. There are no run time limitations as for submitted films, however, only films with run times of 50 minutes and longer will be taken into consideration for the main competition for the WATCH DOCS Award.
2.1.4. The festival will only accept submissions of films produced after January 1, 2022.
2.1.5. Films previously screened as part of the festival shall not be again submitted to the festival.
2.1.6. Films that do not meet the eligibility criteria should not be submitted to the festival and will not be considered by the Selection Committee.
2.2. Film submissions deadline
2.2.1. Festival organizers will only consider films submitted through August 1, 2023.
2.3. Form of submission and screener requirements
2.3.1. All Films must be submitted as online screeners via FilmFreeway.
2.3.2. The screener must contain English subtitles if the original language is other than English or Polish.
2.3.3. Applicants should ensure that online screeners remain active until October 31, 2023.
2.4. Consent to festival screenings
2.4.1. By submitting a film, the applicant expresses consent for the film’s screenings in the frame of the 23rd WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film International Film Festival.
2.4.2. Submitted films may also be taken into consideration for the 2024 Travelling Festival WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film.
2.4.3. Upon accepting the festival’s invitation to the program of the 23rd WATCH DOCS, the organizers require that there are no public screenings of the film in Poland prior to the 23rd WATCH DOCS, unless agreed otherwise.
2.4.4. By submitting the film, the applicant accepts the terms and conditions and declares that they are authorized to express the required consent.
2.5. Film submission fees
2.5.1. The festival does not require an entry fee for submitting films to the 23rd WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film via FilmFreeway.
3. FILMS SELECTION
3.1. Selection Committee
3.1.1. Selection of films will be performed by the Festival Selection Committee.
3.2. Selection Criteria
3.2.1. Artistic values as well as the presentation of subject matters related to human rights will be decisive in selecting films to the festival program, both with respect to competitive and non-competitive sections.
3.3. Selection results
3.3.1. Festival organizers will notify by October 31, 2023 all Applicants who have been selected to participate in the Festival.
3.3.2. All Applicants who are not selected to participate in the Festival will be notified not later than by November 15, 2023.
3.4. Selection of films for the Travelling Festival
3.4.1. Since 2003, the international edition of WATCH DOCS has been annually followed by the Travelling Festival, organized together with local partners from all over Poland, such as NGOs, universities, theaters and other cultural institutions. Each year, the traveling festival reaches around 30 localities throughout Poland and develops thanks to grassroots initiatives.
3.4.2. Submitted films accepted for the presentation in the frame of the 23rd WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film International Film Festival may be additionally invited to the program of the Travelling Festival, Poland 2024.
4. AWARDS AND COMPETITIONS
4.1. The Marek Nowicki Prize
4.1.1. Since 2003, awarded by the Board of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights for excellent lifetime achievements in showing human rights in film. Named after Marek Nowicki (1947–2003), co-founder and the President of the Foundation of many years, co-founder of the Helsinki Committee in Poland.
4.1.2. This prize is financial.
4.2. The documentary film competition for the WATCH DOCS Award
4.2.1. The WATCH DOCS Award is awarded to the best documentary in the main festival competition.
4.2.2. Films in the competition are judged by an international jury.
4.2.3. The WATCH DOCS Award is a financial prize awarded to the director of the winning film.
4.3. The Audience Award
4.3.1. Awarded by viewers to the best documentary of the festival, with the exclusion of short films.
4.3.2. The Audience Award is non-financial.
4.4. Competition for the Green Dog Award
4.4.1. Awarded by the youth jury to the best film in the competition for documentaries on environment and human rights.
4.5. Awards and prizes may be subject to change.
5. EXHIBITION COPIES, DIALOGUE LISTS, PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS
5.1. Materials to be sent to organizers after the film’s invitation to the festival
5.1.1. Immediately after the receipt of the film’s invitation to the festival, the applicant is required to provide the organizers with an exhibition copy of the film.
5.1.2. The format of the exhibition copy as well as its transfer/ shipment method is to be agreed upon with the festival organizers.
5.1.3. The applicant is also required to provide the festival organizers with the following supporting materials in an electronic form:
184.108.40.206. time-coded dialogue list in English and in the original language version(s)
220.127.116.11. high-resolution stills from the film
18.104.22.168. high-resolution portrait photo(s) and filmography of the director(s)
22.214.171.124. high-bitrate, 1080p film teaser/ trailer/ excerpts
126.96.36.199. press-kit, poster and other promotional materials, of available
188.8.131.52. updated list of awards and public screenings
5.2. Costs of transferring/ shipping exhibition copies to festival organizers and of returning exhibition copies to the applicant
5.2.1. The applicant shall bear the costs of transferring/ shipping exhibition copies to the festival.
5.2.2. In case of physical exhibition copies, such as external drives, the festival organizers shall bear the costs of return shipment to the applicant.
5.2.3. In case of physical exhibition copies, the return to the applicant shall occur immediately after the end of the festival, unless agreed otherwise.
5.3. Festival promotional activities
5.3.1. For films confirmed for screening, organizers reserve the right to use materials provided by the applicant for promotional purposes, including the use of film excerpts (up to 3 minutes long) in the festival trailer(s) and other promotional footage, unless agreed otherwise.
6.1. Exhibition formats and format transfer
6.1.1. The applicant consents to the transfer of the provided film format to other exhibition formats, if necessary, including the production of a Polish-subtitled exhibition copy.
6.1.2. The applicant consents to the screening of the film with Polish, English or Polish-English subtitles.
6.2. Number of festival screenings
6.2.1. A single festival film may have a maximum of four screenings at the WATCH DOCS. Human Rights in Film International Film Festival.
6.2.2. Should the applicant express additional consent to the film’s participation in the Traveling Festival, the film may be screened in a maximum of 30 Polish localities in 2024, with two festival screenings allowed in each locality.
7. FESTIVAL ARCHIVE
7.1. The screeners provided to festival organizers as well as exhibition copies prepared by organizers in the Polish language version, shall remain in the festival archive, unless specifically requested otherwise by the applicant.