With about 50 documentary films in our festival program and around 3000 viewers, World Film Festival fits perfectly into the small university town of Tartu in Estonia.
Festival’s objective is to promote documentary film and visual anthropology among the general audience and to support and spread documentary film as a tool of social and cultural transformation.
World Film Festival screens documentaries, creative documentaries and anthropological films dealing with cultural representation.

World Film Festival does not have a competition programme.


For the festival, all documentary films which have been produced after January 1st 2018 and have not yet been submitted to World Film Festival at earlier years, are eligible. We screen only documentaries.

Screening fee
For the screening of the selected films no charge will be paid.

Deadlines for entry


All materials needed for completing the film entry must have arrived to the festival by 23.59 at that date (local time).

Please note that it is important to enter your documentary at the earliest possible moment to facilitate previewing the films.

Format, language and version

World Film Festival accepts the following screening formats (PAL): Blu-Ray, DCP. DVD is not eligible as a screening format.

Films and videos should be in English, or in their original language with English subtitles.

Expenses and returns policy of the screening copy

All postal/shipping expenses to the festival are to be paid by the entrants, as well as all other expenses incurred, such as insurance, etc. When filling out shipment or customs forms, please assign the package a value that does not exceed 10 Euros or 10 dollars and state on the envelope: “No commercial value, for cultural purposes only”.


In case of selection, the copyright holder of the film authorizes the World Film Festival to:
- use a trailer or a 3 minute clip of the production for promotional purposes (in case of short documentaries the length can be agreed separately). It will be included to the festival web site, but could be used also for promotion in social media, television or at the festival location.
- use all publicity material, including separate press kits of the film to promote the festival
- keep the preview copies of the selected documentaries in its archive for non-circulating use and educational and research purposes

Transport of the screening copy


The festival must receive the screening copy of the selected film by September 13th 2020 at the following address:

World Film Festival 2020
Muuseumi tee 2
Tartu 60532

The festival will return the screening copy within four weeks of the end of the festival to the address specified by the applicant at the entry form.

Transport costs
The costs of transport of all videos (both from the EU as well as from outside the EU) to the festival office are the responsibility of the applicant, but World Film Festival will pay for their return delivery to the destination of choice.

Insurance for the shipping of films and videos to and from the Estonia is the responsibility of the participants.

How to enter your film

In order to submit your film, the festival must receive:

- online screener (downloadable, English subtitles, English dialogue or voice-over)
- completed entry information: synopsis in English, Director's biography, copyright year, Country of production, shooting location, copyright year, duration, photos of the film, photo of the Director(s))

The screeners of the selected films be added to the festival archive for internal/educational use only. Any other use will be negotiated separately with the copyright holder.

Selection procedure and authorizations
The documentaries will be selected by the festival programmers with international expertise in social and cultural research, media and film making, including experience in visual anthropology and documentary film making.

Has your film been selected?

In case of a film being selected, the festival will notify the successful applicants by the end of June 2020.

If sufficient funding becomes available, World Film Festival will accommodate invited filmmakers for a limited number of days. Accommodation will be in hostels, or modest hotels. We are also working on finding funding for partial reimbursement of the travel costs for some of the filmmakers.

Overall Rating
  • I highly recommend the Tartu World Film Festival experience to filmmakers and audiences alike. The program of thoughtfully curated international films was engaging, informative, creative and thought provoking and in the end the films' varied topics and approaches all seemed to share the theme of "Freedom" in common.
    The Estonian National Museum is a fantastic and inspired venue of bold & elegant architectural design and beauty. The hospitality was generous and festival events were fun and great opportunities to meet and exchange with fellow filmmakers from around the World. Thank you, World Film Festival Team, it was an honour and a pleasure to have been part of such a wonderful and enriching festival experience.

    April 2019
  • Filmes do Gajo

    It's a great festival with wonderful people working there. One of our directors attended the festival in a past edition and he was quite happy to be there.
    Congratulations to the festival!

    April 2019
  • I shared an experience of watching the films of other filmmakers, another type of cinema, strong topics, other ways of telling stories. The festival team was 100% attentive to everything. The experience was getting better and better. I felt a peaceful atmosphere, and I felt the need to meditate on the role of documentaries in today's world.

    April 2019
  • Justin Time

    Pure bliss! Like being high for a week. Even breaking a toe in the estonian sauna didn´t do much - jumping into a frozen river just afterwards. Wonderful time, welcoming festival, wonderful people, great films, and great parties – i am honored to be a part of this with my film. Creating such a community within a few days is an art that you know. Thanks a lot.

    April 2018
  • Shawn Convey

    It was such an honor to screen in Tartu with the World Film Festival. Unfortunately I was not able to attend due to schedule conflicts but the communication with the festival directors was fantastic and we arranged a Skype Q & A after my my film for the audience! Hope to screen there again.

    April 2018