For more than a decade All Hands and Hearts has been working all around the globe to rebuild resilient communities. We respond immediately after disaster strikes and stay until the job is done. So far we have hosted over 56,000 volunteers at 108 programs in 18 countries, aiding more than 1.1 million people in need.

This year we're organizing our inaugural All Hands and Hearts International Film Festival – screening the best of short cinema to a worldwide audience across our program. Currently our active programs are in Mexico, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Nepal.

All submissions will be reviewed by a team of experts drawn from our volunteer alumni network, with shortlisted films then judged by our Festival Jury of industry insiders and veterans. All selected films will be eligible to be considered for our best in category awards, Jury Prize and Audience Award.

Unlike most festivals, you will receive FEEDBACK on your project and your submission fee will be used to support our humanitarian work - with 95¢ of every $1 received spent on our programs.

To learn more about All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response, please go to our website:


𝗧𝗢𝗡𝗬 𝗦𝗔𝗙𝗙𝗢𝗥𝗗 was the founding programming director of Sundance Film Festival, before moving to acquisition and co-production executive roles at New Line Cinema and Miramax. He spent 18 years with Fox Searchlight as head of worldwide acquisitions, bringing to the company such films as SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, BLACK SWAN as well as - the two of which he is most proud - Terrence Malick's THE TREE OF LIFE and Benh Zeitlin's BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. He ended his career at Fox as vice president of FoxGives - 20th Century Fox and Fox Networks' employee-led philanthropic initiative. Tony volunteered with All Hands and Hearts at our Haiti, the Philippines, Colorado, Ecuador and Puerto Rico programs.

𝗞𝗔𝗧𝗥𝗜𝗡𝗔 𝗞𝗔𝗨𝗙𝗠𝗔𝗡 began her film career working in production for major features, including James Cameron's AVATAR and Nancy Meyers' IT'S COMPLICATED. Returning to her alma mater Columbia University, she received a dual graduate degree in Broadcast Journalism and Law. She was an associate producer on the Emmy-winning documentary series YOUR TURN TO CARE, before joining Coconuts Media, Southeast Asia's fastest growing digital media publisher, as senior producer and legal counsel. Now back in NYC, she works as a freelance video producer and entertainment lawyer. Katrina volunteered with All Hands and Hearts at our Nepal and Hurricane Harvey programs.

𝗔𝗟𝗜𝗦𝗔 𝗦𝗜𝗠𝗢𝗡𝗗𝗦 is a freelance film editor and videographer. For several years she worked at award-winning visual effects company Atomic Fiction, now part of Deluxe Entertainment, as VFX editor on major studio features including FLIGHT and STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. She has also served as a screener and program assistant at Tokyo Short Shorts Film Festival and is fluent in Japanese. Alisa volunteered with All Hands and Hearts at our Philippines program.

𝗗𝗔𝗡𝗜𝗘𝗟 𝗦𝗘𝗘𝗚𝗘𝗥 is a freelance digital compositor working with leading visual effects studios such as ARRI Media, Rise FX, ScanlineVFX and Trixter. His credits include US blockbusters BLACK PANTHER, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 and SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, a number of independent features in his native Germany, and major television series including BABYLON BERLIN and most recently GAME OF THRONES. Daniel volunteered with All Hands and Hearts at our Puerto Rico and Mexico programs.

𝗘𝗟𝗟𝗬 𝗦𝗠𝗔𝗥𝗧 managed sales and distribution at Sharmill Films, an Australian distributor of art house and event cinema, where she was responsible for acclaimed releases such as L'INVITÉ, WALTZ WITH BASHIR and THE EDGE OF HEAVEN. For several years she served on the short film panel of Melbourne International Film Festival, as well as working at the Industry Office of TIFF 2013 and programming Darwin Deckchair Cinema. She is now a project officer for the State of Victoria's Department of Justice and Community Service. Elly first volunteered with All Hands and Hearts in response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake and since then has volunteered at 11 of our programs - in Haiti, the Philippines, British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, USVI and several of our programs in the continental USA.

𝗝𝗘𝗡𝗡𝗜𝗙𝗘𝗥 𝗩𝗔𝗡 𝗛𝗘𝗘𝗖𝗞𝗘𝗥𝗘𝗡 is a singer, comedian and actress and has appeared in dozens of independent films and television shows. She trained at LA's renowned The Groundlings, Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art and was chosen for a scholarship to the New York Film Academy. She serves on the jury for Louisiana International Film Festival and is a member of Women In Film and Women In Media, where she was accepted into their Incubator Lab program and created a content platform called Funni Females. She is also an accomplished sword-stress. Jennifer volunteered with All Hands and Hearts at our Puerto Rico program.

𝗗𝗔𝗩𝗜𝗗 𝗗𝗘𝗜𝗧𝗖𝗛 is a business intelligence report developer and worked for Turner Broadcasting Entertainment Networks (TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network) for over a decade. Indulging his interests in video editing, he founded Fuskie Island Productions, which helps clients preserve their magnetic memories in digital formats. Now freelancing at investment website The Motley Fool, he helped raise over $210,000 for our disaster relief programs in Puerto Rico and Mexico through their annual Foolanthropy campaign. David volunteered with All Hands and Hearts at our Puerto Rico program.

𝗥𝗔𝗨𝗗𝗛𝗔 𝗔𝗛𝗠𝗔𝗗 is senior account manager at Ogury, a leading data-driven mobile advertising agency. Now living in the US, she was previously based in Singapore where she was digital content manager for global production powerhouse Endemol Shine Asia. Before that she worked as a social media specialist for conservation charity World Wide Fund for Nature and media services giant Mindshare and as client partner at ReFUEL4, the world’s first AI-guided creative platform. Raudha volunteered with All Hands and Hearts at our Nepal program.

𝗡𝗔𝗧𝗔𝗦𝗛𝗔 𝗞𝗛𝗔𝗗𝗘 is a doctoral student in the School of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Arizona State University. She worked in the area of juvenile justice and child protection for a number of years in Mumbai, India with community-based child protection nonprofit Aangan, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the Juvenile Justice Board. She was a 2017 USAID Global Development Research Scholar and as part of her fellowship investigated school violence in Cartagena, Colombia. Natasha volunteered with All Hands and Hearts at our Texas Hurricane Recovery program.

𝗥𝗢𝗕 𝗦𝗧𝗘𝗟𝗕𝗢𝗨𝗠 is associate creative director and senior art director at Merkle, a global marketing and advertising agency whose clients include HBO, NBC Universal, DIRECTV and Habitat for Humanity. He is also a fine artist, working primarily as a painter and photographer. In 2005 he founded Washington DC-based artist cooperative 4traits, where four artists work together to create “assembly line portraits”. Rob volunteered with All Hands and Hearts at our British Virgin Islands program.

𝗠𝗘𝗚𝗛𝗔𝗡 𝗛𝗔𝗚𝗘𝗗𝗢𝗥𝗡 is a brand developer, writer and jewellery artist. She worked as a freelance television producer at Plum TV, Outside Television and MTV Networks before moving on to senior marketing roles with Mean Streets Racing, US National Whitewater Center and Blue Blaze Brewing. She is the founder of handmade custom jewellery company Forever Yours, Agnes. Meghan volunteered with All Hand and Hearts at our Nepal program.

𝗔𝗡𝗡𝗘-𝗘𝗟𝗩𝗜𝗥𝗘 𝗕𝗨𝗖𝗜𝗨𝗡𝗜 is a freelance communications manager working with grassroots NGOs. She is also a writer and photographer and founder of design collective Graphistes Sans Frontières. She has worked at Encounters South African International Documentary Festival, where she selected films and managed media relations, and for Ciné-Jeune de l'Aisne, one of the largest festivals for young filmmakers in her native France. Anne-Elvire volunteered with All Hands and Hearts at our Nepal, Philippines and Superstorm Sandy programs.

𝗗𝗔𝗡𝗜𝗘𝗟 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗥𝗢𝗦𝗧𝗔 is a writer and content strategist, and is currently part of AirBnb's creative team in San Francisco. Starting out as a copywriter in the advertising world, he moved on to creative agency and startup roles with clients from Netflix, Facebook Video and Oculus Rift to the World Health Organization. He is also an archaeologist, furniture designer and journalist, and co-founded TeraBatt, an open-source emergency energy startup, after losing power for a few weeks post-Hurricane Wilma. Daniel volunteered with All Hands and Hearts at our Puerto Rico program.

Best Narrative Short Film
Best Documentary Short Film
Best Animation Short Film
Best Children's Short Film
Best Student Short FIlm
Jury Prize
Audience Award
Special Award for UN International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction


Projects may be submitted to the Festival for consideration in multiple categories. For example, an animated documentary may be submitted to both the documentary and the animation categories. Submitters may submit more than one project.

If you are a former or current All Hands and Hearts volunteer, or under 18 years of age, please email us to receive a waiver code for free entry.

Non-English language films must be supplied with English subtitles. Films that contain excessive violence, profanity, nudity or hateful messages will be disqualified.

We do not accept non-digital submissions or submissions outside of the FilmFreeway platform.

Discounted submission fees for students only apply to current students and recent graduates (within the last 12 months). We may ask you to provide proof of your student status.

Submission fees, where applicable, cannot be refunded.


A project submitted for consideration may be withdrawn by the filmmaker before September 10, 2019. After this date your submission can only be withdrawn at the discretion of the festival organizers.

Notification for films that have been selected for the Festival program are made on a rolling basis, and no later than September 20, 2019. The Festival's method of reviewing films means that submitting your project earlier or later in the process will not prejudice whether it is selected or not. However, we do encourage you to submit early in case of technical difficulties and other mishaps nearer the final deadline.

All jury decisions are final.


There are no specific requirements concerning format, although 1080p, h.264, mov/mp4/avi files are preferred. If your film is in a language other than English, we will require you to supply a version with "burned on" / "hardcoded" subtitles, although SRT files may be accepted in some circumstances.

If your project is selected, you are asked to supply two stills/images from your film (16:9 and 1:1), a logline / brief synopsis and, if available, a video excerpt or trailer of your film. We require all assets to be provided within one week of notification of your selection. These are intended for promotional purposes - primarily to benefit you and your project.

The Festival, venues, All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response and its volunteers, staff and management cannot be held liable for any civil or criminal actions that may result from possessing and/or screening your film. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that your project complies with all applicable copyright, intellectual property and other relevant laws.


The Festival does not pay any screening fees, shipping fees, travel expenses, legal expenses, or any other costs you might incur with production, post-production, submission, subtitling or supplying of your film and its associated assets.


All information above shall supersede any other guidelines associated with the Festival. The Festival is entitled to make interpretations in any case not considered in these rules and regulations and may make exceptions whenever justified. The Festival Management will review unforeseen cases. Whenever a controversy arises from the interpretation of any of the articles in these rules and regulations, the ruling document shall be the original document in English.

A submitted project implies full agreement with this document. Failing to comply with any of these articles may result in denying the participation of a project in the Festival.

The Festival maintains the right to add, alter, change, or delete any portion of the guidelines at anytime without notice.