The San Diego Union-Tribune and Media Arts Center San Diego’s 28th annual San Diego Latino Film Festival (March 11-21, 2021) invites international media artists and journalists to participate in the unique and on-going cross-border project: “Migrant Voices Today” Film Challenge​​ (“Voces de los Migrantes”). This year’s edition of the ‘Migrant Voices Today’ is expanding its horizons and accepting international film projects from all over the world. Guidelines and themes for this year’s edition are explained below.

For this upcoming edition, we are looking for short-form films (5 minutes or less in duration) about COVID-19’s effects on the experiences of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers on a world-wide scale. As governments enacted shut-down measures and closed borders, the lives of many displaced individuals reached an unprecedented level of turmoil. Asylum camps have been unable to maintain protocols regarding social distancing and sanitation. Meanwhile, immigrants found themselves in a precarious situation as their communities began being disproportionately affected by infections and testing limitations, and faced an uncertain labor market. We are looking for entries that are reflective of these realities and authentically convey the experiences of migrants being affected by the pandemic. We encourage filmmakers to expand beyond the aforementioned themes and submit projects that highlight unique topics of the migrant experience during the Covid-19 pandemic, if possible. More so than ever, we want filmmakers to capture history as it unfolds and to become the record-keepers of the effects this pandemic has had on migrant communities.

$6,000 in cash prizes to be awarded!

Categories include:
Emerging Filmmaker/Artist (under 25)​​ -​ $1,000 prize
Professional (Journalist/Filmmaker/Media Artist - 25 years old and up) ​​- $5,000 priz​e

Deadline: ​​Feb. 12, 2021
Videos must be under 5 minutes and can be in any language. Entries in a language other than English must be subtitled in English. Failure to provide these subtitles will result in your entry being disqualified. We will be accepting entries from anywhere in the world. Short documentaries and digital stories are encouraged, but all genres will be accepted (i.e. experimental, news pieces, etc.).

Media Arts Center San Diego’s San Diego Latino Film Festival team will oversee the selection of nominees and winners; the jury will include a selection of cross-border scholars, filmmakers, journalists and photographers. Finalists will be announced ​on Feb. 25, 2021 at our annual Media Kick-Off Party and their works screened ​​at the ​28th annual San Diego Latino Film Festival​​, March 11-21, 2021.

Winners​​ will be announced and prizes awarded at a special premiere screening & discussion on Tuesday, ​March 16, 2021. Screening will be in-person and/or virtual depending on current COVID-19 regulations.

Entries must be uploaded via FilmFreeway and accompanied with synopsis of work, stills of video project, and bio(s) of key artists/filmmakers. International filmmakers, journalists, and media artists are welcome to participate.

Finalists’ work will be highlighted online at
​Enter your video here:​.
Info: 619-230-1938 / i​

Overall Rating
  • Marlene Morris

    The guidelines for this Challenge prompted submission of powerful stories and the San Diego Latino Film Festival screened an inspiring program of the finalists. Staff with Migrant Voices were very warm, communicative and organized. Overall a very positive experience for filmmakers.

    May 2019