The Calvert Journal Film festival is a journey across Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia through the lens of the region’s independent filmmakers.

The festival, which features an open competition inviting filmmakers from across the New East to submit films to six categories, seeks to go beyond the mainstream billboard to create a platform that celebrates the diversity of cinematic perspectives of the region. Showcasing both fiction and documentary features of all lengths with authenticity and originality in voice, in storytelling, and in aesthetic approach, the festival invites audiences to engage with experiences, issues, and stories from different parts of the region and celebrate the rich culture and creative output of these countries.

Launched in 2020, the first edition of the festival brought together over 5,000 people to watch seven films in the course of a week. In 2021, The Calvert Journal Film Festival will screen over 30 films across the six categories of the Official Festival Competition: documentaries, animation, minority language, fiction, student films and experimental films. In each of the categories, the selected films will compete for a Best Film Award. Additionally, an Audience Favourite Award will be given to one film across all categories.

A special series of articles, interviews, and online events will also run alongside the screenings, creating a conversation around the region’s challenges, opportunities, and contemporary identity.

The Festival Competition is open to professional and non-professional filmmakers alike, with selection based on the artistic merit of their film. Shortlisted films will be selected by an international jury of critics, programmers, and filmmakers, after initial review by The Calvert Journal curatorial team and external selectors.

The Calvert Journal Film Festival is a project of The Calvert Journal, an award-winning international magazine dedicated to exploring the culture and creativity of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, and Calvert 22 Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that celebrates the culture and creativity of the region and is committed to committed to dialogue and discovery, to the development of international creative networks, and to the role of learning and education as the basis for knowledge sharing and institutional exchange.

The following prizes, one per category, will be awarded at the Festival. The awarded films will be selected by an independent jury from those competing in Official Festival Selection. The awards, which will take the form of a cash prize, a voucher for equipment, or an educational prize, are to be confirmed and subject to change.

Best Fiction Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Best Animation Feature
Best Minority Language Film
Best Student Film
Best Experimental Film
Best Short Film

The Calvert Journal Film Festival welcomes films for which the director, the producer, and/or the majority of cast and crew are from one of the 29 countries of the New East: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan. Additionally, the film has to take place in one of the countries listed above, or reflect on aspects of life and identity in the region.

Participants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of submitting the application.

To be eligible for the Festival, films must have been completed in or after 2019.

Films that are already available to watch online for free will not be considered, with the exception of student films.

To qualify for the Student Film category, entrants must email a proof of student status to the Festival's email address: filmfestival@calvert22.org.

The entrant gives permission for stills and clips from the film to be used on The Calvert Journal platform and other partner platforms for marketing and promotional purposes for the Festival and the Journal in perpetuity.

Due to the high number of submissions received, the Festival will only contact those filmmakers whose work are selected for competitions. Notification will be given by September 2021. Unfortunately, due to the high number of submissions received, the Festival cannot offer feedback regarding films that are not selected for the programme.

Acceptance of these Terms and Conditions implies that the entrant will abide by them in their dealings with the Festival and that the entrant is legally entitled to submit the film for consideration. Entry to the Festival implies that the entrant has the right to do so, has pre-cleared all materials that comprise the film, and is an authorised representative of the team that holds the intellectual property in the film.⁣

Entering a film to The Calvert Journal Film Festival implies the acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.⁣ The Festival reserves the right to change the Terms and Conditions at any time.⁣