The TRT World Citizen Short Film Competition provides a platform for filmmakers to explore global humanitarian issues from a unique and creative perspective.

In our third year, the competition is being hosted as part of TRT World Citizen’s ‘Dignity Without Borders’ Campaign, which highlights human rights abuses suffered by migrants and refugees, as well as the many contributions they make in their new homes.

Currently, over 70 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes due to violence, persecution, and economic distress. Frequently, these individuals are vulnerable to a vast array of human rights abuses, including a denial of their civil and political rights, arbitrary detention, or a lack of economic and social support, including the denial of employment rights, healthcare, education, and housing.

While migrants and refugees are often portrayed as helpless victims or as a burden on their host countries, the truth is much more complex. Migrants and refugees are frequently positive contributors to their host communities, bringing their determination, skills, and work ethic to provide countless benefits to their new homes, both economic and cultural. Most migrants carry with them the desire to build a better life, and in doing so they create new opportunities for host communities to be strengthened by their presence.

Your film submission should highlight the narratives of these individuals. All submissions must be guided by the subject of the campaign: ‘Dignity Without Borders’.

First Place: $5000 USD Cash Prize, and an all-inclusive trip to Istanbul to attend the 2020 TRT World Citizen Awards, where your short film will be featured.

Second Place: $3000 USD Cash Prize.

Third Place: $2000 USD Cash Prize.

General Rules

1. Films must be short narratives of 5 - 10 minutes. Any film outside these parameters will be immediately disqualified without exception.

2. All films must be in English or have English subtitles at the time submitted.

3. Films must be submitted as an online streaming video via a participating submission platform (FilmFreeway).

4. The authors, producers and distributors give the right to free use of the work for dissemination by TRT World, including, but not limited to, the purposes of advertising and promotion, whether via Internet, TV, or other media platforms.

5. Films must have been completed after January 1, 2017.

6. Films with public distribution (obtained prior to being selected for screening) or films produced, financed or initiated by a major film studio or television network are ineligible for the competition. Films that have screened on any network or cable television station or distributed to theaters prior to the competition completion date are also ineligible for competition.

7. Short Films that are publicly available online are not eligible for the competition.

8. TRT World reserves the right in its sole discretion to reject or disqualify any entries.

Originality and Permissions; Indemnity

1. Films must be the original work of the applicants. If a film is based upon another person’s life or upon a book or other underlying work, applicant(s) must secure any necessary rights to make such adaptations. However, it is not necessary to submit the adaptation rights agreements to TRT World. Neither TRT World nor its jurists investigates or attests to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you are acknowledging that you have secured all necessary rights.

2. Applicants are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions for third-party materials included in the film, including but not limited to music, trademarks, logos, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights. TRT World expressly disclaims all liability or responsibility for any violations of the foregoing.

3. By submitting the material, the applicant hereby agrees to indemnify, hold harmless, and defend TRT World, it’s employees, directors, representatives, and affiliates from any liability, claims, and damages in connection with the submission and from any fees and expenses, including but not limited to reasonable attorney’s fees, that any of them may incur in connection therewith.

Selected Films and Winner

1. TRT World has no obligation (other than as stated in these rules or on our website) to disclose any of the following information: i) identities of screeners or judges; ii) notes, feedback, or information relating to the submitted project; and/or iii) details regarding the submission review or selection process.

2. TRT World explicitly disclaims any liability or responsibility for any comments, notes, or opinions expressed about a submission, whether by TRT World or by its volunteers.

3. Winners will be announced at the Annual TRT World Citizen Awards. The judges’ decision is final.

4. Winners receiving cash prizes are solely responsible for payment of all applicable local, state, and federal taxes.

5. Any individual selected to travel to Istanbul must be 18+ years of age. Must be available on the necessary dates. Contingent upon the prizewinner’s ability to obtain a Visa to visit Turkey.

Overall Rating
  • Armin Mobasseri

    Nobody ever contacted me and there seems to be no response to e-mails. I think, the festival did not take place.

    January 2021
  • burak berke erdem

    I guess this festival didn't happen. Nobody reached me. I sent an e-mail but did not get an answer ...

    January 2021
  • Jovan Kirumira

    Constructive feedback. Good communication.

    November 2019
  • Wonderful Festival! Thank you for every thing

    November 2018