Rules and Regulations

  1. Organizers

    Filmpodium Zürich in collaboration with IAFFZ, Association of the International Arab Film Festival Zurich. Its principal subsidies are provided by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC) and the Municipal Authorities of the City of Zürich. Additional financing is provided by other associations, organizations, institutions and private sponsors.

  2. Festival Dates

    5th ARAB FILM FESTIVAL Zurich, 20 to 29 November 2020

  3. Goals

    The Arab Film Festival Zurich aims to promote personal filmmaking of artistic merit; to provide a showcase for major new films of the year from around the Arab world; to take account of the new perspectives of filmmaking expression, with a special focus on new film directors and industries deserving of international recognition.

  4. Programs

    The Festival will screen documentaries, feature films, short films and animated films. We accept all formats.

  5. Jury and Awards

    Each Jury will operate according to its own regulations. The Director of the Festival may attend the meetings to advise on matters of regulations or procedures, when required.

    The Jury, composed of no more than 3 members from the world of cinema and culture, excluding any person involved in any capacity in the production of the invited films or who may have an interest in their distribution, will award the following prizes for the feature films:

    • Golden Award for Best Director
    • Silver Award for Best Director
  6. Entry conditions

    1. All works selected for the Festival must be screened in their original language with English, German and/or French subtitles.
    2. Production of selected films must have been completed within 30 months preceding their Festival screening.
    3. In order to qualify for selection, films must not have been previously screened in the German speaking part of Switzerland (Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, St. Gallen, Winterthur etc).
    4. Works that are solely promotional, educational or scientific in character are not eligible for selection in the Festival.
    5. A selection Committee (with an advisory brief) made up of film experts will assist the Artistic Directorship in the scouting and selection of works for the Festival.
  7. Invitations

    1. Each feature-length film participating in the Festival should ideally be represented by its director. The Festival undertakes to provide accommodation for these filmmakers in accordance with its hospitality regulations.
  8. Film submission

    1. The official entry form, duly filled in online and then printed and signed, must reach Filmpodium no later than the closing date (see below). DVDs or links to online screeners accompanied by an incomplete entry form (or by annexed material not giving all the information required) will not be considered.
    2. Each entry form must necessarily be accompanied by 2 DVDs or a link to a downloadable online screener of the film in the original version with English subtitles, as well as any other documentation that might be of use in selection of the work. For preselection, English-speaking films do not need to be subtitled.
    3. Films of any length may also be directly uploaded during the online submission process. If you choose this option, the shipment of DVD copies will not be necessary and the remaining requested material, together with a signed copy of your Entry Form, may be sent by email ().
    4. It is mandatory for each invited filmmaker to provide the Festival with either 2 DVDs or a downloadable digital copy (which is not password protected) of the original version of his/her selected film with English subtitles, in addition to all the material listed in the entry form. These are intended for the Festival’s archive.
    5. The submission and participation of a film in the Festival imply acceptance of the Rules and Regulations for participation.
  9. Closing date for submission and delivery of preselection material

    1. Entry forms, screeners, as well as the required accompanying material for the selection of the film (see 8-2) must be sent no later than 28.02.2020 by email to the programming committee or by mail to the following address:

      Programming Office
      Association International Arab Film Festival Zurich
      8000 Zürich

      Please add the following customs declaration:
      “Of no commercial value, for cultural purposes only”.
      The date on the postmark or delivery company stamp will be considered the official date of dispatch.

    2. The participant is liable for all costs of transportation and customs clearance. The Festival management reserves the right to refuse any shipments entailing additional costs. DVDs and documentation submitted to the Festival will not be returned.
  10. Shipment of screening copies of selected films

    1. Screening copies of films invited to the Festival must arrive in Zurich by September 1st 2020, after which date the presentation of a film at the Festival cannot be guaranteed. Exceptions to this deadline may only be granted in writing by the Festival management.
      Please be aware of the fact that for shipments to and from Switzerland, customs clearance may involve delays.
    2. 35mm prints, DCPs print and electronic supports (standard definition Beta Digital or Beta SP PAL), must be sent to the following address:

      Nüschelerstrasse 11
      8001 Zürich

      Please add the following customs declaration: “Of no commercial value, for cultural purposes only”.
      Special instructions: goods must be delivered in transit.
      Important: for customs and Global Forwarding air freight offices worldwide require a proforma invoice. The title, number of reels and length in meters of each film must always be stated on the above-mentioned document. Indicate if the film is in black-and-white or color, and if it is subtitled. At the same time, the sender must send notification of shipment by fax (0041 44 212 13 77) or e-mail () to the Festival, indicating the film’s title and the digital format or number of reels, as well as the shipping date and forwarding information (Air Waybill/AWB number).

    3. Our digital cinema screenings are server-based.
      Films will have to be shipped on a physical drive containing only the DCP (Digital Cinema Package) of the selected film, encoded according to DCI or SMPTE standards (and separate *.srt files of any available subtitles). To ensure the best handling of the DCP and the distribution of the KDMs to your film, you need to provide the D-KDM (Distribution Key) to our partner lab: they will generate the KDMs for all playback servers in use at the Festival, open from September 1st 2020. We strongly suggest shipping the DCP as early as possible to our partner lab for a quality check in order to avoid problems during the screenings. Further technical and logistical specifications will be available online during the submission process.
    4. The Festival will cover all costs of transportation and customs clearance for both outgoing and return screener copy shipments. It will contact the participant in due time to clarify all the details.
    5. As far as possible, the Festival will respect the wishes of participants concerning return shipment of their films. The Festival accepts no liability for any forwarding errors that may result from a lack of instructions, or from erroneous information provided by the participant. In principle, films will not be returned before the end of the Festival. As a rule, films will be returned to participants within two weeks following the end of the Festival.
    6. Any claims or queries arising from the return of a film sent to the Festival must reach the Festival by fax or e-mail () no later than three days after the film has been received; no claims can be dealt with after such time.
  11. Insurance of prints

    1. All prints will be insured by the Festival during transportation to and from the Festival against any loss or damage that may occur.
    2. The liability of the Festival is limited to reimbursement of the replacement costs of a new print, as per the prices declared by the producer. All other costs or liabilities are specifically excluded. Negatives will be treated as standard prints for insurance purposes.
    3. The Festival may refuse to allow the participation of any film that fails to meet the technical requirements for a public screening of good quality.
  12. Information and publicity material

    All documentation material, entry forms and any other correspondence must necessarily be addressed to:

    Association International Arab Film Festival Zurich
    8000 Zürich