Humans of Film Festival

Humans of Film Festival
© 2019 – 2020 ontwerp door Nathalie Sital

!!!CLOSED!!! Call for feature films, documentaries and shorts is closed!

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Humans of Film Festival

Humans of Film festival is a “give voice to create Awareness” film festival where people and their living environment stand central. In a society and a world that is increasingly polarizing in social and political terms and becoming xenophobic, it is important to create spaces for encounters, where stories are told and shared that live amongst humans but aren’t or not sufficiently heard.

Through film, people can meet each other who would not otherwise meet. It is important to take the time for these encounters to get to know each other’s perspectives and experiences better. Through mainly documentaries, but also feature films (that in an effective way create awareness) and short films, individuals, filmmakers, and subcultures can be given a voice that gives us insight into the lives, missions, situations, and goals of others in order to raise awareness. It is our mission to use film as a tool to generate awareness for various causes.


Documentaries (short & Features).

We are looking for strong (portrait) documentaries that give voice and representation to human individuals, or either a filmmaker’s perspective, who are either;

– on a mission to change something in their village, city, country or in the world.

– wanting to tell something important to the world.

– living in particular circumstances that have been documented to raise awareness (either health reasons, socio-economic, etc).

– fighting for social justice (with this we do not per se mean Human Rights, there are other festivals for that).

– attempting to make a difference.

– attempting to raise awareness about the environment.

We are looking for;

– innovative, modern documentaries full of perspectives.

– NO typical TV documentary styles,

– NO talking heads or interview-based styles.

– Let the people or the filmmaker (preferably seen on camera, not just narration) in the film speak!

Fiction films (features & shorts)

We are looking for strong feature films that give voice and representation to the story of a human individual from a filmmaker’s perspective, who made the film;

– to raise awareness.

– to tell the stories of people who went through these events.

We believe that these films can;

– NOT be pure entertainment films!

– NOT be blockbusters! For this film festival.

– be told best in a drama genre format and NOT a fantasy, pure action, horror movie genres, etc.


After a successful pilot film festival edition of short films screened at VOX POP a creative space at the University of Amsterdam, Humans of Film Amsterdam has decided to launch an official film festival. is currently working on getting funding for this film festival, but we also need to show what films we might show at the festival when we apply for funds. That is why we are currently accepting films.

Getting funding in the Netherlands takes quite a while which is why we can inform you if your film has been selected somewhere in February.

We aim to hold the film festival around the weekend of the 23rd of May 2020.

We are currently working on a lot so more information will come on this page as the weeks pass. The same counts for the official website.

Please bear with us as we embark on this wonderful journey and do not let our newness hold you back from applying.

Humans of Film Festival is organized by Stichting | Foundation Humans of Film

Jury Award €1000,- | Audience Award €500,-

This first edition we will have a Jury Award and an Audience Award.

The winning feature films will receive a prize package from sponsors/funders. The amount shown above is what we aspire to receive from funds, but has yet to be determined. It depends on what the funds will give us.

Besides that, we will invite distributors whom we want to encourage to pick up films for distribution.

Even though some things aren’t clear yet, do not let this stop you, because the moment we have funding we will shed light on everything that you need to know.

The films submitted through FilmFreeway when selected to be shown at the film festival will automatically enroll for the competition for the Jury & Audience Award.


We are looking for:

– Features and short films. Mostly ‘human’ portrait and awareness documentaries, but also fiction films that are specifically made to create awareness or give voice.

– Films that give voice to a person and that allows human voices (not literally voices, but

essentially the stories, issues, missions of human beings) to be heard; think of people we otherwise never hear off or see.

– Films that are specifically made to create awareness; overtly pertaining to an individual or group/subculture through whose cinematic journey we become aware of particular issues, situations, difficulties, discoveries, concerns, passions and much more.

– Films that specifically regard social justice

– Films that give a voice for nature and the natural ecological environment.

– Films that regard subcultures that need to be discovered or their stories told.

– Films that display or study the human ‘nature’.

– Films that regard society, issues, complexities, events, good or bad.

– Films that regard the good things of human beings that mainstream media do not display.

– Films about marginalized groups, persons, cultures, minorities, majorities, all sorts of diasporas’, people of all colors, about gender, lgbtq+ communities, allies, religion, ethnicity, race, politics, cultures, nationalities, statelessness, Amsterdam (local events and or issues), migration, immigration, refugees, poverty, wealth, privilege.


– Your film has to be made in the past 2 years. At the moment it should have been completed in either 2018 or 2019.

– We will not accept films that have been screened a year ago or longer at major film festivals in the Netherlands. If the film is to be screened a few months prior to ours then it’s okay to submit.

– The following films will NOT be accepted since we are not looking for these films this edition; pure entertainment films, big blockbuster films, action movies, fantasy films, animation films, horror films, cartoons, video essays, experimental, romance, silent films, typical TV documentaries, multimedia/video art installations or music videos.

– We are not looking for documentary films that overtly show talking head interview settings or films that rely a lot on text on screen. A minimal amount is okay, but we prefer innovative documentary formats that show the POV of the lead(s) in your documentary. A format that gives voice to the people in your documentary.

– We will not consider one-worded submissions. If you cannot passionately explain to us why your film literally gives voice to a person or people. If you can’t explain how and about what you are trying to create awareness. Or why you made a portrait documentary about a person on a mission to change something. Then how could we be passionate enough to consider your film? Please think about that.

– The deadlines after the early bird deadline have a small fee. The fee stands as a symbol that should make you think and consider if your film really is what we are looking for this edition. That is why it is important to compare your film to all the rules, terms, criteria and descriptions on this page. If we wouldn’t place a fee we would receive too many films that do not even apply to any of the rules, criteria and terms that we have set. Besides that, the fee that you pay supports the film festival and it is non-refundable. We also made sure that the fee isn’t too high. Submitting your film to our film festival automatically means that you have read everything and that you comply and agree with the rules, criteria, descriptions and terms that we’ve set and described on this page.

– No films that spread hate or division, polarization, (confirmation) bias, cherry-picking,

discrimination, and racism to anyone. Rather films that study, try to create understanding and give voice.

– Although it is highly preferred to receive films of a high and good quality grade as we live in Amsterdam which is an international and very competitive capital city. There is a slight chance that we are open to receiving films that might not be up to industry standards (for example films filmed with a with a low-quality camera or cell phone are welcome ONLY if it’s of great significance; for example: Why didn’t anybody tell me it would become this bad in Afghanistan (2007) was entirely shot via cell Phone by Cyrus Frisch). We will critique how it serves meaning, purpose, if the quality is befitting (as in justifying the imagery and the cause) of the narrative or if the story itself is moving enough to be captivating to our audiences.

Send an email to if you have questions

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More information will come soon and when we have enough funding we will launch the festival website.