Film entry regulations


Please note that some of these regulations will be updated for IFFR 2021. 

1. General
2. Competitions
3. Submission guidelines and materials
4. Selected films
5. Shipping of prints and videos of selected films
6. Conclusion

1. General

1.1 Objectives
International Film Festival Rotterdam aims to offer a quality selection of worldwide independent, innovative cinema and visual arts. Devoted to offering a platform to and actively supporting independent filmmaking from around the globe, IFFR is the essential hub for discovering film talent and for catching the early buzz on many world and international premieres.

1.2 Dates
The 50th IFFR, organised by Stichting International Film Festival Rotterdam, will be held from 27 January to 7 February 2021.

1.3 Eligibility
Submission to the festival is open to feature films, creative documentaries, experimental films, short films and innovative visual productions for digital media completed after 1 January 2020. The festival gives priority to world and international premieres. Films that have already been shown in The Netherlands are not admitted. Student films, with the exception of post-graduate works, are excluded from submission to the festival. Films previously submitted to the Festival and were not selected, will not be reconsidered for the 2021 Festival.

The following rules apply in case of digital festival screenings prior to IFFR:

  • If the film has been screened with geo-block, our regular premiere status rules apply.
  • If the film has been screened without geo-block and was available (worldwide), a maximum of 1500 views is allowed in order for the film to be eligible for IFFR selection.

In both cases, the film may only have been available online for a maximum of 20 days.

1.4 Entry fee
The following entry fees are applicable to submitted films:

  • short films (films

Payment is to be effected during the online submission. Paypal, iDeal and credit card are accepted.

1.5 Sections
The 2021 International Film Festival Rotterdam will announce its programme structure over the summer months of 2020. 

1.6 Participation
Participation in the 2021 International Film Festival Rotterdam implies acceptance of the Rules and Regulations by filmmakers, producers and their agents.

2. Competitions

2.1 Official competitions

Please note: the information below will be updated for IFFR 2021.
As part of the official programme, IFFR includes competitions to promote talented filmmakers: Tiger Competition (for feature length films), Ammodo Tiger Short Competition and VPRO Big Screen Award.

2.2 Tiger Competition
Eligible for Tiger Competition are directors of a 1st, 2nd or 3rd feature-length film, 60 minutes or longer, that are presented in World premiere at IFFR or, in consultation with the festival, in International or European premiere after no more than one festival event or territorial release between September 2020 and January 2021. An international jury will select a winner, from up to sixteen nominees, who receives €40.000 to be shared between the film’s director and producer. In addition, within the Tiger Competition, the jury bestows two Jury Awards for exceptional artistic achievement, each worth €10,000.

2.3 Ammodo Tiger Short Competition
Eligible for Ammodo Tiger Short Competition are directors with a short film less than 60 minutes. The film should have its world, international or European premiere in Rotterdam. During the festival an international jury selects three winners who will each receive €5,000 in cash.

2.4 VPRO Big Screen Award
Big Screen Competition comprises up to sixteen selected films having their World premiere at IFFR or, in consultation with the festival, in International or European premiere after no more than one festival event or territorial release between September 2020 and January 2021.  They will be judged by a jury of five enthusiast festival audience members. The winning film will be released theatrically in the Netherlands and will be broadcast on television in the NL. The VPRO Big Screen Award is worth a total of €30,000. Half of this amount is for the filmmaker; the other half is to be spent on the Dutch theatrical release.

2.5 BankGiro Loterij Audience Award

Please note: the information below will be updated for IFFR 2021.
All feature length films, having received their first public screening after 1 January 2020, are eligible for the BankGiro Loterij Audience Award, chosen by the audience of the festival. The prize comprises €10,000.

2.6 Other Awards
Other awards presented in the context of IFFR include, but are not necessarily limited to, FIPRESCI Award, KNF Award, IFFR Youth Jury Award.

2.7 Committing to the competitions
Films cannot be withdrawn after accepting the invitation to participate. After accepting to participate in the Tiger Competition or Ammodo Tiger Short Competition, the film may not be screened at any other festival or public event prior to its official presentation in Rotterdam.

2.8 Promotional materials
Participants are urged to make available all requested publicity materials for promotion.

2.9 Mentioning participation
Producers and distributors of participating and awarded films in above mentioned competitions, are requested to mention this fact in future promotional materials. The appropriate logos will be made available through our Press department.

3. Submission Guidelines and Materials

3.1 Entry Form
The film should be entered online through your personal account.

3.2 Submission Deadlines
The submission deadlines for selection purposes, which means the deadline for the festival’s office to receive all required submission materials, are:

  • Short films (up to 60 min.) completed before 1 July 2020: 24 August
  • Short films (up to 60 min.) completed after 1 July 2020: 21 September
  • VR Interactive works: 21 September
  • Feature length films (60+ min.): 14 October

The festival is not obliged to view entries that are received after these dates.

3.3 Preview Copy
All submissions require English language subtitles, with the exception of films with English, Dutch or no dialogue. To complete your submission the festival requires a preview copy.

Please upload your preview copy to Vimeo and add the link to the online entry form. The Vimeo link should be downloadable and the password should be valid until January 2021.
Please note that submitting a DCP for previewing purposes should be authorised by the festival. Please contact the programme department at [email protected]

In case you’re not able to provide us with a digital preview copy please send your DVD to:

International Film Festival Rotterdam
Attn: Programme Department
By regular (air) mail:
P.O. Box 21696
3001 AR Rotterdam
The Netherlands

By express courier:
Please mention "without commercial value, for cultural purposes only" and mark "No value", or not more than "10 US$"

Karel Doormanstraat 278-B
3012 GP Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 10 890 90 90
Fax: +31 10 890 90 91
e-mail: [email protected]

None of the above listed submission enclosures will be returned.

3.4 Additional materials
Requested in the online entry form are available press notes and publicity materials such as: Synopsis of the film (in English), a statement of the director on the film, biography and filmography of the director and full cast and credits list. In case an item is not available at the time of submission, it will be requested immediately upon selection (see also regulation 4).

3.5 Selection
All films presented at the festival are selected by the festival’s programmers and invited through its programme department. In case the programming team decides not to include a submitted film in IFFR, filmmakers will be notified as soon as possible via email

3.6 Announcements
The full screening schedule will be announced in January 2021, one week prior to the festival, on IFFR’s website.
Announcements of selected films as well as film programmes are at the discretion of the festival.

3.7 Refunds
After successfully receiving a film entry, the festival will not issue any refunds.

4. Selected films

4.1 Participants’ obligation
Participation in the festival requires the unconditional adherence to its regulations as set out here.

4.2 Catalogue materials
All contact persons of selected films will receive a request for catalogue materials upon confirming participation in the festival.

4.2.1 Required catalogue materials
In order to compile the Festival Catalogue, for each selected film the festival must receive a duly completed entry form and requested materials: hi-res .MOV file, synopsis of the film, biography and filmography of the director and a full list of artistic and catalogue credits. The requested materials should be sent/submitted as soon as possible upon acceptance of the invitation, but no later than 20 December 2020. The festival accepts no liability in the event that its publications reproduce inaccuracies in submitted materials.

4.2.2 Credits
In principle the catalogue will include the following technical and artistic credits: original title, international title, country(ies) of production, year of production, premiere status, format, length, director, production company, producer, sales company, print source, screenplay, cinematography, editing, production design, sound, music, principal cast.

4.2.3 Catalogue writings
Catalogue writings are entirely at the discretion of the festival.

4.3 Publicity materials
The publicity contacts of the films participating in the festival will receive a request from the press office to send publicity materials. These materials will be used in festival publications and for distribution to the press and festival guests.

4.3.1 Excerpts
After official selection of a film, the festival is qualified to use excerpts from the film, with a maximum of three (3) minutes, nationally and internationally for promotional purposes (for documentaries and short films, the total duration of the excerpts is not to exceed more than 10% of the film running time). In the event that excerpts are not available, and it’s being understood that under no circumstances the entire print may be lent out, the festival is qualified to copy, under its strict supervision, one or more excerpts from the film for promotional use prior to and during the festival only.

4.3.2 Promotion
For the promotion of the entire selection and of each selected film, the festival website is allowed to use any photo or digital film clip (less than 3’ duration).

4.4 Video library/preview platform
Selected films will be made available during the festival in the video library and for a set amount of time on our preview platform. Both are accessible only for the festival organisation and registered guests, through our own (closed circuit) server. By accepting to be part of the festival the rights owners grant permission for their film to be included on the preview platform and in the video library, unless otherwise stated on the online entry form. For this purpose all participants will be requested to make available either a DVD or a QuickTime h.264 version of their film for encoding purposes.

4.5 Press & industry screenings
During the festival and in collaboration with the programme department, the Pro hub will organize press & industry screenings for feature length films. Rights owners of films included in the video library and press & industry screenings will receive detailed viewing reports and attendants lists afterwards.

4.6 Programming
General scheduling and the timetabling of both public screenings and press & industry screenings are entirely at the discretion of the festival management. 
Please note: due to exceptional circumstances it is likely that the festival will include online screenings. Digital (online) screenings will only be scheduled with permission of the rights holders

4.7 Subtitling
Selected films will be screened in their original version. In principle, if not with English dialogues, films must be subtitled in English. If necessary, and only with the prior approval of the festival, a film can be subtitled using an electronic subtitling system. In this case it is imperative, before shipping the print, to send the English dialogue list (including time codes) together with the final version of the film on DVD to the festival. Any cost made for translation, producing time coded files or DVD’s need to be covered by the rights holder of the film.

4.8 Formats
Film formats and video systems that can be presented during the festival are: 16mm/35mm/DCP*.

Please note:
A DCP (Digital Cinema Package) should be delivered on a EXT2/3 formatted CRU dataport Sata drive. If the package is encrypted, a DKDM should be provided. Sending in separate KDM’s is not accepted.
Presentation of other formats and video systems or delivery through any other type of disk, formatting or licenses requires the authorization of the festival. Without this authorization the festival retains the right to exclude a film from the programme.
*In case of digital (online) screenings, the programme department will advise on the required deliverables.

5. Shipping of Prints and Videos of Selected Films

5.1 Shipping instructions
Detailed print/video/DCP shipment information will follow upon acceptance of the film.

5.1.1 Availability of screening copy
Unless authorised by the festival, prints/videos must be made available for the whole festival period. A DCP can be returned upon request right after ingesting and testing. In case you send a DCP, take into account that the festival needs time for testing and ingesting, and must therefore be available 28 December 2020. In case an encrypted DCP will be delivered, the DKDM time-window should be valid from 28 December 2020 to 7 February 2021. Prints must arrive in the Netherlands before 4 January 2021.

5.1.2 Shipment
We work with Filmfetch as a tool to ship DCP’s online. 
In case of physical shipment: 
The sender is requested to inform the festival on the means of dispatch, date of shipment and airway bill number.
The film must be sent prepaid by sender. No collect shipments are accepted unless authorised by the festival.
The festival will only pay for the return transportation charges, excluding any additional costs for tax and custom clearance in country of return.

5.1.3 Pro forma
A pro forma invoice must accompany the print/video stating the name of the sender, the title of the film, format, length, number of reels (if applicable) and whether it is in color or black and white.

5.2 Print return
All prints will be returned within four weeks after the Festival. DCP’s can be returned upon request right after ingesting and testing. It is the responsibility of each participant to inform the festival in due time on (any change in) the details of the return address as well as the desired date of arrival at the return address. In case there is no confirmation of the address within two weeks after the festival, the screening copy will be returned to the print source of the film (as listed on the entry form). The festival is not liable for any inconvenience this may cause.

5.3 Insurance
he insurance of the copies comes into effect the moment the film has arrived at the festival office or has been received by the shipping agent at Amsterdam Airport. The insurance remains in effect until the film is reshipped. In case of damage to or loss of a film during the festival, the festival is only responsible for the costs involved in making a new print or replacing the damaged reel(s) based on the current laboratory rates for ordering a standard print.

5.4 Damage claims
Damage to the film print must be reported to the festival in writing within a month after return and prior to any following screening. Any claims will be judged by the reported state of the print. The insurance does not cover any damage during normal screening use.

6. Conclusion 

Entry and participation of films implies unconditional acceptance of the regulations. In unspecified cases, the festival management will make a final decision.

Last updated 23 June 2020