World’s Première Migration Film Festival Opens Call for Films

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) this week issued a call for films for the Global Migration Film Festival. The multi-venue festival which takes place annually in over 100 countries in December is the world's première cultural event on migration. 

The UN organization’s call for submissions includes Full-Length Feature and Short Films, in all genres: fiction, documentary and animation. Filmmakers have long viewed migration as a rich source of storytelling. This unique festival provides an opportunity for filmmakers and viewers the world over to enjoy films about migration that entertain and educate - be the stories dramatic, sad or funny. 

It is in this spirit that IOM launched The Global Migration Film Festival in 2016 with just 30 film submissions. Last year there were 784 submissions from independent filmmakers in 98 countries making it a truly global filmmaking phenomenon. The Festival’s Official Selection of 42 films for 2018 led to 558 screenings in 104 countries around the world, drawing a global audience of over 30,000 people and inspiring film makers and film lovers alike. 

“What an incredible festival. I highly recommend it. IOM is an incredible organization with an important aim. It was wonderful to see my short film playing worldwide,” said filmmaker Juan Romero. 

Post-screening debates and panels are encouraged, and organizers in each participating country may organize their own side events, prize giveaways and more.  

To select a compelling roster of films to be screened, IOM’s call for films has opened with submissions accepted until Friday, 9 August. To merit consideration each submission must address the challenges and promises of migration as well as the many and unique contributions migrants make to their new communities. Both established and emerging filmmakers are urged to participate. 

A committee of international professionals will determine the Official Selection across two categories as follows: 

Full-length features: filmmakers working in all genres are invited to submit films that address festival themes, with a total running time exceeding 41 minutes. 

Short Films: filmmakers working in all genres are invited to submit films that address festival themes, with a total running time with a minimum of 15 minutes up to 40 minutes.  

Only films submitted through the festival’s designated platform, FilmFreeway, will be considered.  

Rules and Terms 

*Deadline for entry* 

Films of all genres (feature, documentary, animation, etc.) and lengths will be accepted until Friday, 9th August 2019. 

*Festival theme* 

All submissions should portray the challenges and promises of migration, and the unique contributions migrants make to their new communities. Films that tackle negative perceptions of migrants, defy stereotypes and portray positive and welcoming actions by and toward migrants are encouraged. 


Films should be in English or subtitled in English. Subtitles are encouraged, even if the dialogue is in English, to ensure maximum comprehension for global audiences.  

Films in other languages are encouraged but must have subtitles in English.  

*Production year* 

Films completed on or after 1 January 2016 are eligible for consideration. 


Films may only be submitted by individuals with the legal right to negotiate the use of the work. 

*Film selections* 

The festival will inform applicants by mid-October if their film is selected.  

For each selected film, either the filmmaker or the individual responsible for the submission should be prepared to provide relevant still images, a trailer, the filmmaker's biography, a photo of the film’s director and the transcripts for subtitling. 

Films submitted already to previous editions of the Festival are not eligible for submission this year.  

*There is no fee to submit films* 

*Films produced with any financial support from IOM are eligible for the competition, but not eligible for grants* 

Click here to access to the official Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) portal. 

For more information, please contact Amanda Nero at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 227 179 482, Email: