… is the title of a contest initiated by the Docudays UA (Ukraine) festival together with International Committee of the Red Cross. Yulia Serdyukova, who is part of the selection committee of the hopefully many interesting projects coming in from emerging filmmakers around the world, has asked me to post the rules of the competition, which I do with pleasure, being a constant supporter of the festival, and also a member of the mentioned selection committee togther with Head of Communications in Ukraine at International Committee of the Red Cross Marie-Servane Desjonqueres. Here is the text about the contest, read it and discover how many countries are eligible:

The international competition for documentary film projects about Ukraine or the Eurasia region, on the consequences of conflicts and other situations of violence inflicted upon civilians.

The conflict in the East of Ukraine prompts us to think again about all the other armed conflicts or situations of violence that have been gripping the world, and in particular our continent.

More attention must be given to the struggle of those caught up in violence. The ICRC delegation in Ukraine and Docudays UA invite emerging documentary filmmakers from Eurasian countries* to

submit projects which focus on human suffering and the struggle of peoples and families to survive the immediate impact war has on their lives, as well as the consequences of war and violence that often remain for decades.

We encourage projects that will talk about the specific, long-lasting effects of armed conflicts on the civilian population in Ukraine and other Eurasian countries, such as:

– missing persons and people separated from their families because of conflicts;

– sexual violence;

– mental health consequences;

– displacement, the (im)possibility of returning home;

– the destruction of infrastructure (roads, water supply system, electricity lines, etc.) or civilian property (houses, etc.), pollution of the environment (water, soil, air, etc.);

– mines and other remnants of war;

– access to education;

– access to health care and the safety of health care and infrastructure;

– the economic security of civilians.

As an independent, neutral and impartial humanitarian organization, the ICRC focuses on helping the most vulnerable. The organization delivers food, hygiene items, medicines and building materials to the worst-affected communities, and helps various water authorities to provide drinking water and repair vital infrastructure. Its teams visit people detained in connection with conflicts in government-controlled areas, and negotiate access to places of detention on the other side of lines of contact. Whenever possible, the ICRC participates in operations to release and transfer detainees between the parties concerned. The ICRC also regularly reminds those concerned of their obligations under international humanitarian law. These universally recognized rules, which are based on a clear distinction between civilians and military personnel, require that civilians and civilian infrastructure be protected from the effects of hostilities.

Given the neutral and impartial nature of its work, the ICRC seeks to support projects which take the organization’s principles into account. More on the principles here.

The film projects should show or promote issues which are of the greatest importance for those who are caught up in violence, no matter which side they belong to. As war brings many serious consequences for people, we are looking to support further projects which could show in the most human way how the use of weapons on one day can impact a society for years afterwards.

Who can apply?

Emerging directors or director-producer teams with a documentary film proposal at any stage (completed films are not eligible). Above all, we will aim to select projects which are relevant to the competition’s topic and meet the ICRC’s principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence.

*Eligible countries: Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo.

Co-productions are also eligible, as long as the producer or the director belongs to one of these countries. Applicants don’t necessarily need to demonstrate a documentary background, but will need to be at emerging level and demonstrate a track record in filmmaking. The program is not appropriate for established filmmakers who have, for example, made more than one feature documentary or received significant industry recognition with a previous feature documentary or fiction film.

Applicants must be fluent in English.

The program

We will shortlist up to 6 projects, which will be invited to attend Docudays UA 2017 (24-31 March 2017), take part in a 2-day training session, and make a pitch to a panel of experts. Members of the jury tbc.

The finalists will take part in a 2-day training session. It will consist of training in pitching, International Humanitarian Law and psych-social aspects of approaching a victim of violence.

The panel will award one prize of US$5000 to one winner.

The following costs will be covered:

– training;

– a full festival pass;

– accommodation and meals.

Applicants are encouraged to seek additional grants from other organisations to cover their travel costs.


Deadline for applications: February 1, 2017, 23:59 EET

Shortlist announced: February 15, 2017.

Training and pitching: during Docudays UA 2017 (24-31 March 2017), exact date tbc.

Winner announced: March 30th, at the closing ceremony of Docudays UA.

How to apply

Prepare the following documents:

1. Description of the project: logline and synopsis (obligatory), treatment and director’s statement (not necessary for the projects at the very early stage);

2. Director’s and producer’s biographies and filmographies;

3. Summary of the project’s budget, with a note of how you would spend the prize money;

4. Supporting visuals (photo with English-language captions and/or video with English subtitles).

Please name your files with your project’s name.

To apply, please fill in the application form here.

Once completed, send the documents mentioned above to yserdyukova@docudays.org.ua.

Applications and all documents must be provided in English. All training and the final pitch will be held in English.

If you wish to submit more than one idea, please create a different application for each idea. Please note that you will be asked to work on only one of these throughout the program.

If you have any questions about the program or how to apply, please email Yulia Serdyukova.

Grant will be given in US dollars equivalent. In order to receive the money, the applicant must sign an agreement with the granting organization (the ICRC delegation in Ukraine). The terms and conditions of the agreement will be fixed separately with the granting organization within 20 days after the winner is announced, in accordance with the winning project’s stage of development/production.



24–31 MARCH 2017

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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