Frequently Asked Questions

About the Festival in General

The Science Film Festival is a celebration of science communication taking place annually in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The festival promotes science literacy by facilitating awareness of contemporary scientific, technological and environmental issues through the screening of outstanding international science films with accompanying educational activities. The festival presents scientific issues accessibly and entertainingly to a broad audience. It is the largest event of its kind worldwide receiving over one million visitors annually.
A selection of outstanding international films for all age groups on science, technology and the environment are screened at Science Film Festival. An essential part of the festival is offering activities that supplement the themes explored in the films, through hands-on experiments, projects or learning games for young audiences or expert panels, forums and talks for general audiences at the screenings.
The Science Film Festival is organized in the following countries in 2018: Burkina Faso | Egypt | Ethiopia | India | Indonesia | Jordan | Kenya | Malaysia | Myanmar | Namibia | Palestinian Territories | Philippines | Rwanda | South Africa | Sri Lanka | Sudan | Thailand | United Arab Emirates | Vietnam. The screenings take place at education institutions, such as science centers and science museums, as well as schools, universities and cultural centers in the host countries throughout the annual festival period.
The Science Film Festival takes place internationally from the beginning of October to the third week of December with local dates varying by country within this period. Please visit a country page on the website to find out more information on local dates.
The Science Film Festival is centrally organized by the Goethe-Institut, the official cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany, in cooperation with local partners in each host country.
The Science Film Festival started in Thailand in 2005 through a cooperation between the Goethe-Institut, the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST) and the National Science Museum Thailand (NSM). It has since expanded to other countries in Southeast Asia (2009-), the Middle East and North Africa (2013-), Sub-Saharan Africa (2017-), South Asia (2017-) and Latin America (2019-). Please visit our archive section for more information on the history of the festival.

About Film Submissions

The Science Film Festival is open to worldwide submissions from broadcasters, producers, filmmakers, film students, researchers, scientific organizations, NGOs, public organizations, and online channels. To submit an entry, please follow the instructions on this website and use the online application form during the period when the festival is open to submissions.
The Science Film Festival is open to all formats of films incl. VR and online interactive films, as well as all genres of films on science, technology and the environment. However, the festival program focuses primarily on edutainment programs for young audiences and documentary films for the general public, which have been broadcast on television or online.
The Science Film Festival call for entries runs from Mid-January to late March for a period of ten weeks each year. To submit an entry, please follow the instructions on this website and use the online submission form. Please note that submissions can only be accepted during the annual call for entries period.
There are no fees for submissions to the Science Film Festival. However, the festival as a rule does not pay for screening rights either. This is because all screenings are non-commercial and educational in nature and the Science Film Festival makes no revenue from the screenings or any other related activities. The festival also invests considerably in translating and subtitling or synchronizing films into local language where applicable and makes these versions available to the rights owners after the festival period.
It is possible to submit multiple entries to the Science Film Festival. In case the submissions originate from a series, only one submission form needs to be filled out with all pertaining information and materials for the individual films or episodes within the entry. In case the submissions are standalone films or different series, please use a separate form for each entry. Films can not be submitted again if they have already been selected into the Science Film Festival in previous years.
Over 30 pre-jury members with expertise in science education and science communication in the participating countries and in-depth knowledge of the local target audience are closely involved in the selection process of the Science Film Festival. When an entry is selected in at least one participating country, the film is considered part of the official selection of the festival in that year and is eligible for one of the six Science Film Festival awards.
The Science Film Festival receives between 250-300 entries from 30-40 countries annually. However, the festival is limited in the number of entries it can accept into the official selection due to the fact that selected films are translated and synchronized into the local languages of participating countries in order to facilitate accessibility for viewers as an educational initiative. The investment that this effort entails consequently restricts the number of films that can be chosen for the annual festival program. The official selection of the Science Film Festival averages annually between 80 and 100 films of varying length.
The Science Film Festival pre-jury committees in the participating countries are looking for outstanding examples of contemporary international science communication and filmmaking approaches. Other considerations taken into account, also include local factors regarding the core festival audience of children and youths, which is why local science education experts are involved in the selection process.
The Science Film Festival also functions as an educational outreach initiative within the countries in which it takes place and therefore makes the effort to provide the greatest possible degree of accessibility. In many countries in which the event is organized, English or other languages, may not be a widely used language and so for the sake of inclusion, the films are subtitled or synchronized into local language.
The Science Film Festival puts together an international jury each year to select six award winners from the official selection. The jury is composed of international experts in the fields of science communication, science education, factual broadcasting, children’s media and scientists in the field of the annual festival theme. The award winners are chosen for their outstanding achievement in the six award categories amongst the entries in the official selection. Please visit the awards section for more information on the six Science Film Festival awards.

About Screening Venues

The Science Film Festival is an international network connected to the Goethe-Institut, which has 159 institutes in 98 countries. Please contact your local Goethe-Institut, if you are interested to set up the festival in your country. Certain organizational conditions have to be met for the Science Film Festival to be implemented successfully in a country, but the festival is also very flexible to adapt to local interests and focus points that can be agreed upon in dialogue with the local Goethe-Institut.
Any education institution, such as a science center, science museum or children’s center, as well as schools, universities, libraries and cultural centers in a participating Science Film Festival country can host screenings in cooperation with official festival organizers in that country. Please get in touch with your local Goethe-Institut for further information from the details in the contact section.
Many stakeholders make large capital and intellectual investment towards the Science Film Festival. These stakeholders do not only include the people who volunteer their time towards the Science Film Festival, but also the content rights owners, who entrust their property to the Science Film Festival.

All films used at the Science Film Festival are protected by copyrights and subjected to national and international laws applying to the matter. Therefore, these programs CAN NOT be used outside the annual international Science Film Festival period without the permission of the rights’ owners. To make sure that this investment and trust is treated with due respect, the following guidelines apply:
  1. Screenings may only be organized by the Goethe-Institut or official Science Film Festival partners within a country;
  2. Strictly no commercial use: No fee may be charged for the Science Film Festival. Productions that are screened at the Science Film Festival may not be broadcast;
  3. The Science Film Festival is a cultural program and non-profit initiative and may only be hosted in the context of educational screenings;
  4. The Science Film Festival organizers must be made aware of the use of the programs and the context in which they will be screened and must grant permission to use the content. Permission can be refused;
  5. The Science Film Festival organizers and the Goethe-Institut must be made aware of screenings. You should provide information about the dates and place of your screening and submit a final report about your activity within a month after the event.
  6. To receive a film package, please contact your closest Goethe-Institut. Please provide the details of the planned screening as described above.
  7. Only approved screenings during the Science Film Festival may be screened under the title of ‘Science Film Festival’.

Submission Guidlines

The application form must be submitted by March 22, 2019. A pre-screening copy should be submitted no later than March 25, 2019. Please use a separate application form for each film, unless the films are part of a series of films being submitted in which case one form can be filled out mentioning the submitted films or episodes. Please fill in all parts of the application form. Only content that has been produced since January 1, 2016, is accepted. There is no submission fee, however, the Science Film Festival principally does not pay licensing fees for films submitted into competition.
We kindly ask you to submit a pre-screening copy of your film as downloadable file (MP4, MKV or MOV) through WeTransfer, Dropbox, FTP Server or other secure file sharing service (please send to recipient: andreas.klempin@goethe.de) or by sending a DVD to:

Science Film Festival 
Goethe-Institut Thailand 
18/1 Soi Goethe, 
Sathorn Soi 1 
Bangkok 10120 
THAILAND
+66 (0) 2 108 8200

We kindly ask that films not in English or German provide English subtitles.

This copy of the film is used for the selection process only.
We kindly ask that you are able to provide a minimum of two still images of the film for the festival catalogue and website whenever possible. These should be high-resolution (300 dpi). The images can be sent to us per e-mail or download link together with the pre-screening copy of the film.
Should your film be selected into the official festival program, we kindly ask you to make available a Master copy with separate music and effect audio track (separate from the dialogue and narration track) of the film if possible for synchronization purposes to ensure maximum quality. However, mixed-track versions are still accepted if necessary. Please note that we will approach you for the HD file and/or audio track if and after your film has been selected into the official festival program. Notifications will be sent out in August 2019.

Please note the following technical specifications for the final festival screening copy:

Accepted file formats:
  • mxf
  • mov
  • mp4
  • mkv
  • avi
  • ProRes
We kindly ask you to provide an English or German language MS Word dialogue script of the film if possible for accurate translation into local festival languages. The dialogue script can be sent to us per e-mail or per download link with the pre-screening copy of the film.

All festival films are translated and synchronized or subtitled into local languages where applicable to offer access for the audience without language barriers.
Please send the festival screening materials directly to the Goethe-Institut in Thailand:

Science Film Festival
Goethe-Institut Thailand
18/1 Soi Goethe,
Sathorn Soi 1
Bangkok 10120
THAILAND

+66 (0) 2 108 8200

Or electronically in case of upload with recipient andreas.klempin@goethe.de

The expenses for sending materials must be covered by the applicant.
Results of the official festival selection will be announced in August 2019. Notifications will be sent per e-mail, unless requested otherwise. Please kindly communicate any inquiries via e-mail to andreas.klempin@goethe.de.

Since the film selection may vary from country to country, participating filmmakers, producers and broadcasters will be notified of the countries in which their film will be screened in the notification.

Award winners are publicly announced on the website in January of the following year. A comprehensive Science Film Festival report is sent to all applicants in February of the following year as well.
i. The Science Film Festival does not pay for screening fees. Submission of a film means consent for screenings in the context of the event as outlined in the application form.

ii. Entries do not necessarily have to be related to the festival theme.

iii. Due to the cost of translation and synchronization, only about one-fifth of all entries can be accepted into the final competition. The selection of the festival program is made by a collective of over 30 pre-jury members consisting of experts in scientific fields, education, television and filmmaking representing all participating countries.