Human Rights Short Film Competition in Somalia

Application and participation rules for

Human Rights Short Film Competition in Somalia (HRSFCS)

Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All’

  • Summary

By submitting a short film (the ‘film’) to the HRSFCS (the “film competition”), you are deemed to have read and consented to these Rules (the “Rules”) in their entirety. Any candidate whose film has been shortlisted for official selection to be presented to the public will be required to agree to these Rules with their signature/initials on each page (bottom right corner) and signature at the end of this document to confirm the participation of their film in the film competition. You can download this page as a document (to sign) from here.

  • Award categories:
  • Best Film – Maximum runtime (duration) is 10 minutes.
  • First runner-up – Maximum runtime (duration) is 10 minutes.
  • Second runner-up – Maximum runtime (duration) is 10 minutes.


  • Deadline for submissions: 30 September 2023, 11:59 p.m.
  • Open to Somali citizens residing in Somalia aged 18 and above.
  • Submissions not in line with the following Rules will not be considered for selection and will be rejected by the HRSFCS organisers, who are under no obligation to inform an applicant of this rejection.
  • The list of films selected by the film competition constitutes a catalogue of audio-visual resources that the United Nations promotes on a long-term basis for human rights promotion and human rights education activities.

1. General terms of participation

1.1. You may submit one film only to the competition for consideration, free of charge, subject to these Rules.

1.2. The period for submissions is from 1 July to 30 September 2023.

1.3. Films created between 30 September 2022 and 30 September 2023 are eligible.

1.4. The content of all submissions must address at least one of the human rights issues highlighted under the three-part theme of ‘Dignity/Freedom/Justice for All.’

2. What type of films can be proposed?

The theme of the films is Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All and is aligned with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

2.1. The films should not be longer than 10 minutes.

2.2.  The films can be fiction or non-fiction.

2.3. Animation and stop-motion films will be accepted as well.

3. What are the technical requirements for submissions?

  • Every film submitted must be a final edited product: rough cuts will NOT be considered for the selection.
  • The film should not have been already distributed to any public platform.
  • The film can be produced in any language spoken in Somalia; English subtitles must be provided.

3.1.  File features:

3.1.1.  Only multiplexed files will be accepted (audio, video and subtitles in one film file).

3.1.2.  The subtitles have to be integrated (burned in) into the film.

3.1.3.  The films should not have a colour bar or any black sequence at the beginning or end (apart from a model for opening and closing credits).

3.1.4.  There is a maximum file size of 8 GB for each film (compression is required for bigger files).

3.1.5.  In case a film is produced in square or vertical formats, the file should be inserted in the horizontal full HD format as described with black bands on the left and right sides.

3.1.6.  Google Drive open link or WeTransfer link of the film file will be accepted.

3.2.  Technical requirements:

3.2.1.  Formats we accept are .mpeg / .vob / .avi / .mov / .mp4 (m4v).

3.2.2.  Recommended codecs are MJPEG, Apple ProRes, H264 (bitrate if possible) > 2MBit/s and uncompressed (very large file).

3.2.3.  Resolution should be PAL and NTSC (as well as SECAM) from 720x400px up to HD material of 1920x1080px.

3.2.4.  48kHz sound PCM (only uncompressed) / MP3 / AAC (if possible > 160 kBit/s).

3.2.5.  Every submission must be in the horizontal format in full HD (1920 X 1080 pixels) compressed with MP4 codec, the data rate of 10 MB/s. In case a film is produced in square or vertical formats, the file should be inserted in the horizontal full HD format as described with black bands on the left and right sides.

3.2.6.  Organisers take no responsibility for submissions that are lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete or cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason. Proof of delivery of the entry is not proof of receipt.

4.  What are the awards for winning submissions?

The shortlisted films will be announced during a ceremony in October (date to be announced) and screened online for public viewing in the months following this announcement. Winners will be informed confidentially prior to a public announcement.

The prizes for the top films will include:

4.1.  Special screening of the top 3 films on selected TV channels in Somalia.

4.2.  A special TV programme on the filmmaking journey of the filmmakers and their thoughts behind making the film from human rights context for the top 3 entrants.

4.3.  Travel expenditure within Somalia for top 10 entrants (up to three crew members in case of collective productions) to attend the award ceremony.

4.4.  A free workshop on filmmaking for the top 10 entrants.

5. Who can apply for the competition?

5.1.  Submissions of films may be made by Somali citizens (or a team of Somali citizens) residing in Somalia aged 18 years or older. Individuals and teams applying can be from the public or non-profit domains. Those entering this competition attest through these signed Rules and their film submission, that they do not and will not receive any funding from the military, arms, tobacco, alcohol or pharmaceutical products, services, or industries.

5.2.  The submissions must comply with principles of non-discrimination, impartiality and ‘do no harm.’ Films of a political or discriminatory nature or that are biased against any group in Somalia will not be eligible for the competition.

5.3.  Each film must feature/include at least one woman either as a director or narrator, or script writer or lead character.

5.4.  Every application must name the individual (or group of individuals), as the author(s) of the film.

5.5.  In the case of a group of authors, the names and ages of all authors must be listed. The full list of everyone involved in the film should match the credits at the end. This group will be considered as a single applicant in the copyright Rules described below, as well as for the award of the prize for winners, and in this case, the term “you” in these Rules refers to each such applicant as an individual and as a group of applicants.

5.6.  The director/directors of the film will be the primary recipient of the prizes unless someone else is nominated as such by the director/directors.

5.7.  Each applicant or group of applicants can submit only one film.

5.8.  Applicants cannot be the staff of (or the family members of such staff) any United Nations system organisation, nor can they have any direct ties (employment or otherwise) to the tobacco or arms industries.

6.  What are the content requirements applicable to a submission to the competition?

Your submission must be your own original work, must not be copied, must not contain any third-party materials and/or content (including background music) that you do not have permission to use, must not promote your own or third-party goods or services or include any trademarks, and must not show inappropriate or dangerous behaviour, or otherwise be obscene, defamatory, distasteful, offensive, or in breach of any applicable legislation or regulations, or in breach of any confidentiality obligations owed by you to third parties. If Organisers have reason to believe your entry is not your own work, if a person objects to the inclusion of a film in which they are featured being included in the film competition, or if your entry otherwise breaches these Rules, then Organisers reserve the right to reject or not consider the submission.

In submitting an application to the HRSFCS, you agree that:

6.1.  You have not and will not grant licenses of your submission to companies dealing with military, arms, tobacco, alcohol or pharmaceutical products or services or for advertising of commercial products or services.

6.2.  Your submission has not been produced with funds or any kind of support from the above-mentioned industries.

6.3.  Your submission has not been produced with funds from the United Nations institutions or programmes.

7.  What are the legal terms and conditions applicable to films shortlisted by the competition?

In the event that your film is chosen to be part of the competition selection, you agree:

7.1.  To ensure that all production and distribution companies involved in your submission shall also agree, to give full, non-payable, worldwide, perpetual, sub-licensable license to the United Nations and for its public screening, including online and traditional media.

7.2.  To extend this license, if necessary, to public screenings, and online events dedicated to highlighting the official selection of the film competition, with a written notice to you.

7.3.  That the United Nations may promote the titles and summaries of the shortlisted films on its online platform.

7.4.  By submitting an application, you confirm that your submission is your original work and in no way a violation of any existing copyright not declared in the above-mentioned certificates, and that you have the power to grant the license/permission described above, and to the extent the submission is not your original work, you have obtained all required permits and licenses to provide the licenses to Organisers described above. Upon request, winners must be able to provide to Organisers with the relevant documents confirming that they have the appropriate permissions and licenses.

7.5.  You further confirm that consent has been obtained regarding the name, likeness, biography, picture and details related to any person, including any deceased person, figuring in your submission. Copies of any such permission and consent shall be provided to the organisers together with the submission. You indemnify, and hold harmless the Organisers of this competition, the United Nations, and its officials, agents and employees, from and against all suits, proceedings, claims, demands, losses and liability of any kind or nature brought by any third party against the United Nations, including, but not limited to, all litigation costs and expenses, attorney’s fees, settlement payments and damages, based on, arising from, or relating to your application and/or the submission of your film.

7.6.  The Organisers may exclude your application from the film competition if you breach these Rules, breach any applicable law, or take any act or are party to any act or thing prejudicial to the United Nations’ goodwill, reputation, or overall public image.

7.7.  If your film is selected by the Organisers, for either the shortlist or a prize, you are authorised to mention this selection in your communications without using the Organisers’ logo.

7.8.  Any use by the Organisers of a submitted film will include the name(s) of the authors.

7.9.  Entering the film competition does not guarantee that you will win a prize or derive any other benefit. The Organisers accept no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you because of entering the film competition or accepting any prize. Organisers further disclaim liability for any injury or damage to your equipment or any other person’s equipment relating to or resulting from participation in or downloading any materials in connection with the film competition. The Organisers reserve the right at any time to modify or discontinue this film competition, with or without prior notice, including due to reasons outside their control. The decision of the Organisers in all matters under their control is final and binding.

7.10.  Any dispute relating to the interpretation or application of these Rules, or any other aspect of the film competition, shall be settled amicably. Where entrants wish to seek such an amicable settlement through conciliation, the conciliation shall take place in accordance with the Conciliation Rules then obtaining of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”), or according to such other procedure as may be agreed between entrants and the Organisers in writing.

7.11.  Nothing contained herein shall be construed as a waiver of any of the privileges and immunities enjoyed by the United Nations including its subsidiary organs under national or international law, and/or as submitting the United Nations to any national court jurisdiction.



Any candidate who will have a film shortlisted towards the official selection presented to the public must confirm their agreement with these Rules by signing them below.

Name of an individual or group candidate submitting a film (Family name and first name):



I have read these Rules and I confirm my agreement to adhere to them as a condition for my Film (Original title of the film):


to be submitted for consideration in the Human Rights Short Film Competition in Somalia (HRSFCS) ‘Dignity, Freedom and Justice for All.’



Authorised Signatory: