Anthropological Film Festival issues call for submissions

The Anthropological Film Festival (AFF) is an event aiming to present and discuss contemporary approaches to anthropological film-making, including community, collaborative, observational, narrative, ethno-fictional, experimental, and other methods.

Taking place as part of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences’ IUAES 2022 Congress – the world’s largest anthropological and ethnological sciences gathering – the AFF will be hosting a selection of films both online and offline. These screenings will occur between May 25th and 31st, 2022.

During the event, the AFF will showcase a selection of international films – and filmmakers are currently being encouraged to submit their work for consideration. Filmmakers can apply via the IUAES website, while the final deadline for submission is December 15th, 2021.  

In a statement on the opening of submissions, Dr. Andrei Golovnev, Head of the IUAES 2022 Congress Organisation Committee, commented, “We welcome films of different genres created by anthropologists and documentalists or indigenous communities and organisations. The festival will provide an opportunity for filmmakers and researchers to engage in dialogue about the power of cinematic language to express the complexity and diversity of cultural values worldwide.”

Films submitted must be no longer than 52 minutes, and include English subtitles if the project’s original language is not English. A full list of the AFF’s rules for entry can be found here.

After the submission process closes, the AFF’s Selection Committee will pick a programme of films to be screened at the organisation’s events. Comprised of visual anthropologists, filmmakers, and scholars from many countries, the panel includes Lorenzo Ferrarini (United Kingdom), Peter Crawford (Norway), Robert Lemelson (United States), Bao Jiang (China), Catherine Gough-Brady (Australia), and Svetlana Belorussova (Russia) – who is also serving as Festival Coordinator.

The festival’s Selection Committee will announce the selection process results and publish the list of films chosen for competition on the Congress website on February 10th, 2022. Those selected will be required to pay a registration fee for the Congress events. The fee for online participation is ₽3,000 (around €36 at time of press), while onsite participation costs ₽10,000 (around €120). IUAES membership fee is waived for the participants of the AFF.

Speaking on the contest, Svetlana Belorussova commented, “Previous IUAES Congresses had rich and varied film programs embedded in their panels and round-tables. This time, we put together a special film event, with a competitive aspect to it.”

Beyond her work with the AFF, Belorussova is a filmmaker who regular readers of Indy Film Library may remember for her own project, Coo-Coo. Focusing on the psychological pressures of modern academia, the film won the Audience Choice Award at the 2021 IFL Student Short Showcase.

For questions and inquiries on the AFF’s submission process, she can be contacted at

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