The Womens Voices Now Online Film Festival

The annual Women’s Voices Now Online Film Festival celebrates and awards the best films from around the world that highlight women in film and women’s rights issues that inspire social change. Each year, films are selected from over 174 countries and are viewed by over 150,000 people online internationally. Filmmakers compete for in-kind and cash prizes, media features and the opportunity to have their films added to the WVN Film Archive for global promotion and viewing. The Women’s Voices Now Online Film Festival is for films and filmmakers interested in exposure and advocacy, and teaming up with WVN to have your films seen around the world.

Films can be submitted by men and women and must explore but not limited to one or more of the following issues:
∆ Women in Film / Women Filmmakers
∆ Women Media Creators/Storytellers
∆ HerStory
∆ Political representation
∆ Justice in the legal system
∆ Portrayals of violence against women
∆ Leadership and advocacy
∆ Harmful and controlling cultural practices
∆ Economic empowerment
∆ Equal education opportunities
∆ Challenging media stereotypes
∆ Women’s sexuality
∆ Healthy partnerships and relationships
∆ Reproductive health
∆ Matriarchal societies

Awards & Prizes
Leslie J. Sacks Grand Prize Award (i.e. best film award) - $3,500
Best Documentary Feature - $2,000
Best Documentary Short - $1,500
Best Narrative Short - $1,500
Best Experimental Short - $1,500

Award recipients will receive their prize upon submitting a video recorded acceptance speech that will be uploaded to our website.

Rules & Terms
Agreeing to participate in a WVN online film festival means that you agree to the following mandatory conditions:
· Your submission is a final cut and includes no advertisements.
· A digital, high-resolution screening copy of your film uploaded to FilmFreeway. Your submission is INCOMPLETE unless your film is downloadable in high resolution in your FilmFreeway submission. WVN will not replicate, duplicate, sell, or make a profit off of your film.
· Provide 3 high-quality film stills and a film poster with your FilmFreeway submission.
· You choose whether or not you wish for your film to exist in our website archives for international, free, online viewing and international live screenings and events. Our archive is an unfiltered database of films by and about women all over the world. You can find out more here:

See Below for our detailed Rules and Regulations
Rules and Regulations

​The Festival aims to include diverse and underreported stories of women*​, regardless of social or political subject matter. Subjects broached in this festival include but are not limited to: women in politics, social and legal change/justice, political rebellion, women’s rights struggles, activism, women living with a disability, health and family, environmental issues, women and employment, the resilience of women in the face of oppression, women and the arts, expression and experimentation of women, and socio-cultural relations between women and men.

*women: meant to include diverse LGTBQ identities, among them being the self-identification as a woman (i.e. trans-woman).

NOTE: Organizations, creative agencies, foundations, and content creators are invited to submit, however, videos created for the purpose of fundraising or brand advertising are NOT ACCEPTED.

Applicants must have full rights to the films submitted including all people, images, and music therein. By submitting to the Festival, the filmmaker confirms that (i) they have obtained authorization from persons appearing in the film or otherwise have the right to film them; (ii) all content is their own work, (iii) the filmmaker has the right to use all content.

There is no time limit by which the film must have been completed, but preference will be given to relevant and salient subject matter

The official language of the Festival is English. Non-English language films must have English subtitles.

Films may be submitted to four categories: (i) Documentary Features, (ii) Documentary Shorts, (iii) Narrative Shorts (vi) Experimental Film

Films submitted into all short categories must be under 40 minutes in length.

Entries will be judged based on the following criteria: (i) relevance of subject matter; (ii) storytelling - use of structure and image to communicate a compelling story; (iii) technical aspects of filmmaking.

The winning films will be selected by a panel of expert judges comprising creatives and high-level professionals and activists involved in film, women’s rights, and/or issues relating to culture and women’s rights. Winning filmmakers will be announced online.

Cash prizes totaling $10,000 will be awarded to select films.

Best Documentary Short - $1,500
Best Narrative Short - $1,500
Best Experimental Short - $1,500
Best Documentary Feature - $2,000
Leslie J. Sacks Grand Prize Award (i.e. best film award) - $3,500

Viewer’s Choice Awards

International viewers will vote on their favorite films. Laurels will be given to the films chosen by the audience in the categories of documentary short, documentary feature, narrative short, and experimental.

Award recipients will receive their prize and/or laurels upon submitting a video recorded acceptance speech.

The 2018 Festival will be open to submission on Monday, October 9, 2017, at 9AM PST. The submission​ ​period​ ​will​ ​close​ ​on​ ​Monday​ ​February​ ​5,​ ​2018,​ ​,​ ​11:59pm​ ​PST.

All (non-English language) entries must be sub-titled in English. Multiple projects may be submitted, however each film must have a separate completed submission form.

To submit your film for consideration, please deliver the following:

1. A screener copy of your film uploaded to FilmFreeway. If your submission requires a password, please be sure to include that in your submission.

2. Filmmaker bio (one paragraph) and story of your film must be included in your FilmFreeway submission. Please include: What inspired you to make this film and why is it important that this film is seen? Also please include any updates on the film and/or subjects of the film since completion.

3. High resolution downloadable still images via FilmFreeway.

If​ ​your​ ​film​ ​is​ ​selected​ ​for​ ​the​ ​festival,​ ​we​ ​will​ ​require​ ​an​ ​electronic​ ​press​ ​kit​ ​(EPK)​ ​to​ ​be sent​ ​via​ ​email​ ​to​​ ​We​ ​will​ ​require​ ​a​ ​high resolution​ ​digital​ ​download​ ​of​ ​your​ ​film​ ​(MPEG4/ h264 @1080p / 10—25mbps) H264/MPEG.

All submitted films must be final cuts and free of any advertisements.

All​ ​films​ ​must​ ​remain​ ​available​ ​for​ ​FREE​ ​viewing​ ​on​ ​our​ ​website​ ​for​ ​the​ ​duration of​ ​the​ ​competition.

A non-refundable $20USD donation is required per film submitted via FilmFreeway.

Please email​ ​for​ ​waiver​ ​inquiries.

Multiple projects may be submitted, however each film must have a separate completed submission form and submission fee.

Entry in this competition grants WVN the right to use clips (2 minutes maximum), photographs, and biographical data for publicity and promotional purposes for the WVN website, as well as websites of WVN’s promotional partners, media sponsors, and web aggregators. WVN reserves the right to use any submitted materials for all promotional purposes, including all existing and future media platforms in perpetuity.

Submitted​ ​films​ ​are​ ​encouraged​ ​to​ ​remain​ ​on​ ​our​ ​website​ ​in​ ​perpetuity.​ ​WVN makes​ ​no​ ​profit​ ​from​ ​any​ ​of​ ​the​ ​films​ ​that​ ​are​ ​featured​ ​in​ ​our​ ​archive.​ ​By agreeing to remain in our online archive, you agree to WVN using your film for free community and educational screenings and promoting you and your work to an international audience. Exceptions can be made (Vimeo Pay-Per-View, etc).

Submitting films to the WVN Archives grants Women’s Voices Now a copyright license for non-exclusive, worldwide rights to the films allowing WVN to screen the films for nonprofit, educational purposes, and use the films and/or film clips for promotional and marketing activities. If you do not wish for your film to appear in our archives, please check the appropriate box on the submission form.


Films from the Washington Film Festival screening at the World Film Fair