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Proudly supported by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), the IAFOR Documentary Film Award is a global competition celebrating the best in documentary filmmaking. Documentary has a rich history of exposing truths, telling stories, raising awareness and creating discussion – all practices valued at IAFOR.

In this competition, content is king. We welcome submissions drawing on compelling subject matter from any imaginable topic. Production quality is valued, but not the sole basis for judgment. This is an open competition, welcoming storytelling from both amateurs and seasoned professionals.

The IAFOR Documentary Film Award 2016 is hosted by The Asian Conference on Media and Mass Communication (MediAsia2016) and The Asian Conference on Film & Documentary (FilmAsia2016).

One Grand Prize Winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000 USD.

Winning entries will also be awarded a mentorship session with an industry professional and admission to an upcoming IAFOR Film or Media Conference in Asia or Europe – a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the craft and to network.

The logo for the IAFOR Documentary Film Award is inspired by the Japanese kanji “目”. The meanings of “目” range from eye, eyesight, sight, vision, look, stare, glance, to encompass experience or viewpoint. 目 is our opportunity to focus, share and engage our own visions, perspectives, and insights with each other, to keep an eye on those things that interest and inspire us as they happen and evolve.

Gary Swanson IAFOR Staff Image

Message from Gary E. Swanson

Three-time Emmy Award Winning Producer and Editor for NBC Network and Founding Judge of the IAFOR Documentary Film Award.

At the IAFOR MediAsia and FilmAsia conferences, of which I am the chair, we have established ourselves as the international meeting place for world leaders, academics and professionals alike through our yearly conferences in Kobe and Osaka, Japan. In addition to our highly regarded and well attended conferences, we have, over the past four years, also celebrated the finest films and videos through our IAFOR Open Film Award.

For the third year we invite professionals and amateurs to enter the IAFOR Documentary Film Award. In addition to professionals who create documentaries for news stations, networks, and theatrical release, we are specifically opening our competition to students at film schools, colleges and universities from around the world with a significantly reduced entry fee.

I encourage everyone to enter as both beginners and experienced professionals have an equal chance to win our highly coveted award. My two fellow judges are highly accomplished and recognized professionals in the industry. James Rowlins, filmmaker and French Cinema researcher, and Scott Erlinder, Assistant Professor and Freelance Director of Photography, will also judge the entries to select the highest quality documentary videos from around the world.

I am honored to play a significant role in the IAFOR Documentary Film Award and welcome you to enter this prestigious international documentary event.

Most sincerely,

Gary E. Swanson
CEO D’image Studios
Former Hansen Endowed Chair in Journalism and Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence
The University of Northern Colorado, USA

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