The WVN Online Film Festival Rules and Regulations


General Information 

Article 1. Women’s Voices Now (WVN) promotes and amplifies the free expression of the worldwide struggle for women’s civil, economic, political, and gender rights. Through online content and community-based events, we create platforms that connect conscientious art and media creators, activists, filmmakers, audiences, and advocacy organizations. The Online Film Festival aims to stay true to this spirit. 

Article 2. The Women's Voices Now (WVN) Online Film Festival is for films and filmmakers interested in exposure and advocacy, and teaming up with WVN to have your films seen across the world. Films must be about women’s social, economic, and political issues. 

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

WVN hopes that these films inspire viewers to join in solidarity in the fight against injustices in the world, among our nations and within families, and to recognize the full potential of women, and to create greater dignity for all.

Article 3. The Festival is a search for authenticity. An elevated and well-rounded dialogue can only be created by the inclusion of a multiplicity of voices from diverse national, economic, and religious backgrounds. All but offensive or hateful films will be seriously considered. Women's Voices Now retains the right to exclude any submission that violates the spirit, rules, or regulations of the Festival. The films selected for judging will be available for viewing on the Women's Voices Now website

Scope of Subject Matter 

Article 4. We are looking for brave, wise, conscious, provocative, poignant, and groundbreaking films that increase viewer awareness and promote dialogue about issues facing women. We are most concerned with quality of story, social impact, and the quality of aesthetics and cinematic language. We hope to inspire people to reflect on the impact of social activism and the importance of women’s voices and experiences.

Films must explore one or more of the following issues:

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.

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.


Article 5. Films may be submitted to five categories: (i) Documentary Shorts, (ii) Narrative Shorts, (iii) Experimental, (iv) Narrative Features, (v) Documentary Features.

Article 6.  Films submitted into the Documentary Shorts and Narrative Shorts categories must be less than 40 minutes in length. (See Article 12 for language requirements.) There is a $20 (USD) submission fee per film.

Article 7. Documentary Films and Narrative Films 40 minutes and more in length will be considered for the Documentary and Narrative Features categories. (See Article 12 for language requirements.) There is a $20 (USD) submission fee per film.

Article 8. Films submitted to the Experimental category must be no more than 10 minutes in length. These films may include silent films, mobile films, animated films, photo montages, music videos, or any other type of non-traditional film, as long as the work fits within the spirit and scope of the Festival. Anyone may submit to this category. (See Article 12 for language requirements.) There is a $20 (USD) submission fee per film.


Article 9. 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. 

Article 10. The Festival is open to filmmakers of all genders, nationalities, and faiths. Films submitted must, however, adhere to the mission statement of the Women’s Voices Now Online Film Festival. 

Article 11. Submitted films are encouraged to remain in our online festival archives in perpetuity. Priority will be given to films that are able to stay in the WVN Online Archives. Films must have completed festival cycles that would impede their featuring on the Women’s Voices Now website. There is no time limit by which the film must have been completed, but preference will be given to relevant and salient subject matter. 


Article 12. The official language of the Festival is English. Non-English language films must have English subtitles. 

How to Enter 

Article 13. To submit your film for consideration, please review the following mandatory conditions: 

1. Your film is viewable on our website for the duration of our online film festival, without password protection and for the purpose of judging.

2. You provide a digital, high resolution screening copy of your film to WVN. Your submission is INCOMPLETE unless we have this copy. WVN will not replicate, duplicate, sell, or make profit off of your film

3. You agree to give WVN non-exclusive rights to your film for the purpose of advocating, screening, and curating educational screening packages that include your film, and will be available to communities and educational institutions FREE of charge for the purpose of promoting your cause/activism/etc.

4. You choose whether or not you wish for your film to exist in our website archives for international online viewing. 

We encourage our filmmakers to leave their films on our site so that we may continue to reach global audiences with their films. The Women's Voices Now (WVN) Online Film Festival is for films and filmmakers interested in exposure and advocacy, and teaming up with WVN to have your films seen across the world. 

Deadlines and Fees 

Article 14. There is a $20 (USD) submission fee per film. 

Article 15. Review the Film Festival Deadlines HERE 

Judging & Prizes 

Article 16. 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.

Article 17. All accepted films to the Online Festival will be featured on 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 and receive prizes via bank transfer or check.

Article 18. Cash prizes totaling $10,000 will be awarded to select films. The cash prize for Best Documentary Short is $1,000. The cash prize for Best Narrative Short is $1,000. The cash prize for Best Experimental is $1,000. The cash prize for Best Documentary Feature is $2,000. The cash prize for Best Narrative Feature is $2,000.The cash prize for the Leslie J. Sacks Grand Prize Award, i.e. best film award, is $3,000. Award recipients will receive their prize upon submitting a video recorded acceptance speech that will be uploaded to our website.

Privacy & Confidentiality 

Article 19.  Application information is collected for prize-winning purposes and film integrity. All entry information is secure and will not be shared with anyone outside WVN without permission from the filmmaker. Only the information indicated for public dissemination will accompany each film on the WVN website. Films may be published under pseudonyms or incomplete names. If no identifying information can be provided, the WVN Board of Directors retains the right to decide whether to make these films available for viewing or not. Prizes will not be awarded to incomplete applications.


Article 20.  Submitting films to the Festival grants Women’s Voices Now a copyright license for non-exclusive, worldwide rights to the films allowing WVN to screen the films for educational and fundraising purposes, and use the films and/or film clips for promotional and marketing activities.  


Article 21. WVN reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify, terminate, or suspend this contest should virus, bugs, unauthorized human intervention, or other causes beyond the reasonable control of WVN corrupt or impair the administration, security, or fairness of the contest. WVN retains the right to exclude any submission that violates the spirit, rules or regulations of the Festival.

Article 23. All decisions regarding these Rules will be in WVN's sole discretion and will be final and not reviewable. 

Article 24. WVN is not responsible for lost, incomplete, late, damaged, or misdirected entries; failures or malfunctions of phones, phone lines or telephone systems or mail; interrupted or unavailable network, server or other connections including those through and/or by; miscommunications, failed computer hardware or software or other technical failures; garbled, lost, misrouted or scrambled transmissions; printing errors appearing within these Rules or in any contest-related advertisements or other materials; lost, late and/or misdirected mail; or other errors or problems of any kind whether mechanical, human, technical, electronic or otherwise.

Article 25. WVN reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to void the entry of an applicant who WVN believes has attempted to tamper with or impair the administration, security, or fairness of this contest. 

Article 26. By submitting a film, applicants (and their parent/guardian) agree to be bound by these Rules & Regulations and agree for the benefit of WVN and their respective affiliated and subsidiary companies (“Released Parties”), that Released Parties and their designees and assigns shall have no liability and will be held harmless for any liability, loss, injury or damage, including, without limitation, personal injury, death or damage to personal or real property, to entrant or any other person or entity due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by reason of participation in this contest (including any travel, or other activity related thereto).

Article 27. By submitting a film to the Festival, a filmmaker agrees to all of these Rules & Regulations.