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The Health for All Film Festival, 3rd call for short films

Films are a powerful way to raise awareness, improve understanding and encourage action so that this festival aims to contribute to health promotion and education about health.

The WHO Health for All Film Festival invites independent filmmakers, production companies, public institutions, NGOs, communities, students, and film schools from around the world to submit their original short films on health. The festival’s aim is to recruit a new generation of film and video innovators to champion and promote global health issues.

3rd edition
Health for All Film Festival

Competition categories, prizes, festival rules and eligibility criteria

Competition categories and prizes: In submitting a short film, the copyright owner of the film has to choose one category of competition among the three described below, which relates to WHO’s global health goals set out in the   Thirteenth General Programme of Work (GPW13). Each winner of the prizes mentioned below will receive from WHO a trophy, a certificate and a grant ($10,000 USD for each category and $5,000 USD for each special prize), check the details here.

  1. Universal health coverage (UHC) – films about mental health, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and other UHC stories linked to communicable diseases not part of emergencies;
  2. Health emergencies – films about health emergencies, such as COVID-19, Ebola, disaster relief and health in conflict-settings;
  3. Better health and well-being – films about environmental and social determinants of health, such as nutrition, sanitation, pollution, gender, and/or about health promotion or health education.

For each of these three GRAND PRIX categories, candidates can submit short documentaries, fiction films or animation films of three to eight minutes in length.

Additionally, three special prizes are attributed to some short-listed videos not receiving a GRAND PRIX. In 2022, the three special prizes include:

  • Special Prize on Health Innovation – films presenting one or more innovative solutions with a proven positive impact in the health and wellbeing of people. These can include social innovations (e.g. new or improved approaches or ways of working); digital solutions; and new technological solutions – or a combination thereof – that promote health and wellbeing.  We are looking for stories that capture how health innovations have the potential to address people’s health needs and positively change lives anywhere in the world, including in the most vulnerable settings. You can find more information about WHO’s work on Health Innovation here.

    Please note that, as per our festival rules, commercial/corporate films advertising for a new product, device, or private business service, won’t be selected.

  • Special Prize on Rehabilitation – films telling stories about the life changing impact that rehabilitation has on people’s lives. Rehabilitation addresses the impact of a health condition on a person’s everyday life and ensures that people remain as independent as possible, while continuing to participate in education, work and meaningful life roles. Most people will require rehabilitation at some point in their lives, whether they have experienced an injury, disease, illness, or decline in function with age. COVID-19 highlights that rehabilitation is also required in the continuum of care for people with infectious diseases.

    A large number of countries are not equipped to respond to existing rehabilitation needs. WHO is working towards strengthening rehabilitation in health systems. You can find more information about WHO’s work and advice on rehabilitation here.

  • Student film prize – films produced by students who can justify that the films were made during their university studies.
  • Very short film prize – films between one to two minutes and 30 seconds (1’00” to 2’30”) about any health-related topic previously described in the three main competition categories including topics like health innovation and rehabilitation.

Official selection: A new series of over 60 short films will be presented to the public in April 2022 via the WHO YouTube channel and WHO film festival homepage.

WHO selected 56 films in 2021 and 65 in 2020, as per shortlists below:

Official selection 2021

Official selection 2020

Eligibility criteria and festival rules:

  • Only short films completed between 1 January 2019 and 30 January 2022 are eligible for the Film Festival 3rd edition.
  • Any production made by United Nations staff members or exclusively done with UN funding is not eligible.
  • A submission can be in any language; if the film is not in English, English subtitles must be included.

Please read the complete application rules if you’d like to know more about our terms and conditions. Any candidate whose film may be selected will be required to return these rules to WHO with their signature for their endorsement. This will be a condition for confirming the selection of their film.

Click here to find out more.

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