Please read and understand the below mentioned rules & guidelines carefully. Rules that have been changed for the upcoming edition are displayed in bold.

To enter the filmmaking competition (or sometimes referred as "competition" for sake of brevity), it is mandatory for all participating schools to agree and comply with the following rules & guidelines.


  1. The competition is for non-commercial productions. Films should be made solely for the love of it, fun and pleasure, for artistic expression or to make a statement about the world with no other motive in mind.
  2. Making films for this competition should be a joint project by the students. Involvement of teacher(s) shall be limited to supervision and guidance. Under no circumstances should the teacher(s) or any other adult(s) be performing filmmaking work on behalf of the students. For avoidance of doubt, teacher(s) or any other adult(s) are allowed to act in the film.
  3. Entering this competition by confirming the school's participation and submitting films shall be on a voluntary basis. Under no circumstances should a school allow its students to participate by foregoing their regular studies.

Entry Rules:

  1. Entry to the competition is free!
  2. Film(s) can be submitted in either or both groups - A and/or B.
  3. Film(s) can be documentary, live action, or animation but not a mix of two or all three of these categories. For avoidance of any doubt, Animation includes Traditional Hand-drawn Animation, 2D Animation, 3D Computer Animation, Motion Graphics and Stop-motion.
  4. Schools can submit as many films as they wish.
  5. Film(s) submitted in Group A shall be made by students studying in Year 9 (Grade 9) to Year 13 (Grade 13) at the time of submitting the films.
  6. Film(s) submitted in Group A can be either documentary, live action, or animation.
  7. Film(s) submitted in Group B shall be made by students studying in Year 6 (Grade 6) to Year 8 (Grade 8) at the time of submitting the films.
  8. Film(s) submitted in Group B can be either documentary, live action, or animation.
  9. All forms, whether online or otherwise, shall be filled in and submitted by the nominated representative of the school. CIFF shall not accept any forms directly from student(s).
  10. All film files should be either in .mp4 or .mov format with a frame rate of 24, 25 or 30 frames per second.
  11. It is mandatory to submit one (1) film poster per film in A3 size (3508 X 4961 pixels) and high-resolution (300dpi).

Theme rules:

  1. Film(s) must fall under one or more of the stated themes of this competition, if any.
  2. Film(s) shall be summarily rejected if the films' story or content does not fall under any one stated theme. This decision shall be made by CIFF's Programming Team and will be final & binding on all parties.

Please visit the Themes section for more information on the stated themes.

Language rules:

  1. Film(s) made in any language can be submitted.
  2. English subtitles are a must for all films with dialogues. This rule is not applicable to Animation, if the film is without dialogues.
  3. Inclusion of Arabic subtitles is preferred but not mandatory.

Film length rules:

  1. All films should be equal to or less than 15 minutes in running time. For avoidance of doubt, this length includes Titles and Credits.
  2. Minimum running time of any film shall not be less than 1 minute; including Titles and Credits.
  3. Film(s) shall be summarily rejected if the films' running time is more than 15 minutes. This decision shall be made by CIFF's Programming Team and will be final & binding on all parties.

Competition Rules:

  1. The story and contents of the film(s) should confirm to the stated theme(s), if any, and comply with the content guidelines (see below).
  2. The crew should be from the same school and same group, i.e., students studying in the Years (Grades) of the Group entered in the competition. For avoidance of doubt, the term "crew" means all such persons who work behind the camera.
  3. A minimum crew of three (3) students and a maximum of ten (10) are allowed for each film.
  4. There are no limitations on the type and number of cast members of the film(s). For avoidance of doubt, the term "cast" means all such persons who act in the film.
  5. Each member of the filmmaking team (i.e., crew and cast) shall sign a "Consent & release form" prior to beginning to work in the film. In case of minors, the "Consent & release form" will be signed by his/her sponsoring parent or legal guardian as well.
  6. All film(s) shall compete with film(s) in the same group. For avoidance of doubt, film(s) submitted by schools will not compete with film(s) submited by professional filmmakers elsewhere in the world.
  7. Only the films shortlisted by CIFF's Programming Team shall be screened during CIFF.
  8. All shortlisted films will be eligible to win one or more awards. This is subject to the condition that CIFF receives five (5) or more entries in the section and/or category within the section. A film may be shortlisted but may not be eligible to win awards due to lack of meaningful competition.
  9. Decisions made by CIFF's Programming Team and the Jury are final and binding on all parties. Challenges or arguments against or for the decisions will neither be accepted nor encouraged.
  10. Once the film(s) are submitted, it should not be available online or otherwise for public viewing. For avoidance of doubt, the school shall not screen the submitted film(s) to their students, teachers and/or parents in their premises or elsewhere before the festival concludes.

Filming (or Shooting) Rules:

  1. Participating schools are solely and completely responsible for the security and safety of their students during the filmmaking process.
  2. Any and all filming by any participating school(s) shall take place only under adult supervision. For avoidance of doubt, adult supervision may be carried out by one or more teacher(s) or parent(s).
  3. Any and all filming shall be carried out only after securing permission(s) from relevant authorities.

Content Guidelines:

  1. Content of the submitted film(s) should be creative and completely original including the sound/music used and should not infringe on any copyrights or any other rights of any third parties.
  2. Plagiarism is not allowed. If any part of the film (for e.g., footage, pictures, music, etc.) is sourced from third parties, the school must procure adequate rights to use that creative work. By entering the competition you agree that CIFF shall not be held liable for any of the copyright infringements by you, your students and/or by your film.
  3. The content should speak positively to children of diverse backgrounds and should aim to become role models for both boys & girls.
  4. The content should be culturally sensitive, authentic, timely and of universal appeal.
  5. Film(s) shall avoid the following at all costs:
  • Offensive or foul language
  • Violence
  • Religious content
  • Child abuse
  • Usage of Drugs, Alcohol and/or Cigarettes
  • Defamatory content
  • Cruelty to Animals
  • Politically sensitive topics, material or comments
  • Sexual innuendos or nudity

Note: The school and all its submitted films will be disqualified if any film is found or observed to be non-compliant with the above-mentioned guidelines.

Terms & conditions of entry:

By participating in the Filmmaking Competition, you agree that,

  1. CIFF reserves all the rights to select or shortlist any film(s) without disclosing any reason(s) for such a decision or choice.
  2. CIFF reserves all the rights to screen or not to screen any film(s) for any reason it deems valid.
  3. All participating schools are required to sign an undertaking confirming that the film(s) is/are an original work of its students; failure to do so will disqualify the school.
  4. All participating schools shall permit CIFF representatives to meet, interact and shoot behind-the-scenes footage of students while they are working on their film(s).
  5. CIFF retains all the rights to the film(s) received for the Filmmaking Competition and may show these for publicity and educational purposes anywhere in the world using any medium.
  6. CIFF's Programming Team's and Jury's decisions are final and binding on all parties. Challenges or arguments against or for the decisions will neither be accepted nor encouraged.


  1. The rules enshrined herein are subject to change without prior notice.
  2. CIFF shall make all reasonable efforts to inform participating schools of any change in these rules & guidelines, whether minor or major, but no guarantees are made or assumed that such intimation will be given.
  3. You are requested to visit this page regularly to identify, read, understand and comply with any change in the rules & guidelines of this competition.
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