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  • Writer's pictureKris Meester

Connecting Cultures Launches its Third Annual Program Supporting Underprivileged Filmmakers

Feb 28, 2023 - The Connecting Cultures Program supports thousands of underprivileged filmmakers in their challenging journeys as independent filmmakers. Surpassing financial embargoes and crushing censorship.

Each year, filmmakers from at least ten countries are invited to submit their film to the program for free. When selected by the Connecting Cultures Program, a filmmaker will then receive the option to submit their work to a range of partner festivals all over the world, completely free of charge. This opens the door of film exposure to those who may not otherwise be able to enter. Read on to find out if you are eligible to submit to the 2023-2024 Connecting Cultures Program.

Eligible countries

Country selections are far from random. The 'Connecting Cultures Program' committee chooses locations based on humanitarian aspects, cultural needs and the financial situation of that specific region. We strive to provide support to filmmakers in these countries and allow them opportunities to share their art.

The current 2023-2024 program allows filmmakers from the following countries to submit their work free of charge: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iran, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Palestine, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

Partner Festivals

Current festival partners include iconic festivals such as the Brussels Independent Film Festival, Boston Short Film Festival, Venice Film Week, Super Shorts, Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival, Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festivals… among many others. Find the full list here.

Two years and going strong

Founded in 2021 by filmmaker and entrepreneur Kris De Meester, the program immediately proved its necessity. In the first year of this program a total number of 4,750 films were submitted. In the second year this number more than doubled to over 10,000 submitted films. Based on the average value of a submissions fee, the Connecting Cultures Program generated a financial support of 147,500 USD for the first two years.

Measuring this financial impact is certainly an important aspect to shining a light in the dimly lit corners of independent film production, and it should not be understated how much this opportunity should not be passed up by any up-and-coming independent filmmaker. What cannot be measured though is the size and scope of the waves that these opportunities create. Similar to a stone skipping across a pond, these waves coexist in harmonious and even sometimes beautiful ways. Making every intersection a new place to explore- creating infinite swells of endless creativity.

Submit Your Work

For a chance to present your work to iconic film festivals, submit your film to the Connecting Cultures Program now.


Source: The Bigger Screen, 28 February 2023.

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