The 11th Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival 2021
We are pleased to announce the 11 th edition and 20 th anniversary of the Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival (TIEFF), to be held in Taipei from October 1 to 5 in 2021. Founded in 2001, the biennial festival is Asia’s oldest and longest running international ethnographic film festival. For 20 years TIEFF has served to promote outstanding documentary films from around the world that are innovative, educational, challenging, and entertaining. These films, directed by both new and established filmmakers alike, all share a commitment to portraying stories and social practices from around the world in a culturally sensitive way. In addition to the main festival in Taipei, TIEFF also sponsors a touring festival, bringing a portion of the selected films to communities and classrooms across Taiwan.
TIEFF takes a flexible stance regarding what counts as an “ethnographic” film,including not just works made by anthropologists but also films made by professional filmmakers who display an ethnographic sensibility in their work. That means films which are made in an ethical manner without sensationalizing their subjects. Films that are the product of a long term close collaboration between filmmaker and subject are especially welcome. TIEFF is especially proud of its commitment to celebrating the uniqueness and vibrancy of Indigenous cultures and has been one of Taiwan’s most important venues for showcasing the work of both local and international Indigenous filmmakers. We strongly encourage Indigenous filmmakers to submit their work to our festival. Filmmakers from other marginalized groups are also especially encouraged to submit.
All films submitted to the festival must have been completed in the two years prior to the festival or the festival year itself. For this festival that would mean films completed between 2019 and 2021. While we occasionally do accept fiction films, experimental art films, biographies, sports documentaries, and concert films, such films will only be considered if they are accompanied by a convincing statement regarding their suitability for the festival. All festival films go through a highly selective screening process. Films on any topic will be considered, but special consideration will be given to films that match the festival theme (as describedbelow). The festival does not have a competition or offer prizes or awards.
The theme for the 2021 festival is “New Normals.” We are in a time of upheavals. In the face of pandemics, impending climate disaster, the rise of authoritarianism, and some of the largest mass protest movements in history, we are all facing the fact that the future will be different from the past — but how? In this film festival, we want to highlight films about people imagining, creating, and adapting to very different ways of life from what they had before, either out of necessity or desire — including people dealing with dramatic environmental change, refugees and immigrants adjusting to new circumstances and cultures, activists attempting to establish alternative communities, Indigenous people and others trying to revive or invent more sustainable ways of living, people changing their identities, people developing and engaging with new technologies, etc.. Aside from showing the imaginative and creative capacities of the subjects of documentaries, we also want to highlight the creativity of filmmakers, and screen films that manifest new ways of making ethnographic films and constructing interactions among film subjects, makers, and udiences.
- Submission period: January 20, 2021 – March 20, 2021
- Final notification date: July 31, 2021
- Festival dates: October 1 – 5, 2021 (in Taipei, Taiwan)
- All films submitted to the festival must have been completed between 2019 and 2021.
- TIEFF is an ethnographic film festival, as such, all films should display an“ethnographic sensibility” (see above).
- Fiction films, experimental art films, biographies, sports documentaries, and films about musicians must be accompanied by a statement regarding their suitability for the festival.
- Each filmmaker may submit a maximum of two films.
- Films on any topic will be considered, but special consideration will be given to films that match the festival theme (as described above).
- Entries in any language other than either English or Chinese should be subtitled in one of those two languages.
- The festival is open to films/videos made in all formats.
- We do not accept open submission of films shorter than 30 minutes or longer than 120 minutes, but will occasionally make exceptions by special arrangement.
Instructions for Submitting Films
- All entries must be submitted via our Film Freeway account at:
- TIEFF does not require entries fees to submit to the festival.
- All entrants should complete the FilmFreeway submission form presented during the submission process.
- All screeners should be submitted online through FilmFreeway. They can either be uploaded directly to your FilmFreeway account or linked to files hosted on Vimeo or YouTube.
- If the screener is password protected, be sure to provide a password that is valid for at least six months from the date of submission, or until the selection process is completed (whichever comes first). It is your responsibility to notify us if any changes are made.
- If there is a reason you are unable to submit your film via FilmFreeway which cannot be solved by their technical support, feel free to contact us via email<[email protected]>for further assistance.
Rules and Terms
- TIEFF does not pay screening fees. By submitting your film via FilmFreeway you acknowledge that the festival will not pay to present your work.
- Once a film is selected, the holder of its copyrights automatically authorizes TIEFF to promote the production on public television and on the internet in short trailers up to 4 minutes in length.
- If your film is selected, you must provide a press kit, including production stills that the festival can use in its promotional materials, publications and on social media.
- A copy of all films selected for the festival will be preserved in TIEFF office. (For internal, non-public, academic use only.)
- All films are required to have English subtitles for non-English dialogue. We ask Chinese speaking directors to provide both Chinese and English subtitles for their films. TIEFF will provide Chinese subtitles for films by non-Chinese speaking directors.
- In order to produce the subtitled version of the film for screening, we require that we receive high quality tapes(such as BETACAM SP NTSC) or digital masters that we can use to make the subtitled version of the film for screening. As this technology is constantly changing, we will discuss this with directors after their films have been selected.
- The festival reserves the right to make any necessary changes to these rules and regulations at any time and without notice.
President: Hu, Tai-li ; Programmer: Teri J. Silvio; Programming Team: Ho, Sana/ Skaya
Siku Coordinator: Huang, Susan Administrative support: Ma, Ema/ Eliana Ritts