The Arts of Survival Documentaries film competition

The competition has ended

The Tartu 2024 foundation, Estonian Film Institute and NGO Tartu Filmiselts invites filmmakers to take part in a creative contest looking for ideas for short films capturing Southern Estonia. 

The aim of the contest is to find different topics and authors who will present Tartu and Southern Estonia in artistically exciting ways. The short films would be works of their own but at the same time would form a single cultural code – the collection of short documentaries “Arts of Survival”. 

The films in the short film collection are internally divided into two – emic-etic (“inside and outside”) perspectives known from anthropology. As a result, a symbiotic cultural interpretation is born. The perspective of Estonian filmmakers offers a portrayal from a person operating within the culture, storing what is considered important internally, while international directors bring an external perspective to the project. Their cameras capture the socio-cultural processes happening in Southern Estonia from the outside, thus highlighting cultural patterns that are not so clearly noticeable from within while adding unique personal details. 

What do you need to submit for the contest?

By 1st December 2022, the following documents must be submitted to

  • Reasons for choosing the topic and/or main character (1-2 pages)
  • Theme, concept, and visual approach of the film (1-2 pages) and if possible, visual sample material
    treatment or first script draft (1-3 pages)
  • Estimated production budget
  • Production schedule
  • Possible creative team of the project (cinematographer, editor, composer etc.)
  • The possible main producer of the project and possible co-producers.

The ideas for the short films are evaluated by a jury consisting of representatives from the Tartu 2024 foundation and the Estonian Film Institute as well as experts from the cultural and creative sector. The jury will select up to 8 ideas that will go into production. The grant allocated per production within the project is up to 34,250 Euros. The expected length of the short film is 8-22 minutes and be finalized by February 2024.


1 December 2022Deadline for submitting ideas
December 2022 – January 2023Disclosure of the results to the participants
January – February 2023 Signing a contract with producers
March 2023Publicizing the results in media
1 January 2023 – 31 December 2023Production of short films, development of marketing and communication plan in cooperation with NGO Tartu Filmiselts and The Tartu 2024 Foundation
1 January 2024 – 1 March 2024Post-production of short films
1 March 2024The deadline for submitting finalized short films
11 May 2024Premiers of short films
May 2024 – December 2024Distribution of short films within the framework of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 events

If you have any questions, please contact us

More information: 
Tartu 2024 Arts of Survival
European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024
Arts of Survival values