Documentaries

2020 Regulations:

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the Coronavirus crisis, the eligibility rules for the European Film Awards 2020 are extended to include films that would have premiered until 31 May 2020 – be it at a festival or at a regular cinema – but could not due to the pandemic. This is linked to the condition that these films will premiere theatrically or online before the end of November 2020 and the rights-holders agree to provide them for the EFA VOD Platform.

The award is presented to the director of a European* documentary film. Eligible candidates must be born in Europe or hold a European* passport.

Documentary films taken into consideration must have a minimum length of 70 minutes and have had their first official screening (be it at a festival or at a regular cinema) between 1 June 2019 and 31 May 2020. The EFA Board reserves the right to include outstanding films which premiered between June 2020 and September 2020 (provided the rights-holders agree to provide the films for the EFAVOD Platform).

In order to be eligible, the film has to fulfill at least one of the following criteria:
- To have been awarded at major festivals
- To have received acclaim at international festivals
- To have been theatrically released or sold therefore in at least three countries.

Films have to be submitted by their rights-holders. The version submitted has to be the original language version with English subtitles.

Submission deadline for documentary films is 31 May 2020.

Contact for film submission and further information: submission

A committee of EFA Members and documentary experts agrees on the EFA Documentary Selection of 12 documentary films from all films submitted.

Rights holders of European documentary films which are not among the selected films may – upon payment of a fee – make their films available to the EFA Members on the EFA VOD Platform.

Based on the EFA Documentary Selection and the films additionally made available by rights-holders, four of the nominations are voted for by the EFA Members.

The EFA Board adds one nomination. The five nominations are announced four to five weeks prior to the European Film Awards Ceremony.

The EFA Members vote for the winner to be announced at the European Film Awards Ceremony.

*  European, in the sense of the European Film Academy, means geographical Europe, both EU and non-EU, and shall include Israeli and Palestinian.