News & TopicsSubmission for International Competition 2020 is now Open!


Call for Entries

Submission for International Competition 2020 is now Open!

The Nara International Film Festival is a biennial film festival located in one of the most historically rich cities of Japan, Nara. Since the founding year of 2010, the festival has been celebrating emerging filmmakers with the Cannes winning filmmaker Naomi Kawase as an executive director. The festival is now accepting submissions for the International Competition via

One of the winners of the Competition programs will receive an opportunity to direct a film in Nara, Japan. Along with the film competitions, many other film screenings and interactive events entertain not only the festival visitors and guests but also locals.

The Nara International Film Festival embraces cultural diversity and up-and-coming talent from all over the word to offer a uniquely intimate experience to showcase new artistic talents surrounded by many world heritage sites.


1. The Golden SHIKA Award (the first prize award)

2. The Audience Award (the most voted from the audience)

The awarded directors from our international competition (Feature film) and NARA-wave student film competition program will be entitled to make a proposal for the NARAtive film project, and the selected director will be granted to make the next NARAtive2022 film with us.

*NARAtive is a project to make an original film in Nara, funded/produced by NIFF.


1. A director's first or second feature

2. Must have minimum length of 70 minutes

3. Completed after July 1st, 2018

4. Must be Japanese premiere (including festival screening /日本の作品の場合は他の映画祭などでの上映を除くジャパンプレミア)


1. There is no restriction on the subject and/or genre of the film.

2. Non-Japanese films should be English subtitled if the dialogue is not in English.

3. The directors of selected films need to be present during the festival. For non-Japanese productions, NIFF will provide accommodation and one round-trip Economy Class ticket for the director (one director per film).


Earlybird Deadline: January 17, 2020

Regular Deadline: February 29, 2020

Late Deadline: April 27, 2020


Earlybird Deadline: 30 US dollars

Regular Deadline: 40 US dollars

Late Deadline: 50 US dollars


Please visit our FilmFreeway website (address below) for the International Competition submission. We don't accept entries via emails.

*Please note that to submit your film, you will need to sign up for a FilmFreeway account.

Visit Here to Submit:



July 31, 2020

*Only selected directors will receive the notification.


September 18 - 22, 2020

For your questions about submissions, please email at:

International Competition Organizer: Nara International Film Festival Organizing Committee

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