POLIN Museum Fim Call: FAQ

  1. Can a team submitting an application include people from both Poland and abroad?

    The competition is open to people from all over the world. However, you must bear in mind that the subject of the film should be the heritage of Polish Jews presented from the perspective of emigrants or their descendants residing in one of the seven areas listed below: 
    » Australia & New Zealand
    » Europe
    » Israel
    » North America
    » Latin America
    » Poland 
    » South Africa.
    In case of films presenting the heritage of Polish Jews from the emigrant perspective or the one of their descendants currently residing in Poland, the films should tackle the subject of their return to Poland, motivation behind the return, with the emphasis on the question whether their decision to settle in Poland was affected by the fact that their ancestors hail from Poland).
  2. Which is the preferable language of the film call?

    All documents submitted with the application should be in English or Polish. English language is preferred.
  3. Is there any geographical limitation to the scope of the call for film?

    Ideas for the film should explore the reality of contemporary Jewish communities residing in one of the following areas: Australia & New Zealand, Europe, Israel, North America, Latin America, Poland , South Africa.
  4. Is it possible to submit 2 short films proposals? 
    Participant in the competition may submit more than one offer, but each participant/team will be assigned to realize one film only.
  5. Is it possible to insert the production of a 5-minutes film for the museum in a wider project: perhaps a full-length version of a film later; or include partners such as co-producers?
    Submitting a film that has already been realized as part of some other project is not an option, and neither is cooperation with other film co-producers.
  6. Can one submit an idea for a film in the form of video art for the competition?

    Yes, by all means. The format of films is free: it could be a feature film, a documentary (including a reportage, a film essay, a didactic film), an animation, an interview, archival footage, home movie, video art or others.
  7. Can one submit a project which has been partially realized, or send part of the materials that have already been edited to let the competition commission know what has been achieved to date?

    There is no possibility to consult your work with the jury, it is strictly forbidden by the Public Procurement Law, and it would go against the equal opportunities  rule for all the competitors. In this case you can send a competition application that contains links to the materials that have been shot earlier. In line with the competition rules – the format of the submitted films is free: it could be a feature film, a documentary (including a reportage, a film essay, a didactic film), an animation, an interview, archival footage, home movie, video art or others, or a mix of the above listed formats.
  8. I’d like to apply together with co-author, but the application form has fields that allow just one person to register. How to apply common project?

    Please apply by two separate application forms with the same project. Please just add information that it is shared project in the “Film proposal” section.
  9. From the information published on your website I gather that for now you are looking for film concepts and will be choosing films to be realized based on the submitted treatments. However, a friend told me that it was necessary to submit a completed film together with a concept for the next one to be realized. I would like to verify this information. I did not see anything about that in the rules, but I might have missed something.
    It is precisely as you think (not the way your friend does), please see the detailed explanation below. In order to participate in the competition, applicants need to satisfy two conditions:
    1.  Submit a competition application consisting of a treatment, logline, synopsis and preliminary budget (all details can be found here: by 31 August at the latest.
    2. Indicate that they have realized at least 1 film of any length and on any subject which has been made available to the public online, in a cinema, at a festival, on television or via any other channel where it could be watched by an audience. We will consider “realized films” to be those in whose case the author or co-author of a competition application worked as at least one of the following: director, camera person, screenwriter, editor, producer.
    As such, the "completed film" your friend mentioned is probably the film you need to have in your portfolio in order to apply for the competition.
  10. We are a married couple who have been pursuing a joint artistic programme for many years now. Can/should we submit our forms separately as co-authors of the film?
    Competition applications can be submitted by individuals or groups. In the case of group projects, one or more members can be listed as the author(s). It is therefore not necessary for all members of the team to submit separate application forms, unless they wish to do so. In such a case, a separate form with the same project must be submitted for each participant, as the form only has enough space for one person’s details.
  11. The music for our film will be a work by a friend of ours – a Ukrainian composer from Kiev. Will that complicate the legal situation of our film in any way?
    We wanted to use the work to emphasize the multinational-Galician nature of our story. Does this have any formal significance?
    No, it does not affect the formal correctness of your application – applications can also be submitted by international teams.
  12. For the past three years, I have been trying to put together a long-form documentary on a Polish theme. I have neither completed it nor released what I have done so far, although I have held three or four progress screenings of the film. I was wondering if I could submit a short version of the film (with new material that would be shot in Poland, should the project be selected by the jury) for the film call and later incorporate the material shot for the short film into the final version of the longer film? I have read Question 5 of the FAQ, which seems to deal with the issue I am raising, but the answer does not seem to match the question, as my film has not been “realized” as of yet.
    It is possible to apply with a completed film, so it can also be existing footage combined with newly-made material. However, please note that the final version of the film will be presented as part of our Core Exhibition at POLIN Museum, so the Museum needs to own all of the copyright and the film cannot be presented anywhere else.
  13. I am working on a 50-minute film about the waves of Polish migration after WW2 and its communities in Israel. Can I submit the long version as part of my application?
    We are looking for short films only – up to 5 minutes long. Please apply if it is possible to make another, shorter version of your film.
  14. We are two brothers - one a filmmaker living in the US, the other an anthropologist living in Berlin - and we are interested in applying together to make a short film drawing on our relationship to the land of our Polish ancestry. Given that we both would need to submit separate application forms to apply as co-authors as per the FAQ, would we need to have both made a film in the past in order to qualify to apply? And given that the film should be from the perspective of emigrants or their descendants residing in "one of the seven areas", we also wanted to ask about the fact that we are residing in two different areas. Would it be advised to select just one area to focus on in the project, or can we apply from the perspectives of emigrants from two different areas?
    The most important thing in this case is that you have a common project. You can but you don’t have to submit separate application forms, maybe will be easier in this case to submit just common one. In case you would like to submit two separate application forms with the same project, still your project is common so only one person needs to have required experience and realized at least one film.
    Answering to second part of your question – we suggest to focus on one area in the project. Our idea for the gallery in the Museum where we will present winning films is to show two films in every sections. We plan seven section as we chose 7 regions and obviously because of it we look for  14 films.
  15. Is there a specific format that the attached files should be submitted? (In regards specifically to: Budget, Artistic output to date)
    Please use some text files (.docx, .doc, .pdf, .rtf, .txt) and numeric files for the budget (.xlsx, .xls,). The maximum size of the uploaded file - 2MB.
  16. In the Artistic output to date, there is only space to upload video files, but is it possible to submit a private link with a password? If so, how is this recommended? None of the projects I would like to send are publicly available online due to distribution agreements and copyrights.
    In the “ Artistic output to date” section it’s possible to upload any kind of file. Just pack them into a .zip folder.
    It’s also possible to submit link with movie secured by password. Please write password next to the link.
  17. In the FAQ section, you write in point 5: 
    Is it possible to insert the production of a 5-minutes film for the museum in a wider project: perhaps a full-length version of a film later; or include partners such as co-producers? Submitting a film that has already been realized as part of some other project is not an option, and neither is cooperation with other film co-producers.
    I understand this is not possible to submit an existing project, but would like to ask, is it possible to submit a short film proposal, that is of an experimental nature, but may in fact at a later time develop into a longer film project independently? (crediting the POLIN Museum project as a supporter of course).
    It is possible to submit a film, which is ready and finished. 
    Please note that the final version of the film will be presented as part of our Core Exhibition at POLIN Museum, so the Museum needs to own all of the copyright and the film cannot be presented anywhere else.
  18. Is it possible to upload images of the characters and subject matters of the film? If so, where should I upload them?
    Is it possible to upload a preliminary budget in a table or excel sheet? if so, where should I upload it?  
    Yes for both questions. Please check bottom of the “Film proposal” section in the online form:
  19. When you speak about "communities", what is the meaning of this term? Do you speak about special communities? Like religious ones for example? Or a community that was based in a special region of Poland? Or like a people from a shtetl? Or a linguistic one? Or it could be anything related to the past of anyone in Poland?
    We are open to how communities define themselves, whether they live together face to face, maintain links over space and time, or come together in affinity groups, organizations, projects, events, or activities of various kinds.
  20. Since I am a filmmaker with a diverse style of completed films (music videos, experimental films, documentaries). I was wondering if it’s possible to apply with a link to one edited video consisting of materials from different film works, like an edited sample work/portfolio or if I must apply with a link to only one example of my previous work.
    In case you prefer to watch only one film, what would be more interesting for the selection committee? An experimental film, a short dance film or a full length documentary - keeping in mind they all went to festivals and were screened to a wider audience.
    To enter our competition you need to provide a link to least one film of any length that was shared with the public. It’s great if you have more than one, please write it in the application form. For easier work of jury of the completion, you can edited one movie contain samples of your previous films.
  21. We are finalizing the movie and we would like to know if it is possible to go a little bit beyond the five minutes (for example a few extra seconds for the credits, resources and thank you recognition). 

    We look for shorts up to 5 minutes, but few second more doesn’t make difference for us. If you fell it makes your film better – it’s fine for us.
  22. Can the film be a story of life of a Holocaust survivor who lives in Israel and it took him years to finds his identity after the war – discovering roots, knowledge about parents and grandparents. This person is connected to Poland now, comes here quite often, also accompanying visits of Israeli youth. 
    Or perhaps the film should be more focused on the person’s ancestors from Poland and how the knowledge about Polish roots is passed through generations?
    We are open to wide range of approaches. The films should follow the main instruction given in the film call.
    Short films, up to 5 minutes in length, should explore how contemporary Jewish communities living today in Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Israel, Latin America, North America, Poland and South Africa relate to the legacy of Polish Jews through stories of individuals, families, organizations, communities, events, and objects of special meaning that connect these communities to the places where their families once lived.
  23. Can my recent documentary be sent as coded Vimeo link? 
  24. Our understanding is that only one commission per director/production company will be awarded. Is that right?
    Yes, for now, only one. In the years to come we could revisit the other proposals – they could resubmit. 
  25. Would it help if we went as one production company but with different directors/crews on individual stories? 
    For each film we have to sign  a separate agreement with a person/business entity. One person/business entity can produce only one film.
  26. Can you advise what format you would like to receive the film for  POLIN Museum Film Call?
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  27. I am a legal advisor for a filmmaker interested in entering the competition. We would like to ask you the following question about the copyright transfer terms of the competition.
    In the document "PROVISIONS OF THE AGREEMENT ESSENTIAL FOR THE PARTIES", Article, 7, section 4, it is stated that:
    " The Contractor shall authorize the Ordering Party to exercise the copyrights to the Work on their behalf, including making the following decisions: on the manner of identifying the Work with the name of the Contractor or on making them available anonymously, on the integrity of the content and form of the Work and their proper use, on making the work available to the public for the first time, and on the supervision over manner of use of the Work. The Contractor shall not exercise their author’s moral rights with respect to the Work. "
    Could you please clarify whether it is the intention of the POLIN museum (the Ordering Party) to present, screen or make the selected films available to the public without adequate credit to the film creator(s). Additionally, please clarify the kinds of uses in which the POLIN museum intends to use the selected film without adequate credit.
    Every film that will be presented on our Core Exhibition in the “Polish Jews in the World” gallery will have a credit with all details about their authors. 
    This point of the draft of contract is telling about hypothetic situation e.g. when Museum would like to promote gallery with this particular film or a fragment of film and there will be no place to put credit or for educational purposes. 
  28. The rules mention "the Museum needs to own all of the copyright and the film cannot be presented anywhere else." Could you please expand on what this implies? If my film is selected as a winner will I be able to share the film in other spaces where I am presenting my work? This would not be for profit or sale of any kind, only in the case of an exhibition or to share on my social media and public website. Of course I would include all the neccessary credits. 

    Our idea is that visitors could see films in the Museum  which are not available anywhere else. However as is written in attachment no 2 (Provisions of the agreement essential for the Parties) films can be presents at the film festivals and film’s presentations.
  29. I wanted to know if there are any other way to upload a video teaser with 2 MB limit, won’t be enough. 
    Please upload your file to some online video platform and send us a link, can be with a password. 
  30. Can we upload links instead of files to make the process speedier? Can our names be in the description of the films and not in the content.

    Yes, for both questions.

  31. If the filmmaker has begun a project for a short film with out of pocket expenses, and would like funding to complete the film, can the budget include expenses already incurred to be reimbursed for travel and production costs which were spent already or does the budget need to only include expenses that are needed to complete the project?

    Budget should contain the total cost of production of a film entering the competition. More specific answer to this question is not possible on this stage of the competition.