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Festival des Libertés International Film Competition

A space for artistic communication, affirmation and creation, the Festival des Libertés is the globalized expression of our continuous activity in defence of the rights, liberties and values of universal democracy. As a political and cultural event, it offers films, debates and talks, concerts, theatre works and exhibitions to a wide public. A symbol of the political monitoring of the current state of rights and liberties throughout the world, the Festival of Liberties is a place where democratic struggles are given a voice and converge.


The Festival of Liberties ( is organized by the Bruxelles Laïque not-for-profit association. Its registered office is at Avenue de Stalingrad 18-20, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.

The Festival of Liberties is legally represented by Fabrice Van Reymenant, Director of Bruxelles Laïque.

General framework: The 12th Festival of Liberties will take place at the Théâtre National, Brussels, from 18 to 27 October 2012. Some films may be shown in other cities within Belgium. In line with the objectives of the Festival, a committee will select the documentaries for one or several public screenings, for the “competition” category or for the “a non-competitive category” category.

Selection criteria: The goal of the Festival of Liberties is to raise awareness of infringement of liberties and to report violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights through varied means of expression, like theatre, exhibitions, conferences and screenings of documentaries. The Festival is open to any documentary dealing with issues of general interest, or highlighting civic involvement and initiatives of resistance in the context of an international documentary competition.

The festival features documentaries which present testimony, reporting, information or memories, without distinctions of categories (creative documentaries, reports…).

The festival also aims to create an opening for expression for films, which by their size or political content receive only limited opportunities for broadcast in mainstream media.

An internal committee supervised by the Director of Bruxelles Laïque will select around twenty films for the Competition.

Unless otherwise envisaged, only those works which correspond to the Festival’s policy (see heading above) and which meet the following criteria, for the Festival screening (in the competition or outside competition) and for the Market, shall be selected:

Documentary or Documentary Fiction with a minimum duration of 26 minutes and a maximum duration of 90 minutes in a digital medium on a theme related to Human Rights and Liberties, produced after December 2009.

A documentary as yet unreleased in Belgium, be this in cinemas, television (RTBF, VRT, RTL, Arte, TV5, France Television) or on the internet is a criterion which would favour its selection, without nevertheless leading to the

In addition, the best films and candidates will be selected for the Market organized for the Commissioning Editors of television stations, international distributors and festival planners. All films selected, whether In Competition or Outside Competition, will be included free of charge in the event’s official catalogue.

Films selected for the competition will be presented to the public in their original version, subtitled in French and/or Dutch. If necessary, the Festival will take responsibility for the creation of electronic subtitles for the films and shall bear the costs. French and Dutch translation files in competition will be produced after the Festival for all films selected.

Awards for films in competition

Four prizes will be awarded:

  • The Festival of Liberties Prize 2012 for the sum of € 6,500, which is to be used to promote the winning film.
  • The Lichtpunt TV Prize 2012, consisting of the purchase of the film for showing on the VRT (Vlaamse Radio en Televisieomroep) Dutch-speaking radio and television station.
  • The RTBF Prize 2012, consisting of the purchase of the film for showing on the RTBF (Radio -Télévision Belge Francophone) French-speaking radio and television station.
  • The FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights) Prize of € 1000.

Screening: Public screenings will not incur any payments to the producer or distributor of the selected film. Once selected for the competition, no film may be withdrawn from the program or shown elsewhere in Belgium before or during the Festival. Outside the time-period of the festival, the entrant authorizes the Festival to screen the film for free in the context of activist and free- of- charge screenings, organized by the Festival of Liberties (Bruxelles Laïque, a non-profit-making organisation). This screenings aim to enhance an awareness campaign, favouring critical debates and exchanges with the audience.

Director’s invitation
The film’s selection for the competition does not automatically entail the presence of the producer and/or the director at the screening. The Festival reserves the right to choose and decide on the invitations sent out.

Candidates must fill in the entry form (one for each film) online or downloadable on the website

For the shortlist, participants will send, at their own cost and expense, a DVD copy of their film, together with the completed entry form, to the following address:

Festival des Libertés – Compétition Internationale de Documentaires
Bruxelles Laïque
Avenue de Stalingrad, 18-20
1000 Bruxelles

DVDs should be sent by normal post (no „registered” or „recorded” deliveries) and labelled “A usage culturel, sans valeur commerciale” („for cultural use, no commercial value”).

The final date for registration and for submitting DVDs is 1st June 2012.

Sending DVDs means compliance and acceptance of these rules.

In case of selection (for the competition or outside competition), participants undertake to provide at their own cost and before 1st September 2011:

  • A list (with time code) of the dialogues or speeches in the original version of the selected film, together with the English, French or Spanish translation (if available).
  • A digital copy (Beta SP or DVD) of the original version (without subtitles).
  • Publicity material comprising a photo of the director, a still image from the film, a poster, a complete technical file and a trailer (if available).

In the case of failure to comply with Article 10 (incomplete or late provision of publicity material), the Festival of Liberties reserves the right to exclude the film from the competition.

Following the Festival, the original Beta SP copies will be returned by ordinary mail, at the organization’s expense, to the address indicated by the participant when submitting the materials.

DVD copies, as well as the Beta SP version produced by the Festival for subtitled projections, will be retained by „Bruxelles Laïque” for internal consultation.

The Festival shall bear the cost of insuring the selected copies for the insurance value declared on the entry form. In the case of loss or damage to a copy, the Festival’s responsibility shall be limited to the amount indicated by the participant and corresponding to the value of the copy presented.

Participation in the Festival of Liberties implies recognition and acceptance of these rules, the attached entry form being an integral part of these rules. In the case of any dispute which may arise during application of these rules, the parties shall in the first instance endeavour to reach an out-of-court settlement. As a last resort, jurisdiction is expressly declared to be that of the courts of the municipality of Brussels.

In the case of any dispute, the French version of these rules is the applicable text.