Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival is held annually in the last week of March in Kyiv. On completion, Docudays UA traditionally presents the best movies in the regions of Ukraine within the Docudays UA Travelling Festival. Films are demonstrated from October to December (inclusive).



To promote popularization and development of documentary film and to raise the level of respect for human rights in Ukraine.



We create opportunities for every person in Ukraine to watch the most talented and present-day documentary films from all over the world. This contributes to the development of critical thinking, the creation of active citizen position, and appreciation of the highest value of human dignity. By realizing our mission we promote popularization and development of documentary film and to increase of the level of respect for human rights in Ukraine.


The 16th Docudays UA will take place in Kyiv Cinema House on March 22-30, 2019.


Festival is non-political and non-profit. 



  • Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights;
  • Non-Government Оrganization “Pivden”;
  • Charitable organization “Charity and Health Found”;
  • Centre for Modern Information Techniques and Visual Arts.

Every year, organizers of the upcoming Festival create Organizing Committee consisting of representatives of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Non-Government Оrganization “South”, Kherson Regional Charity and Health Foundation (KRCHF), Centre for Modern Information Techniques and Visual Arts and invited experts in the documentary, human rights, management and fundraising. All decisions on the Festival program, guests, jury members, seminars and workshops are adopted by the Organizing Committee.


Selection criteria

  • Films made in 2017 – 2018.
  • Only films not screened earlier in competition programs of other Ukrainian festivals, on Ukrainian TV, Ukrainian cinema and internet can participate in international competition programs. 
  • Ukrainian film premieres are given preference in considering the application for the National competition.
  • There is no restriction on genre, running time or year of production for non-feature films participating in the non-competition program, films of any timing unrestricted in the year of production are allowed notwithstanding the fact whether the film was screened earlier in competition programs of other Ukrainian festivals, on Ukrainian TV or Ukrainian cinema.
  • A film is allowed to be submitted to the Selection Committee only one single time. If a film was not accepted for the competition, the application next year will not be considered.
  • Films that were made to order, or represent report on activities of some organizations, or realization of certain projects, spread pronounced propaganda, lobby political or commercial interests, instructional and training films are debarred from participation.
  • All hard copies and online-links to film copies sent to the Festival will be kept in the Festival's archives.
  • The Festival has right to use short fragments of selected films, not longer than 3 min., for Festival-advertising purposes.
  • The festival has the right to upload all the films included in its film program to its online library. The resource is administrated by Docudays UA and functions from the first day of the Festival until the beginning of the next year’s Festival. The purpose of the online library is to provide online access to festival film program solely to the accredited participants and guests during the festival week. The term of a film’s storage in the online library is automatically extended to one year if the film’s rights holders do not express objections to it. Accordingly, the persons accredited by the festival get year-long access to viewing festival materials online (starting with the opening day of the Festival). The access is individual and cannot be transferred to third parties. None of the materials in the online library can be copied, published elsewhere, downloaded, posted, transferred, demonstrated, accessed by or distributed to any third parties.

Application submission means you comply with the Festival Regulations and acknowledge the Festival right to use submitted materials in non-commercial purposes.





The program features creative documentaries in which ethical and legal problems are revealed through expressive artistic means. The competition program consists of three sections. 

  • DOCU/WORLD is the international competition of feature- and medium-length documentaries which are longer than 30 minutes. 
  • DOCU/SHORT is the international competition of short documentaries which are up to 30 minutes long. 
  • DOCU/UKRAINE is the national competition. It includes documentaries of varying lengths, created in Ukraine or in co-production with Ukraine.



Every year, the Festival chooses the main topic whose different aspects are presented in the non-competitive program. In addition, the Festival offers traditional programs such as RIGHTS NOW! (documentaries about the currently relevant examples of the struggle for human rights), DOCU/BEST (international award-winning films), DOCU/ART (films about art and artists), DOCU/YOUTH (the program for children and teenagers), and retrospectives of famous directors.



  • The Human Rights Jury which awards the Festival’s special award to the winner among the films nominated for it (nominees in this category are selected by the Selection Committee from all competition programs). 
  • The DOCU/WORLD Competition Jury (3 people). 
  • The DOCU/UKRAINE Competition Jury (3 people). 
  • The DOCU/SHORT Competition Jury (3 people). 
  • The Student Jury (5 people) select the best film among the participants of all competition programs.

The Organizational Committee invites prominent Ukrainian and international filmmakers and human rights advocates to participate in the Jury. The Student Jury is formed by the Organizational Committee based on the results of an open competition.



  • Special Award from the Jury DOCU/RIGHT. 1000 USD. 
  • DOCU/WORLD Competition Award. 1000 USD. 
  • DOCU/UKRAINE Competition Award. 1000 USD. 
  • DOCU/SHORT Competition Award. 1000 USD. 
  • Andriy Matrosov Award, founded by Docudays UA organizers in the memory of Andriy Matrosov, the Festival’s producer who died in a car accident on February 16, 2010. 1000 USD. 
  • Student Jury Award. 1000 USD.

Additionally, in each of these nominations, the Jury can give special mentions to up to two films.


Based on an audience survey, the Audience Award winner will be determined. This film will also receive USD 1000.


Organizations and private persons can give their own special awards by the preliminary agreement with the Organizational Committee.


Application and selection procedures

The films that participate in the Festival’s competition programs are selected by the Selection Commission which has five members. The Organizational Committee invites experts in documentary cinema and human rights advocacy to participate in the Selection Commission. The Festival Program is approved by the Organizational Committee. The order of the screenings is determined by the Festival’s Program Department.


Applications are received in several stages. The first deadline is on November 20 of the year before the future festival. The second and final deadline is December 10.


The consideration of applications for the Festival’s competition programs is done for a fee. The payment must be completed online during the application process through the FilmFreeWay service. The application fee is non-refundable.


As they fill in the application, the applicants can select several nominations/competitions which they want to apply for. The final decision is made by the Selection Commission and the Festival’s Organizational Committee.


Application Deadlines and Fees


Dates Deadline Short Films Feature Films

Films Produced in Ukraine

or in Co-Production with Ukraine

02.07.2018- 01.09.2018 Early Deadline 5 USD 10 USD free
02.09.2018 - 20.11.2018 Regular Deadline 10 USD 15 USD free
21.12.2018 - 10.12.2018 Final Deadline 15 USD 20 USD 10 USD


The first 20 applications are received and considered free of charge.


Conditions of Application

  • You can only apply via the FilmFreeWay service. Your application will be considered by the Selection Commission only after it is completed and paid for online. 
  • In the application form, you can upload the film directly with the application or provide a closed link in Vimeo/YouTube. Links to downloads in file-sharing services (WeTransfer, MegaUpload, etc.) will not be considered by the commission. Please make sure that your link works until the end of March 2019. 
  • When you submit an application, you confirm that you agree with the Festival Regulations and give the Festival the right to use the materials you provided for non-commercial purposes.

All participants will receive an email about the results of the selection no later than February 20, 2019.

Films mailing, insurance and return

The applicant bears all mailing expenses for sending films to the Festival. To reduce mailing expenses, including customs duties, please indicate merely symbolic (token) value of package (for example, $1). The Organizing Committee covers insurance expenses for copies on DCP, and 16 or 35 mm films. These copies are to be returned by the organizers within 30 days after the end of the Festival to address indicated in your entry form at the Festival's expense. It would be expedient to use diplomatic channels of the sender’s country of residence for mailing purposes. If the sender uses mail, please, mark the parcel: “For cultural purposes only. No commercial value.” Important! Do not use courier delivery service! Send films and materials by mail only!



During the Festival, the same film may be screened no more than three times. Film copyright owners agree that their films are to be shown in Ukrainian translation. Translation costs are covered by Festival Organizing Committee. Translation costs for the films made in Ukraine should be covered by the producers of the film. Guests with accreditation have access to the Video Library (also online video library) with festival films. The Festival does not pay screening fees as it is non-profit. As a rule, the festival does not pay money to authors for film screenings, because it is non-commercial and non-profit. Therefore, the conditions of film screenings are discussed directly with the films’ authors and rights holders.


Invitation and participation

Directors, scriptwriters or producers of the films selected for participation in the competition are invited as the Festival participants. The Organizing Committee covers their accommodation, meal and travel expenses, but provides no per diem payments. Only one representative from each film or project may be invited at the Festival expense. All decisions on the Festival guests, jury members, or trainers are made by the Organizing Committee.


Advertising and promotion

The Organizing Committee can prepare and give to television stations special advertising reels (up to 3 min) of selected films, using the copies at the Organizing Committee disposal. Short (1 min or less) fragments of selected films can be used by mass media for Festival-advertising purposes and for showing before film screening. Advertising of films and organizations participating in the Festival is free of charge, all other advertising is to be paid for at a fixed rate.


The Travelling Festival

After the end of the Festival in Kyiv, the Organizing Committee carries out the Travelling Docudays UA throughout Ukrainian regions (oblasts). The screenings are held in cinema halls, houses of culture, universities, schools, youth clubs, book stores, libraries, penal colonies and educational facilities for future penitentiary workers and followed by discussions on human rights. The Travelling Festival is the non-profit event. However, to reduce renting costs for cinema halls, the organizers reserve the right to allow cinema owners to sell entrance tickets provided that gains are not exceeding operational costs. The Organizing Committee gets no profits from such ticket sales.

Please, indicate in the Entry Form your consent or intention for the participation of your film in the Travelling Festival.

Festival Archives

The film copies and DVDs sent to the Festival and prepared for needs of the Travelling Festival are to be kept in the Festival archives. These copies can be used by organizers (Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Non-Government Оrganization “Pivden”, Kherson Regional Charity and Health Foundation (KRCHF), Centre for Modern Information Techniques and Visual Arts) in their subsequent work related to the purposes and objectives of their organizations for strictly educational, not commercial reasons.



Any issue not mentioned in Regulations is to be considered by the Festival Organizing Committee in accordance to procedures of the international festivals. Filled and signed Entry Form means that applicant agrees with the Festival rules stated in Regulations.


Official Festival website

March 2019