Project Horizon Guideline

Please read this document carefully before submitting your work and contact the festival committee if there are any questions. Applicants who complete the registration process implicitly agree to the rules and terms outlined within this document. CineCina Short Films Awards Committee reserves the rights to make final decisions and interpretations for the cases not described clearly below.

Awards & Prizes

CineCina Short Film Awards (Horizon Awards):
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Short
Best Animated Short
Best Experimental Short
Special Jury Award

I. Eligibility Requirements
II. General Requirements 
III. Registration and Competition Schedule 
IV. Categories 
V. Submission Guidelines 
VI. Programming and Selection 
VII. Awards 
VIII. Authorization

I. Eligibility Requirements

All Submitted Materials Must Adhere to the Following Requirements

1. CineCina’s definition of a short film is 40 minutes or less;

2. The entry must be a motion picture, with the completion date no earlier than January 1, 2019;

3. Every applicant may submit no more than three films (not including the representative of an agency or a company).

4. Each film can only be submitted to one category.

5. All submissions are required to have the embedded English subtitles, costs of subtitling to be covered by the applicants.

II. General Requirements

1. The work must be entirely original. Any plagiarism will result in disqualification;

2. There is no restriction on the theme or format of the submission. Submissions may include but are not limited to narrative, documentary, experimental, and animated films. However, the contents must not violate any law of the United States of America;

3. All the applicants should be directly contactable by the CineCina organizers and able to reply within 48 hours;

4. Applicants must hold the film’s copyright or have proof that they are authorized to promote, screen, and participate in related activities at this festival;

5. Applicants have the obligation to ensure the legal status of the film itself. In the event of a legal dispute (e.g., any copyright infringement including but not limited to the rights to music, stills, or videos featured in the submission) before, during, or after the film festival, the applicant will assume full legal responsibility and bear all costs related to the dispute (including attorney and court fees);

6. The film must satisfy at least ONE of the conditions below

– The main language of the film is in Chinese or a Chinese dialect (including Cantonese, Mongolian, Uyghur, Tibetan, etc.)
– At least one of the key creative members is of Chinese ethnicity (e.g. director, screenwriter, lead actor/actress, cinematographer, and editor)
– The film’s content focuses on Chinese society, Chinese culture or the lives of Chinese people.

III. Registration and Competition Schedule

Super Earlybird Submission Deadline: January 22, 2021 (Entry fee: $15)
Early Bird Submission Deadline: February 12, 2021 (Entry fee: $30)
Standard Submission Deadline: March 20, 2021 (Entry fee: $40)
Extended Submission Deadline: April 10, 2021 (Entry fee: $45)

Finalists Announcement: April 15, 2021
Winners Announcement: May 15, 2021

Note: All materials must be received by the committee by the submission deadline above (11 pm ETS).

IV. Categories

Narrative Short Film

Experimental Short Film

Animated Short Film

Documentary Short Film

V. Submission Guidelines

1. Read Rules and Regulations, if you have any question, please contact the festival committee. (Contact:

2. Complete the Online Submission through FilmFreeway (

3. All materials submitted by applicants are non-returnable, please be sure to retain the original;

4. Once successfully submitted works, in principle, the organizing committee is no longer accepting new versions, if there are significant changes in registration information, please contact the organizing committee;

5. The festival will be set up promotional pages and hashtags on social media platforms to introduce CineCina’s participants and their works, online interaction with the audience are welcomed.

VI. Programming and Selection

1. Initial Review: The festival organizing committee will conduct a preliminary selection and classification of all entries, filtering out those films, which do not meet the festival’s requirements.

2. Nomination progress: The first round of nominated films will be deliberated and selected by CineCina committee;

3. All the nominated films will have the chance to be taken on showcases in collaborated film schools including Columbia SOA, NYU Tisch, SVA, Yale, etc. The organizing committee will hand out ballots to the audience before every screening, and collect the votes after every screening.

4. After collecting the jury’s scores, awardees and selected nominated films will be put on the big screens with other feature films at CineCina Film Festival in March.

5. Q&A sessions are eligible for filmmakers who are can participate in the CineCina Film Festival.

VII. Awards

1. All awardees will be announced at the Screening Session of Project Horizon.

2. Prizes will be distributed to winners within 6-8 weeks after the closing of the festival.

3. Winners will receive a trophy, more details will be announced in the future.

4. Please refer to the following table for each award in all categories, the organizing committee will adjust and revise the awards based on participating films in each category, and announce the updates along with the finalists.

* The festival committee has the final rights to alter the awards and competition categories.

VIII. Authorization

1. The finalists are required to authorize the committee to use clips from the film (no more than 3 minutes) and related information (including screenshots, posters, stills, abstract, trailers, etc. ) on the festival’s official website, radio, television, print media, social media, and other forms of media used to promote the festival;

2. Once the applicants accept the festival nomination they may not withdraw from the competition, finalists are required to give the programming committee the rights to screen the film at least one time in the New York metro area.

3. The nominated director (producer, or another designated representative from the production team) will be invited to New York to attend a 15-day festival and other related activities including a post-screening Q&A with the audience and filmmakers’ forum and discussion panel. Finalists are independently responsible for obtaining a visa for travel to the U.S. and travel insurance.

*The festival committee can provide an invitation letter if needed.