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Best short film of 2018 on the refugee stories in Kyrgyz Republic. Announcement.


Best short film of 2018 on the refugee stories in Kyrgyz Republic

 As part of the upcoming World Refugee Day (20 June 2018) events and its global #WithRefugees campaign, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UN Refugee Agency – UNHCR), together with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, announces contest among journalists, producers, students, directors and creative individuals for the best short films on the refugee stories in Kyrgyz Republic. 


In Kyrgyz Republic there are some 170 recognized refugees under the national law on asylum and refugees (Refugee Act of 2002) - Convention Refugees. Convention Refugees have government-issued identify document, have access to all public services, have work permits and enjoy all basic rights. Most of them have been living in Kyrgyz Republic since many years, some of them are married to Kyrgyz nationals and have children born in Kyrgyz Republic. As such, many refugees are culturally and socio-economically well integrated into the Kyrgyz society. Nevertheless and despite such integration and long residence in Kyrgyz Republic they continue to face challenges in naturalization and acquiring citizenship of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Situation of another group of refugees in Kyrgyz Republic is far direr as unlike the recognized refugees (Convention Refugees), they do not hold any government-issued identity document or residence permits, they do not have work-permits and have limited access to the public services (Mandate Refugees). The State found them unmerited of the refugee status in Kyrgyz Republic and declined their asylum applications many years ago. 

Many years ago UNHCR under its global mandate of protecting refugees undertook independent assessment of their asylum claims and found them credible – UNHCR recognized them as refugees under its protection mandate and refers to them as ‘Mandate Refugees’ in Kyrgyz Republic. Because of insecurity and persecution they were unable and are still unable and unwilling to go back to their countries of origin. They found safety here and live in Kyrgyz Republic. 

Mandate Refugees have been living in Kyrgyz Republic since very long, some even more than 15 years. Some of them are married to Kyrgyz nationals and have children born in Kyrgyz Republic. Almost all of them speak local or Russian language by now and are culturally well integrated into the Kyrgyz society. 

Because of the absence of documents, residence and work permits Mandate Refugees continue to face tremendous difficulties. Most of them are socio-economically vulnerable, unable to work legally or run businesses to provide for their families. Despite the fact that families of some of them are Kyrgyz citizens, have lived here more than ten years and are culturally well integrated, their stay in Kyrgyz Republic is considered ‘illegal’ according to the national laws.

With this Short Film Contest and part of the #WithRefugees campaign, UNHCR is trying to raise awareness on the plight and lives of the refugees in Kyrgyz Republic; highlight their stories and difficulties they face and draw attention of the public and the authorities to finding lasting solutions for them. Refugees have become part of the Kyrgyz society but according to the national laws they remain illegal in the country deprived of the basic rights which further exacerbates their families’ already dire socio-economic conditions. We want to find solution for them in Kyrgyz Republic, give them their lives back and therefore we seek the support of the public, politicians and the country’s leadership.  

Selection of the winners and prizes:

A panel consisting of nine (9) members will evaluate the short films submitted by the deadline against the criteria and will select three best films. The winners will receive financial awards as indicated below: 
First place: 60,000 Kyrgyz Soms
Second place:  40,000 Kyrgyz Soms
Third place:  20,000 Kyrgyz Soms

The panel will consist of:

- senior, protection and technical staff from the UNHCR office in Bishkek, UNHCR Regional Office in Almaty and UNHCR HQ in Geneva – 4 persons; 
- designated official from the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Kyrgyz Republic – 1 person;
- representative of PF LC "Adilet" (NGO) - 1 person
- representative of CSIP (NGO) - 1 person
- representative of the State Services for Migration under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic – 1 person
- representative from the Ombudsman’s Office – 1 person.

Selection criteria:

- compliance with the Technical and Quality Specifications described below;
- factual and accurate representation of the real refugee stories and lives;
- emotional appeal and impact on the audience and the Panel;
- clarity of the key campaign messages as described in the Background above;
- Short films should serve the purpose of the advocacy efforts of the United Nations in Kyrgyz Republic to find the lasting solutions for the refugees.
- Submitted short films should not be published on any public domain prior to the Contest results (Award Ceremony) and without prior authorization from UNHCR.

Award Ceremony:

- Date and venue of the Award Ceremony will be announced additionally later.

Technical and quality specifications: 

- Short film duration up to maximum 5 minutes.
- Language: Russian and Kyrgyz (if audio is in Russian then subtitles must be in Kyrgyz language and if audio is in Kyrgyz language then subtitles must be in Russian language). 
- File format MP4 or MOV, compression codec H264
Video resolution Full HD (1920X1080)
Preferred video bitrate - not less than 35 000 kbps
Audio bitrate - not less than 320 kbps
Optical frequency – 25 fps

Deadline and submission:

All films must be submitted to the UNHCR National Office in Bishkek (UN House, 160 Chui Avenue, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic) latest by 17:00 Monday, 4 June 2018 in closed envelopes (on USB drives) and by email at
Submissions must include: 
- Short film;
- List of the production team;
- CVs, background/profile and websites of the company and/or of all production team members;
- Links, references and/or copies of the past work, productions and publications;
- List and contacts of the refugees featuring in the film. 

Additional important information:

More details and information as well as contacts of the refugees who agreed to participate in this project will be provided at the PF "Legal Clinic "Adilet" Offices (39 Umetaliev St, Bishkek) on 11 May 2018 between 14:00 and 17:00 hours.

All participants of the contest must obtain a written consent of from the refugees that they are willing to be interviewed and take part in the film. Also, sensitive personal of the refugees and their families must be treated with discretion and with confidentiality as requested by the refugees: if refugee and his/her family doesn’t want to disclose their names and/or face, the Contest participants and producers must respect their wish and produce films accordingly.

For more questions and information please contact Giorgi Sanikidze/UNHCR at and +996 775 58 00 26.