FilmFreeway Accepting Submissions for 24th WATCH DOCS Human Rights in Film Festival

Mr. Maciej Nowicki, President of the Board, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

FilmFreeway is accepting entries from filmmakers, producers, distributors, and sales agents for the 24th edition of WATCH DOCS Human Rights in Film International Film Festival, one of the largest and most influential human rights film festivals globally.

Organized by the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR), the festival is renowned for its commitment to social issues and individual rights. It showcases documentaries that combine compelling storytelling with profound social impact.

The festival annually shows over fifty world-class documentary films. Held in Warsaw, alongside its traveling counterpart which tours more than thirty localities across Poland and its online platform, the festival attracts a total audience of over eighty thousand viewers annually. Established in 2001, WATCH DOCS holds the distinction of being the oldest documentary film festival in Warsaw, Poland.

WATCH DOCS offers several prestigious awards to honor the finest in documentary filmmaking.

The WATCH DOCS Award, bestowed upon the best feature-length documentary in the Main Competition, recognizing exceptional cinematic achievement and powerful storytelling.

The Marek Nowicki Prize awarded since 2003 celebrates enduring contributions to human rights cinema. It is given by the Board of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights to individuals with outstanding lifetime achievements in portraying human rights through film. It is named in memory of Marek Nowicki (1947–2003), a co-founder and long-time President of the HFHR and a pivotal figure in the Helsinki Committee in Poland, this prize.

The Audience Award, determined by viewer votes, goes to the most popular feature-length documentary of the festival, reflecting the audience’s appreciation and engagement. The Green Dog Award, presented by a youth jury, honours the best film in the Green Competition, focusing on documentaries that explore the intersection of environmental issues and human rights.

The WATCH DOCS awards are subject to change and reflect the festival’s dedication to recognizing and promoting excellence in human rights filmmaking.

By participating in the festival, filmmakers contribute to a powerful tradition of storytelling that educates, inspires, and advocates for a more just and equitable world.

Submission of entries closes on August 1, 2024.

For detailed information and to apply, please visit