2010 AANM Short Film Contest

In conjunction with its annual Arab Film Festival, the Arab American National Museum is introducing a short film competition.

Call to Filmmakers:

The Arab American National Museum (AANM) is encouraging filmmakers to submit short films of all genres relating to a fusion of two concepts we are calling Trans-Ubuntu.

Trans indicates movement across, through and beyond any person, place, thing or idea, while Ubuntu is an African philosophy and concept that loosely means a person is a person through other people. In Ubuntu, individuals are seen through the relationships of larger communities, through their humanity toward others.

In a globalized world, what are the images, narratives, ideas, sounds, and feelings of Trans-Ubuntu? We encourage filmmakers to interpret Trans-Ubuntu through the films they submit.

Contest eligibility:

  • Open to all U.S. residents between the ages of 18-30
  • Professional and amateur filmmakers welcome
  • ACCESS employees and family members are not eligible to enter or win prize money

Submission requirements:

  • Submission deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, October 15, 2010.
  • All films must be submitted on a standard DVD (no Blu-ray or VHS) in either PAL or NTSC format, labeled with the film title, filmmaker name and running time.
  • Films may not exceed 30 minutes, including titles and credits.
  • All genres welcome.
  • Films in all languages are welcomed; however, all non-English films must include English subtitles for contest consideration.

How to submit a film:

  • Please attach to the DVD a cover sheet including:
    • filmmaker’s name, street address, email, phone, date/city of birth
    • 250-word biography of filmmaker
    • 300-word synopsis of film
    • production credits
    • All films (postmarked no later than 5 p.m. Friday, October 15, 2010) should be mailed to:
      AANM Short Film Contest
      Attn: Public Programming
      13624 Michigan Ave.
      Dearborn MI 48126


Films will be judged by a committee of AANM staff. All films will be judged on a point system based on the following criteria:

  • Cinematography (lighting; camera positioning; special effects)
  • Screenplay (originality; addresses contest theme; clear message; level of viewer engagement)
  • Editing (technical/creative expertise)
  • Art direction (set/costume/makeup/hair design; creative, technical expertise)
  • Soundtrack (technical/creative expertise)
  • Performances (effective casting; believability of portrayal; technical/creative expertise)


  • Winning films will be announced Monday, November 1, 2010 at www.arabamericanmuseum.org and via press release. Winning filmmakers will be informed by phone/email.
  • Winning films will be screened at the AANM’s 2010 Arab Film Festival December 2-5 in Dearborn, Michigan.
  • Travel to Dearborn will NOT be provided to winning filmmakers; however, winners are encouraged to attend to introduce their film and take part in an audience Q&A during the Festival.
  • Cash prizes:
    • 1st place $1,500
    • 2nd place $750
    • 3rd place $500

Additional information:

  • Submissions will not be returned; AANM is not responsible for films lost or damaged in shipping
  • AANM reserves the rights to use all submitted films for non-commercial purposes during its 2010 Film Festival; on the AANM website and its iTunes U page; and for other appropriate usages.

Questions may be directed to Suha Ahmed at 313.624.0215 or sahmed@accesscommunity.org.

13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI 48126 - Phone (313) 582-AANM (2266) A Project of ACCESS