Application Regulation of the 21th GZDOC

This regulation is applicable to the submission of films to the Golden Kapok Award Competition, the Golden Kapok Screening, and the DOCSHOP at the 21th Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China (hereinafter referred to as the 21th GZDOC).

As for the regulation for each session, please see below:

Golden Kapok Award Competition:

China Stories’International Pitching Session:

Golden Kapok Screening:


1. Introduction of GZDOC

Established in 2003, Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China (referred to as GZDOC) is hosted by the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) and the People’s Government of Guangdong Province, and operated by Global Raytur International Public Communication Organization. Held in Guangzhou city every December, GZDOC is the only state-level professional platform with documentary financing and trading functions and has become the pioneer in China’s documentary industry, showcasing national industrial policies and international development trends. Dedicated to the documentary festival for 20 years, the festival has turned into a comprehensive cultural event integrating competition, pitching, training, forums, and market.

The 20th GZDOC will be held in December, 2023, in Guangzhou, China. The events will include: Golden Kapok Award Competition, Golden Kapok Screening, Marketing, ‘China Stories’ International Pitching Session, Forums, Opening Ceremony, Award Ceremony, and Theme Events.

2. Application Regulation

I. Entry

1. Entry Deadline: 24:00 August 31, 2024 (GMT+8)

2. Fee: No fee will be charged throughout the application.

II. Eligibility

1. Entry is open for 3 types of films:

1) Feature Documentary:  > 40 mins (including credits);

2) Short Documentary: credits);

3) Documentary Series: At least 3 episodes with inter-related contents.

2. Films must be completed no earlier than Jan 1, 2024.

3. Films must be subtitled or dubbed in English.

4. Commercial films, fiction films and TV programs are not eligible.

III. Applicable Sections

*Note: The following three sections are parallel. They are under separate selecting procedure and do not include/collide with each other.

1. Golden Kapok Award Competition

The Competition section is dedicated to honor outstanding documentaries that can promote the exchange of various cultures, communicate universal emotions and values through excellent filmmaking techniques and high-level production. This section does not contain any public screenings.

2. Golden Kapok Screening

This is the non-competitive screening section that aims at presenting a variety of  documentary films to the public, showing the audience the latest films with brilliant story-telling skills, authentic expressions, or experimental narratives.


The DOCSHOP is a year-round marketplace for filmmakers, distributors, buyers and commissioners, etc. It contains two kinds of copyright cooperation modes:

1) Being included in the On-Demand Screening

If the festival is held physically, all participants can watch the films submitted to this section through strictly protected On-Demand Screening computers, where they can leave their purchase intention. Our staff will connect the applicants with them afterwards; If the festival is held online, we'll set up an online screening platform where only trailers will be released for participants to watch.

2) Regular Recommendation

The DOCSHOP will keep recommending films to various broadcasting / new media / distribution platforms in a bid to facilitate trades throughout the year.

IV. Application Guidance

(I) Application

1. Please click on:, and complete the online application form.

2. Be sure to have the following materials in hand before your application:

1) Online Screener

a. mov. / mp4.

b. Vimeo / Google Drive link only.

c. No less than 3 months validity of the link.

2) Trailer (Downloadable)

a. mov. / mp4.

b. Vimeo / Google Drive link only.

c. No less than 3 months validity of the link.

3) Stills, Poster, and Director's Photo (Downloadable)

4) Short Synopsis (No more than 650 chars including spaces.)

5) Director’s Bio (No more than 650 chars including spaces.)

6) Producer’s Bio (No more than 650 chars including spaces.)

3. A confirmation email will be sent to the applicant automatically if the application is successful.

(II) Selection Procedure

1. Golden Kapok Award Competition

The selection procedure is divided into three stages: pre-selection, semi-final selection, and final vote. All the entries that apply to this section will be watched by our selection committee members to decide whether they can enter the next stage. GZDOC is responsible for setting up the Selection Committees and the Jury.

1) Pre-selection

The Pre-selection Committee is responsible for selecting the longlists from all entries. The longlists will be notified by email within 6 months after application, and the list will be announced on our official website.The longlists will be offered an e-certificate through email.

2) Semi-final Selection

The Semi-final Selection Committee is responsible for selecting the finalists from the longlists. The finalists will be notified by email within 2-4 months after being longlisted, and the list will be announced on our official website. The finalists will be posted a certificate and some festival souvenirs.

3) Final Vote

Winners for the following 11 awards will be voted from the finalists by the Jury, which will be announced at the Golden Kapok Award Ceremony. The winner of each award will be offered an exquisite award trophy, an award certificate, Golden Kapok Laurels, and festival souvenirs.

l Best Feature Documentary

l Best Documentary Director

l Best Short Documentary

l Best Documentary Series

l Best First Feature Documentary

l Special Jury Prize

l China Story: Best Feature Documentary

l China Story: Best Short Documentary

l China Story: Best Documentary Series

l Best Sino-Foreign Coproduction Documentary

l Best Global Communication Chinese Documentary

2. Golden Kapok Screening

Our programmers will select films from all the entries that apply to this section. If we are interested in screening a film, an email from will be sent to the applicant negotiating for their intention, needs, and completing further authorization.


All the entries that apply to this section can choose which kind(s) of copyright cooperation they are looking for: (a) Being included in the On-Demand Screening; (b) Regular Recommendation.

If you choose (a), it means you authorize us to display your screener to all the participants through strictly protected On-Demand Screening computers during our physical festival, or to display your trailer on our online screening platform if theres no physical festival this year.

If you choose (b), your film will be considered for our festivals recommendation to various broadcasting / new media / distribution platforms on a regular basis. (When recommending your film, we only use the film synopsis, posters, trailers, and the filmmakers bio that you submitted. There wont be any sharing of your screener without your authorization.)

V. Statements

1. The use of application information

1) The Organizing Committee has the right to use the information provided in the application form during the whole selection procedure, and to publish it on the festival's official platforms for promotion. Before publishing, we will contact the applicant for confirmation.

2) The applicant shall ensure that there is no dispute over copyright of the film, guarantee it has acquired the copyrights/authorizations from the copyright owners for the music, video, image and text contained and used in the films; ensure the original contents in the film do not violate the copyrights or legal rights of any other third parties. Any disputes, damages or compensations arising out of or in relation to the copyright infringement of the film shall be borne by its applicant. The Organizing Committee reserves the right to disqualify any film with unauthorized copyrighted materials.

2. The update of application information

1) If the applicant wants to update any information, please contact for inquires.

2) The applicant will be the first one to contact for the follow-up notifications. Please keep the mailbox accessible.

3. If there were any situations that are not specified above, the Organizing Committee reserves all rights for the final explanation of the regulations.

The General Office of the Organizing Committee of GZDOC

March, 2024

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