Application Regulation of the 21st GZDOC

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. The People's Government of Guangzhou Municipality, the Radio and Television Administration of Guangdong Province undertake the event, with execution by the Guangzhou Culture, Radio, Television, and Tourism Bureau, and overall coordination by Guangdong Global Raytur Film and Television Media Co., Ltd.

GZDOC is held in Guangzhou every December, and is the only state-level professional platform with documentary financing and trading functions and has become the pioneer in Chin'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.

GZDOC has established friendly cooperative relationships with over 40 internationally renowned documentary film festivals and institutions, integrating itself into the international documentary community. It plays a crucial role in the international documentary industry and serves as a vital channel for the internationalization of Chinese culture.

2. Application Regulation

I. Deadline

24:00 Aug 31, 2024 (GMT+8)

II. Eligibility

1. Entry is open for 4 types of films:

1) Feature Documentary: greater than 40 mins;

2) Short Documentary: between 10 and 40 mins (including 40);

3) Micro-Documentary: within 10 mins (including 10);

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

2. Films must be completed no earlier than Jan 1, 2022.

3. If any edited version of the work has been preselected for previous Golden Kapok Awards, or has been screened at previous editions of GZDOC, it is not eligible for registration.

III. Applicable Sections

*Note: The following three sections are parallel. They are under separate selecting procedure and do not include/collide with each other. Films feel free to register for all if you would like to.

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. If the production team has the intent to do so, please also register for the screening section.

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 three kinds of copyright cooperation modes:

1) On-demand Screening System

The DOCSHOP will set aside a screening area at the GZDOC venue. Participants will watch the films submitted to DOCSHOP through the on-demand screening system. Screening reports will then be generated, recording the viewers' purchasing interests. GZDOC staff will process these requests after the festival.

If necessary, the DOCSHOP will also set up an online on-demand screening system on official website( The online on-demand system will be only available for registered guest, and only release film trailers.

2) Daily Operation

The GZDOC DOCSHOP will keep recommending films to various platforms in a bid to facilitate trades throughout the year.

3) Industry Screenings

Industry Screenings are film screenings at the GZDOC venue for registered delegates and industry professionals. On the spot publicity could be arranged, in a bid to promote the films.

IV. Application Guidance

1. Submit Your Work
1) FilmFreeway(Please check ‘Agree to the above terms’, click Registration to proceed.)

2. Be sure to have the following materials in hand before your application:
1) Online Screener
a. mov. / mp4.
b. Vimeo link only (No less than 3 months validity of the link.)
c. Documentary series requires the submission of at least three episodes.
d. Films must be subtitled or dubbed in English.

e. To add a watermark, please mark 'GZDOC Preview' in the upper right corner. (Transparency of mark is not higher than 50%). Any other watermarks should not be applied, in a bid to ensure the viewing effects.

f. For works with a duration of up to 10 minutes, please submit a version not exceeding 500MB. For works with a duration of 10 to 40 minutes, please submit a version not exceeding 2GB. For works exceeding 40 minutes, please submit a version not exceeding 5GB. (The file size limit is set by the organizing committee for the smooth viewing experience. Works that do not comply with the regulations may not be judged.)

g. If the film has specific viewing requirements, physical storage media such as CDs, USB drives, or hard drives can be provided. It is recommended to use SF Express (Postage at your own expense, and the committee reserves the right to reject any shipments with postage due).

Please mail the copies of the film's preview and trailer in CD/USB/Mobile Hard Disk along with the film's title and contact information to:
Address: Room 1306 at GMC, Yue Jiang West Road, Haizhu District, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
Contacts: GZDOC Office
Tel: +86 020-38780150

2) Trailer
Format and subtitle requirement are the same as it is for the preview, but not watermark is allowed for the trailer.

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.)

V. Application Fee

The submission fee for Feature Documentary or Documentary Series is equally organised in three steps:
Early Bird: - 31 May(15$)
Regular: 1 Jun – 10 Aug(20$)
Late: 11 Aug – 31 Aug(25$)

The submission fee for Short Documentary or Micro-Documentary is equally organised
in three steps:
Early Bird: – 31 May(10$)
Regular: 1 Jun – 10 Aug(15$)
Late: 11 Aug – 31 Aug(20$)

3.Selection Procedure

I. 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 2-4 months after application, and the list will be announced on our official website. Receiving no further notification automatically indicate that the film is not selected, and the committee will not inform on that.

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 1-3 months after being longlisted, and the list will be announced on our official website. Receiving no further notification automatically indicate that the film is not selected, and the committee will not inform on that.

For all works on the finalists, the committee is giving an incentive cash prize (Utimately awarded works are not entitled). The prizes are as follows:
Feature Documentary: 200$
Documentary Series: 150$
Short Documentary or Micro-Documentary: 100$

*Please note that once you agree to receive the cash prize, you automatically authorize the GZDOC committee for two screenings of your work. If you prefer not to screen, which is absolutely fine, and it will not impact you in the final evaluation. But consequently, there will be NO Cash Prize for this option.

Detailed screening schedules (time and venue) will be determined by the organizing committee later along our preparation.

3) Final Vote

Winners for the following 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.

Best Feature Documentary (1), Prize 2,000$

Best Documentary Director (1), Prize 2,000$

Best Short Documentary (1), Prize 800$

Best Documentary Series (1), Prize 1,000$

Best Micro-Documentary (1), Prize 800$

Best First Feature Documentary (1), Prize 1,000$

Special Jury Prize (1), Prize 1,500$

Best Sino-Foreign Coproduction Documentary (1), Prize 1,000$

II. 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 are looking for: (a) Being included in the On-Demand Screening; (b) Regular Recommendation.

If you choose DOCSHOP, 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 there’s no physical festival this year. Otherwise your film will be considered for our festival’s 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 won’t be any sharing of your screener without your authorization.)

4. The use of application information

I. The information provided will be used in various stages of the selection process, announcement of results, and other related public disclosures. The registrant is responsible for any inaccuracies or omissions in the provided information.

II. After a work is registered, information and materials related to the registration may be presented on various online and offline media platforms, including the Festival's official website, WeChat account, festival handbook, etc. The organizing committee's office has the right to edit and publicly use the information and materials presented through official channels, including registration information, posters, stills, trailers, and excerpts from the main film, not exceeding 5 minutes.

III. For works participating in the DOCSHOP, the organizing committee's office has the right to play the works in the on-site screening system during the festival or showcase textual information, images, samples, and promotional videos to collaborating platform organizations outside the festival period.

5. Replacement of Registration Information and Materials

I.If there is a need to replace registration information or materials after completion, please send an email to, detailing the replacement requirements in a before-and-after comparison. Material replacement can only proceed after approval by the organizing committee's office.

II.If there are additional registration materials (such as posters, stills, promotional materials, awards, etc.) to be supplemented, please send the materials to with an explanation. The organizing committee will decide whether to accept and use the additional materials based on specific circumstances.

III.If the selected version for evaluation is a work-in-progress, registrants may submit the final screening version after obtaining qualification for the final selection. No version replacements are allowed during the evaluation process.

6.Notice for Selected Works

I. The Competition:
1) Pre-selected Works
Registrants whose works are pre-selected will receive a notification email and an electronic version of the certificate from the Organizing Committee's office. The list of pre-selected films will be announced on the official festival platform.

2) Final Selected Works
Registrants receiving a finalist notification email from the organizing committee's office must submit the final screening source and other materials by the deadline specified in the email. The editing content of the final screening source must remain consistent with the previous evaluation version, and no replacement of film content is allowed at this stage.

All finalist works will receive the "Official Selection" laurel symbol, which must be presented in all subsequent promotional materials.

II.The Screenings:
1) Confirmation of Selection

Once the work is selected, registrants should respond to the notification email from the organizing committee's office to confirm authorization for the screening and sign the authorization agreement. The organizing committee will provide the corresponding laurel, which must be presented in all subsequent promotional materials. Modification of the laurel is strictly prohibited.

2) Delivery Materials

After a work is selected for screening, the official screening version must be submitted to the organizing committee's office in accordance with the format requirements. In some circumstances, the work might be requested for a modification on its content to be more audience-appropriate, the production team shall cooperate with the committee. Otherwise, the work will be considered as automatically withdrawing from the screening.


I.The applicant (and the company) must possess the copyright or full power of attorney for their submitted works, and simultaneously guarantee that the work is free from copyright disputes. The music, video images, creative texts, etc., used in the work must have obtained copyright, or the applicant has obtained authorization from the copyright owner of the work, or the work is original and does not infringe upon the copyrights and other civil rights of any third party. In case of disputes arising from copyright issues, the applicant (and the company) shall be responsible for all infringement liabilities and compensation obligations.

II.Once any changes occur in these rules, the organizing committee will make the announcement on its official website ( If the applicant does not accept the modified terms, they have the right to withdraw from the event.

III.In any situation not covered by the above rules, the final interpretation and explanation shall be at the discretion of the organizing committee.

IV.By submitting works to participate in the 21st GZDOC, it implies acceptance of all the above terms and rules. In case of any disputes, Chinese judicial authorities have independent jurisdiction.

The General Office of the Organizing Committee of GZDOC

April, 2024