Each year, VDP calls for short documentaries on a different theme, to be screened to the public and to promote exchange of ideas among filmmakers, citizens, and scholars of the region.

This year’s theme is “Laugh!”.
For the 11th Visual Documentary Project (VDP), we are accepting documentaries that touch upon any aspect of humor, comedy or satire


About Application

Requirements to submit documentaries are as follows

  1. Applicants must be citizens of Southeast Asia or Japan.
  2. Documentaries should be no longer than 30 minutes.


Please read the application guidelines and submit your entry via the online form below before the deadline.
Application deadline: Friday, September 1, 2023

Conditions for uploading films

(a) Films must be submitted in a format supported by YouTube or Vimeo.
– Suggested format: frame size 1920×1080, file format MPEG, frame rate 23.98
(b) Films must be produced in accordance with their purposes and not defame the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS).
(c) Applicants should make sure they have permission from any subjects that appear in the movies.
(d) Films that are uploaded should not infringe upon the rights or interests of personal or organizational copyright holders.
– Any background music (BGM) included in films must be copyright free or have the prior permission of copyright holders to use in said films.
– For any images from cartoons, literature, television or films, applicants must make sure that copyright has been transferred from those that own them.

Documentaries should include English subtitles.

Translation and subtitling is the responsibility of applicants.
For documentaries selected for screening we require film (without subtitles) and subtitle data to be submitted by requested dates to meet translation embedding schedules.
*Selected documentaries will be screened in their original languages with both Japanese and English subtitles. However, documentaries that are in English will only have Japanese subtitles added and vice versa.

About the Selection Committee

An international selection committee of scholars, filmmakers, and film critics deeply intimate with documentary filmmaking in the region will select successful documentaries.
Screening Committee Members past and Present

Selection Result Notification

  1. Selected applicants will be notified of the selection results by mid-October, 2023 via e-mail.
  2. Selected films will be screened at a screening event organized by VDP.
  3. The director(s) of the selected films will be invited to the screening event in Kyoto, Japan, which will be held in mid-December, 2023. Travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the project.
  4. There will be opportunities to have your film screened at other film festivals in cooperation with our project. (Recent examples: Kyoto International Film Festival, Cambodia International Film Festival, etc.)


  1. The copyright remains with the original copyright holders of the documentary at all times.
  2. Selected films will be archived on CSEAS’ website with the director’s consent. This will be made available to loan free of charge to applicants for non-commercial education purposes screenings within Japan only. Copyright of the work remains with the applicant..
  3. The organizers will not fund any requests for production funds, the purchase of recording equipment or editing software.

Data protection

The information that you provide when applying will be used for the purpose of film selection by the organizer. Your personal details will only be used in line with the standards of the organizers. We will not sell or disclose your details to third parties for commercial or other reasons.