Deadline: September 28, 2020

The Television for the Environment (tve) is now accepting entries for the tve Global Sustainability Film Awards (GSFA) 2020. The tve Global Sustainability Film Awards, now in their ninth year, recognises outstanding films from the business, non-profit, media and creative sectors that inspire audiences with real-world solutions for a more sustainable future.

Film is a powerful tool for raising public awareness, shifting public opinion and inspiring action. The GSFA seeks to promote effective, credible solutions-oriented storytelling about environmental and sustainability issues.

The Awards are unique because film submissions are judged both on the quality of their storytelling and the credibility of the sustainability solutions they depict. The different categories recognise different types of storytelling formats which speak to different audiences, from explanatory films by businesses to news stories and campaigning films. The winning films are selected by a tve-appointed independent shortlisting panel and judging panel, composed of both sustainability specialists and film/communications experts.

New Update

Due to the on-going Covid-19 crisis globally, the 2020 Global Sustainability Film Awards will be held online in 2020 in partnership with India-based Difficult Dialogues, which runs an annual forum about themes of contemporary relevance. India-based Difficult Dialogues, now in its 6th year, brings together diverse stakeholders including academics, young talents, celebrities, activists, politicians and leaders from media, business and international organisations. The awards will be spread across five days, from November 16 to 20, and run in conjunction with engaging dialogues and debates about the environment.

The 2020 Awards will also feature a new focus on youth, with the addition of a Young Filmmakers Award. The opening day of the Awards will also include the global finals of Daring Debates, a debate competition run by Difficult Dialogues aimed at engaging youth from across the world in policy ideation and involving young people from India, Nepal, Myanmar, UK, and Sri Lanka.

Award Categories

Competitive Categories:

  • YOUNG FILM MAKER AWARD – Awarded to the best film under 15 minutes on a sustainability issue by a filmmaker under the age of 35, with a focus on films that bring to light underrepresented voices or issues. The films will be judged both by the quality of their film-making and the significance and credibility of the story depicted.
  • DOING BUSINESS DIFFERENTLY SHORT FILM AWARD – Awarded to the film under 15 minutes that best explains how a company has changed their core business to become more sustainable, for example by improving their supply chain, reducing their carbon emissions, eliminating waste, changing their financial model, or reducing their impact on biodiversity The films will be judged both on the quality of its storytelling as well as the credibility and impact of the sustainability initiative it depicts.
  • ​INSPIRING YOUR WORKFORCE SHORT FILM AWARD – Awarded to the film under 15 minutes that best inspires action to promote sustainability and/or equality within a company or organisation, for example, by promoting behavior change to reduce plastic use or carbon emissions or encouraging the embedding of sustainability into employee’s core work.
  • INNOVATIONS SHORT FILM AWARD – Awarded to the film under 15 minutes that best highlights a new innovation, for example in AI, digital technology, alternative materials, clean energy or new production processes, with the potential for driving sustainability at scale. The films will be judged both on the quality of the storytelling as well as the credibility and potential impact of the sustainability innovation depicted.
  • HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT SHORT FILM AWARD – Awarded to the film under 15 minutes that best explains the links between the environment and human health, including but not limited to the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health, and nutrition. The films will be judged by the quality of the storytelling as well as the credibility and importance of the issues depicted.
  • TRANSFORMING SOCIETY SHORT FILM AWARD – Awarded to the film under 15 minutes that highlights initiatives or ideas to transform society and the way we live to become more sustainable and just world, for example through changes in our economic model, the way we grow our food, consume and work, govern our societies, or build our cities and other infrastructure.
  • CAMPAIGNING SHORT FILM AWARD – Awarded to the film under 15 minutes that most effectively inspires action in support of more sustainable and just world, for example by driving political, corporate, social or individual behaviour change. The films will be judged by the quality of the storytelling as well as on evidence of their impact.
  • SOLUTIONS NEWS STORY SHORT FILM AWARD – Awarded to the best broadcast or online video news story under 15 minutes about a sustainable solution. Films will be judged both on the quality of the journalism as well as the potential impact of the solution depicted.
  • DOCUMENTARY IMPACT AWARD – Awarded to the documentary that has had the most impact in helping build a more sustainable future for people and planet, for example by  driving political, corporate, social or individual behaviour change. Both feature and broadcast films are eligible. The films will be judged both on the quality of the storytelling as well as on evidence of their impact in driving real-world change.

Nominated Category:

  • FOUNDER’S AWARD: SUSTAINABILITY ON THE BIG SCREEN – Awarded to a feature film that best tackles sustainability issues in a new and innovative way. The films will be judged by the quality of their storytelling, the creativity of its approach, and the credibility of its sustainability message.


  • All entered films must be original and creative productions by or about the participating organization.
  • It is the responsibility of all filmmakers submitting titles for inclusion in the tve Global Sustainability Awards to ensure that they have received clearance from the rights holders of all archive film, stills and music used in the film. tve will not be responsible for any rights not cleared in the films that are screened as part of the tve Global Sustainability Awards.
  • To be eligible for GSFA 2020 all entered films must be made between the period July 1, 2018 and July 5, 2020.
  • All films must be entered for one of the nine competitive categories along with the entry fee which are specified in the Categories and Entry Fee section. Entries are eligible for the GSFA 2020 only if entered through the Film Freeway website along with submission of the online Entry Form and payment of the specified Entry Fee.
  • Films entered for all categories should not be of more than 15 minutes duration except for the entries for the Documentary Impact Award category, which is open to feature or broadcast documentaries of at least 30 minutes. 
  • Entries can only be submitted in English. Films originally made in other languages must be subtitled or dubbed into English. Dialogue lists are not acceptable.
  • Films that have had private, unpublicized screenings are also eligible for submission. 
  • A film that has been entered for the GSFA in a previous year cannot be resubmitted this year.

Judging Criteria

  • Creative Visualization: Evaluate the film on the power of storytelling and the clarity of communication. How does it perform on creative execution aspects like visual style, structure, camerawork, story narration etc?
  • Engaging: Does the film hold the audience’s attention and make the most of the medium’s potential?  Does the film deliver the story in a way that emotionally or intellectually engages the target audience?
  • Sustainability Relevance: Does the film address a relevant sustainable development goal and cogently explain its importance? Does the film show a relevant solution?
  • Credible: Are the sustainability activities portrayed believable and credible? Does the film reflect best practices for the relevant industry sector or sustainability issue?
  • Impact: Does the film effectively deliver its message to its target audience? Did it have the intended impact, for example by changing behavior, shifting opinions, or driving action? 


Entries for the GSFA 2020 close at 1pm GMT on Monday September 28, 2020. 

Click here to apply.

For more information, visit tve GSFA.

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