Next Wave Awards Competition charter 2021
I. About Next Wave Awards International Student Documentary Competition

Started from 2003, Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival(GZDOC) aims at building a professional platform to facilitate exchanges between China and the global documentary industries, to connect domestic and international producers, distributors, broadcasters and to promote Chinese documentaries. GZDOC is the only state-level documentary film festival,with a longest history in China. It is the biggest documentary film festival in Asia. It’s also a market place with financing and trading functions.

Supported by GZDOC, Next Wave Awards is the top-level student documentary competition in China. It was established in 2014 and has been held for seven consecutive times. There are hundreds of colleges and universities at home and abroad participating in this competition every year.

Next Wave Awards is committed to educating and finding new talents for documentary industry. By offering Competition, Campus Screening Tour, Masterclass, Training Camp, Academic Forum and University Media Association,Next Wave Awards not only brings industrial insights to the students, but also allows them to learn deeply about production, marketing, distribution, and post-production. Passion, curiosity, determination, and perseverance, are the spirits that Next Wave Awards sheds spotlights on.

In 2021, Next Wave Awards will cooperate with south New Media and cooperate with Southern Metropolis Daily N video app, innovative competition form,strive to promote the exchange and dissemination of documentary culture.

II. Date of Event

GZDOC is held in Guangzhou every December. The Campus Screening Tour will be conducted from April to June each year.

The 8th Next Wave Awards will be held from December 4th to December 10th,2021.

III.Eligibility for Next Wave Awards

1. Next Wave Awards is open to the following two types of films:

Documentary Feature: motion pictures with a running time of more than 30 minutes (including Opening Credits);

Documentary Short: motion pictures with a running time 30 minutes or less(including Opening Credits);

2. To be eligible for Next Wave Awards, the films must be produced no earlier than January 1, 2020.

3. To be eligible for Next Wave Awards, the films submitted must be created by the registered university students (including masters and doctoral students). The applicant must provide a copy of the his/her school certificate or student ID, and the co-producer can jointly participate in the competition.

4. Films that, in any version (including the re-edited version), had participated or been screened in the previous Next Wave Awards,will not be eligible for the competition.

5. The films submitted to Next Wave Awards can also participate in Golden Kapok Award, Golden Kapok Screening and Doc Shop of GZDOC.

IV.Submission Guidance

 (i) Submission Deadline

Submissions for the 2021 Next Wave Awards are open from May 19, 2021 (GMT+8) 00:00 to September 20, 2021(GMT+8) 24:00. The submission must be completed online and all the other required submission materials should be sent to the General Office of the Organizing Committee (OC) by the deadline. The application received after the deadline or the application with incomplete materials will not be accepted as qualified entries.

 (ii) Application process and required materials

Please register online at GZDOC official submissions sites,, click "Submission·Registration-Next Wave Awards" to complete the online submission form.

 Please upload film and trailer into Vimeo and indicate the download link and password in entry form:

1. Preview version (The full film)


①     Film in MP4 or MOV format, 1080P and above, data rate 2000kbps to 5000kbps;

②     For MANDARIN dialogue films, complete Chinese and English subtitles are required.For NON-MANDARIN dialogues (including English) films, English subtitles are required.

③     To add a watermark, please mark "NEXT WAVE Preview" in the upper rightcorner. Any other watermarks should not be applied, in a bid to ensure the viewing effects.

2. Trailer


①Motion Pictures with a running time of less than 3 minutes,in MP4 format, 1080P and above, data rate 2000kbps to 5000kbps

② For MANDARIN dialogue films, complete Chinese and English subtitles are required. For NON-MANDARIN dialogues (including English) films,English subtitles are required.

Please send below materials to as soon as the entry form is submitted.

1. For NON-MANDARIN dialogue films, a full-length English subtitle file (SRT or ASS format) or subtitle script (word file or txt file) is required.  

2. 3-5 film stills in JPG format, pixel no less than 150dpi;

3. 1-3 posters in JPG format, pixel no less than 150 dpi;

4. 1-2 photos of director in JPG format, pixel no less than150 dpi;

5. Student Status Letter / Student ID Card Scanned Copy


If it is inconvenient to submit online, the above-mentioned application materials can be stored by DVD/USB /Mobile Hard Disk or other storage medium. Make sure the storage medium contain the application materials only. Please send it to the OC, noting "Next Wave Awards,"Film title and contact information to:

Address: Room 3303, YingLong Plaza,No.76, West Huangpu Avenue, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province,China.  

Contact: Liang Jiaqi

Tel: 020-38780150-817   +86-13822294919

Zip code: 510627

 (iii)Registration fee

Free Entry

 (iv) Notices for material delivery

If you choose to post your materials, in order to ensure the materials delivered on time, please use the traceable and signature-required express delivery service. Please do not use the surface mail. If the materials are sent from overseas,please use the international express (such as DHL or FEDEX), indicated "No commercial value. For cultural purposes only" on the package, and fill in the customs declaration value less than 10 US dollars. No application materials will be returned. Do not send film prints, master tapes or other originals. The OC will not pay for the delivery fee caused by the application and has the right to refuse the delivery unpaid.

 (v) The use of information and application materials

1. Please fill in entry form correctly and completely. The information in the form will be used and disclosed in the process of pre-selection, semi-final evaluation and final evaluation. If there is any information missing, the responsibility will be borne by the applicant.

2. The sign-up account used in the official website ( will be used as the contact of applicant by default. The follow-up notification related to pre-selection and evaluation will be delivered to this contact first. Please keep the call and the mailbox accessible.

3. After the film is submitted to Next Wave Awards, the application information and materials will be presented on the official website, as well as online and offline media for publicity. The Organizing Committee has the right to edit and use the film information and materia lssubmitted, including the film application information, posters, stills,trailers or snippet less than 3 minutes, on GZDOC’s official channels.  


 (vi) Update and Supplement of registration information and materials

1. If applicant wants to update information or material after submission, please send an email to and explain the update in detail. After reviewed and approved by the OC, the update will be completed.

2. If there are follow-up materials (such as posters,stills, promotional materials, awards, etc.), please send the materials to and explain the updated materials.

3. If the preview version is the version in post production, the applicant can submit the final screening version after being selected, but applicant cannot update the version during the evaluation process.


 (vii) Copyright Statement

Applicant (and applying company) shall own the copyrights or distribution rights of the film submitted by him/her; 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 (and applying company). OC reserves the right to disqualify any film with unauthorized copyrighted materials.


The 8th Next Wave Awards has 9-11 awards (8-10 for Excellent Documentaries and 1 for Excellent Organization). The specific awards are as follows:








VI.Evaluation process

The entries will be screened for the pre-selection,semi-final evaluation and final evaluation. They will be reviewed and selected by the Selection Committee and the Jury Committee. The OC is responsible for inviting professionals and setting up the Selection Committee and the Jury Committee.

1. The pre-selection committee is responsible for presenting the semi-finalist from all the applicants.

2. The Semi-final Jury committee is responsible for presenting the finalists from the semi-finalists. The finalists will be notified by e-mail in mid-November and released on the official website.

3. The winners will be selected from the finalists by the Jury Committee and will be announced at Next Wave Awards Ceremony, held on December 4 - December 10, 2021.


VII.The Notice for Finalists

1. Finalist confirmation

The applicants shall confirm the participation in the final evaluation with the OC within two working days after receiving the notification (email) from the OC. Once the applicants confirm the participation, they cannot withdraw for any reason.

2. The use of information and materials

Once the film is selected, the application information and material submitted online and offline will be presented on the documentary film festival brochure, official website, or for online and offline media promotion events. The OC is entitled to edit and publicly use the materials, including film entry information, posters, stills, trailers and clips of no more than 3minutes and on GZDOC’s official channels. If there is any information or material missing during the application phase, all materials must be completed at the finalist stage.

3. Screening authorization and scheduling

Once the applicants confirm their participation in the final evaluation, it is agreed that OC is authorized to publicly screen the film during the campus screening tour from March to June 2022. The screening schedule and venue will be decided by the OC.

4. Publicity requirements

After the film is selected, the OC will provide the Next Wave Awards logos for Finalist or Winner. The film selected must include the Next Wave Awards logos in all its subsequent promotional materials, and it’s strictly forbidden to modify the logo.


1. Any changes against the regulations will be posted on the "GZDOC+ - Next Wave Awards Competition" page of the official website ( The applicant can withdraw from the event if he/she thinks the modified clauses are unacceptable by notifying the Organizing Committee within 10 working days after the announcement is posted. Otherwise, it will be deemed that the applicant accepts all the modified clauses.

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

3. The applicant signing up for 8th Next Wave Awards International Student Documentary Competition should accept all the above terms and conditions. If there is any dispute, it shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of PRC.


General Office of the Organizing Committee of Next Wave Awards International Student Documentary Competition
May 26, 2021

The Head of Next Wave Awards International Student Documentary Competition Department

Contact: Liang Jiaqi

Tel: 020-38780150-817

Address:Room 3303, YingLong Plaza, No.76, West Huangpu Avenue, Tianhe District,Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.

Zipcode: 510627