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 Take your camera and highlight the World Largest Cities' Challenges & Initiatives 
 To inspire new projects with positive environmental & social impact 

Festival Edition 7 - December 3rd to 9th - 2021


(will re-open end of January for Ed. 8)

Footages Credits :

- 2020, Bicycle Mayor of Mumbai

- 2016, New York, The uni project

- 2016, New York, Reading  Between Lines

- 2017, Rio, The Valongo Wharf

- 2018, An Antidote for Brazil

- 2018, Kinshasa

- 2019, Paris, Espero Farm

- 2019, Sao Paulo, Recida Vidas

- 2015, Paris, City of Gods

The Megacities of the world present many opportunities, but also concentrate all the challenges.

Filmmakers, you have been over 500 since 2014 to make very short documentary films (4 minutes max) to inspire people. We still need your committed involvement to highlight inspiring local solutions that have been initiated by a person or a community near you, and that have addressed key challenges or to share unacceptable situations as “whistle-blowers” to contribute to the mobilization of citizens  to make change happen.  

With your story, you can change the life of a friend, a neighbor, a family in another City.

Your short film will change the world.

Take your camera and shoot your reality.

Learn more about us by downloading our official presentation brochure here (official  2021 brochure). 


Art of being in a world of not being


Best ShortDoc Award Edition 6


Soheil Soheili 




Le Poulet

Best Student Film

Award Edition 6


Claire Olivier, Erwan Billet, Victor Labro,

Michael Launay, Lucas Prevost




Confinés Dehors

The Most Positive ShortDoc Award


Olivier Roux





 Under the Bridge 

Felipe Moraes

Sao Paulo

Meet an amazing character, Nilson Garrido, teaching boxe and priceless life lessons to homeless and marginal people under a bridge, in Sao Paulo.

Capture d’écran 2021-01-20 à 00.21.37.
Capture d’écran 2021-01-20 à 00.25.10.

 Bidon Vil 

Nizar Saleh, alumni at "Ecole des Beaux Arts" - Kinshasa


This short film tells the story of an artist designer and performer who transforms plastic waste that pollutes his urban environment into toys for poor children. It stages sets, models and costumes to entertain, raise citizens’ awareness of the recycling culture and provide free access to the arts in the public space. 

Capture d’écran 2021-01-19 à 15.57.23.

 The Planter 

Rafael Machado 

Sao Paulo 

The film shows the journey of Helio da Silva, who planted alone more than 20 thousand trees in the park Tiquatira, East Zone of São Paulo, a very needy place of the city. Although many destroyed the trees in the beginning, Helio insisted, until the authorities began to take care of the park as well.

Capture d’écran 2021-01-20 à 00.27.38.
Capture d’écran 2021-01-20 à 00.28.37.

 Family Phobia 

 Chun Wang, student at Waseda University


Nowadays, 13.506 million people live in Tokyo, a populous metropolitan area in the world. Every day, 6.388 million of so called “salaryman” are working in this city. 


 Go to School 

Li Yuying, Shanghai Tongji University


In Shanghai, migrant workers children need to provide many certificates to go to school. Countless children because of the lack of certificates, they can't go to school .

Capture d’écran 2021-01-20 à 00.29.38.

Some ShortDocs Awarded since Edition 1

Calendar of the Festival



Februrary 2021

Opening of the Festival

The registration platform opens on the website in Februrary and ShortDoc Makers have until October 31st to register and shoot their shortdoc film ! It is extremely important for every ShortDoc Makers to register early in order to get a proper follow-up.

October 31

Application deadline

ShortDoc Makers have until October 31 to register and to upload their ShortDoc on Shortfilmdepot. It is highly recommended to register online before producing and uploading your ShortDoc.


Jury Selection

Results of the selection process of 15 nominees by an international professional Jury

December 3 to 9 

Local Screenings & Paris Award Ceremony

The awards for the MegaCities-ShortDocs will be delivered at the Paris Award Ceremony December 9 at 8pm (GMT + 01:00) at MK2 Quai de Seine and on live-streaming.
Multiple ceremonies across the world will occur between December 3rd and 8th, as in some French Institutes or online with Partners as United Nations Habitat.


Information for Applicants

The Total of the 3 Awards & 3 Prizes represent a total value of 11 500€.

The Awards (Best MegaCities-ShortDoc, Best Positive ShortDoc, Best Student’s ShortDoc) & The Prizes (The Greater Paris Metropolis, “15 Minute City” & “Urban Climate Crisis”) are open to ShortDoc Makers in all Urban agglomerations or single cities of more than 1 Million inhabitants

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get in touch with the MCSD team?

You can reach out to us via our website and the email contact@megacities-shortdocs.org  or via our Facebook page and LinkedIn. We also have some Local Coordinators or Helpers in some MegaCities we could connect you to.

Which are the 38 megacities I can shoot in?

Building on the Demographia World Urban Areas, 16th Annual Edition: 2021 report, MegaCities-ShortDocs decided to take into account the following 38 megacities: Tokyo, Jakarta, Delhi, Seoul-Incheon, Manila, Mumbai, Karachi, Shanghai, New York, Sao Paulo, Beijing, Mexico City, Guangzhou-Foshan, Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, Moscow, Dhaka, Cairo, Bangkok, Los Angeles, Kolkata, Buenos Aires, Tehran, Istanbul, Lagos, Shenzhen, Rio de Janeiro, Kinshasa, Tianjin, Lima, Paris, Chengdu, Lahore, London, Bangalore, Ho Chi Minh City, Nagoya, Chenmai, Bogotá.


Even if initially we focused on megacities (from Tokyo-Yokohama (Japan) to Tianjin (China)), now all the 553 biggest cities of the world can be the location the documentary is filmed in (Japan Naha 1,000,000 inhabitants - page 30 of the Report).

Who could apply ?

Applications are open to all individuals. A special prize will be awarded to students therefore we require to submit the student card when applicable.

Location of the ShortDoc

Location of the ShortDoc has to be in one (or more) of the list ot the 5 MC-SD Awards, the 2 Prizes "15 Minute City" or "Urban Climate Crisis" are illegible if the ShortDoc is shot in those 38 Megacities, but could also be attributed to ShortDoc shot in any city.

From and until when can I apply?

Applications require a two-steps process. Step one is the online registration on our website (link), which is open from end of January to October 31st.


Once registered, applicants need to go through step 2 and upload their ShortDoc to the Shortfilmdepot platform (link and tutorial) also before October 31st. Although both steps are under the same deadline, it is highly recommended to register online (step 1) long before the deadline, before starting to produce your ShortDoc and before uploading  it, as it will allow you to exchange with our team and get proper advises on how to make a good ShortDoc.

How can I apply to the contest?

All applications must be done, through our website. Once the registration platform is open, applicants must fill the ShortDoc Maker registration form (name, first name, email address, description of the ShortDoc, the megacity where the ShortDoc was shooted and other personal details) and accept the Festival’s terms and conditions. Then, applicants will have to upload their ShortDoc, a short description and a picture which best represents the short documentary film into a specific digital platform (shortfilmdepot).

Where and when will the Paris Award Ceremony (Festival) take place?

The Paris Award Ceremony takes place every year during the first 2 weeks of December. However, we cannot ensure its physical maintenance, due to the actual worldwide pandemic. 

Regarding the '15-minute city PRIZE' which is 1 of the 2 prizes that can be made in any Cities , could you give us some more information? 


The 15-minute city PRIZE is based on showing inspiring solutions that give easy access to the 7 social functions: housing, work, food, education, health care and personal development. 


Examples of topics that could be covered: 

New ideas concerning housing (shared, solidarity, frugal, ...), co-working initiatives, new approaches to health care (health centers that bring together several specialists, data transmission systems, etc.), ideas around school or education in general (opening schools on weekends, decarbonized school transport, school assistance ...), meal delivery services for vulnerable people, activities around culture or sport, and everything that reduces the circulation of thermal vehicles (logistic platforms, mutualization of transport, car sharing...).

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