Film Prizes

Competition films are eligible for the following prizes:

Royal Anthropological Institute Film Prize

This prize of £500, awarded biennially since 1980, will be awarded for "the most outstanding film on social, cultural and biological anthropology or archaeology".

Basil Wright Film Prize

This prize is also of a value of £500 and has been offered biennially since 1986. Funds have been provided by Robert Gardner, the American filmmaker. This prize will be awarded for "a film in the ethnographic tradition, in the interest of furthering a concern for humanity in order to acknowledge the evocative faculty of film as a way of communicating their concern to others". Particular value will be attached to innovative styles or forms of film-making.

Wiley-Blackwell Student Video Prize

Awarded for the first time in 1990, and since 2005 sponsored by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, is of a value of £ 250. This prize will be given to the most outstanding video in the ethnographic tradition made by a student enrolled in a bona fide educational institution. Entries for this prize may have originated and been edited on any video format but must be submitted on a VHS or DVD format. In assessing the films, the judges will consider the budget constraints, technical resources, and professional input available to the students, as well as each film's anthropological relevance.

Material Culture and Archaeology Film Prize

If an appropriate film of sufficient merit and excellence is submitted which falls within this category, the Festival Committee will provide £250.00 for this special award.

Intangible Culture Film Prize (Music – Dance – Performance)

This prize was created at the 2007 Festival in response to the growing number of films dealing with music, dance and performance. By referring to it by the UNESCO designation 'Intangible Culture', it is offered as companion prize to the Material Culture & Archaeology award, and will be equally of a value of £250.

Any enquiries about the Rules and Conditions of Entry should be directed to:
Film Officer, Susanne Hammacher, RAI, 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT.  
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7387-0455;  Fax: +44 (0) 207388 8817;  e-mail: film(at)

About this Festival

Sponsored by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain & Ireland (RAI) since 1985, it is an itinerant festival that moves biennially from one university host to another, in association with local community and cultural organisations.

The festival was held from Wednesday July 1st to Saturday July 4th 2009, and included over 50 hours of screenings of new films, a major international conference, and a targeted selection of events focusing on anthropological ethics in filmmaking, youth participatory film, and archiving ethnographic film.

Read more about the RAI 2009 festival

Our Sponsors

The Festival gratefully acknowledges sponsorship from: