The RAI Film Festival is a biennial international event celebrating the best in documentary filmmaking from around the globe. Established in 1985 by the Royal Anthropological Institute (UK), the RAI Film Festival showcases new work from academic anthropologists and related disciplines from all levels of experience from students to professionals. It looks for fearless films that ask difficult questions, build bridges, seek redress and promote social justice and dialogue.

Our strength lies in providing a leading showcase for the best in groundbreaking and innovative anthropological documentary filmmaking from around the world. Our mission is to support the role of film within anthropology, to champion the work of filmmakers and foster a thriving and inclusive community. We feature filmmakers who find creative ways to explore our shared humanity to shine a light on people, places and stories that are too often lost in the spotlight of global media.

The RAI Film Festival runs a series of competitive awards to celebrate filmmakers of cutting-edge documentaries while also offering an inclusive and nurturing environment to actively encourage and mentor first-time and student filmmakers. It also seeks to push at the established conventions of documentary film to explore new, creative and multimodal approaches to form, narrative, collaboration and reflexivity in filmmaking.

With the support of leading academic partners from major international universities, we offer workshops, masterclasses, a conference, work-in-progress sessions, and retrospectives. We aim to maximize discovery and discussion around films and other multimodal productions from an anthropological, artistic, historical, and educational point of view.