The RAI Film Festival celebrates the best in ethnographic, anthropological and archaeological filmmaking from around the globe. Since 1982, the RAI Film Festival (formerly knows as the RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film) has served as a leading forum for exploring the multiple relationships between documentary filmmakinganthropology, visual culture, and the advocacy of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue through film.

The festival takes place biennially, and since 2015 has had its home at Watershed, the independent arthouse cinema in Bristol (UK). In 2021 the festival took place entirely online. For 2023 we are planning a hybrid event combining an online element with a live face to face one (circumstances permitting!)

Submissions for the 2023 festival are now open until August 2022.

The festival showcases films organised in a number of strands (main competition, student films, short films) and it assigns a number of prizes and awards. The film screenings are accompanied by workshops, masterclasses, and an academic conference.

The RAI Film Festival is organised by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, a scholarly organisation devoted to anthropology in all its many fields and applications.


Stephen Hughes: Festival Director
Caterina Sartori: Festival Director
Hanine Habig: Conference Assistant
Andrei Nacu: Festival Assistant

The RAI Film Committee acts as the film festivals’ scientific committee.

Royal Anthropological Institute
50 Fitzroy Street
United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7387 0455