Everything you need to know about the Malhaar Short Film Festival

After an amazing season 1, Match My [Talent] is gearing up for yet another season of the Malhaar Global Virtual Film Festival. This year, the fest has been christened as Malhaar Short Film Festival and is going to be all about uplifting the lesser-known creator community.


The focus this year for Malhaar Short Film Festival is reaching out to as many corners and regional pockets of the world. During the run of the previous edition, we realized that a lot of regional filmmakers are grossly under-represented, and their content is often snubbed by various other film fraternities and juries, in the pursuit of more universally relevant content and globally recognized filmmakers. Even though most legitimate film fests try to stay true to the cause of promoting impactful cinema, they cannot help fall into some eventual patterns of chasing more commercial cinema.

Malhaar is in full swing to break away from the same old limiting patterns and remain a completely democratic film festival, one whose sole focus is on the creator.

Themes in 2022


In a bid to capture the collective expressions of “Life in Lockdown” in the wake of the worldwide CoVid-19 pandemic, the first edition of Malhaar Film Festival sought content from people (filmmakers and non-filmmakers alike), who may have captured their own unique experience of the time.

In 2022, as the world moves on from a quasi-pandemic situation, the ideation team at Malhaar wondered- “What are some worldwide issues that have a consistent relationship with lockdown and the themes encompassed by it?” Although every answer seemed like a drop in the ocean, we narrowed it down (after long hours of research and discussion) to 5 themes.

  • Mental Health
  • Migration
  • Passion
  • Education
  • Gender

By the way, the above points are themes, not topics. This means that we are seeking film submissions from filmmakers who would at least touch upon these themes in the subject matter of their films. The topic of a submitted film does not have to be necessarily BASED ON one of these.

Check out the featured themes and subthemes for Malhaar

Goes without saying, in line with the name of the Fest this season, we are seeking only short films. The runtime of films should be under 30 minutes.



Since their history, the main objective of Film festivals has been to empower filmmakers, to encourage them to tell the stories that no one else does, speak the truths that no else would by celebrating their creativity in general and their individualistic style, in specific. As a result, many film festivals cropped up across the globe, but an apropos film festival that could properly encourage and support regional filmmakers in India never did see the light of the day. The few that did, for some reason, could not attract enough regional filmmakers to curate a worthwhile featured filmmaker list.

Malhaar, in just a couple of years, has become that efficiently inclusive film festival format that has the bandwidth to look towards international productions, as well as include the deeply regional content that deserves to be highlighted. In fact, the Malhaar Short film Festival has designed its format in such a way that enables both Indian regional as well as International features to co-exist together, without competing with each other.

The Malhaar Short Film Festival will be conducted in two phases this season.

i) Malhaar LOCAL/India Festival: July 9-16, 2022

ii) Malhaar GLOBAL/Global Festival:  August 20-27, 2022


Both timelines will cater to local and international creators and audiences respectively, and the best features will be shortlisted and moved up for screening and/or competition during Malhaar GLOBAL.

The 360-Hour Filmmaking Challenge (April 1st-15th, 2022)


This is a Pre-fest Contest for those daring Filmmakers who wish to shatter the Glass Ceiling!

Under this challenge, participants will have to create a 9-12 minute Film on one or more keywords (options for keywords provided by Malhaar on Day 1 of the challenge) within the span of 360 hours (15 days approx.), i.e., within April 1st-15th, 2022.

By 15th April, participants will have to submit their Film with Malhaar.

The goal of the participant is to complete her Short Film within these 360 hours, stick to the theme chosen and keep the Film duration within 9-12 minutes.

The best submissions of the 360-hour Filmmaking Challenge will move up for screening and/or competition during Malhaar LOCAL and Malhaar GLOBAL.

BLOCKCHAIN- the official Host of Malhaar Season 2


This season, the Malhaar Short Film Festival is going to be hosted on Blockchain. This is an integral part of the season this year and is slated to become the norm of the Virtual Film Festival paradigm in the future.

What is BlockChain? Why is it Helpful?

Blockchain, through cryptographic hashing, makes it impossible for people to alter the history of any digital asset, thus keeping the creative process transparent through the use of decentralization.

This means that any content created on Blockchain can never be copied and tampered with. Even if a content creator shares his/her content, and is used by another content creator, through the use of NFTs, the new content will always attribute the credit back to the original author where it is due.

So, as you can see, Blockchain is a groundbreaking technology that preserves the ownership and Intellectual Property rights of digital creators. It reduces risk, weeds out fraud and keeps the creative process transparent.

To know in detail how Blockchain works, click here.

Rules of Film Submission


Rules of the 360-Hour Film Submission

The 360-Hour Filmmaking Challenge is a Pre-fest Contest, which means it shall be conducted within a specific time frame before the Malhaar Film Festival.

Following are the rules for participants and their submitted films for the 360-Hour Filmmaking Challenge:

  1. The participant shall get only 360 hours to create a film (1st April 2022- 15th April 2022)
  2. On 1st April 2022, participants will be given a list of keywords (via email) from which they shall have to select one. The participant shall then have to create a film, with the keywords embedded in the script, within 360 hours.
  3. The participant is required to create a SHORT Film. The acceptable duration of the submitted film is 9-12 minutes, i.e., the total runtime of the film should not be less than 9 minutes and should not exceed 12 minutes.
  4. Submission lines shall be kept open from April 1st and will be closed promptly on April 15th (across all time zones). Participants shall be required to submit their films latest by midnight of April 15th as per their respective time zones.
  5. Only registered Participants shall be considered for the challenge.  Click here to register.

The best entries/ submissions shall be awarded special prizes across several categories (selection process to be conducted by a Malhaar Jury) during the main festival. The following criteria will be taken into account in the selection process:

  1. Content and subject matter of the film
  2. Cinematography style
  3. Editing finesse
  4. Usage of keywords

Note: Participants for the 360-Hour Filmmaking Challenge can also choose to submit a different short film (of maximum 30-minute duration) whenever they want (Submissions from 17th Jan 2022 to 30th April 2022) through Direct Film Submission through Festhome/ FilmFreeway Page.

Rules for Malhaar Direct Film Submission for Main Festival

Malhaar Submission lines have been opened for filmmakers/ Directors/ Creators to submit their films and officially compete at the Malhaar Short Film Festival.

For Malhaar Direct Film Submissions, Filmmakers/ Directors/ Creators shall have to create an account on the official website of Malhaar Short Film Festival. https://matchmytalent.com/initiatives/malhaar/

Filling up the form during sign-up is mandatory.

The last date of Film submission is 30th April 2022 (The last date subject to postponement)

Submitted films should include in their subject matter, at least one of the following themes:

  • Mental Health
  • Migration
  • Passion
  • Education
  • Gender

Check out the featured themes and subthemes for Malhaar

At the end of the sign-up process, Filmmakers/ Directors/ Creators shall be redirected to a FilmFreeway/ Festhome Page, wherein you will be required to submit an original digital print of your film along with the other details as asked by the platform.

The acceptable duration of any and all submitted films is under 30 minutes. The submitted film’s runtime should not exceed 30 minutes.

Only Films produced after January 1st, 2019 shall be accepted.

Filmmakers/ Directors/ Creators are required to submit ONLY ORIGINAL CONTENT. No plagiarism in any form will be entertained.

If your submitted film is based on any other language besides English, you are required to include a subtitles file in your submission in the English language only.

More rules will be dictated during the final submission.

Note: Filmmakers/ Directors/ Creators can choose to submit their original film for the Main Festival (Malhaar LOCAL and Malhaar GLOBAL) or submit their film by participating in Malhaar 360-hour Filmmaking Challenge, or they can choose to do both. In case they enroll for both, the submitted films for both forms of submission should be different.

Follow the Malhaar Short Film Festival and become a part of the new wave of thought-provoking and soul-stirring International cinema.