THE CILECT PRIZE is the first ever award bestowed to a student film not by whatever number of jury members but by the whole community of CILECT Full Member Schools. By 2018 this includes 180 institutions from 65 countries. In most cases schools choose to include in the voting panels students, professors and staff accounting to hundreds of members in each panel.
THE CILECT PRIZE was founded in 2005 at the proposal of the (then) Vice-President Conferences and Festivals Prof. Dr. Stanislav Semerdjiev, Rector of the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts (NATFA), Sofia, Bulgaria. It appeared as a result of his long-term research on world student festival activities and after a thorough survey between all CILECT Full Member Schools on the eventual importance of such a competition.
The formal ceremony of presenting the award is usually held at the annual Conferences of CILECT. The first such ceremony took place at ECAM, Madrid, SPAIN on 21 November 2006 and honored the outstanding student film achievements of the 2004/2005 and 2005/2006 school years.
In the beginning THE CILECT PRIZE Entry Rules did not make a distinction between fiction, documentary or animation and the award given was only one. The introduction of genre awards (fiction, documentary and animation) started in 2010.
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