entrance requirements

The first Series Festival Basel will take place in Basel from 9 to 10 October 2021 . The ‹Cliffhanger 2021› competition is arranged and carried out by an organizing committee of the Verein Serienfestival Basel. The competition explores the miniaturization of serial narration.

The deadline for the 2021 competition has passed.

What are ‹cliffhangers›?

The notion ‹cliffhanger› (with quotation marks) refers to an audiovisual series consisting of at least 5 episodes and having a total duration of 35 minutes at most.

A series of 5 episodes, each lasting 7 minutes, is a ‹cliffhanger›. However, neither a series of 3 episodes of 11 minutes each (too few episodes) nor a series of 9 episodes of 4 minutes each (exceeding the time limit of 35 minutes) is a ‹cliffhanger›.


Contributions in languages different from German must have German subtitles. German contributions do not need subtitles.

What are valid competition entries?

There are no restrictions with respect to topics or genres. For each of the three categories described below an abstract not exceeding 1000 characters describing the story of the cliffhanger must be handed in.

Category 1. A contribution in the first category consists of a ‹cliffhanger›, a trailer of 20 seconds maximum duration and two or three still images.

Category 2. A contribution in the second category consists of two consecutive episodes of a ‹cliffhanger›, a trailer of 20 seconds maximum duration and two or three still images plus a documentation of the whole project (4 to 10 pages, illustrations included.)

Category 3. Contributions in this category do not include finished episodes. Participants are invited to produce and hand in a free from video clip of 9 minutes duration at most, in which they describe/conceptualize a new ‹cliffhanger› project. Keywords: motivation, story line, dramaturgy, casting, realization, work flow, financing, etc.

The same 'cliffhanger project' cannot be submitted in more thann one category. Contributions of the categories 2 and 3 may be re-submitted in a future edition of the competition, if the corresponding cliffhanger will be finished by then.

Video formats

Eingabe in einem gängigen Videoformat (vorzugsweise .mov oder .mp4).

Registration and submission of materials

The registration as well as the submission of the accompanying materials can be done electronically. The video files can be submitted electronically or sent by post-mail (memory stick/storage cards). Up-to-date information on the competition can be found on the website of the Basel Series Festival.

Submitted material that does not meet the competition requirements will not be entered into the competition and returned resp. cleared. The files relating to rejected entries will be removed from our storage media and participants will be informed accordingly.


The Organizing Committee of the Basel Series Festival may freely use the submitted trailers, stills and abstracts for advertising purposes for the Basel Series Festival 2021. This includes publication in the festival program, in print media and cinemas as well as on the Internet (on the Facebook page and the website of the Series Festival Basel). The Organizing Committee may select one 10-second excerpt from the submitted ‹cliffhanger› and use it for public relations purposes. This clipping will be archived, but not shown in public any further after the competition.

Copyright, screening rights and archiving

By submitting their competition entry, participants confirm that no copyrights are infringed upon by the presentation of their ‘cliffhanger’ at the Basel Series Festival. The Verein Serienfestival Basel assumes no liability for any copyright infringements.

For technical reasons, video and audio data entered in the competition will be copied to other data carriers. The Organizing Committee of the Series Festival Basel has no right to show the provided ‘cliffhangers’ in public on occasions different from the Basel Series Festival 2021. The right to present the ‘cliffhangers’ remains with the participants of the competition.

However, the Organizing Committee is free to use the submitted trailers and stills beyond the 2021 series festival, for example in advertising subsequent editions of the Basel series project, provided the participants agree.

The Organizing Committee will archive the competition entries. At the request of the contestants, all video files submitted will be deleted. After the competition has been held, the Basel Series Festival may not advertise against the wishes of the competition participants.

The Series Festival is intent on acting in the interests of the series producers and rights holders and will forward media enquiries directly to the series producers.


The competition entries are reviewed by committee, which preselects about a dozen contributions. These shortlisted entries will be judged by a jury and shown at the series festival. The jury and the audience decide upon awards totaling 3000 CHF. The decisions of the selection committee and the jury cannot be contested.

Further regulations

By registering and submitting competition entries, participants confirm that they have read and that they accept the regulations.

The Festival Management of the Series Festival Basel is responsible for the application of these regulations.

Basel, 15. Mai 2021. Aktualisiert 26. Juni 2021.

The German text is legally authoritative. Place of jurisdiction is Basel, Switzerland
(Translation 17.05.2021 | mz)