Alliance Photo & Film Competition

 The Alliance Annual Photo & Film Competition 

The Alliance photo and film competition runs every year and ties into the broad theme of our Annual Conference. Winning entries will be exhibited as part of a brand new digital exhibition in the runup to COP26 and at our 2021 Annual Conference, as well as receiving a prize package worth £100. You can see previous winners at the bottom of this page.

Our photo and film competition is an opportunity for international development practitioners, photographers, videographers and anyone else with a link to Scotland to showcase sustainable development projects across the world. We particularly welcome entries from our members and their partners, but our competition is open to all with a link to Scotland. Get involved!

The 2020-21 Alliance photo and film competition

We are inviting anyone with a link to Scotland to submit entries under this year’s theme:

The Climate Crisis from the Front Line

The climate crisis affects everyone, but it is those who have done least to cause it that are almost always on the front line of its devastating impact. Recognising this fact is critical to eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development across the world.

Human interest stories are vital for building support for a climate justice oriented response to the climate crisis. With the UN climate talks coming to Glasgow in 2021 (postponed due to COVID-19), we have a unique opportunity to raise awareness in Scotland of how the climate crisis is affecting people across the world, building support for more focused climate action where it is needed most.

Your entry to this year’s competition should be under this broad theme, and should aim to fulfil any or all of the following aims (sub-themes):


1. To share stories of those most impacted by the climate crisis in countries and regions of the world that have done least to cause it

2. To highlight the climate related challenges people and communities face in different countries across the world

3. To celebrate new and existing responses to the climate crisis in different countries across the world (mitigation, adaptation and resilience)


The Alliance photo and film competition is an opportunity for international development practitioners, photographers, videographers and anyone else with a link to Scotland to showcase sustainable development projects across the world.

An appointed panel will select winning entries based on how well they correspond to the above theme, their photographic/video quality (focus, composition, creativity, delivery) and whether they comply with ethical guidelines - show human subjects in a positive light, speak to gender sensitivity and be consensual.

For more information on ethical guidelines see our ethical imagery resource list. We particularly recommend  Bond’s website or The Dóchas Code of Conduct.

Winners will be announced and a selection of top entries will be displayed and screened in a special digital exhibition in the run up to COP26. Details TBC.

Later in 2021, top entries will be displayed again at our Annual Conference in September 2021, which will bring over 200 delegates together to focus on this important theme. Top entries will also be selected for our 2022 Calendar. Winning entrants will also receive a prize package worth £100.


Anyone can enter the competition as long as they have a link to Scotland. There are two categories for submissions:

  1. Members of the Alliance (organisations, individuals & their partners), Entry is free (up to 3 images, and one film per organisation)
  2. Non-members of the Alliance (including amateur and professional photographers/videographers) entry costs £10 per image (max 3 images, 3rd image free), and £20 per film (max 1 film). Payment exemptions possible - please get in touch if you are unable to pay.

Winners will be selected from both categories.

Please note, given the current circumstances resulting from COVID-19, we will be accepting submissions back-dated as far as 2018, as long as the subject matter remains relevent to the theme today. We also do not want financial resources to be a barrier to entry, and you do not need professional equipment to enter; we will accept photos and films taken on mobile phones, and will judge them based on composition, concept and narrative.

How to enter?

  • Fill out the entry form and return with your image (high res) or short film (max 3 mins) to: putting ‘Alliance 2021 photo and film comp entry’ in the subject line.
  • Please submit a separate entry form for each image or film that is being entered into the competition (each entrant can submit up to 3 images, and one film).
  • Please ensure that each file you submit is titled with the name of the photograph/film submitted. 
  • Deadline for all image and film submissions – Friday 7 May at 17:00 BST

Download entry pack & form

Get the word out!

If you'd like to share this opportunity with your friends, partners and followers, we've prepared a small promo pack, including graphics, videos and sample social media posts, which you can download below.

Download a promo pack


*In order to ensure high quality reproduction (for a physical exhibition, later in 2021), we ask that, wherever possible, applicants submit a HIGH-RESOLUTION copy of their photograph (at least 300 dpi at 3,000 pixels on the longest side).

**Lower resolution entries are still invited (e.g. images taken using mobile phone devices), however it should be noted that display of such images may be limited to the digital exhibition.

***For film entries, film length must not exceed 3 minutes, and must be in a universal format (e.g. .MP4, .MOV or .WMV)

****You will likely need to use WeTransfer or equivalent to send large files.



By entering the contest, all entrants grant the Alliance an unrestricted, perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to publish, reproduce, display, distribute and create derivative works of the entries (along with a name credit). Such use may include, but is not limited to: a photo exhibit or slideshow featuring selected images from the contest; use for illustration purposes on the Alliance website as well as any future Alliance publications; and promotion of future contests. The Alliance will not be required to seek any additional approval in connection with such use.

Interested in seeing top entries from previous competitions?

Click the links below!



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