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© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. Background Film competitions can be a helpful method to understand issues of quality in health films. In this paper, we describe the development and use of explicit quality criteria to identify the 'best' films for the first ever international public health film competition. Methods A film selection committee encompassing a range of stakeholders was compiled. The committee drew up 10 explicit quality criteria to judge films drawing upon other film festival's selection criteria. These criteria were then applied to a broad range of health-related films entered into a film competition to select the 'best' film to screen. Results Eighty-four films from 20 different countries were submitted to the public health film competition. The originality of the subject covered by the film, the public health importance of the issue and story-telling approach in the film were found to be the most discriminatory criteria to select films. Conclusion Selection of health films for festivals can be undertaken using explicit quality criteria. There are a number of advantages to such an approach; however, explicit selection involves a large commitment of resources from film festival organizers and there is further research required to test the validity of the quality criteria applied to health-related films.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Public Health (United Kingdom)

Publication Date





169 - 174