Islamabad Art Festival (SMC-Pvt.) Ltd. is pleased to announce Islamabad Art Festival 2020 (hereinafter referred to as IAF-20) and is the promoter and organizer of the event.

IAF-20 will be opened to the public from October 25th until November 8th, 2020. Mr. Jamal Shah will be the President and chief curator (hereinafter referred to as “Artistic Director”). IAF-20 will take place in the institutional venues with extensions in other venues in the Capital city of Islamabad (Pakistan). The Artistic Director is responsible for the development and realization of the event, relying on the organization of IAF-20.

The event will include:

  • Visual Art: International participations by the individual foreign Country (Direct and through diplomatic missions in Pakistan) whereas participations from Pakistan by the individuals, art institutions and curators.
  • Performing Art: (Dance/Music/Theatre/Puppetry/Mime etc.) Participations by the individual foreign Country (Direct and through diplomatic missions in Pakistan) and Participations from Pakistan by the individuals, art institutions and curators. (Selected performances will be restricted to invitees only).
  • Cinema: International participations by the individual country through diplomatic missions in Pakistan and Participation from Pakistan by the individuals and production houses.
  • Discursive Sessions (Seminar/Symposia/Conference/Lectures/Workshops etc.): Participations by the individuals, art institutions and curators of Pakistan whereas international participations will be entertained direct and through diplomatic missions in Islamabad.
  • Collateral Events: They will be selected and promoted by IAF-20 and will include following.
    1. Carnivals
    2. Educational Programs
    3. Craft Mela
    4. Food Fiesta (Food/Cuisine)

The participating Country/Curator will submit a brief curatorial concept of the participation as well as the exhibition project (Tentative list of exhibitors, artworks and mediums, installation layout) online at: between June 1st to 30st 2020. This will help the Artistic Director to select prepare a hypothetical plan of visual display. This may please be read with “OPEN CALL” below as well.

The online entry form for individual artists will be available between July 1st to August 21st, 2020 at:

Hard copies will not be entertained.

The Countries/Curators within the venue/space allotted may set-up their artistic projects. Venue/Space allotted once will not be changed, however, the Artistic Director/IAF-20 Management reserves the right to change without assigning any reason. Outdoor common spaces of selected venues are not available to the participating Countries/Curators unless located in the area immediately adjacent to their allotted area and specifically authorized by Artistic Director upon requests by the Curators. Such authorization also includes sound or light installations in both indoor and outdoor spaces that might interfere with the surrounding urban context.

In case of projects including works to be located in public outdoor spaces in Islamabad (including water spaces as well as sound or light installations) which might interfere with the surrounding urban context, the participating Country/Curator has the obligation and responsibility to submit to the Visual Arts Department of IAF-20 the necessary detail technical documentation required by the local authorities (Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad and Capital Development Authority). Such authorization, if approved, may be issued only for the IAF-20 schedule. Hence, any installation in public spaces will have to be promptly dismounted and removed immediately after the closing date.

In general, the participating Country will sustain all installation costs for its own exhibition, including the cost of transportation, customs procedures, storage of crates and materials, cleaning, insurance, waste collection and disposal and any additional cost that might be required for the proper realization of the exhibition.

Open Call Program

IAF-20 is an open call program, the IAF-20 Curatorial program. This program provides deserving curators the opportunity to realize innovative projects, with the further aim of encouraging curatorial in tandem with IAF-20 planning.

IAF-20 will provide institutional guidance and resources to the curators, contributing their expertise and professional connections to assist in creating their projects culminating in exhibitions and catalogues.

The curator will be selected through an open application process, and candidates must submit a comprehensive proposal for individual or group projects to be realized at IAF-20.

The selected applicant will have to manage funds for the exhibition. IAF-20 will not contribute toward shipping of art works and individual catalogues production etc.

Proposal should be limited to the following:

  1. Proposal must be conceptually rigorous and focus on artists, projects and reflect given thematic areas in an innovative and engaging manner.
  2. Extra consideration will be given to proposals that clearly demonstrate a unique and creative approach to both the research methods and exhibition plan.
  3. Consideration will be given to those applicants beginning their career as a curator.
  4. The selected curator will be required to attend minimum of three meetings webinars with IAF-20 staff to meet deadlines, objectives and obstacles related to exhibition.
  5. Proposals must include list of exhibits/images.
  6. IAF-20 will require detailed list of technical facilities.

A panel consisting of IAF-20 Curatorial Advisory Council members and two other arts professionals will select the winning proposal. All proposals will be evaluated on merit of project, singularity of concept and adherence to aforementioned criteria. The selected curator will receive honorarium in addition to one-on-one guidance from IAF-20 staff and network contacts.

What to submit:

  1. An exhibition proposal up to 1000 words that outlines both the background and plan for the exhibition.
  2. A list of potential artists, 5 images per artist, ; last name as file name then numbered all images (300 dpi, tiff/jpg file)
  3. An image list: List each image as on URL
  4. Personal Curriculum Vitae

All above information must be filled online at:

Award Categories

  • Best Artist of IAF-20
  • Best International Project
  • Best National Project
  • Best young/emerging Artist
  • Participating certificate
  • Maximum three films, sub-titled/dubbed in English or in Urdu (Maximum two out of three will be selected for screening) may be submitted by each participating country through its diplomatic mission in Islamabad whereas one film may be submitted by each Pakistani participating individual or production house.
  • Embassies/High Commissions of Participating Countries, based in Pakistan, must autonomously proceed with all the necessary procedures to obtain clearance and NOC from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan (MOFA) and Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) of Pakistan respectively before submission to IAF-20.
  • After the above-mentioned mandatory process of international participation, the films (DVD/BLUE RAY/DCP format) together with the name, WhatsApp and email of focal person may be submitted to the Film Festival Desk of IAF-20 (on a prescribed form of IAF-20) after uploading the following documents:
  1. Synopsis
  2. Trailer (URL)
  3. Still pictures (300 dpi, tiff/jpg file)
  4. MOFA clearance
  5. Certificate and NOC issued by the CBFC
  6. Copyright permission of the film

at: between July 1st to 31st, 2020.

  • The Embassies/High Commissions of Participating countries and Pakistani participants will also promote their events using their own media team and invite their guests to watch the film shows.

NOTE: IAF-20 reserves the right to decline the screening of any or all films without assigning any reason. The venue selected for screening of film by IAF-20 will not be changed. However, diplomatic missions and Pakistani producers are free to screen their films anywhere in Islamabad at their own cost and arrangements subject to obtaining NOC from MOFA (if foreign film), CBFC and the local administration (Islamabad Capital Territory Administration).

1) Synopsis of paper/talk with details of four major sections:
(a) Introduction; (b) Background; (c) Analysis; and (d) Conclusion. IAF-20 will also require the duration of each presentation including Q&A session.

2) The outline of the workshop with brief explanation of each session and its duration.

3) Technical requirements such as multimedia, public address system, type of expected audience.


Please upload the above information at: between July 1st to 31st, 2020.

NOTE: IAF-20 reserves the right to reject any or all proposals without assigning any reason.

  • List of instruments (Musical/Electronics etc.)
  • Requirements of light on stage.
  • Requirements of sound system (such as number of microphones, audio monitor, hanging microphones, CD player, cassette player, cordless microphones, collar microphones etc.)
  • Size of the stage (Depth and width) and kind of floor required.
  • Backstage requirements (such as hot water, tea, coffee, towels etc.)
  • Publicity material (such as performance photographs, write-ups, posters and any additional material)
  • Stage props, if any. (Standard props will be provided by IAF-20). Any cost involved in additional props will be borne by the producer.
  • Repertoire along with duration of each item of the performance (other than stage drama)
  • Synopsis of script of drama together with the approval of contents and duration of play.
  • Joint performance with local artist, if any
  • Any other requirement.
  • Complete name list, passport/CNIC details of performers and technical staff.


Please upload the above information at: between July 1st to 31st, 2020.


IAF-20 will promote and publicize the event in its own institutional communication tools as follows:

  • Materials supplied to the Pakistani and international press, following the terms and deadlines established by IAF-20 in its own communication plan for the event;
  • Official catalogue of the IAF-20, where there will be a section dedicated to National and International Participations with a fixed number of pages including texts and images for each Participation as established by the general editorial plan of the IAF-20 catalogue;
  • Web site of IAF-20;
  • Islamabad map to be displayed in all the clusters of IAF-20 which will highlight the venues of all Participations. Furthermore, during the preview IAF-20 will provide additional printed promotional material, where provided by the participants. In order to include necessary information the participants must upload the following materials and information for press release to the Media Cell of IAF-20.
  • Significant images of the exhibited works, meeting the required international press standards
  • Complete captions of Art Works
  • Photographs credits as indicated by the Media Cell of IAF-20
  • Written description and explanation of the exhibition project for the purpose of promoting and publicizing the Event
  • Promotional material to be distributed to the Pakistani and international press during the preview of IAF-20 and at the press conferences (not to be returned).
  • Printing of invitations for joint and restricted events.

Note: These materials will have to be uploaded at: for the approval of IAF-20 before any publication to the press within May 2020.

In order to include the participation in the catalogue and in the other publications on distribution (short guide, leaflet, etc.), the curator will receive specific information forms from IAF-20 to be signed by each exhibitor or by his/her representative under the responsibility of the Curator himself/herself.

The material and information required for the publication must be submitted online through IAF-20 website no later than May 31st 2020. The information and other terms are:

  • Title of the Participation;
  • Names and qualifications of the Curator/s and exhibitors;
  • Text with a description of the exhibition project;
  • Number of significant images of the works on exhibit, meeting the publication standards (minimum format 21×29, 300 dpi, tiff/jpg file) including full captions and photographs credits as indicated in the Entry Form that will be available on IAF website. In general, copyright clearances must be obtained by the Curator for the free and unrestricted use of all images and texts provided;
  • IAF-20 may hence use such images and texts on all kinds of supports and media considered to be useful for communication, advertising and social media, including all web-based services. For this purpose IAF-20 will send a Copyright Form which must be returned together with the provided materials. Such Copyright Form, granting clearance, must be signed by the owner of the rights of the work and/or the project (the architect himself or his heirs). IAF-20 cannot be held responsible for incorrect or incomplete data and information regarding the works and authors on materials which have been printed, published and/ or distributed by IAF-20 itself when the required documentation should result incomplete, not clearly legible or if it received after the established deadlines. No change in venue or running dates of the Participations will be allowed if notified after the deadline of August 31st, 2020. IAF-20 reserves the exclusive right, directly or through third parties, to film or photograph the works and installations inside the exhibition spaces of the IAF-20, for the realization of editorial products aimed to document and promote the Exhibition, including products for Pakistan and international commercial television networks, home video, DVD and Internet.
  • IAF-20 also reserves the right to use the materials provided by the participating Country for the purposes of its own institutional communication plan (Exhibition catalogue and any other related publication, including CD-ROMs, guidebooks, postcards, products or promotional materials distributed free of charge or for sale) with no obligation to pay any fee or compensation to the participants.
  • Supporters of the Participants any sponsor, institution or public and/or private subject that have contributed in any capacity to the realization of the Participation may, if explicitly requested by the organizers, be mentioned in the Exhibition catalogue in accordance with the guidelines established by IAF-20 which in any case do not allow the publication of logos and/or corporate symbols. No sponsors of the Participation may, under any circumstance, be presented or present themselves in independent public relations actions as sponsors of the IAF-20, since they are recognized only as sponsors or supporters of the Participation they have supported.

NOTE: IAF-20 reserves the right to reject any or all proposals without assigning any reason.


IAF-20 will provide the following facilities to the participants:

  1. Availability of venues for the exhibitions, film screening and performing art.
  2. Limited technical and professional support for the arrangements.
  3. Hotel accommodation on double occupancy basis with breakfast to international and Pakistani delegates coming from abroad and other than Rawalpindi/Islamabad, Pakistan.
  4. IAF-20 will decide who will stay in which Hotel. No choice of Hotel will be entertained from any individual or diplomatic mission. However, the diplomatic mission or delegate(s) may like to stay in the Hotel of their choice at their own cost.
  5. Standard Lunch/dinner (preferably local cuisine) will be served. Venues and menus will be decided by IAF-20.
  6. Airport pick and drop of international delegates on prior intimation of flight schedule.
  7. Transport to and from Hotels to the venues of IAF-20 and Lunch/Dinner/Hi-Tea etc. only as and when required.

The participating countries/participants will be responsible for the followings:

  • Air Travel/Travelling to and from Islamabad.
  • The participating Country/Curators will sustain all installation costs for the exhibition.
  • Cost of transportation (air freight etc.), customs procedures, storage of crates and materials
  • Cleaning, insurance, waste collection and disposal and any additional cost that might be required for the proper realization of the exhibition/performance.
  • Performance fee/per diem, if any, to the artists.
  • Costumes/props
  • Health insurance of participating artists and insurance of art works, if any.
  • As per Pakistan customs rules the Exhibition of International art works can only be brought to Pakistan by a diplomatic mission on “Import cum export basis”, hence the sale of international art works in IAF-20 is not allowed. However, individual international artist can sale or donate the art works to IAF-20 subject to meeting the Pakistani Customs rules and regulations.
  • However, any sale of art work is subject to payment of 50% of the price to Islamabad Art Festival (SMC-Pvt.) Ltd.

Miscellaneous: In case of controversy in the interpretation of the individual articles of these Regulations the decision of core committee of IAF-20 will be considered binding. In case of dispute and for any matter not covered by these Regulations, the decision by IAF-20 is final.

The participating Country/Curator will also notify the contacts (WhatsApp and email) focal person in charge of official communication with IAF-20.


Information and Contact Desk of IAF-20

Islamabad Art Festival (SMC-Pvt.) Ltd.

217-B, Margalla Road (North), F-10/3, Islamabad
Phone: +92 51 2211152-53

WhatsApp: +92 315 699 3443




217-B, Margalla Road, North, Sector F-10/3, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Tel. +92 315 699 3443




217-B, Margalla Road, North, Sector F-10/3, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Tel. +92 51 2211152 – 53




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