Our main exhibition in 2024 will again take place in the impressive premises of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. On over 1300 m2 we will open the festival with our 20 winners from the Open Call 2024. The theme of this year’s festival is »Outsiders« and your submission should be at least marginally related to this theme. More information about the rules, as well as the Q&A, can be found here!

Rotlicht Festival warmly invites artists and photographers to engage with the topic »Outsiders« as narrowly or as broadly as they wish: »Outsiders« can be a proud selfdescription (think of punk culture understanding itself as a microsociety counter to the established and dominant framework), it can be a derogatory term to relegate unwanted individuals to the margins of society (and simultaneously appropriated by marginalized people to empower themselves), or »outsiders« can convey a sense of ambivalence about belonging to a place, a group of people, a family etc.

Moreover, the job of the photographer regularly flirts with the notion of being an outsider: Through press photography, the person behind the camera documents war but attempts to stay away from it, paparazzi are rarely invited into the lives of celebrities but they still invade it, and being a working photographer today means that one is often a freelancer, at times precariously so, and is in a complicated relationship with the capitalist labor market. At times, certain photographic technologies have historically been underrepresented and underappreciated, such as the cyanotype and many others, and as a result been ignored by scholars which also makes them »outsiders« to photographic technologies.


We welcome participation by any individual content creator with at least sixteen (16) years of age or older, other than affiliates, employees of the organizer (”Zigutamve. Association for contemporary photography”) or any competition jury member.

Fill out our Open Call Submission form. Complete your entry by uploading images. Pay for your entry. You will receive confirmation of your submission and payment via email.

We only accept photos taken in the last 4 years (2020-2024).

Yes, you can. Every project will be treated as one and getting the full attention of our jury.

You will receive an email confirmation of your submission. If you aren’t sure whether your entry was successful, please email

The fee is € 15 (one project). 

Entry fees are non-refundable.

We use images to promote the festival and exhibitions in print and online. By participating in the Open Call or in an exhibition or other part of the festival programme, you agree to the use of your work. It is our responsibility to credit each image appropriately. We as a team are all photographers and sensitivity in this regard is very important to us! 

The photos from your submission will be printed and published in the catalogue and other media associated with the festival if your project is selected by our jury. In this regard, it is important to upload your photos in the correct resolution, name and quality. We accept only images / projects with at least one analog process. Completely digital images / projects won’t be accepted.

  • JPEG file types only.
  • Maximum file size 5MB
  • Minimum dimension of 2000 pixels on the longest edge
  • 300dpi
  • Photos must have EXIF, except analog

All entries must be original photographs taken by the participant, and must not have been altered or enhanced by any form of AI technology. Unless it is deliberately a hybrid concept that treats AI as a theme.

Entries that are found to have been created using AI technology will be disqualified.

The decision on the main exhibition and the winners of the Open Call 2024 will be made by the jury. Our jury consists of international curators, festival directors and experts we have commissioned for this task. You can find out more about this year’s jury here. The jury members will judge all submissions individually and independently.

We at Rotlicht Team do not exclude digital photography. We see it as an enrichment. In order to be able to submit to the Open call or to be present in an exhibition during the festival, your work must have gone through at least one decisive analogue process. It doesn’t matter if this was done while photographing or printing the work. 
Find all information about our terms of use here.
1. participants in the main exhibition of Rotlicht Festival 2024 at the festival headquarters (Atelierhaus der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien)
2. publication in the official festival catalogue 2024 + 1 issues 
3. fee of € 200,-
4. all artists who wish to travel to the festival will receive a travel allowance of € 150. 
5. reduced accommodation in our partner hotel Korotan Vienna
6. festival pass 
7. free registration for the Open Call of our partner festival Photodays Rovinj 2025
1. Submissions (1 June to 31 July 2024)
2. Jury gets access to the submissions and selects 20 winning projects (7 August to 15 August 2024) 
3. announcement and contact to all submitted artists (third week of August).
4. public announcement of the 20 winning projects via our web and social media channels (end of September 2024).