By default, you can't. When importing a file, Python only searches the current directory, the directory that the entry-point script is running from, and sys.path which includes locations such as the package installation directory (it's actually a little more complex than this, but this covers most cases).

However, you can add to the Python path at runtime:

import sys
# insert at 1, 0 is the script path (or '' in REPL)
sys.path.insert(1, '/path/to/application/app/folder')

import file