Quantcast

Documentary Film Festivals
Submit, Attend, Enjoy!

Documentary Film Festivals


Welcome to the Documentary Film Festivals Showcase where you can browse through our list of festivals below, pick-up festival survival tips and even submit a film festival to be included on this page.

Whether you are a fan of documentaries, a documentary filmmaker or a festival organizer, this is a fun place to share, comment and explore documentary film festivals.

Documentary Film Festivals

Each festival page here on Desktop Documentaries has its own Facebook and Twitter button, so you can quickly share each festival with other filmmakers, friends and family.  

Each page also has its own comment section for sharing information about the festival. 

Click here to skip down and submit your festival.


FEATURED FESTIVAL:
Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival



Film Festival Basics: Three Survival Tips

Navigating the film festival circuit can be tough, so here are a few simple tips to keep you on track.

1. Be picky -- Don't try to submit your film to every festival out there.  First of all, you'll be broke if you do.  Second, not every festival will be a good fit.  Do your research and narrow down the festivals which are the best match for your film.

2. Have a game plan -- Ask yourself what benefit you'll get out of submitting your film to a particular festival.  Is the festival known to have agents and distributors present?  Is it a good public relations opportunity?  Are there cash awards?  Will the festival pay your travel expenses if your film gets selected?  Are there good filmmaking workshops?

3. Read the fine print -- Understand that some festivals require that your film be a "world premiere" such as the Sundance Film Festival.  Before you upload your film to YouTube or Vimeo, make sure the festivals you're interested in don't penalize you for showcasing your film online or at another venue.

Film Festival Tips from Paul Osborne



Film Festival Resources


Benefits of Film Festivals

There are many reasons to submit your film to a documentary film festival.  Here are just a few:

Exposure -- A film festival is a great way to introduce your film to the public and start building buzz. Festivals provide a ready-made audience including press and film critics who will help spread the word about your film if they like it.

Networking -- Filmmakers, agents, distributors, industry leaders. Film festivals provide a wonderful opportunity to connect with all kinds of people who are involved in the filmmaking process.

Awards -- If your film is good, winning festival awards can be a great way to promote your film. Think about all those cool little festival leaf/laurels you can put on your dvd case, film website and promotional materials.  Heck, just being able to list your film as an "official selection" of various festivals is great promotion.

Distribution -- For those lucky few, film festivals provide the opportunity for distribution and broadcast deals.

Excitement -- When it comes right down to it, film festivals are fun! It's a great social event and basically an excuse to met new people, hang out with friends and enjoy life.   

Submit To Multiple Festivals At Once!

If you're a documentary filmmaker, here's some great news. Instead of tediously submitting your film to one festival at a time, you can simultaneously submit all at once through an online digital submission service.

For many years, Withoutabox was THE go-to resource for film festival submissions. But in recent years (2016), FilmFreeway has become the new favorite. And many more are starting to pop-up.

Joining Withoutabox and FilmFreeway are both free to filmmakers. 

Visit Withoutabox

Visit FilmFreeway



Are you a Film Festival Promoter?

Get Your Film Festival Featured On This Site!

Get your festival seen by our 800,000+ yearly visitors.

Get your own festival page (your own unique URL) published on a top ranked filmmaking site

Get your festival page published and promoted on the Desktop Documentaries Blog.

Only pay a $35 processing fee. (A $250 promotional value!)

Submission Guidelines & Instructions

1) Write a detailed description about your film festival including location, dates and submission guidelines. (300 words minimum)

2) Upload your festival logo and other photos.

3) Include any links to videos you'd like included (ie festival trailer, past winners, etc).

4) Pay the $35 processing fee.


Once your festival information and payment are received, your festival page will go live within 1-3 business days.

For any questions: info@desktop-documentaries.com

Ready? Great!

Submit your festival and payment below:

Pay $35 Processing Fee (via PayPal)

Submit Your Film Festival

Tell us about your film festival and get it posted here on Desktop Documentaries.

Documentary Film Festivals

Click below to see more documentary film festivals..

Lights. Camera. Help. Film Festival 
The Lights. Camera. Help. Film Festival is the first film festival dedicated entirely to nonprofit and cause-driven films. This three-day event gives …

Vimeo Festival + Awards  
The Vimeo Festival + Awards is a celebration of the best original videos online. There are 13 categories, including documentary, music video, narrative …

Spirit Enlightened | Documentary Film Festival 
Culture Unplugged Studios is organizing the next film festival, 'Spirit Enlightened', which aspires to trace the spirit that has led the humanity through …

Mental Health Channel's Online Film Festival 
Call For 2016 Submissions! Deadline: November 15, 2016 The Mental Health Channel's Online Film Festival (MHC OFF) celebrates and promotes filmmakers …

The Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival 
Submission Deadline is September 30, 2016: The Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) Film Festival is a biennial event dedicated to the celebration of …

Edinburgh Short Film Festival 
Hi we'd like to include the Edinburgh Short Film Festival in your list of festivals - the winner of our Rising Star Award last year was for a documentary …

Mental Health Channel (MHC) Online Film Festival 
We are delighted to announce that we've launched the 2015 Online Film Festival (MHC OFF), and voting for the Audience Award is now open! Please visit …

Toronto Smartphone Film Festival 
4th Annual Toronto Smartphone Film Festival Call for Submissions - Deadline April 12, 2015 . Make a documentary with your smartphone! You’ve dreamed …

Oaxaca FilmFest | Mexico 
Submissions are now open for Oaxaca FilmFest! The Oaxaca Film Fest is an International Film Festival dedicated to Filmmakers and Screenwriters. The …

Ecologico International Film Festival 
The Ecologico International Film Festival (EIFF) has as its goal the discovery and development of independent film social, national and international, …

Jaipur International Film Festival (JIFF) | Jaipur, India 
Film submissions for the Jaipur International Film Festival 2014 are now open. Submit your film today! The purpose of this film festival is to promote …

Chagrin Documentary Film Festival 
5th Annual Chagrin Documentary Film Festival October 8 through 12, 2014! chagrinfilmfest.org The Chagrin Doc Fest is a five day celebration of the spirit …

Voices From The Waters | Film Festival  
CALL FOR ENTRIES! Voices from the Waters 2013 - 8th International Travelling Film Festival on Water. Last date for submissions: May 30, 2013 …

ART&TUR - International Tourism Film Festival 
ART&TUR awards annually the Best Tourism Audiovisual Productions of the World. In 2012 will go to the 5th Edition from 24 to 27 October. Categories include: …

San Francisco International Film Festival 
Founded in 1957, the San Francisco International Film Festival is the longest-running film festival in the Americas. Held each spring for two weeks, the …

Faux Film Festival | Mocumentaries 
We poke fun at stuff! Launched in 2005, we are the only festival in the world dedicated to spoofs, satires, mocumentaries, music video parodies, faux …

Slamdance Film Festival 
Born out of rejection, Slamdance showcases new and emerging independent artists, filmmakers and storytellers. We welcome films in every genre, on any …

Yorkton Film Festival  
The Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival is the longest running festival of its kind in North America. Over the years, the festival has garnered an esteemed …

15 Minutes of Fame Film Festival 
The "15-Minutes of Fame" is a selection of short, independent films that are 15 minutes or LESS, produced by filmmakers from across the U.S., and around …

IDFA | International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 
The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), held in November, is unique for its international film program, the variety of genres, its …

Sheffield Doc Fest | Documentary Film Festival 
Sheffield Doc/Fest brings the international documentary family together to celebrate the art and business of documentary making for five intense days in …

Australian International Documentary Conference 
For four days, more than 600 delegates converge on Adelaide for the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC). They explore ideas, share experiences, …

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival 
The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, held in February, has become the largest cinema event in Montana and the premiere venue for non-fiction film in …

SILVERDOCS | Documentary Film Festival 
Held every June, Silverdocs is the most talked about documentary festival in the United States, called "Non-Fiction Nirvana" by Variety, the "Pre-eminent …

Click here to write your own.

Hot Docs | Canadian International Documentary Festival 
Held each Spring (April - May), Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is North America?s largest documentary festival, conference and market. …

Heartland Film Festival | Documentary Film Festival 
Each October, the Heartland Film Festival screens documentaries and other independent films from around the world and presents more than $125,000 in cash …

Toronto International Film Festival | Documentary Film Festival 
The Toronto International Film Festival is the leading public film festival in the world, screening more than 300 films and documentaries from 60+ countries …

ATL Atlanta Film Festival | Documentary Film Festival 
The Atlanta Film Festival - one of only two-dozen Academy Award® qualifying festivals in the U.S. - is the largest and longest-running festival in the …

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is an annual international event dedicated to the theatrical exhibition of non-fiction cinema. Each spring Full …

Sundance Film Festival | Documentary Film Festival 
Every January, the best of the best films are showcased at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. This is THE premiere film festival to showcase your documentary. …

SXSW Film Festival  
The SXSW® Film Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas features a dynamic convergence of talent, smart audiences and industry leaders in a uniquely creative …

Click here to write your own.






Return to Distributing Your Film 

Return to Home from Documentary Film Festivals


New! Comments

Let us know your thoughts about Desktop Documentaries or what you've just read. Leave a comment in the box below.

Ready To Make Your Dream Documentary?

Sign up for our exclusive 7-day crash course and learn step-by-step how to make a documentary from idea to completed film!