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.
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.
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.
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.
2020 Update: Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, many festivals are going virtual. So although you aren't able to meet people in person, there's still some great connections to be made online virtually.
Get your festival seen by our 1.4 million+ yearly visitors.
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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 -- web friendly size please (less than 150kb).
3) Include any links to videos you'd like included (ie festival trailer, past winners, etc).
4) Submit your festival information using form below.
5) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Submit your festival information below:
Tell us about your film festival and get it posted here on Desktop Documentaries.
Click below to see more documentary film festivals..
Mental Health Channel's Online Film Festival
The Mental Health Channel's Online Film Festival (MHC OFF) celebrates and promotes filmmakers who, through excellent storytelling and filmmaking, raise …
The Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival
The Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) Film Festival is a biennial event dedicated to the celebration of the best in ethnographic, anthropological and …
Mental Health Channel (MHC) Online Film Festival
We are delighted to announce that we've launched the Online Film Festival (MHC OFF), and voting for the Audience Award is now open! Please visit the …
Toronto Smartphone Film Festival
Toronto Smartphone Film Festival Call for Submissions. Make a documentary with your smartphone! You’ve dreamed of making a film and seeing it on screen, …
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 are now open. Submit your film today! The purpose of this film festival is to promote newer …
Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
The Chagrin Doc Fest is a five day celebration of the spirit and passion of the documentary filmmaker inspired by the young filmmaker David Ponce. …
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 …
Voices From The Waters | Film Festival
CALL FOR ENTRIES! Voices from the Waters International Traveling Film Festival on Water. Bangalore Film Society in collaboration with Alliance Francaise …
ART&TUR - International Tourism Film Festival
ART&TUR awards annually the Best Tourism Audiovisual Productions of the World. Categories include: » Advertising Film up to 3 minutes » Promotional …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …