2019 Call for Submissions opened August 30, 2018.

FAQ: In addition to the information below, we’ve put together Filmmaker FAQ – 2019. If you still have questions, please email

We welcome submissions in the following categories:

  • Narrative Features
  • Documentary Features
  • Narrative Shorts
  • Documentary Shorts
  • Animation
  • Experimental; any length up to 2 hours in all categories
  • High School Student Film Showcase and Competition (films up to 30 mins)
  • Student Films

We are open to films of any genre except adult films and in any language (with subtitles). We do not have a section dedicated to family films, but love films that appeal to the child in us all. We always have a horror film section, in honor of a genre that has been an important launching point for independent filmmakers. DCIFF also welcomes open source films, art films and interactive films and the wide spectrum of documentary formats and issues including advocacy films.


August 30, 2018 – Submissions Open
September 30, 2018 – Earlybird Deadline
November 30, 2018 – Regular Deadline
December 20, 2018 – Late Deadline
January 7, 2019 – Notification Date
March 1 – 10, 2019 – Event Date


We put a great deal of effort, time and attention into promoting the films selected for screening and competition and have aided many a filmmaker on the road to success, awards, distribution and networking. We can only do so if the following rules are followed:

  • Metro DC Film Premieres required (we do accept films that have had private screenings in DC), East Coast and US Premieres preferred
  • All films completed within one year of the date of submission to DCIFF
  • While we have screened films that are available in their entirety for public viewing online, this is not our preference and we check every film we select accordingly
  • If you have distribution for your film, please make sure that you have the right to screen your film at festivals as DCIFF does not pay screening fees.
  • Our reasonable submission fees are entirely used to cover the cost of filmmaker support: press, screenings, seminars and outreach. DCIFF is a volunteer-run festival with an eighteen year track record.
To Submit Your Film:
  1. Download our submission form and mail with your screeners (or send a vimeo link) and fee (check or money order) as instructed. (coming September 11, 2018) Please note the submission form is to be used only when submitting by mail. We receive most submissions online.
  2. Download our submission form and mail with your screeners as instructed and pay by PayPal (email with film length and we will invoice you through PayPal)
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