The 2022 Call for Submissions is Closed

We look forward to reviewing your new creative work for our 2023 season in Fall 2022

FAQ: In addition to the information below, we are putting together an updated  Filmmaker FAQ – 2023 available here Summer 2202. If you still have questions, please email  For 2022, the only platform we used for submissions is Filmfreeway, including for high school filmmakers. However, we can also accept payment and submissions directly using our donations button via PayPal and with details and a Vimeo link submitted to our website. The same rates as at Filmfreeway apply.

We welcome submissions in the following categories:

  • Narrative Features
  • Documentary Features
  • Narrative Shorts
  • Documentary Shorts
  • Animation (including Anime)
  • Web Series Pilots
  • Experimental; any length up to 2 hours in all categories
  • High School Student Film Showcase and Competition (films up to 20 mins)
  • Student Films (this is a submission category only)

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.

Please note: DCIFF 2022 is a festival and a forum over 5 days. We will expect all selected filmmakers to attend or send a key cast or crew member to attend the festival. We will support the costs of attending to the best of our ability.


October 4, 2021 – Submissions Open
November 10, 2021 – Regular Deadline
November 29, 2021 – Late Deadline
January 10, 2022 – Notification Date
March 2  – March 6, 2022 – 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. For 2021, we will selected fewer films but give each film more attention, more outreach and more opportunity.  These are our requirements please

  • In-Person Metro DC Film Premieres required but films can be available online or can have been screened online before.
  • All films completed within one year of the date of submission to DCIFF
  • 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 twenty year track record.
To Submit Your Film: