39th Annual

Denver Film Festival

November 02, 2016 to November 13, 2016

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Film Market
Submit Online
1510 York Street
Third Floor
Denver CO 80206
Phone: 303-595-3456
Fax: 303-595-0956

OPEN CALL FOR ENTRIES • Select a Category of Entry to continue.

Films that are under 40 minutes in length qualify for this category, including Animation, Documentary, Experimental and Narrative Fiction in a variety of genres.

IMPORTANT: Short Student Films under 30 minutes TRT should submit to the First Look Student Film Section.
Contemporary World Cinema
We are seeking a selection of the best new films from around the world. Films that are over 60 minutes in length qualify for this category. Contemporary Feature-length narrative films produced anywhere in the world, including the U.S., are eligible for this category.
Documentary films that are over 60 minutes in length qualify for this category.
First Look Student Film Program
This year, the First Look Student Program is proud to be celebrating its 15th year of presenting the best films created by college and university filmmakers from around the globe.
As one of the premier student film programs in the world, First Look selects five separate packages of short films of 30 minutes or less to screen during the course of the Denver Film Festival.
Each year, many student filmmakers whose works are selected attend the festival and are treated to a wide range of hospitality, parties, screenings and exposure to other filmmakers and industry participants.
Additionally, First Look is proud to present the Spike Lee Student Filmmaker Award and the Liberty Global International award. These juried awards are presented to deserving filmmakers at the awards ceremony that is held on the last weekend of the festival.
We look forward to receiving your submission.
Screenwriting Competition
DFF is looking for the newest, most creative, well-crafted, screenplays out there. We want good clean writing, but we also want to be shocked by out of the box thinking.
Music Video
DFF is looking for the best, most interesting, provocative, new music videos from around the world.


The highly acclaimed Denver Film Festival, which is the largest of its kind in the region, will celebrate its 39th year in 2016. This intense and concentrated exposition showcases more than 200 new films from around the world with over 175 international filmmakers, directors, actors and other film artists participating in the twelve-day event. The majority of these films would never be seen or discovered in the Rocky Mountain region outside the venue of the film festival. The annual celebration of film provides an important showcase for the best of world cinema, a platform for international film artists, and promotes dialogue among filmmakers and the public.

The award-winning film festival is one of Denver's most popular and publicized events. The annual festival is a high-profile, glamour-filled event that is the focus of an enormous amount of media attention beginning in September and continuing through November.


The Denver Film Festival presents approximately 200 films over eleven days and plays host to more than 175 film artists. New international feature releases, independently produced fiction films and documentaries, animation, experimental works, children's programs and short subjects are included in the festival. In addition, a number of acclaimed international film artists are honored with tributes and special "evenings with..."

The festival presents the following awards:

John Cassavetes Award
Presented to an American director or actor for outstanding achievement in independent filmmaking.

Krzysztof Kieslowski Award For Best Feature Film
A juried prize honoring the best film.

Mayor's Lifetime Achievement Award
Presented to a film artist for extraordinary contributions to world cinema.

Stan Brakhage Vision Award

American Independent Filmmaker Award
$2500 Cash Prize presented to a first or second time American director.

Maysles' Brothers Award for Best Documentary
$2500 Cash Prize for best documentary.

Maria and Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award
$10,000 Cash award for a first or second-time Italian director.

$500 for best animated short film.

Spike Lee Student Filmmaker Award
Juried award presented to the best student short film.

Liberty Global Award for Best International Student Short
Juried award presented to the best short from outside of the U.S.

Starz People's Choice Award
An audience award given to the most popular feature-length fiction film, feature-length documentary and short.

True Grit Award
$2500 Juried award for best Colorado production feature.


Brit Withey (Artistic Director); Gail Gonzales (Accountant); Josh Weinberg (Programmer); Kelly Clement (Programmer); Matthew Campbell; Matthew Campbell (Programmer); Sarah Harris (Senior Programmer)


Eligibility Requirements
All films must have been completed after August 2015.
Films may not have screened in the Denver/Boulder metro area prior to the dates of DFF. While a Colorado premiere is not a requirement for DFF, it is taken into account when selecting the final program
Feature films must not have screened on U.S. television, in commercial release or on the Internet prior to the dates of the festival
All films not in English must be subtitled in English for presentation.

Festival Sections

Contemporary World Cinema - A collection of the best new films from around the world. Subsections include American Independent, Late Night genre, etc.

Shorts in a Feature-Length World

Documentary Program - The best new non-fiction filmmaking of the year.

First Look Student Program - Short films created by college students.

Screenplay Competition

Music Video Section

Submission Materials
In order for a film to be properly submitted and checked in, it must include:
Completed Entry Form
Preview DVD - Please indicate on the screener the title of the film as well as the run time
Proper Entry Fee

Entry materials will not be returned. All press kits and DVD screeners will be recycled
Multiple entries may be submitted by one person, but each film must come on a separate screener with a separate entry form.

If Your Work is Selected - Screening Requirements
DFF can project works in 35mm, BluRay, digital file, and DCP.
An electronic press kit, complete with production stills, 300 word synopsis and biography of the director must be sent to the DFS office as soon as possible.
5 additional DVD copies of your film should be sent to the DFS office for press requests or a screener link made available.
Film trailers, EPKs, posters and postcards should be sent to the DFS office for press and marketing departments
Exhibition copies should be received in the DFS office no later than October 20th


Films that are accepted into the Denver International Film Festival should NOT have screened on television or the Denver metro area prior to the dates of the festival.

The filmmaker is responsible for clearing all rights to the material in their film.

Denver Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Denver Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.