1st Annual

The "Meet the Press" Film Festival in Collaboration with the American Film Institute

November 10, 2017 to November 12, 2017

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8633 Colesville Road
Silver Spring MD 20910
Phone: 301-495-6738

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Documentary Shorts
This festival will feature contemporary documentaries – 40 minutes in length or less – about policy and people with an emphasis on untold American stories found far from Washington and New York.


NBC News’ “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd” hits the big screen for the first time this fall with the launch of the “Meet the Press” Film Festival in Collaboration With the American Film Institute (AFI). This new event will feature contemporary documentaries – 40 minutes in length or less – about policy and people with an emphasis on untold American stories found far from Washington and New York, telling stories from a “diversity of perspective” (meaning geographic, ideological, religious, cultural or racial diversity). Films presented in the festival will demonstrate a bold commitment to subject matter, excellence in cinematic craft, and innovation in storytelling.

The commanding journalism of “Meet the Press” is a powerful fit with AFI, an institute established in 1967 after President Johnson’s mandate to bring “together leading artists of the film industry, outstanding educators and young men and women who wish to pursue the 20th-century art form as their life's work.” It is also known for its acclaimed Washington, D.C.-area documentary festival.

The collaboration pairs NBC News’ influential political reporting with AFI’s dedication to connecting audiences, filmmakers and policy leaders. The innovative film festival honors the anniversaries – 70th and 50th, respectively – of both historical institutions.


The first-ever film festival will take place in Washington, D.C. in November 2017 (Exact dates TBA).

In addition to their screenings in Washington, D.C., participating filmmakers may be invited to discuss their work on NBC News platforms including cable and digital outlets. Films included in NBC News’ cable and digital platforms will receive a negotiated licensing fee. Participation in digital and/or television distribution is not required for films to be eligible for the film festival in Washington D.C.

Films selected for the festival will be eligible for up to $5,000 in finishing support from NBC News for post-production costs, including licensing of third‐party material (music, archival footage, etc.).


Chuck Todd (NBC News Political Director and Moderator of "Meet the Press"); John Reiss (Executive Producer, "Meet the Press"); Matt Rivera ("Meet the Press"); Michael Lumpkin (Director, AFI DOCS)


Short documentaries are forty (40) minutes or less, including all credits.

The documentary must have been completed on or after November 1, 2016.

The documentary must not have been broadcast on television in the United States or screened theatrically in the Washington, D.C. area prior to Nov 1, 2017.

If the documentary is in a language other than English, it must be subtitled in English.

Promotional, instructional or industrial films, and raw documentation of performances are not eligible.

All films selected for the Festival grant NBC News and AFI the rights to use footage, stills and/or titles and information from the film for promotional purposes.

All films submitted must be free from any legal disputes and the filmmaker must have cleared all rights for music and festival exhibition.

Filmmakers may submit more than one documentary. Each documentary must be accompanied by its own Entry Form.

Only online vimeo screeners will be accepted. If your screener is password protected, please have the password remain open till October 1, 2017. You can include your link and password information in the cover letter section of your Withoutabox application or email the information to programming@afidocs.com . You must include the film title and Withoutabox tracking number in the subject line.

All submission contacts will be notified of their status by October 1, 2017 via email. Please keep us informed of any changes regarding your contact information by emailing programming@afidocs.com.

Due to the number of submissions, NBC News and AFI cannot provide feedback on any entries.

Questions regarding submissions? E-mail programming@afidocs.com with "ENTRIES" in the subject line.

If your documentary is selected to screen in the Festival, you will need to provide the following:
• A DCP and backup Bluray by the required deadline. Each filmmaker is responsible for the delivery costs of the DCP and Bluray, including any applicable customs fees. NBC News will cover the costs of the return shipping after the Festival;
• Press kits, trailers, promotional materials and additional screeners for preview;

Note: NBC News and AFI have the right to change any information contained in this document (including Festival dates, venues, events, awards and eligibility requirements) without further notice.


I hereby grant the “Meet the Press” Film Festival in Collaboration With AFI ("Festival"), all rights necessary to exhibit and promote the above-referenced film at the 2017 Festival. I represent that such exhibition will not violate or infringe upon any rights whatsoever (including copyright, trademark, musical or contract right) of any person or entity. I further represent that I am authorized to submit the above-referenced film and, if selected, will deliver the DCP to the Festival office no later than October 31, 2017. Additionally, I indemnify the Festival from any and all claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, and attorney's fee arising out of or in connection with third parties in regard to the screening of said film. Further, I hereby agree that I have read and agree to the General Rules and Regulations for submissions to the “Meet the Press” Film Festival.