13th Annual

AFI DOCS Film Festival

June 17, 2015 to June 21, 2015

Add to Watchlist Qualify this Project
Film Market
Submit Online
8633 Colesville Road
Silver Spring MD 20910
Phone: 301.495.6720
Fax: 301.495.6798

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated. Add this event to your Watch List and set a Remind-Me if you want to be notified when the next Call For Entries is posted.

Feature Documentary
Contemporary documentaries from around the world - 41 minutes in length or longer - that demonstrate a bold commitment to subject matter, excellence in cinematic craft, and innovation in storytelling.
Short Documentary
Contemporary documentaries from around the world - 40-minutes in length or less - that demonstrate a bold commitment to subject matter, excellence in cinematic craft, and innovation in storytelling.


“A buzzed-about event that attracts filmmakers and media coverage from around the globe.” –– The Washington Post

“The pre-eminent U.S. documentary festival.” –– Screen International

“The premier showcase for documentary film.” –– Hollywood Reporter

AFI DOCS Documentary Film Festival is a five-day international film festival and conference that honors the creativity and passion of independent, non-fiction filmmakers and the power of the moving image to alter our perspective and expand our world-view. Anchored in the Nation’s Capital, where important global and national issues are the daily business, AFI DOCS is marked by its relevance, broad intellectual range, and wide public appeal.

AFI DOCS is a program of the American Film Institute, a national non-profit institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media.

AFI DOCS takes place at the AFI Silver Theatre –– the flagship theatre of the AFI; one of the premier film exhibition spaces in the country, and the top art house cinema in the region –– and extends to the DC region.


THE FESTIVAL (June 17-21, 2015):

AFI DOCS, AFI’s premier documentary program, is held each June just outside Washington, DC at the AFI Silver Theatre & Cultural Center as well as in the heart of the District. The 2015 Festival will take place June 17-21.

In just twelve years AFI DOCS (SILVERDOCS) has become “the pre-eminent US documentary festival” according to Screen International and was cited as one of the ten most interesting film festivals—of any kind––in the world by Variety.

The five-day program presents the very best of contemporary documentary filmmaking from across the globe, including numerous world and international premieres and works by master and emerging filmmakers alike. In 2014, AFI DOCS presented more than 80 films representing more than 30 countries, and numerous special events to an audience of over 27,000.

AFI DOCS’ concurrent 2-day International Documentary Conference (June 18-19, 2015) brings together leaders from across the commercial, education and public media spectrum who believe in the vital influence of the documentary form and the importance of exploring current business, creative and cultural challenges in a focused, professional environment.

AFI DOCS winners have consistently been nominated for Academy Awards, Emmy Awards and other major recognitions. Awards are given in the following categories:

• Audience Awards

The Film Program is comprised of numerous annually recurring strands, as well as some special thematic sidebars that change each year. The recurring strands include the following:

Silver Spectrum - A diverse selection of documentaries from the United States and across the globe that reinforce the breadth, dynamism, and relevance of documentary filmmaking.

Short Film Competition - A selection of documentaries under 40-minutes in length that give audiences a concentrated dose of intellect, humor, passion, humanity and more. Each film exhibits a profound clarity of expression due to the filmmaker’s firm grasp of narrative economy.


Andrea Passafiume (Head Programmer); Ashwini Mishra; Kyle O'connor (Managing Director); Michael Lumpkin (Festival Director); Sarah Bilodeau (Programming Manager)



Submissions Accepted beginning October 8, 2014
Early Deadline December 12, 2014
Regular Deadline January 30, 2015
Late Deadline March 2, 2015
E-mail notification of submission status May 11, 2015
AFI DOCS Festival June 17-21, 2015

- The documentary must have been completed on or after March 1, 2014;
- Previously submitted documentaries will not be accepted, unless the film has undergone significant content changes (60% or more) and meets all other submission requirements. Permission to re-apply is required;
- Feature documentaries are forty one (41) minutes or longer. Shorts are forty (40) minutes or less, including all credits;
- 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;
- The documentary must not have been broadcast on television in the United States or screened theatrically in the United States prior to June 17, 2015;
- The documentary must not have screened publicly in the Washington, DC area prior to the Festival.

- Please submit two DVDs (Region 1 or Region-free NTSC or PAL) or a Secure Online Screener;
- Each DVD must have an individual outer case;
- All entries must be labeled with the title, WAB tracking number, running time and contact information (contact name, e-mail and phone number). This information must be on the DVD itself and on the outer case;
- AFI DOCS will make every attempt to contact you if there is damage to an entry, but cannot be held responsible if entry is not considered due to poorly recorded or unplayable media;
- Please do not send submissions in fiber-filled envelopes, as the dust damages DVD players;
- Filmmakers may submit more than one documentary; each documentary must be accompanied by its own Entry Form and Entry Fee;
- All entries must be sent with prepaid shipping. Collect or C.O.D. (cash on delivery) shipments are not accepted. AFI DOCS will not assume responsibility or accept shipments incurring expenses for terminal charges, duties, taxes or customs brokerage. Please indicate on your shipping bill that all transportation and customs charges will be billed to the sender;
- The Entry Fee is non-refundable;
- DVDs and submitted materials will not be returned. Please do not send film prints, master tapes or other originals;
- If you require confirmation of receipt, please include a self-addressed stamped postcard;
- Submissions are made to and reviewed by representatives of AFI.
- All filmmakers will be notified of their status by May 11, 2015 via e-mail. Please keep us informed of any changes regarding your contact information by emailing programming@afidocs.com;
- Due to the number of submissions, AFI DOCS 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:
- Projection print or video by required deadline. Filmmaker is responsible for the delivery costs of the projection print or video, including any applicable customs fees. AFI DOCS will cover the costs of the return shipping after the Festival;
- Press kits, trailers, promotional materials and additional screeners for preview;
- Screener copies for the AFI DOCS Industry Screening Library (optional);
Please do not send these materials until your film is selected for the program.

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


TERMS OF ENTRY: By submitting this documentary, I understand that I am agreeing to the following: - I own or control the copyright in and to, and am duly authorized to submit this documentary film to AFI DOCS Documentary Festival ("SILVERDOCS") and to the best of my knowledge, all statements on this document are true; - This documentary is not subject to any claims or litigation and is not threatened by any claims or litigation; - If this documentary is selected for screening at AFI DOCS, I grant AFI DOCS the right to screen this documentary at the Festival; - I understand and agree that my film entry, if selected for the Festival, may be used for promotional purposes for the AFI DOCS Festival and/or its partners; and I grant AFI DOCS and its partners the rights to use footage, stills and/or titles and information from the film for such promotional purposes; - Should this documentary win any award, I am authorized and/or empowered by all parties legally representing this entry to receive all cash prizes and awards and to distribute them appropriately; - I fully indemnify and hold AFI DOCS and its partners harmless from: a) damage to or loss of the film print or videotapes en route to or from AFI DOCS or during the course of AFI DOCS' possession of the entry; and b) from any claims which may arise in connection with my documentary film.