14th Annual

Durango Independent Film Festival dba Durango Film

February 27, 2019 to March 03, 2019

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P.O. Box 1587
Durango CO 81302-1587
Phone: 970-375-7779

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated.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.

Narrative Feature
Narrative (non-documentary) features over 50 minutes.
Documentary Feature
Non-fiction films over 50 minutes.
Short Documentary
Non-fiction films under 50 minutes.
Live Action Short
Live action (non-documentary) films under 50 minutes.
Animated Short
Animated and experimental films under 50 minutes.
Family Program
Durango Film encourages the creation and sharing of artistic family films suitable for a general audience that express a fundamental respect for the positive values and stories of life and it's adventures.
Adventure Program
Any fiction or non-fiction film relating to outdoor adventure/adrenaline/sports. Our festival is located in southwest Colorado where all kinds of adventure sports are appreciated from climbing, biking, skiing, snowboarding, base jumping, kayaking, running, fly-fishing, etc..... Bring it on!
REEL Learning School Program
We are looking for short films, 35 minutes or shorter, with specific appeal to school children ages 5 through 17. Films must not have sexual content, and only mild violence if part of historical context. We seek films that feature some creative difference from what children usually see at the movies or on television.
Native Cinema
At Durango Film, we celebrate Native Cinema. Please submit any Native American film--fiction or non-fiction--that features Native American content and/or is directed or produced by a Native American filmmaker.
We are accepting narrative features, shorts and documentaries with LGBT content.


Durango Film brings the community together with independent filmmakers for the unique opportunity to experience and discuss global, innovative, and diverse films.


The 14th Durango Independent Film Festival is a destination festival cultivating a reputation as a filmmaker’s festival. Located in picturesque southwestern Colorado, filmmakers will enjoy staying within walking distance of two of three venues, fine restaurants, boutiques, brew pubs, art galleries, and historic Victorian hotels. Durango offers many recreational diversions such as the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge train and early spring skiing at nearby Purgatory Ski Resort. In addition to festival parties, filmmakers can unwind and network nightly in the private filmmaker’s lounge with complementary beverages such as our own festival beer courtesy of SKA Brewing.

All films selected will be screened at least twice during the festival. This is a juried film festival concluding with both juror and audience award presentations. Filmmakers are encouraged to participate in Q&A sessions following screenings to further engage and connect with the audience. To be more involved, there is an opportunity to participate in panels, workshops and/or Coffee with Filmmakers. Each year our festival seeks out an eclectic mix of narrative features, documentaries, and short films. We seek all genres of film including: Adventure, LGBT, Family, and Native Cinema. We also curate creative films suitable for students of all ages for our REEL Learning School Program.

Notable guests include Mackenzie Astin, Jim Belushi, Judge Reinhold, Lindsay Wagner, Charlie Dierkop, Wes Studi, Alex Cox, Lee Lew Lee, Steven Michael Quezada, Paul Dinello, Gary Farmer, and Chris Eyre.

“What an incredible experience this has been! We’ve been so impressed by this festival –
from the top notch staff to the thoughtful audiences and the killer programming. We are
honored to have been included and hope to come back soon! Thank you for championing
indie film.” Christine Weatherup, 2017 Filmmaker

Categories include:
Narrative Feature
Documentary Feature
Documentary Short
Native Cinema - short and feature length
Live action short
Animated short
Family Program
REEL Learning school (Educational) program

Please no requests for submission fee waivers. DIFF is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization.

Works in progress will be accepted during early submission process only. Finished projects must be received by November 1, 2018 for final consideration.


Joanie Leonard (Executive Director); Joanie Leonard (Executive Director); Michele Malach (Shorts Programming)


Please no requests for submission fee waivers. DIFF is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization.

Works in progress must be received prior the early bird deadline and final completed work must be received by November 15, 2018.

All preview DVDs must work in standard U.S. players.

For exhibition formats, DCP is required for all feature films over 50 minutes and the preferred format for all short films. DVDs or Blu-rays are required for back-up purposes only.

Please notify the festival if your film will be broadcast on cable or network television, released on VOD or DVD by January 11th.

DIFF reserves the right to exclude a film from the festival if that film has been previously broadcast.

All submissions require 2 screener copies unless an online copy was provided.

DIFF will only return ship to domestic destinations, including domestic film festival destinations.


Durango Independent Film Festival reserves the right to include portions of films accepted to the festival for promotional purposes. Unless otherwise indicated, films selected for the festival may be included in future retrospectives unless otherwise requested by the filmmaker. A DVD NTSC copy of all film festival selections will be kept in the DIFF library.

If selected, the exhibition copy of the film must be received by DIFF by January 14, 2019. This deadline insures that our technical team can perform proper inspections and allows time to ingest and test DCP formats at the venues.

The film will be treated with the utmost consideration by competent festival staff; however, the organization cannot be held responsible if the film is lost or damaged during shipping. For this reason, we strongly suggest that participants insure their films. After the festival, exhibition copies will be returned to their owners, and/or to the DOMESTIC ADDRESS specified by the participant. Shipping costs to international destinations will be the responsibility of the submitter.

By entering into the festival, the entrant represents and warrants that:
a. it has the authority to enter the film in the festival and to grant to the festival the rights granted in the entry form, these procedures and regulations;
b. it owns all rights, title and interest, including the copyright and all intellectual property rights, in and to the film being submitted to the festival and has the right to distribute, exhibit and promote the film in and or through all media formats now known or hereafter devised, including, but not limited to, the Internet throughout the universe; and
c. no material in the film being submitted by the entrant to the festival is libelous or defamatory or violates any right of privacy or publicity of any person and the full use of rights in such film will not violate any rights, including copyright or moral rights, of any person, firm or corporation.

If accepted, signed filmmaker agreement and promotional materials must be received by December 15, 2018.