6th Annual

The March on Washington Film Festival

July 12, 2018 to July 20, 2018

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Film Market
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c/o The Raben Group
1341 G St NW,, DC
5th Floor
Washington DC 20005
Phone: (202) 466-8585

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated.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.

Short Narratives are 40 minutes or shorter in length, focusing on a topic involving social justice or civil rights. Filmmakers are asked to grapple with the following topic: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.

Shortlisted films, selected by our Programming Team, are eligible for our Jury Award (Student or Emerging), or a Special Mention Award, all awarded by a jury of film industry professionals.
Documentary Narratives are 40 minutes or shorter in length, focusing on a topic involving social justice or civil rights. Filmmakers are asked to grapple with the following topic: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.

Shortlisted films, selected by our Programming Team, are eligible for our Jury Award (Student or Emerging), or a Special Mention Award, all awarded by a jury of film industry professionals.


The March on Washington Film Festival, a production of The Raben Group, strives to increase awareness of the events and heroes of the Civil Rights Era and inspire renewed passion for activism. The festival uses the power of film, music, and the arts to share these important stories.

This year the Festival is continuing it's competition for emerging and student filmmakers to submit short form content, both narrative and documentary, which focuses on civil rights movements, the civil rights era and social justice issues.


The March on Washington Film Festival was founded by Robert Raben, The Raben Group and Victoria Bassetti. The inaugural festival sought to honor the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, tell stories of the Civil Rights Era, and motivate a new generation of activists. The festival attracted over 1,000 attendees to ten events over two weeks. We screened films at a range of venues around Washington, D.C. including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Newseum, and the historic Lutheran Church of the Reformation.

In 2014, the festival returned to Washington, D.C. and made its debut in Atlanta and New York City. Across the three cities we attracted over 5,000 people to film screenings, musical performances, special events, and experiences that had a deep impact on all of us.

2015 marked the third banner year for the Festival, attracting an ever-growing audience, and featuring filmmakers such as Stanley Nelson, and participants such as Thurgood Marshall, Jr. March on Washington Film Festival continued its use of seminal spaces in the D.C. area, closing with a screening at the United States Supreme Court.

The festival expanded to include a Student and Emerging Shorts contest for content focusing on civil rights and social justice issues, and held a screening at the White House for finalists. Notable guests and participants include: Michele Norris, Nikki Giovanni, Rev. C.T. Vivian, Elizabeth Alexander, Carmen de Lavallade, Jeff Lieberman, Sam Pollard, Toshi Reagon, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Sam Waymon, Bill Rhoden, DeRay Mckesson and Louis Gossett, Jr.

This year marked another expansion of the Festival--The Freedom's Children Journalism Competition--which provided four college journalism students currently the opportunity to cover the Festival and have that coverage carried in national publications. Additionally, the Festival program grew to include a public service event and to present the inaugural Vivian Malone Courage Award to Ta'Nehisi Coates. Special guests included: Karen Clark Sheard, Diahann Carroll, Jennifer Granholm, Sharon Malone, 9th Wonder, Eric Holder, Vanita Gupta, Hon. Damon Keith, Johnny Ford, and Cecil Williams.


Isisara Bey (Festival Producer); Opal H. Bennett (Consultant)


2018 March on Washington Film Festival, July 12-20, 2018

March on Washington Film Festival
c/o The Raben Group
3 Columbus Circle, 15th floor
New York, NY 10019

IMPORTANT NOTE: All film submissions must be via Withoutabox secure screener upload or a Vimeo screener link uploaded to Withoutabox. We will NOT accept DVD submissions.

1. Projects must have been completed after September 1, 2015
2. Films must have a composite optical sound
3. Entries must be completed – including Vimeo link and payment – by the deadline date
4. Films may not have been released theatrically or aired on television in the U.S. prior to the festival. If the film has been screened online, the filmmaker is required to include this information in the film’s submission materials

THEME: For 2018 filmmakers are asked to grapple with the following topic: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.

STUDENTS: must be currently enrolled in school, or graduated within 6 months of the Festival. Any selected Student filmmaker will be expected to provide proof of student status.

EMERGING ARTISTS: (A) must have made their first film no earlier than 2013 and (B) must not have received distribution for any film they have directed

All submissions must be made via Withoutabox
Keep a copy of your completed application for reference

Applicants can check the status of the submission by emailing:

Applicants will be notified of the festival’s decision by mid-June

Payment must be made by credit card (Visa or MasterCard)
Entry fees will not be returned

Filmmaker agrees that he/she will be sole responsible for the delivery of his/her film/print materials to and from the Festival venue.


By submitting this film, I understand that I am agreeing to the following:
• I have the legal right to represent and to submit this film to the March on Washington Film Festival ("MOWFF") and to the best of my knowledge, all statements on this document are true;
• There is no action, suit, claim or proceeding pending, affecting or, to the best of my knowledge, threatened against this film or its producers in connection with this film;
• Music and any other third party material clearances and all copyright clearances are my sole responsibility. MOWFF will not be held responsible for any legal disputes regarding the exhibition of this film. Noncompliance may affect, delay, and/or disqualify my entry.
• If this film is selected for screening at MOWFF, I grant MOWFF the right to screen this film at the Festival;
• I understand and agree that my film entry, if selected for MOWFF, may be used for promotional purposes for MOWFF and/or its partners; and I grant MOWFF and its partners the rights to use footage (not to exceed 5 minutes), stills and/or titles and information from the film for such promotional purposes;
• Should this film win any award, I am authorized and/or empowered by all parties legally representing this film entry to receive all cash prizes and awards and to distribute them appropriately;
• I fully indemnify and hold MOWFF and each of its respective officers, directors, employees, agents, affiliates, contractors, sponsors, licensees and assigns harmless from and against any and all claims, damages, liabilities, costs and expenses in connection with my film, including:
• reasonable attorneys’ fees and other expenses of defense arising from or in connection with any breach of any of the foregoing agreements, representations or warranties or from or in connection with any litigation or any claim or proceeding commenced by a third party alleging or arising from libel, slander, defamation, invasion of privacy, infringement, unauthorized use or any other right of such third party or wrongful conduct
• and any claims which may arise in connection with my film.


If your film is selected to screen in MOWFF, you will need to provide the following:

• Projection print or video by required deadline. Filmmaker is responsible for the delivery costs of the print shipment to the festival, including any applicable customs fees. MOWFF will return the print to the supplier or to the next destination as indicated by the supplier at the festival's conclusion. The festival does not provide extra insurance for originals or masters.

Please do not send these materials until your film is selected for the program. The festival reserves the right to complete any information not supplied by the filmmaker from whatever source available and will not be responsible if incorrect information is entered.

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