A yearly tribute to cinema, the Alexandria Film Festival presents independent feature-length films and shorts of all genres by both emerging and established filmmakers. Our mission is to promote cinema as an important cultural, educational and entertainment asset to our highly engaged audience. We proudly showcase the historic city of Alexandria, Virginia as a dynamic and exciting venue for creating, exhibiting, and experiencing film.

Celebrating 14 years of independent film from around the world, the Alexandria Film Festival offers an enriching cinematic opportunity for filmmakers and film lovers alike by bringing high quality, diverse and thought-provoking films to Alexandria and the greater Washington, D.C. metro area. The 14th anniversary Alexandria Film Festival will take place November 12-15, 2020.

Year after year, the festival attracts exceptional independent short and feature-length films, while also holding filmmaker Q&As and staging other arts-related presentations. Alexandria and the surrounding region are home to an educated audience of film enthusiasts. Along with residents from the D.C. metro area, the city also attracts many domestic and international visitors,who value the city’s focus on the arts and treasure our charming historic community. Most of all, our audiences look forward to interacting directly with the filmmakers. The festival offers filmmakers the parallel opportunity to communicate with the audience as well as to network with other emerging and established filmmakers.

This year we are seeking local, national and international films that tell stories covering the following subject areas or genres:

*Local, national and international films

*The environment, climate change with its social and economic impacts, sustainable agriculture and related subjects/issues.


*Comedy, farce, and satire

*Children, young adults, and family-friendly

*Health, science, and technology

*National and international politics and public affairs, including immigration.

*Science fiction and fantasy

*Emerging issues in Social justice and equality, including gender and gender identity, economic equity and religion.

*Indigenous cultures in the US and the Americas (with a focus on films from indigenous filmmakers)

*The Arts, including music and paintings

*American history and Biographies

*In celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote, the festival is seeking film's from a woman's point of view. To include: the celebration of women filmmakers and/or the following: champion of women's rights, films providing a women's perspective, and those that revolve around the unique and varying issues/dilemmas faced by women.

Filmmakers are encouraged to interpret these categories broadly. The Alexandria Film Festival welcomes all submissions. Please note we accept Vimeo submissions, but you must submit a link with your submission.

For more information, visit AlexFilmFest.com and look for #AlexFilmFest on Facebook (facebook.com/alexandriafilmfestival), Twitter (twitter.com/alexfilmfest) and Instagram (instagram.com/alexfilmfest).

Films will be selected by a jury. Selected films will be eligible for the Best of Show ($300), Jury Prize ($200) and the Audience Award ($100). We will also award The Joe Cantwell Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking ($250). The Alexandria Film Festival reserves the right to add additional awards at its discretion. The prizes will be presented after the Film Festival’s Award Ceremony on November 15, 2020.

2020 Alexandria Film Festival Agreement to Participate and Release

Please read the following terms and conditions for your entry to the 2020 Alexandria Film Festival. By submitting your film, you expressly acknowledge and agree that you shall be bound by the terms of this agreement.

I, as an entrant to the Alexandria Film Festival hereby agree to permit any film submitted by me to be screened at the 2020 Alexandria Film Festival and any subsequent Alexandria Film Festival or related event. I certify that am the sole owner of all legal rights and title and that I have the authority to submit the enclosed materials to the Alexandria Film Festival. I guarantee that all rights necessary for screening by the Alexandria Film Festival have been obtained and I hereby assign those rights, to the full extent necessary for inclusion in the Alexandria Film Festival, to the Alexandria Film Festival. I warrant that I have the right to make such assignment hereunder, and further warrant that such assignment shall not infringe or misappropriate any patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary right of any third party. If notified promptly in writing of a claim of any infringement or other violation of patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary right of any third party, I will immediately notify the Alexandria Film Festival of same.


I indemnify and hold harmless the Alexandria Film Festival, its judges, sponsors, volunteers, and the City of Alexandria, individually and collectively, from and against any and all claims, demands, losses, damages, judgments, liabilities 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, publicity, screening, credits, and loss of or damage to the screening materials entered.

No Compensation.
I understand that, unless otherwise specified in writing, the Alexandria Film Festival provides no financial compensation for any exhibition of my work.

Publicity and Use.
The Alexandria Film Festival reserves the right to use any submitted publicity information, photos, and excerpts in its marketing and publicity, including online formats, for the festival and for any other uses related to the promotion of the festival. By accepting inclusion in the Alexandria Film Festival, I grant non-exclusive rights to showcase my film during the festival in as many screenings as required, and for screenings thereafter at the discretion of the Alexandria Film Festival. Such screenings include, but are not limited to, competition screenings and a highlights showcase which may play after competition ends. In addition, the Alexandria Film Festival has non-exclusive rights to repeat the showcase during the year for fundraising purposes. All ticket sale receipts are the sole property of the Alexandria Film Festival.

I hereby grant the Alexandria Film Festival unlimited rights to use the film, information and images provided by me within my entry, and any additional material, in accordance with the goals and needs of the Alexandria Film Festival. I understand and consent to the use and release of my entry and all related materials by the Alexandria Film Festival. I understand and agree that my entry and any related materials may be copied and used by the Alexandria Film Festival without further permission from me. The Alexandria Film Festival may my name or logo in any marketing materials, or describe publicly the nature of the film submitted, without my further consent.

Limitation of Liability.
In no event shall the Alexandria’s Film Festival have any liability to me, whether arising in contract, tort or otherwise and whether at common law or statute. Further, in no event shall the Alexandria Film Festival be liable to me for: (i) punitive, special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages; or (ii) loss of profits or business, loss of revenues, loss of opportunities, loss of savings, loss of or damage to data, loss of use damages or failure to realize expected savings arising out of this agreement even if been advised of the possibility of such damages.

I understand, am authorized to accept, and agree to abide by all terms listed in this release and in the submission guidelines.

Please note: If selected, filmmakers will provide their own transportation to the festival. Out of town, feature-length film representatives may be offered housing or a hotel night for their festival screening dates. Additional nights can be purchased at a discount. If we have more comped hotel rooms than visiting filmmakers, additional room nights may be provided to filmmakers at no cost.

Filmmakers will be provided with 2 all-festival passes for themselves and one guest which will admit 2 people to all screenings, parties and events. We will not issue complimentary tickets to additional people.

At minimum, filmmakers must submit two working Blu-Ray discs of their film. However, if selected to screen at AMC Hoffman, filmmakers will be required to submit a DCP copy of their film. We will not accept any encrypted files of any kind. All film assets MUST be received by the Alexandria Film Festival by October 7, 2020 (no exceptions).

Overall Rating
  • A big THANK YOU to Margaret and the rest of the AFF gang for a great fest during these trying times. They went above and beyond to make sure the fest had some sense of normality. The communication was great, the films were great, the Q and A was great. Looking forward to attending in person some day.

    November 2020
  • Stephanie Willis

    I wasn't able to attend the festival, but generally communication was very good and polite. However, I was frustrated that I had 2 blu-rays made specifically for this festival, but the festival was unable to use either of them to screen with for technical reasons that weren't fully explained.

    January 2020
  • Conner Keesling

    Getting to screen at the Alexandria Film Festival was a fantastic experience. The Executive Committee says that their main focus is the filmmakers, and they deliver on their promise. They hosted two filmmaker events that allowed us to meet the other filmmakers at the festival. Our screening went very well and the Q&A couldn't have gone better. Eileen was our presenter and moderated well among the audience, who asked in-depth, interesting questions. She was clearly invested in the film and provided intelligent, well-researched insights along the way. The Executive Committee is made of incredible and passionate women that want to give you the best experience possible and they made my crew and I feel very welcome!

    January 2020
  • Paul Gray

    This is a great festival for film makers. Very well looked after, excellent screening facilities and it is well supported by the local community. I attended a number of screenings and there was great audience engagement at the Q&As - there was a Q&A with film makers at every screening I attended, which also made for a good film maker community during the festival.
    Alexandria is a wonderful location and it is great to see such strong support from local businesses - I think this festival will be around for a long time and go from strength to strength.
    The programming was excellent and didn’t shy away from challenging topics.
    Margaret, Dara, Pattie, Gayle and the rest of your team, than you for an excellent film festival experience - and for the award too!

    November 2019
  • Aaron Hosé

    This is one of my absolute favorite community/destination film festivals on the circuit! To date, I've had four films screen at AFF and have been able to attend twice. Patti, Margaret and their team were always warm and welcoming, and on top of every logistical detail... very few hiccups along the way. They really do their best to make the filmmakers feel at home in Alexandria, which is, by far, one of the most romantic and relaxed historic districts in America. Come for the festival and stay a few extra days for the sights. It's really worth it!

    November 2019