The American Documentary and Animation Film Festival and Film Fund (AmDocs) is one of the largest Docs and Animation only festivals in the United States, located near the media capital of Hollywood in beautiful Palm Springs. This unique event focuses on international films in both the short and feature categories as well as showcasing animation. Recipients of the festival’s qualifying awards will be eligible for consideration in the Documentary Short Film category of the Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules. In conjunction with the festival is the American Documentary Film Fund where U.S. filmmakers compete for start-up or finishing funds in order to complete their film masterpieces. AmDocs, seeing the bigger picture.

For the Film Fund, competing filmmakers can win up to $50,000 in cash and post-production prizes.

The festival is open to all categories within the documentary and animation film genres. The film should not be more than 3 years old, though in certain circumstances, a retrospective may be screened and/or a "hidden gem" never seen before by public.

Festival shall screen films digitally and, therefore, you must submit film as a media file in order to be transferred to a Digital Cinema Projection file for screening purposes if you do not already have a DCP file for exhibition. Filmmaker is RESPONSIBLE for the Digital Cinema Projection file. Festival shall do all it can to negotiate discounted rates for filmmaker if they do not have their own DCP file. Filmmaker shall also be required to provide a rendered disc of their film as a blu-ray back-up.

If you are sending a "work-in-progress" please note how long you are from completion and approximately when you are sending completed version. (Please note on completed copy your original reference number provided by FilmFreeway.)

Filmmakers are encouraged to attend festival if their film is invited. They shall receive an "all festival" pass, including films and events. Moreover, housing shall be provided either in resident homes or hotel discounts near theaters.

Any payment by check must be made out to:

American Documentary Film Festival

Please make certain that when submitting you note your tracking number on all relevant materials, i.e., shipping envelope and disc(s). Also, each disc must have the contact information of the submitter. The festival is not responsible for returning submitted materials. We do not dispose of submitted material, it will remain in our festival archives unless instructed otherwise.

Film submissions must not have played at any other festivals within a 70 mile radius of Palm Springs, California.

FILM FUND SUBMISSIONS:
Filmmakers should provide for their works-in-progress for aid in completion funding or works to be begun :
1. Outline of the story/film; 2. An exact Three (3) minute excerpt or promo of said film, even if not started, we require this trailer-teaser; 3. A budget of said film, what has been paid, what is required for the completion funds, i.e., $2,500 for coloring; 4. (for FilmFreeway submission, we only need the three (3) minute trailer teaser via upload- if invited to finals, Budget and Outline as well as disc(s) will have to be sent to AmDocs via hard-copy);
5. If invited, filmmakers must attend the Film Fund's pitch competition in person and take part in said pitch to jury as well as potentially, the live audience in attendance at film festival.

American Documentary Film Fund is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.
The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless American Documentary Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, 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, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

American Documentary Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless American Documentary Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, 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, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered. FILM FUND SUBMISSIONS: American Documentary Film Fund is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless American Documentary Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, 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, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Kent Wagner

    Fantastic festival, great group of staff

    May 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Kent, you are a talented filmmaker as evidenced by your work that we are proud to say is part of our #AmDocs2020 program. Let's keep positive thoughts on being able to share with our audiences in September. Keep making movies!

  • Elizabeth Lewis

    I was honoured to be included in the lineup for the 2020 Festival.The communication was excellent and I was planning to attend and made arrangements to fly from northern Ontario,Canada. The organizers were most helpful and provided the accommodations for me and my husband. The Festival then made the responsible decision to postpone the event due to Covid 19. I was most grateful for this as I was quite concerned about the trip. I look forward to the rescheduled festival and to attending in person.

    April 2020
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    Response from festival:

    And, Elizabeth, we were honoured to have programmed your work. Let's think positive thoughts and hope that are planet is blessed to get healthy again, so, selfishly, we can share your works and those of your filmmaking colleagues in September!

  • Joe Chang

    This is a very good film festival. I am honored that my film was selected for this film festival. Even if this year's film festival is postponed due to coronavirus, I believe that the difficulties will surely pass and tomorrow will be even better!

    April 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Joe, we can't wait to share your wonderful work at #AmDocs2020. Let's all hope that the world will be healthy in September. Keep creating, Joe!

  • Ramsey Denison

    I am fortunate enough to be a selection of AM Docs in 2020 and although the festival has been postponed until September due to the Coronavirus outbreak, I am really impressed with how communicative and determined festival director Teddy Grouya is and it was clear there was no way he was going to let AM Docs get cancelled... only postponed. The late days and long nights it takes to pull off the thousands of details that have to fall into place to put a large festival like AM Docs (250+ films) on is something not a lot of people understand, but I think filmmakers do and I think we all appreciate how seamlessly Teddy was able to set the festival up at a later date.

    Secondly, there's a lot of films in the lineup from all over the world that look unusually interesting that I'm looking forward to seeing.

    April 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Ramsey, you are such a thoughtful and kind person. Your film is so important and one of the works that inspired us to work to find a solution to the crisis we all face at the moment. Let's believe that things will be better in September so we can honor our promise to share this very important work that you have poured your heart into.

  • cheng herng shinn

    Amdocs was absolutely magical. I'll probably take the beautiful memory and experience to my grave. Teddy was an incredible host and the whole team were stellar! I cannot emphasize enough how good the whole experience was! Simply magical.

    November 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Cheng, you were a delight just as your lovely film captivated our audiences and your fellow filmmakers.