The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District invites filmmakers to submit recent, original work for the 9th annual Bethesda Film Fest, set for April 16, 2021. The festival will be completely virtual, there will not be an in-person screening.

Short (5-30 minutes), documentary films by filmmakers from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. will be considered. Films must have been completed within the last two years. All topics are eligible. Filmmakers chosen for the 2020 festival are not eligible and may submit again for the 2022 festival.

Filmmakers are required to attend the film festival virtual discussion on April 16, 2021 and speak about their work.

Up to five films will be selected to be shown. A film by a young filmmaker, under age 18, may also be chosen. Filmmakers whose films are selected will receive an honorarium of $1,000. Young filmmakers will receive $250.

2021 Judges
Sara Barger - Academy Award recognized documentary filmmaker, Executive Vice President of Women In Film and Video

Dana Flor - Emmy Award winning documentary director and producer

Robin Hamilton - Emmy-award winning journalist, filmmaker and writer.

- Filmmakers must be current, permanent residents of Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C.
- Films must be between 5 and 30 minutes in length.
- Films must have been completed within the last two years.
- Filmmakers may only submit one film for consideration.
- Filmmakers chosen for the 2020 festival are not eligible; they may submit again for the 2022 festival.
- Films with non-English dialogue must be submitted with English subtitles.
- DEADLINE: All entries must be received by January 29, 2021.
- There is a $25 entry fee. Filmmakers under the age of 18 do not pay an entry fee.

Notification of the selection panel's decision will be sent in March 2021. The selection panel will choose up to five documentaries to screen at the Bethesda Film Fest.

Overall Rating
  • Penny Lee

    I was happy to be part of this festival. A great staff, great communications and great venue. The two day festival was well attended in a perfect venue. I was proud to be among such wonderful filmmakers that were selected along with our film. Thank you for an awesome experience.

    May 2019
  • R. Kayeen Thomas

    This was a great festival to be a part of! Well organized and well attended!

    June 2018