The Chagrin Documentary Film Festival is a celebration of documentary storytelling and of the filmmakers who bring us their stories. Founded in honor of late filmmaker David Ponce, the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival is proud to bring stories from around the world to Ohio's beautiful Chagrin Valley.

This inspiring and highly attended documentary film festival is entering its thirteenth year. Named to MovieMaker Magazine's prestigious list of "Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee" for eight years, the Festival takes place at venues in and around the lovely century village of Chagrin Falls, Ohio with a focus on honoring talented filmmakers from around the world.

The Chagrin Documentary Film has welcomed an enthusiastic audience of more than 13,000 and streamed to a national audience of 34,000.

The Chagrin Documentary Film Festival (CDFF) is a celebration of the spirit of the documentary filmmaker, video artists and those working with the moving image from around the world and around the corner.

1. Dates and Venue
(CDFF) will take place in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA between October 5 and October 9, 2022. Submitting films give CDFF the rights to online streaming of films as well as currently planned in-person screening during the Festival dates.

2. Competition
The Festival reserves the right to place entries into alternative categories if they feel it is to the benefit of the title. Each submission must be entered separately. Entries will be assessed and successful submissions will be programmed for screening and enter the Festival competition.

3. Formats
For the selection process, we accept online screeners ONLY.

Please note: if accepted, we require a ProRes file 1080 either via upload or thumb drive.

Please address your entry to:
Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
PO Box 239
Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022

4. The Festival committee reserves the right to invite films for the competition and program. The final award-winning entries will be selected by a Festival Jury. The winners in each category to be announced on Oct 8, 2022, in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA. CDFF reserves the right to schedule additional screenings of award-winning films.

5. Entry Returns
Submissions copies will not be returned unless requested. To ensure your submission copy is returned include a postage paid envelope.

6. Screenings
It is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure that films for screening are deposited with the Festival organizers at least 30 days before any scheduled screening. The Festival DOES NOT pay screening fees.

7. We reserve the right to use submissions for festival publicity and marketing purposes. Submitted films may be used for Festival and post-festival screenings for 12 months.

8. The administrator's decision is final.
Chagrin Documentary Film Festival (CDFF) is hereby granted the right to utilize a film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for online streaming and in-person theatrical screening and for promotional purposes for a period of 12 months. The Festival does not pay screening fees for any film submitted to the festival.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for online or in-person screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

By submitting, you indemnify and hold harmless the Chagrin 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
  • A great festival with kind and passionate staff. Communication was great and we were well informed. Thank you for selecting "The Adventures of Saul Bellow" as part of the 2021 Festival!

    October 2021
  • Karen Coates Jerry Redfern

    This was our first festival for the first film we've ever produced, and we couldn't be happier about the whole experience (except that we couldn't make it in person due to the pandemic). The entire Chagrin team was so welcoming and hospitable. We're honored that our film, Eternal Harvest, was part of this year's lineup, and we highly recommend this festival to any and all filmmakers!

    October 2021
  • Rose Steller Burke

    What an honor to be selected and awarded for our film "Home From School: The Children of Carlisle" at this year's 2021 festival. From the first congratulatory email all the way through file delivery and in person attendance and hospitality, the Chagrin's festival team did an amazing job communicating and making the event very filmmaker focused. The audiences were engaged, the community showed up and amazing films were shown. Highly recommend this festival!

    October 2021
  • Hal Jacobs

    Very pleased to have our film "Catawampus" included in the 2021 lineup among so many high-quality films. Communications and promotion were top-notch from start to end. Wish we could've been there in person.

    October 2021
  • Chris Zaluski

    I had such a great time at Chagrin. They really know how to cultivate a community of appreciative and enthusiastic documentary fans, and it reaffirmed my passion for filmmaking. Highly recommend!

    I'm hopeful to be back someday!

    October 2021