The Community Stories Festival, produced by Docs In Progress, spotlights contemporary and historical documentaries about our people, places, and events of Maryland, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia.

What began in 2010 as a one night showcase of Docs In Progress student work has grown to become a week-long series of public screenings of films by everyone from professional filmmakers to first-time adult and youth filmmakers, sharing stories from our local community. Each year, more than 500 people engage with filmmakers, those who have been filmed, and scholars at screenings, discussions and community workshops.

This year the festival will take place virtually and include live Q&A panels with the filmmakers.

Please see "Rules & Terms" for additional guidelines since ours are rather specific. Submissions which do not meet these guidelines will be automatically disqualified. Submission fees will not be returned if you do not follow the guidelines.

All submissions must be:

* Documentary films. We cannot accept fiction work, celluloid films, or scripts.

* We ONLY show films about people, places, history, or current events in Greater Washington DC (Washington DC; Maryland; and the Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun, or the Virginia cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church). If your film is about some other place, that's nice, but we are not the festival for you.

* In 2020, we are accepting short documentaries and feature documentaries (up to 90 minutes maximum).

* We prefer films created within the past two years, but will also consider older works.

* Entries must be submitted online through FilmFreeway, Vimeo, or YouTube. We do not accept DVD submissions. If you include a password-protected link, please ensure that the password stays the same through October 31. If our review committee is unable to access a film because the password has been changed, it will not be considered.

* If selected for the festival, we will require you to send us the film as an .MP4 or .mov file.

* Filmmakers must have rights to use all music and images presented in the films or be using under fair use (see http://www.cmsimpact.org/fair-use/best-practices/documentary-filmmakers-statement-best-practices-fair-use#statement).

* We ask that at least one of the filmmakers is available for a virtual Q&A to encourage interaction between the audience and the filmmaker.

* Films with non-English dialogue must be submitted with English subtitles.

* Submissions which do not meet these guidelines will be automatically disqualified. Submission fees will not be returned if you do not follow the guidelines.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Simone Fary

    Truly a lovely experience to show your film to a supportive community.

    November 2019
  • Rocky McKoy

    Awesome festival. Great films, great people

    November 2018
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    So enjoyed sharing your film with the community. Thanks for participating.

  • Andrew Shankman

    It was a wonderful festival of local artists. I truly enjoyed their stories and meeting the filmmakers.

    August 2017
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Andrew. We really enjoyed sharing your film at the festival.