The DC Chinese Film Festival (DCCFF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to discovering outstanding Chinese cinema around the world and to encouraging cultural diversity through films. The 4th DC Chinese Film Festival will take place on September 27-30, 2018, in Washington, DC.

DCCFF was founded by Mr. Yibin Cai in 2011, and since then has been running under the leadership of a group of young film enthusiasts from China and the US. Within the DCCFF Team are professionals working in film, media and communications, as well as students studying at top film schools. DCCFF believes that cinema can be a powerful universal language and a form of communication to encourage cultural diversity. To this end, the Festival has worked tirelessly to discover talented Chinese-speaking filmmakers, films in Chinese, and/or films about Chinese-speaking cultures. In an effort to bring together these filmmakers and other talents in the film market, DCCFF hopes to create an international platform for the creative minds behind films, as well as production and distribution companies from both China and the U.S.

As our biggest event, the biennial DC Chinese Film Festival held in Washington DC is a true celebration of contemporary Chinese cinema and multicultural experience. The four-day festival consists:
- Numerous screenings of features and shorts that are otherwise hard to access.
- Meet-and-greet with filmmakers and scholars to learn about the creative process and culture through after-screening Q&As, panel discussions and mini forums.
- Opening Ceremony and Reception, Closing & Awards Ceremony, and various networking events.

• Year-round Events
Besides the competition festival, we also hold occasional events including film screenings, master classes, discussion forums, and community gatherings.
• Chinese Films Oversea Promotion and Distribution
DCCFF partners with production and distribution companies in China and North America, using our expertise and network to help Chinese films with overseas marketing and distribution.

* Subject to change
Awards in Main Competition:
- Best Narrative Feature
- Best Documentary Feature
- Best Narrative Short
- Best Documentary Short
- Best Experimental Short
- Best Animated Short
- Audience Award (Short)

Special Recognition Awards:
- Inter-Culture Spotlight Award
- Story That Matters Award
- DCCFF Emerging Talent Award

All award winners will be announced at the Closing Ceremony. Prizes will be distributed to winners within 6-8 weeks after the closing of the Festival.

Please note that the above listed awards are from the 3rd DCCFF in 2016, and are subject to change for the 4th DCCFF by the Festival Committee in its sole discretion.

The 4th DCCFF Rules and Regulations
The 4nd DC Chinese Film Festival adheres to the following rules and regulations effective immediately. Please carefully read this document before submitting your work and contact the festival committee with any questions. Applicants, who complete the registration process, implicitly agree to the rules and terms outlined within this document. The DC Chinese Film Festival Committee reserves the rights to make final decisions and interpretations for those cases not clearly described below.

1. Mission Statement

The goal of the DC Chinese Film Festival is to uncover excellent Chinese focused films and foster cultural exchange through screenings and other activities. With this mission in mind, the programming committee has begun the collection of original films from all over the world. With a special emphasis to newcomers and independent filmmakers, the committee hopes that the festival will serve as a cradle for independent Chinese cinema.

2. General Rules and Regulations

2.1. The Film Must Satisfy at least One of the Conditions Below

- The main language of the film is a Chinese language or dialect
- The creative team includes persons of Chinese ethnicity (e.g. director, screenwriter, lead actor/actress, cinematographer, and editor)
- The film’s content focuses on Chinese society, Chinese culture or the lives of Chinese people.

2.2. Registration and Competition Schedule

- Regular Submission Deadline: May 1, 2018 (Entry fee: $10)
- Extended Submission Deadline: May 31, 2018 (Entry fee: $20)
- Finalists Announced: August 2018
- Winners Announced: September 30, 2018

Note: All materials must be received by the committee by the submission deadline above.

2.3. Submitted Films Must Adhere to the Following Requirements

- The work must be entirely original. Any plagiarism will result in disqualification;
- There is no restriction on the theme content or format of the submission. Submissions may include but are not limited to feature, documentary, experimental, and animated films. However, the content may not come into conflict with the laws of the People’s Republic of China or the United states of America;
- Participants should actively keep in touch with the organizers to ensure the provision of timely and accurate information;
- Applicants must hold the film’s copyright or have proof that they are authorized to promote, screen, and participate in related activities at this festival;
- Applicants have the obligation to ensure the legal status of the film itself. In the event of a legal dispute (e.g., any copyright infringement including but not limited to the rights to music, stills, or videos featured in the submission) before, during, or after the film festival, the applicant will assume full legal responsibility and bear all costs related to the dispute (including attorney and court fees).

2.4. The main competition has subcategories include:
Narrative Feature Film (including Animation Feature and Experimental Feature)
Narrative Short Film
Documentary Feature Film
Documentary Short Film
Experimental Short Film
Animation Short Film
Each entry must fit into one of these categories. Each film can only be entered into one award category. The programming committee will give additional awards for films that focus on cultural exchange, social justice, and environmental protection. For additional details on awards see section 5.5.

3. Rules and Terms for Main Competition (Feature and Short)

3.1. Eligibility Requirements

- DC Chinese Film Festival’s definition of a feature-length film is of 40 minutes or more (150 minutes or less ) , a short is 40 minutes or less;
- The entry must be a film, which has completed production after Jury 1, 2016;
- Every applicant may submit a maximum three films; unless the submitter is the representative of an agency or a company.
- Each film can only be submitted to one category. ( For example, the same film can not be submitted to Animation Short and Experimental Short at the same time)
- The film has not released or distributed (including online distribution) in any area and will not be released in full on any other online platform during DC Chinese Film Festival;
- Due to the fact that our film festival judges are from both China and U.S., all submissions are required to have embed English subtitles, costs of subtitling are covered by the applicants.

3.2. Submission Guidelines

1. Read Rules and Regulations, if you have any question, please contact the festival programming committee.
2. Complete the Online Submission through FilmFreeway (

*If you can’t upload your film online, please send two DVD (or data Disc) copies of your film to DCCFF, and make sure to mark your disc with the title, director’s name and the length of the film.

US Address
DC Chinese Film Festival
1101 S Joyce St,
Arlington, VA 22202, USA

Chinese Address
乐澜宝邸 2号楼4单元1502

- Note:
a) All materials submitted by applicants are non-returnable, please be sure to retain the original;

b) Once successfully submitted works , in principle, the organizing committee is no longer accepting new versions, if there are significant changes in registration information , please contact the organizing committee;

c) The festival will be set up promotional page and hashtags on social media platforms to introduce DCCFF’s participants and their works, online interaction with the audience are welcomed.

4. Information for Finalists and Authorization Requirements

4.1. Additional Materials

4.1.1. Finalists must promptly provide the Organizing Committee with the relevant additional materials (posters, trailers, etc. ) ;

4.1.2. Once the film is nominated for the festival, producers need to prepare a digital copy of the film that meets the organizing committee’s standards of quality (no lock code DCP, DCP with KDMs, or Apple Quicktime pr-res 422 codec). Due to screening quality considerations, the programming committee will not accept DVD and Blue-ray Disc. The final copy screened at the festival may not have significant differences from the preview submitted to the committee;

4.1.3. As the final competition will take place in Washington, DC, films must be subtitled in English. All segments with non-English dialogue must have English subtitles added to the final copy for the screening. The costs of subtitling the film will be borne by the filmmaker (or team);

4.1.4. Digital copies of the film must be sent to the programming committee by the 20th of August 2018. The transportation fees and insurance costs will be borne by the applicant.

4.2. Authorization

4.2.1. The finalists are required to authorize the committee to use clips from the film ( no more than 3 minutes) and related information (including screenshots, posters, stills, abstract, trailers, etc. ) on the festival's official website, radio, television, print media, social media, and other forms of media used to promote the festival;

4.2.2. Once the applicants accept the festival nomination they may not withdraw from the competition, finalists are required to give the programming committee the rights to screen the film at least one time in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

4.3. Invitation to DCCFF

The nominated director (producer, or another designated representative from the production team) will be invited to Washington, DC to attend a 4-day festival and other related activities including a post-screening Q&A with the audience and filmmakers’ forum and discussion panel. Finalists are independently responsible for obtaining a visa for travel to the U.S. and travel insurance.
*The festival committee can provide an invitation letter if needed.

5. Programming and Selection

5.1. Initial Review

The festival organizing committee will conduct a preliminary selection and classification of all entries, filtering out those films, which do not meet festival’s requirements.

5.2. Nomination of Finalists

Selection of films for the feature and short film categories of the main competition: After the screening of the entries by category, a selection committee set up by the organizing committee and comprised of industry insiders will deliberate, score and nominate finalists .

5.3. Judging and Selection

The selection committee will nominate films (for both the main competition categories and online competition categories) to the professional contest judges (established filmmakers and film scholars from China and the U.S.), and the panel of judges will assess the films and exchange opinions. Eventually, the scoring breakdown will decide the contest prizes. At the same time the organizing committee will gather the judges’ scores and feedback and give them to the finalists for their consideration.

5.4. Audience’s Choice

Main competition categories (feature and short): The organizing committee will hand out ballots to the audience before every screening, and collect the votes after every screening.

5.5. Awards

Winners will receive a trophy, more details will be announced in the future.

Please refer to the following table for each awards in all categories, the organizing committee will adjust and revise the awards based on participating films in each categories, and announce the updates along with the finalists.

5.5.1 Main Competition
Best Narrative Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short
Best Experimental Short
Best Animation Short
Audience Award

5.5.2 DCCFF Special Awards
DCCFF Story That Matters Award
DCCFF Emerging Talent Award
Inter - Culture Spotlight Award

* The festival committee has the final rights to alter the awards and competition categories.

Overall Rating
  • The communication is so good. I hope we could take part into the festival again in the future: )

    October 2018
  • Lifan Wang

    one of the best experience I have ever had

    October 2016