Presented by the esteemed Parajanov-Vartanov Institute, DOC LA - Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival - will screen and award outstanding films by students, emerging filmmakers, and established masters of American and World cinema. DOC LA furthers the mission of the annual Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Awards established in 2010.

While the festival’s focus is documentary cinema, we program films of any genre (including animation, experimental, and music videos) whenever we discover unique or charming work. We are also enthusiastic about unusual, strange and unclassifiable films since the institute that presents the festival is named after the renowned nonconformists Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990) and Mikhail Vartanov (1937-2009), who overcame censorship, persecution and low budgets, and earned praise for their daring point of view from many of cinema’s greatest luminaries, such as Godard, Coppola and Tarkovsky, and inspired the likes of Madonna and Lady Gaga.

The festival’s programmer is their disciple and UCLA alum Martiros Vartanov, who has served as a curator and juror at festivals in Busan and Los Angeles and worked on the restoration of The Color of Pomegranates selected for Festival de Cannes. He also presents the institute's and the festival's annual awards whose recipients include Academy Award ® winning director Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Saroyan, French cinema icon Jean Vigo, Oscar ® winning actresses Emma Thompson, Marion Cotillard, Susan Sarandon, Helen Mirren, and Cate Blanchett, as well as Jeff Bridges, Emilio Rivera, Usher, Ice-T, Michael Weatherly, Joe Berlinger, Alfred Molina, William Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Mark Ruffalo, and Grammy-winning rock band System Of A Down.

DOC LA was covered by The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Screen Daily, LA Weekly, LA Times, CBS, FOX, and Deadline Hollywood.

Best Documentary Award
Best Short Documentary Award
Best Student Documentary Award

DOC LA, at its discretion, may award cash prizes and special awards:

Directing Award
Cinematography Award
Screenwriting Award
Editing Award
Composer Award
Producer Award
Animation Award
Audience Award
Music Video Award
Experimental Film Award


On rolling basis, and appx by 30 September.


DOC LA must receive the screening copy of your film within 7 days from notification of acceptance.


Short films: 1-15 min.
Mid length films: 16-39 min.
Features: 40-180 min.

DOC LA accepts online screeners only (ideally, Vimeo, FilmFreeway player, YouTube, etc).

By submitting to Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival (DOC LA) you understand and agree that:

a). you are the creator/owner of the film, or you are authorized by the creator/owner of the film to submit it.

b). you will provide DOC LA with the screening copy of your film (DCP -- or -- Quicktime/ProRes/H264/etc) within 7 days from notification of acceptance. Submission fees are nonrefundable. The festival reserves the right to change any dates, deadlines, terms, format, and venues at its sole discretion.

c). that the festival will not be held liable in case your exhibition materials are lost, stolen or damaged, or for any claims arising from improperly secured rights/permissions for your film.

d). that you have all the necessary rights/permissions for your film.

Overall Rating
  • Assistante Communication

    Great festival with a wonderfull team who is always kind and efficient beyond borders !
    Virginie Valente Duarte / Bonne Pioche / France

    December 2022
  • Martijn Goris

    Thanks for having our world premiere! This is a great festival ran by people with true passion for filmmaking!

    December 2022
  • Sterling Hampton IV

    Great festival. The energy and community at the festival was amazing. The programmers are very creative and really care about the art of filmmaking.

    December 2022
  • Wonderful festival and organization! Thanks for having our work.

    December 2022
  • David Tice

    DOC LA was a great festival. Highly competent in every way. Their team was phenomenal in communication. David Tice

    November 2022