DOC NYC, America's largest documentary festival, is an annual event based in New York City at the West Village’s IFC Center and Chelsea’s SVA Theatre and Cinépolis Chelsea. Voted by MovieMaker magazine as one of the "top five coolest documentary film festivals in the world", the eight-day fest showcases new achievements in documentary film along with panels and conversations with acclaimed filmmakers and industry professionals. DOC NYC seeks to make connections that happen “only in New York.”

"This cinematic bonanza covers everything new and noteworthy in the world of documentary filmmaking.” - The Huffington Post

“DOC NYC has cemented itself as one of our favorite festivals of the cultural calendar." – Flavorpill

“DOC NYC has become an essential summit for all kinds of documentary filmmaking.” – Wall Street Journal

“An essential event on the cinephile's calendar.” - Time Out New York

“Images that dare you to turn away.” – The New York Times

“The most comprehensive celebration of the nonfiction form in the five boroughs or anywhere else for that matter.” - AM New York

“Bigger isn't always better. But when it comes to DOC NYC, now the largest documentary film festival in the U.S., the five-year-old upstart event has proven itself a worthy new addition [...] By all accounts, screenings have been selling out; the country's top documentary filmmakers, from Albert Maysles to D.A. Pennebaker, are showing up for tributes and events; and sales agents are closing deals on select world premieres." - IndieWire

Within its first five years, DOC NYC quickly became America's largest documentary film festival. In 2018, the festival showcased over 300 films & events, presented by 500 filmmakers and special guests. Past guests include Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, Seth Meyers, Wim Wenders, Jean Claude Christo, Michael Moore, Martin Scorsese, Eric Clapton, Whoopi Goldberg, Agnes Varda, Rashida Jones, Peter Sarsgaard, Itzhak Perlman, Steve Madden, Dan Rather, Ethan Hawke, Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, Olympia Dukakis, Gale Ann Hurd, Jim Carrey, J Cole, Sarah Polley, Reverend Al Sharpton, Noam Chomsky, Ricki Lake, Michel Gondry, Errol Morris, Oliver Stone, Estelle Parsons, Darrell Hammond, Sonja Sohn, Jakob Dylan, Eve Ensler, Jonathan Franzen, Dick Cavett, Brian Stelter, Omar Epps, Malik Yoba, Sonia Sanchez, Jonathan Lethem, Gilbert Gottfried, Yvonne Rainer, Beau Willimon, Kathleen Hanna, Spandau Ballet, Greil Marcus, Bela Fleck, Mariska Hargitay, Nat Hentoff, Chuck Workman, Frederick Wiseman, Barbara Kopple, Amy Berg, Morgan Neville, Jim Jarmusch, Ronnie Spector, Steve Miller, Steven Van Zandt, Cissy Houston, Betty Harris, Brenda Reid, Tony Alva, Mayor David Dinkins, Billie Jean King, and The Mekons. Audience attendees have included Harry Belafonte, Chris Rock, Michael Fassbender, Lucas Hedges, Alia Shawkat, Carolina Herrera, Valentino, Griffin Dunne, Isaac Mizrahi, Michael Kors, Padma Lakshmi, Mary Louise Parker, Hamish Bowles, Gina Gershon, Rosario Dawson, Fred Armisen, Sandra Bernhard, Marisa Tomei, Thandie Newton, Kevin Kline, Heather Graham, Emma Watson, Michael Stipe, Martha Stewart, Darren Aronofsky, Maggie Q, Joan Jett, Paul Shaffer, Cornel West, Naomi Watts, Bob Costas, Julian Schnabel, Bill Nye, Michael Musto, Cherry Jones, and The Luna Chicks, among others.

2018 grand jury prizes winners included “A Little Wisdom,” “Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY Underground,” and "In the Absence," with the audience award presented to "Out of Omaha," the DOC NYC PRO Pitch Perfect Award going to "Civil War (or, Who Do We Think We Are)," and the IF/Then Shorts Northeast American Pitch Award going to "Mizuko (Water Child)."

Viewfinders – A competition section that covers nonfiction perspectives from around the world. Eligibility requires a minimum New York City premiere with preference given to World or U.S. premieres. Past titles include World premieres of "Almost There," "Naila and the Uprising," "Cooked: Survival by Zip Code," "The Kleptocrats," "The Smartest Kids in the World," "Mole Man," "The Lure," "The Anthropologist," "The Sunshine Makers," and "Web;" and U.S. premieres of "The Stranger," "Silas," "The Judge," "The Beekeeper and His Son," "Girl Unbound: The War to Be Her," "I Am Sun Mu," "A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers," "P.S. Jerusalem," "The Dark Matter of Love," and "The Wound and the Gift."

Metropolis – A competition section of documentaries about New York City or New Yorkers. Eligibility requires a minimum New York City premiere with preference given to World or U.S. premieres. Past titles include World premieres of "Jay Mysel," "Decade of Fire," "Oh, Rick!," "Miracle on 42nd Street," "The Iron Triangle," "Vigilante," "All the Rage (Saved By Sarno)," "Rikers," "Woman On Fire," "Daddy Don't Go," "The Lost Arcade," "Patrolman P," "Some Kind of Spark," "More Than the Rainbow," and "To Be Heard;" and U.S. premieres of "Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco," "Winter at Westbeth," "Homme Less," "The Sarnos - A Life in Dirty Pictures," and "Rubble Kings."

Shorts Programs – Selections of nonfiction shorts, organized thematically. Past titles include Laura Poitras and Henrik Moltke's "Project X," Kate Davis' "Traffic Stop," Thomas Lennon's "Knife Skills," Lucy Walker's "Oh, What A Beautiful City (A City Symphony)," Laura Checkoway's "Edith+Eddie," Aaron Schock's "La Laguna," Maxim Pozdorovkin's "Our New President," Jon Alpert's "Mariela Castro's March: Cuba's LGBT Revolution," Irene Taylor Brodsky's "Open Your Eyes," Alison Klayman's "The 100 Years Show," Doug Block's "The Children Next Door," and Lucy Walker's "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom."

**The winning short film qualifies in the Documentary Short Subject category of the Annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.**

Remaining festival sections are all feature-length and require New York City premieres at a minimum, with a preference for World or U.S. premieres. Note: Exceptions may occasionally be made to consider films which have already screened in NYC - contact to inquire BEFORE submitting.

Special Events – High-profile events and guests. Past titles include the World premieres of Netflix sensation "Making A Murderer," a preview of IFC TV's "Documentary Now!" (with Seth Meyers, John Mulaney, Renee Elise Goldsberry, and Richard Kind in person), the Netflix docuseries "Captive" (with executive producer Doug Liman in person), "Far From the Tree" (with Andrew Solomon in person), "City of Joy" (with Eve Ensler in person), Springsteen doc "The Ties That Bind" (with Thom Zimny in person), "Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?" (with Noam Chomsky and Michel Gondry in person), Amy Berg's "An Open Secret;" U.S. premieres of "Finding Vivian Maier," "The Yes Men Are Revolting," "Do I Sound Gay," "Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You" (with Rufus Wainwright in person), "Charlotte Rampling: The Look" (with Charlotte Rampling in person), and others.

American Perspectives - Past titles include World Premieres of "Maynard," "Father's Kingdom," "Thank You For Your Service," "Kids for Cash," "A Murder in the Park," "Sex and Broadcasting," and screenings of "Hillbilly," "12th and Clairmount," "Above and Below," "Only The Young," "Code of the West," "Brooklyn Boheme," and others.

International Perspectives - Past titles include World Premieres of "Afterward," "New Homeland," "Lovesick," "Every Last Child," U.S. Premieres of "Soufra," "A Better Man," and screenings of "Ask the Sexpert," "Sacred," "Those Who Jump," "Bolshoi Babylon," "The Babushkas of Chernobyl," and "Oma and Bella."

DOC NYC annually presents several thematic strands, which may change from year to year. Among these have been the current affairs-oriented New World Order, science/technology-based Science Nonfiction, sports-themed Jock Docs, music-focused Sonic Cinema, films-on-films Behind the Scenes, investigative True Crime, arts-focused Art & Design, performance-based Centerstage, activism-oriented Fight the Power, animal-themed Wild Life, alternative family-focused Modern Family, photo-focused Photography on Film, institutional portraits In the System, and love and romance-oriented True Love.

DOC NYC connects filmmakers with works-in-progress features or series with industry representatives via our Only in New York program, part of DOC NYC PRO, the festival’s industry programming component. Filmmakers whose projects are selected for Only in New York will be able to participate in intimate roundtable meetings with industry representatives over four days during DOC NYC. Last year, participating companies included Netflix, HBO, A&E IndieFilms, Amazon Studios, Sundance Institute, Showtime, and over 40 others. Note: This is NOT a public-facing program; no public screenings of the WIPs are held.

For more information about Only in New York and to submit your Work-in-Progress feature or series for consideration, please visit:

DOC NYC annually presents several awards, with award details to be announced on

Viewfinders Jury Prize
-Open to the features selected for the Viewfinders Competition.

Metropolis Jury Prize
-Open to the features selected for the Metropolis Competition.

Shorts Jury Prize
-Open to all selected short films screening in festival-curated shorts programs or before feature presentations.

DOC NYC Audience Award
-Open to all features screening in any section of the festival, with the exception of films in the Short List or retrospective films in the Redux section.

Pitch Perfect Award
-Open to the works-in-progress selected for Pitch Perfect, part of the Only in New York program. For more information and to submit your Work-in-Progress project, visit:

• Previously submitted documentaries will not be accepted, unless the film has undergone significant content changes (60% or more) and meets all other submission requirements.
• Feature documentaries are forty one (41) minutes or longer. Shorts are forty (40) minutes or shorter, including all credits.
• If the documentary is in a language other than English, it must be subtitled or dubbed in English.
• Promotional, instructional, industrial films, or raw documentation of performances are not eligible.
• At this time, DOC NYC does not have a VR category.
• Generally, DOC NYC preferences newer films for inclusion. For the 2019 edition, we are ideally seeking films which are making their public premiere within calendar year 2019, or, barring that, had their world premiere no earlier than September 2018.
• To be eligible for inclusion, Features must not have screened publicly in NYC prior to the Festival, nor have been broadcast on US television or online before the festival, nor commercially released on DVD/Blu-ray, VOD, or for download to the public.
• For non-competition Feature sections, exceptions may occasionally be made to consider films which have already screened in NYC - contact to inquire BEFORE submitting.
• While a NYC premiere is not a firm requirement for Shorts, strong preference is given to short films that have not yet screened in the five boroughs of New York City.
• DOC NYC will consider Shorts that have had an online presence, though our preference is to spotlight work that has not already reached a large audience.

• All submissions MUST be made via FilmFreeway. We do not accept submissions made by email.
• When submitting your video, DOC NYC prefers that you link your film from Vimeo to your FilmFreeway project rather than upload your video directly to FilmFreeway.
• If you change your Vimeo link, or the password connected to it, make sure to email the updated information to
• Please Note: We do NOT accept DVD as a submission format. All entries must be submitted by link.
• Filmmakers may submit more than one documentary, but each documentary must be accompanied by its own Entry Form and Entry Fee.
• The Entry Fee is non-refundable.
• Submitted materials will not be returned. Please do not send film prints, master tapes, or other originals.
• While you may update your submitted video link with a revised cut of your film, we generally are only able to view one cut of a submission.
• All entrants will be notified of their status on or around September 27, 2019 via email.
• Please keep us informed of any changes regarding your contact information by emailing
• Due to the number of submissions received, DOC NYC unfortunately cannot provide feedback on entries.
• Filmmakers cannot submit Features to specific competitive or thematic section. The DOC NYC programming team determines section placement after film selections have been made.
• For questions regarding submissions, see Festival Description or email


By submitting this documentary film (the “Film”), I understand that I am agreeing to the following:

• I have the legal right to represent and to submit this Film to the DOC NYC film festival (the "Festival”) and IFC Theatres LLC (“IFC”) and to the best of my knowledge, all statements on this document are true;

• There is no action, suit, claim or proceeding pending, affecting or, to the best of my knowledge, threatened against this Film or its producers, cast, or crew in connection with this Film or otherwise;

• Music and any other third party material clearances and all copyright clearances are my sole responsibility and, if selected for the Festival, I agree that the Film will be fully cleared prior to the first screening at the Festival and no part of the Film will violate or infringe upon the rights of any third party. None of the Festival or IFC will be held responsible for any legal disputes regarding the exhibition of the Film. Noncompliance may affect, delay, and/or disqualify my entry.

• If the Film is selected for screening at the Festival, I grant each of the Festival and IFC the right to screen the Film at the Festival;

• I understand and agree that the Film, if selected for the Festival, may be used for promotional purposes for the Festival, IFC and/or its affiliates, partners and sponsors; and I grant each of the Festival and IFC, and its affiliates, partners and sponsors, the right to use footage (not to exceed 5 minutes), stills and/or titles and information from the Film for such promotional purposes;

• Should the Film win any award, I am authorized and/or empowered by all parties legally representing and/or owning the Film to receive all cash prizes and awards and to distribute them appropriately;

• I fully indemnify and hold the Festival, IFC, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, affiliates, sponsors, licensees and assigns harmless from and against any and all claims, damages, liabilities, costs and expenses in connection with the Film, including:

o reasonable attorneys’ fees and other expenses of defense arising from or in connection with any breach of any of the foregoing agreements, representations or warranties or from or in connection with any litigation or any claim or proceeding commenced by a third party alleging or arising from libel, slander, defamation, invasion of privacy, infringement, unauthorized use or any other right of such third party or wrongful conduct;

o damage to or loss of the film print or videotapes en route to or from the Festival or during the course of the Festival's possession of the entry;

o and any claims which may arise in connection with the Film.


If the Film is selected to screen in the Festival, you will need to provide the following:

o Projection print or video by required deadline. Filmmaker is responsible for the delivery costs of the print shipment to the Festival, including any applicable customs fees. The Festival will return the print to the supplier or to the next domestic destination as indicated by the supplier at the Festival's conclusion. The Festival does not provide extra insurance for originals or masters.

o Press kits, trailers, promotional materials and additional screeners for preview;

o Screener links or DVD copies for the Festival press liaison (optional)

Please do not send these materials until your Film is selected for the program. The Festival reserves the right to complete any information not supplied by the filmmaker from whatever source available and will not be responsible if incorrect information is entered.

Note: The Festival has the right to change any information contained in this document (including Festival dates, venues, events, awards and eligibility requirements) without further notice.

Overall Rating
  • Ahmed Mansour

    OINY's meetings were fabulous,, Great vibes and influential industry professionals :-)

    Thanks DOC NYC

    March 2019
  • Yasmin Mistry

    This festival has great venues, full audiences, and fantastic programming of both films and panels. Everything was very well organized and staff communication was excellent. Overall a great experience!

    November 2018
  • Stacey Tenenbaum

    Love this festival! Great talks, great films and a really laid back vibe.

    November 2018
  • This festival knows how to program, bring audiences together and most importantly, celebrate documentary filmmaking. Looking forward to keep submitting and supporting this festival with new work for years to come.

    November 2018
  • Emily Sheskin

    DOC NYC is an amazing festival and I feel so lucky to have been a part of it! I met so many great filmmakers and was able to see so many wonderful films with my filmmaker pass. The volunteers/staff/curation was excellent and I hope to have another film there one day!

    November 2017