Set in one of the defining urban centers of the world, DTLA Film Festival (Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles) has as its mission to exhibit a wide array of independent film and filmmakers from throughout the U.S. and abroad with a primary focus on those that explore the history, architecture, cultural diversity and contemporary social and political issues of the modern urban landscape.

We also seek to draw worldwide attention to Downtown LA. as the nexus of the Creative Capital of the World where film, music, video games and digital entertainment media converge.


DTLA Film Festival was established in 2007, proclaimed by L.A. Weekly to be among the Top 5 Film Festivals in Los Angeles. The festival celebrates the renaissance of downtown LA (DTLA) in all its facets - its historic movie palaces, its legendary cultural institutions, its thriving business and residential communities, and its unique ethnic-cultural diversity.

DTLA is the midst of a historic building boom not seen since the 1920s. Dozens of restaurants, lounges, galleries and hotels have opened in the last year. Established digital and other corporate brands, creative agencies and high-tech start-ups are setting up shop. DTLA is the most exciting place to be in Los Angeles - its new creative nexus - and DTLA Film Fest is the largest film event in DTLA.

Since 2008 the festival has screened more than a thousand narrative and documentary features and shorts. We embrace diversity in front of and behind the camera. We lean toward films that push the creative envelope. And through the years we've honored an array of artists who have contributed to independent cinema Kenneth Anger, John Hawkes, Laura Dern, Mark Ruffalo, Charles Burnett, Penelope Spheeris, Allison Anders and Robert Altman.

Our audience is comprised of entertainment industry professionals: producers, agents, filmmakers, film financiers and other film, music, TV, video game, Internet, marketing and fashion industry creatives. Films at our festival enjoy the advantage of being seen by the industry influentials that can make a difference in your film and your career. Last year alone, fully half the features presented received distribution deals.

Last year the festival launched it's industry outreach program a first of it's kind initiative linking participating filmmakers with distributors. We are excited to continue this innovative program in 2018.

The 10th Annual DTLA Film Festival will be held October 17-21, 2018. Primary screening venue is Regal L.A. Live Stadium 14, the only multiplex in downtown Los Angeles, featuring state-of-the-art a/v equipment and facilities. The multiplex is part of the larger L.A. Live entertainment complex featuring 25 restaurants and lounges as well as the Grammy Museum, the Staples Center and other entertainment venues. DTLA is the hub of Los Angeles, and L.A. Live is the hub of DTLA.

This year's festival will have a special focus on emerging technology, cinematic television and urban ecology. However, the majority of the festival's 100+ screenings this year will continue to be reserved for movies of all genres and themes. DTLA Film Fest remains committed to its tradition of fearless innovation and diversity in programming.

Prizes are awarded in all the major categories (best picture, director, cinematographer, screenwriter, actors), divided by genre: narrative feature, documentary feature, and shorts.

DTLA Film Festival (Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles) - October 17-21, 2018.


DTLA Film Festival accepts no responsibility for loss or damage of entries during shipment to or from the festival.

1. Entries must be submitted by August 1, 2018. Late submissions will be accepted, however, higher fees will apply.

2. Completed submission form, submitted electronically via FilmFreeway. DVDs are not accepted.

3. All entries must be in English or contain English subtitles (unless special arrangements have been made with festival.)

4. If selected to screen at DTLAFF 2018, Presenting Filmmakers for feature length films including documentaries will be required to submit a DCP screening copy and a back-up Blu-Ray. Entrants will be solely responsible for delivering their exhibition video materials to and from the festival venue. Screening copies will be available for retrieval by the filmmakers or his/her designated representative at the conclusion of the festival.
DCP Hard Drive Formatting
We are only capable of playing two types of aspect ratios in our cinema (Flat and Scope):
2K Flat (1.85:1) Resolution: 1998x1080
2k Scope (2.39:1) Resolution: 2048x858
4k Flat (1.85:1) Resolution: 3996x2160
4K Scope (2.39:1) Resolution: 4096x1716
The L60/alchemy can do max:
3D @ 2K resolution - 120 fps total - i.e. 60 per eye.
3D @ 4K resolution - 60 fps total - i.e. 30 per eye.
Please note the hard drive that will hold the DCP must be formatted for Linux EXT2, or Linux EXT3 to work properly with the servers.
Your content must be PC compatible as our projectors will not read MAC files.
The content needs to be an unencrypted wrapped DCP file (It can be encrypted as long as we have keys/KDMs).

NOTE: For shorts and Web series and TV pilots if selected your final screening copy must be:
Quicktime .mov format
ProRes 422 HQ codec
Uncompressed Stereo or 5.1 surround Linear PCM audio embedded in the QT file
1 second of black & silence at the beginning and end of the QT files

5. For publications purposes, if your film/video is selected for screening, entrants must be prepared to supply at least three electronic images (publicity stills) either in jpeg or PDF format, 300 dpi, under 2K. Selected filmmakers have the option of submitting a standard size movie poster which will be displayed prior to their screening.

NOTE: Only electronic images will be accepted for the official festival catalog-program. We also encourage submitting as much publicity material that is available and a complete credit list. These additional materials cannot be returned. Any materials that entrants wish to be seen by the programming committee should be submitted in duplicate with this application.

6. Exceptions to the festival regulations must be authorized by one of the Festival Co-Directors.


Overall Rating
  • Kase Pena

    I totally LOVED having been a part of this festival and I look forward to hopefully returning with my future work as well as to watch the works of other outstanding filmmakers!

    November 2018
  • Maia Nikiphoroff

    DTLAFF was an amazing Festival. The staff was on top of making sure our screenings got an audience and the best experience ever! Thank you!

    November 2018
  • Sam Bathrick

    Fantastic experience. Highly recommend. Cheers!

    October 2018
  • Joy Shannon

    The Downtown LA Film Festival is a gem for indie filmmakers. They have insight, a heart and are very classy. But better, they are committed to the voice and POV of all indie filmmakers -- women and filmmakers of color are supported. And support to all is so important during the indie filmmaker's journey. This festival will always have a warm place in my heart.

    October 2018
  • We should have more Festivals like this! I felt very welcome and it would be awesome to come back next year!!

    October 2018