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 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.

NOTE: For shorts and Web series 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
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    Alexandru Petru Badelita

    So happy to be a part of this Film Festival !!! Thank you !

    January 2018
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    Art Jones

    The DTLA Film Festival mixes a high-impact, big screen experience with local, personal touch that's hard to find elsewhere. It's a festival where you and your film can be "found" in a city where it's too easy to get lost. Programming Director Karolyne Sosa has grown the festival in the burgeoning arts and culture world of Downtown LA, setting the event apart from others in Los Angeles with a distinct voice and sense of place. In turn, DTLA seeks directors with strong, urgent voices that aim to spark discussion, move audiences and make waves. Sosa's keen eye focuses each year's line-up within throught-provoking themes, placing individual films inside larger, high-impact contexts that resonate with audiences, the media and distributors. It's a caring and collaborative process that begins long before your film screens. When DTLA selected our feature, "Forbidden Cuba," Sosa's team immediately went to work, helping us connect our film with local LA communities, special-interest audiences and potential buyers. At screening time, we met an energetic, highly-engaged audience that wanted to continue the conversation long after the end credits rolled. We built a community at DTLA, one that is still helping us move our project forward. I was totally surprised in the weeks after the festival when DTLA reached out again to actively promote our film to new potential LA and international buyers. Their team sensed our energy and drive and met us with equal voltage. This is a festival for filmmakers who are ready to take charge of their projects (and destinies). DTLA wants the best for your film, and it has created a caring, high-profile event and organization to get you there.

    - Art Jones, Director, "Forbidden Cuba"
    Great Jones Productions

    December 2017
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    Joe Petricca

    The DTLA Film Festival was awesome. So great to see my movie on a huge screen at the LA Live Regal Cinemas. The staff was welcoming and helpful. I attended the filmmaker welcome reception and met other filmmakers and festival staff. I know that LA is a tough festival city but it is unfortunate that DTLA Film Festival doesn't have the audience they deserve - its growing but it is a gem that is so worth it.
    Also, the programming of the shorts section was terrific - sometimes it can seem random what you are programmed with but this was a really interesting and well programmed selection.

    October 2017
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    Jorge Xolalpa Jr.

    I had the best time of my life at this amazing festival. Karolyne, Judd, Greg and Marco made this whole experience so unique and special. My film Blue Line Station won "Breakthrough Performance" -- I can't wait for next year. Hopefully submit more of my work!

    October 2017
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    Russell Emanuel

    Had a blast at this festival. My feature film "Occupants" screened there and was it an amazing experience! The team was great, very professional and the Regal LA Live theaters were amazing! A definite 5 out of 5 for me!

    October 2016