WHAT is The Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F)?
The Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F) is not your ordinary film festival. D3F was created in 2022 by the DADvocacy Consulting Group’s Daddy Appleseed Fund (DAF), as a virtual festival (due to COVID restrictions) to offer children and youth a stage to express through film/video how they feel about the relationship they have or wish they had with their dads. The 2023 Daddying Film Festival expanded to provide a worldwide stage to dads/father figures as well as students and non-student indie filmmakers to convey the importance of fathers in their lives. D3F succeeded in attracting submissions from 21 countries in 2023.

Based on our virtual festival experience, and to more directly improve the daddying experience for children and dads alike, the D3F further expanded in 2023 to include a stand-alone, “live” Daddying Film Forum that brought children/youth together with their dads to examine thoughts, feelings, and insights in response to live screenings of particular D3F films and to express them through discussion and other creative means. This year's live Forum will take place at the Parkway Central Library - Free Library of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA, Friday, May 17, 2024. The virtual film festival will run online from May 2-9, 2024. More details TBA.

[Notes: 1) “Daddying” is what occurs when fatherhood and nurturing converge in service to a child. 2) When we use the word father or dad, we refer to all those who play a fatherly role.]

WHY does the D3F exist?
Our relationship with our father – in its presence or its absence – is one of the most important relationships in our lives. Because kids are most directly impacted by a dad’s involvement or his absence, we offer them a creative outlet to freely express their feelings about their relationships with their dads, and likewise, we provide a complementary opportunity for dads. D3F’s mission is to:

• Shine a spotlight on the importance of dads in their presence and in their absence.
• Provide opportunities for kids and fathers alike to reflect upon and express feelings about what daddying qualities are most important to them; what kind of dad a father wants to be, and what kind of dad a kid wants and needs.
• Provide opportunities for emotional authenticity, creativity, and originality.
• Portray a variety of family dynamics in order to explore and encourage constructive relationships.
• Demonstrate film- and/or video-making skills and production values.

Our D3F 2023 program broadened the spotlight to include dads in its call-for-entries as more men are recognizing the critical role they can play in their kids’ lives and are embracing the opportunity to do so as they move from an understudy to a co-starring parenting role. After all, when men are positively involved, all measures of social well-being improve for kids, fathers, families, and communities. And even though the benefits to kids and youth of positive dad involvement are increasingly known and supported by research, including dads in the program will help demonstrate some of the lesser-recognized benefits dads get from being involved in their children’s lives.

All student FINALISTS earn a $250 award for use toward an activity or project to enjoy with their dad. All D3F WINNERS, including dads and non-student indie filmmakers, earn an “Atticus,” a statuette symbolizing Atticus Finch from the film based on Harper Lee’s book To Kill a Mockingbird. Finch, an iconic single dad, represents several ideal daddying qualities. Student Atticus winners also earn an additional scholarship to advance their studies or create a project encouraging positive dad involvement. The D3F Neuberger Prize for Best Film submitted by a Dad and the D3F Men's Caring Award (new in 2024) for best film submitted by a Dad-figure both carry a $500 cash award. Winners will be selected by public online vote during the virtual portion of the Festival, which runs May 2-9, 2024.

Theme: All films submitted for consideration by the D3F MUST PORTRAY IMPORTANCE OF FATHER-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS AND POSITIVE FATHER INVOLVEMENT (in its presence or absence). “Father” is defined as any adult playing a fatherly role; the “child” (also referred to as "student") may be any age. Overall theme for submissions must be: "A message/letter to my dad/father figure."

The Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F) will feature FOUR (4) categories of films:

* FIRST will be STUDENT films, 1 to 10 minutes in length, submitted in four different grade level groups: elementary (1st through 4th grades), middle (5th through 8th grades), high school (9th through 12th grades), and college undergraduates. The films must either be entirely student-produced or produced by a student working together with a father or father figure. Please refer to the description below. All films must relate to one of the following "themes" defined by the Festival submission guidelines:

• A letter to my father or A letter to my child(ren)
• The most joyful/fun thing I ever did with my father and/or child(ren)
• If I could make one wish come true for my dad and/or child(ren) it would be...
• My Daddy dream

* SECOND will be films, 1 to 10 minutes in length, submitted by dads that relate to one of the daddying themes defined by the Festival submission guidelines. Dad-submitted films are eligible to win Best Short Film and Best Dad Film (the Roy R. Neuberger Prize). The Neuberger Prize also carries a $500 cash award.

* THIRD (new in 2024) will be films, 1 to 10 minutes in length, submitted by another adult male who plays a fatherly role in the life of a child (aka "Dad figure"), including but not limited to foster dads, adoptive dads, granddads, uncles, teachers, mentors and "big brothers," inspirational philanthropists/patrons, and other daddying role models/VIP dads.

*FOURTH will be a collection of shorts (any length) and/or feature-length films selected from independent adult filmmakers (and possibly studios) worldwide.

Submissions by adult independent/non-student/non-dad filmmakers, IF ACCEPTED BY THE D3F, WILL BE FOR SCREENING AND ATTICUS TROPHY AWARD consideration ONLY and WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE for scholarship/monetary awards.

All short and feature-length films/videos must be in English or include English subtitles.

Once submitted, a film may not be pulled from the D3F by the filmmaker for any reason. By submitting your film, you are agreeing to comply with this and all other requirements. D3F submission fees paid by student, dad/dad figure, and adult/independent filmmakers are non-refundable.

By submitting your film, you are warranting that you are authorized to commit the film for screening and accept full responsibility to provide the correct format of your film to our venue partners for festival play.

By submitting this film, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered. Note that this does include music rights for any copyrighted music. Even student filmmakers need to license the right to use copyrighted music.

By submitting your film, you agree to allow D3F to use it, in part or in its entirety, and any related artwork (e.g., promotional/cover photos or film/video screenshots) in Festival promotional materials and other media, including but not limited to Festival social media postings, Festival website, and Festival-related email marketing campaigns.

If/when we accept your film for screening during the D3F, you will receive an automated notification, which includes the deliverables needed in order to proceed adding your film to our festival offerings. You will be asked to upload an electronic file of your film, to our dropbox. Once received, it will be uploaded to our password-protected film programmer's site. This is not a public site. It is for screening by our jurors.

If/when your film is accepted to the D3F, you will receive notification via email. All accepted films will be streamed online during the festival on a D3F-chosen platform. Winners will named on the last day of the festival and you will be invited to participate at the live awards event.

We strongly encourage you to promote your film’s screening to your personal network of friends and family.

CORRESPONDENCE: All correspondence to the Festival management, including entry forms and support materials, must be in the English language and must be submitted online. At peak times during the submission process, it may take several days for us to respond. The Submitter will be the main contact for all communications. If you have questions, please send them to allan@daddyingfilmfest.com.

WHERE TO SUBMIT: All submissions must be made through FilmFreeway. A separate online entry form, payment, and screener must accompany each submission. Entry fee, if applicable, must be paid in US Dollars and submitted through FilmFreeway. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Online screeners must be downloadable
Downloadable file types are H264, mov, mp4, and avi
Include the link and password, if suitable.
Download link must be available through the first festival date.
All short films/videos must be in English or include English subtitles.
Blu-rays or DVDs may NOT be submitted for preview.
The preview copy must be formatted for all-region, multi-zone, or Zone 1 (NTSC, North America) and clearly labeled with title of production in English.

PRODUCTION STILLS (Independent short and feature-length films):
Two high-quality images from the production (jpg, png or tif format)
Images must be 300 dpi or higher and provided via FilmFreeway or emailed to allan@daddyingfilmfest.com

MARKETING LINKS - OPTIONAL (Independent short and feature-length films)
Websites, Social Media
Trailers, if available

OTHER PRODUCTION INFORMATION - OPTIONAL (Independent short and feature-length films):
Director headshot, 300 dpi
Director’s biography and filmography
Cast and Crew, names and titles
Posters, Lobby Cards, SWAG
Materials can be mailed directly to venue, please ask for specifics

Our jury consists of youth, ages 9 to 22, who have received training as jurors, as well as adults who are educators, media professionals, youth advocates, and parents.

Filmmakers will be notified regarding acceptance or non-acceptance via FilmFreeway no later than the acceptance date listed on this site. Additional information regarding scheduled screenings will be sent via email once your film is scheduled to play at the festival. Notices are sent out via email for screenings times or you can check at the D3F Festival site.

Festival Screening Formats must be in H264, mov, mp4 or avi format (1920x1080)
Exhibition screener cannot contain watermark, time code or other markings of ownership.

The D3F and the DADvocacy Consulting Group staff reserve the right to rule on cases not covered by these regulations.

By submitting to the Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F), the Submitter has read and agrees to the Participation Agreement and the Rules and Terms for Festival. The Participation Agreement is to be considered a part of the Rules and Terms and is hereby incorporated by this reference. All references to the Rules and Terms shall also expressly include reference to the Participation Agreement. The Rules and Terms are legally binding.

Daddying Film Festival & Forum
c/o DADvocacy Consulting Group
4822 Bradley Boulevard
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Overall Rating
  • Babak Parham

    Amazing and unique festival with great communication.

    September 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much, Babak, for taking the time to submit your review -- much appreciated. We're looking forward to screening what the girls submit to our D3F 2024 -- submissions open Jan. 1st, stay tuned. Keep creating & DADDY-ON!

  • This is an amazing festival, great organizers and communication was excellent..Highly recommend!

    July 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the positive review, Ahmad.
    We'll look forward to next year's submission from you.
    Did you receive your laurels?
    Only the best ~ Allan

  • Thank you for having us. Great festival and good communication. We look forward to future years.

    June 2023
  • Víctor Augusto Mendívil

    The festival is a great initiative and it shows that it is carried out with great impetus. Communication was always excellent and the crew were particularly concerned about always keeping the filmmakers informed. Many thanks for allowing my short film 299.00 (F84.0) to participate in the festival.

    June 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so VERY much, muchisimo gracias, Victor.
    As a former teacher of children with autism, I particularly appreciated your sensitive film.
    Your son is very lucky to have a dad like you!
    We'll look forward to another submission from you next year.
    Salud ~