The Dana Point Film Festival (DPFF) is an OCEAN FILM FESTIVAL focused on marine life and our relationship with this magnificent wonder. DPFF primarily celebrates documentary filmmaking that features education, conservation, preservation, and recreation (ocean adventure films). In addition to filmmaking, this four-day festival will include a free community evening outdoor movie series, musical guests, cultural events, educational elements, speaker series (with renowned global oceanographic experts), and ending in an awards presentation with globally recognized talent.

Awards will be given for Offical Selections and For winners of each category. Prizes might be applicable pending sponsorship, however, they are not promised at this time.

GENERAL RULES, TERMS & CONDITIONS for the 2023 Dana Point Film Festival (DPFF)

All submissions must fit the category description and be ocean themed; please see category descriptions on Film Freeway or

All works must be in English or have English subtitles. Entries must fit the category you submitted in, however, can be submitted by professional or amateur filmmakers.

Films must be completed by the deadline date in which they are being submitted. Works in progress will not be accepted, and edits to films after they have been submitted will not be allowed unless approved by the festival director.

More than one film may be submitted, but a separate entry fee must be paid for each.

DPFF does not pay screening fees or shipping fees in order to screen a film, nor does DPFF underwrite production costs (duplication, subtitling, etc.).

Upon completion of the Festival selection process, we will attempt to contact the Applicant using the contact information provided on the submission form to notify the Applicant of the Film’s acceptance status. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to ensure that the contact information provided on the submission form is correct throughout the entirety of the selection period.

DPFF is under no obligation to provide to the Applicant or any other representative of the Film any comments or feedback regarding the submitted Film should it not be accepted for exhibition at the Festival.

Every submitted film is evaluated on its merits and how it meets the criteria for our festival. The fact that it is or has been available on Youtube or Vimeo or has had limited distribution at selected theaters, or has been shown on TV is considered in our evaluation but is not a reason for rejecting the film. We prefer films made within the past year or two, but an older film that deals with an unusual subject or has historical importance, or has not been shown theatrically for several decades might also be considered for the festival. Each film is unique and will be evaluated as such.
• All filmmakers will be required to sign a Filmmaker Licensing Agreement granting DPFF permission to use their film as part of the film festival.
• All Official Selections will be required to submit a film with an option for closed captions.

If your film is selected to be a part of the 2023 DPFF, you will receive a variety of perks as follows;
• Access for you and one guest to the Opening Night Reception, all screenings, panel discussions, workshops and Wrap Party (includes other events as they come online)
• Discounted or complimentary hotel lodging with our hotel sponsor, subject to availability
• Opportunities to engage with the press and media
• Opportunity to engage in a Q&A session with the audience each time your film is screened
• Potential for your film to be selected for the DPFF affiliate Traveling Program
By submitting your films to the DPFF, you hereby grant permission for DPFF to use it for the following purposes:
Stills: Still images from the films will be used on the website, printed materials, banners, and other promotional materials. Please submit one high-resolution headshot of the filmmaker in JPG format.
Clips: Clips of submitted films may be used to promote DPFF by appearing on the DPFF website, in the DPFF trailer, possible partnership websites, third-party advertising sponsors (i.e., television spots, newspaper print, magazine ads, etc.)
Trailer: DPFF may request a short trailer for films over 10 minutes to use for promotional purposes.
Interim Screenings: In addition to possibly being screened at DPFF during the stated festival dates, accepted films may be screened throughout the year for promotional purposes as a separate screening in cooperation with other DPFF partnership organizations.

Overall Rating
  • Superb communication and from what I saw online a very well attended event.

    May 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Anthony! We appreciate your feedback! All the best Lloyd

  • David McGuire

    Great festival of ocean films near the beach. Super friendly community and supportive volunteers. We enjoyed screening , watching films and look forward to the next one.

    May 2023
  • I was honored to participate in this year's Dana Point Film Festival with "Resurrection under the Ocean" short film! - 😃😃😃🙏🙏🙏

    May 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your participation. The audience liked your film - you have talent:)

  • Jude Rodricks

    I was very honored that the Dana Point Film Festival chose my short film to be included in their event. I’m 12 years old and this was my first film. They were super nice in all of their communications. My only regret was that I couldn’t make it to the festival! 100% would love to try another ocean themed film so I could be part of DPFF again, and recommend it to you highly!!!!

    May 2023