Having experienced film festivals all across the country with our own films, we’ve seen so many films that we truly never cared to see. You never know what you and your family are going to be subjected to. This film festival is challenging filmmakers to set aside political agendas (or learn to creatively bury them in your film) and avoid shock value for the sake of shock value. We are challenging filmmakers to bring creativity and beauty to their art of filmmaking and story-telling.

Brought to you by Desoto Arts Institute and located in Southaven, Mississippi, the Desoto Film Festival is designed to bring thoughtful entertainment to families and individuals in the Mid-South as well as give exposure to filmmakers desiring to reach the widest audience of viewers – the entire family.

DFF is open to anyone, anywhere around the world and we encourage people to go out, be creative and produce great films. DFF exists to make great films accessible to the widest audience possible.

The Desoto Film Festival will award several trophies in different categories including Best Feel Good Film. The trophies are handcrafted.


The Desoto Film Festival is a film festival located in Southaven, MS and hosted by the Desoto Arts Institute. Submissions must be made online (via https://filmfreeway.com/desotofilmfestival). Official Selections will be screened at the festival event in October.

Official Selection and award notifications will be delivered electronically. Physical prizes (certificates, plaques, trophies, etc.) will be given to the award winners at the award ceremony during the Desoto Film Festival weekend. Award winners not in attendance can have their awards mailed to them at the expense of the award winner.

Entrants warrant that they have the legal right to enter film work to the Desoto Film Festival. As the Director/Producer of the Film, entrants have submitted to the Festival, entrants represent and warrant to the Festival that the Film and all parts thereof are original; that the Film does not contravene the rights of any person or entity and that entrants own or control the Film and all parts thereof and have the sole authority to submit the Film to the Festival; the Film entrants submitted to the Festival is not subject to nor threatened by any litigation.

Entrants acknowledge that no fiduciary or confidential relationship now exists between the Festival and entrants, and entrants further acknowledge that no such relationship is established by these guidelines, my submission of the Film, or by the Festival’s acceptance, review or retention of the Film.

If a film is accepted, entrants will be solely responsible for delivering their exhibition video materials to DFF. By submitting to the Desoto Film Festival, you give DFF permission to screen your film during the festival weekend at the festival’s discretion.

Submission Rules and Regulations
> No submission fee refund
> No nudity or sexuality explicit scenes
> No offensive language
> Strong violence is prohibited
> Must be uplifting and/or contain positive values
> All non-English Films must have English Subtitles

Overall Rating
  • I attended this fest and let me tell you, it was a JOY. Not only were the people truly wonderful, but the curated movies were so well made, it was an honor to know my film, The Adventures of Wonderboy had made the cut AND walked away with the Founder's Choice Award, which was amazing. It was fun, and as soon as I have another film to submit, I will. I'll be back as often as I can.

    February 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much Marti! We loved having you at the festival and we hope to see you again this year.

  • This is an amazing festival and they go above and beyond to make you feel welcome and valued. The awards are my favorite too! Thank you so much Desoto!

    January 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Kody! We loved having your film as a part of the festival and we can't wait to see your future work!

  • We're extremely grateful to Jesaiah and team to help make the film available to the audience in Mississippi. Unfortunately, we were not able to attend the screening, but received a lot of love and appreciation from the audience. Thank you Desoto Film Fesitval for this opportunity.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for being a part of our festival! We look forward to seeing your future films.

  • Although we were unable to attend this year, we were honoured, “My Day“, had its Mississippi State Premiere at the 2019 Desoto Film Festival. We are very thankful to the Desoto team for their support and encouragement. We look forward to their future festivals and hope to participate again in the future.

    October 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much for the kind words! We enjoyed having you as part of the festival.