Now accepting DOCPITCH submissions ONLY.

Presented by the California Film Institute, DOCLANDS Documentary Film Festival brings compelling stories and the provocative insight behind them to Marin County, CA, May 3 - 6, 2018. Expanding upon the exchange of ideas and inspiration through public screenings, engaged conversations, pitching and grassroots networking events, DocLands aims to build an active, involved, fully supportive community around documentary film dedicated to initiating connections and partnerships that will illuminate and invigorate the business and art of non-fiction filmmaking.

DocLands is a non-competitive, non-juried film festival, with one overall Audience Choice Award and one cash prize awarded to the winning project during the DocPitch forum.



Submissions are now being accepted for DocPitch, an initiative designed to connect filmmakers with a film project currently in development (at any stage of pre-production, production, or post-production -- NOT completed films looking for distribution) to organizations, funders, distributors, philanthropists, fellow filmmakers—and future audiences.

For a nominal fee, filmmakers can submit their feature documentary project here for consideration. All entries must be submitted before 9am March 12, 2018. No late entries will be accepted.

For clarification, please read this process on FilmFreeway as well.
Choose DOCPITCH after using SUBMIT NOW button.

To qualify, applicants must submit the following information as Project Information, using the headlines as noted below. Please submit AT LEAST ONE PRODUCTION IMAGE, brief key crew member bios (director/ producer) under Credits:

• Title of the project
• Logline
• Synopsis
• Website (if available)

**Although not required until short-listed projects are selected (see below), IF you have ANY SELECTS or a TRAILER, please do upload those with your submission as it will help demonstrate the look of your project. If you have additional information to share or to explain in more depth, please include a Cover Letter.

Please note that once you upload all project info as required above, and you do not upload video, FilmFreeway will tell you it's incomplete. Don't worry, it IS COMPLETE and once it's submitted, it will be marked as In Consideration.

If your project is chosen to participate in the pitch you will be required to:

• Submit a 3-5 minute trailer by Monday, April 23, 2018
• Make your own way to DocLands to present your project in person

DocPitch will take place as follows:
Saturday, May 5, 2018
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
CinéArts Sequoia Theatre in Mill Valley, CA

If you are unable to make these commitments, you are NOT eligible to enter the DocPitch competition.

The shortlisted filmmakers will be notified by Monday, March 26, 2018 with a deadline of April 23 to submit their trailers. Filmmakers may be disqualified if they fail to submit a trailer by the deadline.

Up to five filmmakers with feature documentary projects currently in development will be selected to present a three-minute verbal pitch, three- to five-minute trailer and participate in a ten-minute Q&A with the audience, comprised of invited funders, organization representatives, distributors, broadcasters, and the general public. All members of the audience will be given a ballot prior to the filmmakers’ presentations to vote on their favorite pitch. The ballots will be collected and tallied, with the winning project announced on site and presented with a $10,000. cash award plus a 2018 CFI Membership.

For any queries please email


Overall Rating
  • harleen singh

    Doclands is an amazing film festival and is a must for all filmmakers. The communication from the get go was clear and quick. It was extremely well organized with everything was in place ahead of time. You can expect an audience of receptive and appreciative filmgoers to view your work. Festival is full of new product and fresh talent. No wonder a lot of film makers attended the screening along with their protagonists and their technical teams. Overall great quality, amazing hospitality and superb communication.

    June 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for sharing your work -- and your enthusiastic subjects -- with our audiences during our second year, Harleen! We were absolutely delighted that you were able to participate -- and look forward to your next doco! All the very best for future screenings from the whole team here!

  • shane anderson

    "The curation of diverse and impactful films was second to none. It was a true honor to be a part of such an amazing festival. I left educated and inspired." ...Shane Anderson Director/ Producer " A River's Last Chance"

    June 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your wonderful words, Shane -- music to my ears! It was truly an honor for US to screen A RIVER'S LAST CHANCE this year. All the very best with future screenings and distribution moving forward.

  • S. Kramer Herzog

    Doclands encompasses all that is great about film festivals: New and cutting-edge talent, enthusiastic and engaged audiences, and a warm and welcoming vibe. It's a must for filmmakers.
    S. Kramer Herzog (director /producer), "Spark Plug Cowboys"

    May 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much, Kramer -- we can't tell you how this makes us feel! Truly heartwarming to hear we're off to a grand start! All the very best with upcoming screenings, Kramer.

  • Molly Stuart

    DocLands was a fantastic festival experience... The events facilitated wonderful connections between filmmakers, industry professionals, and film connoiseurs. The overall level of organization was top-notch, which I highly appreciated. And it was a delight to see a number of interesting projects garner support through DocPitch. I can't wait for next year!

    May 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Molly! We're delighted to hear we did what we set out to do! We're all looking forward to seeing what's up your sleeve for next year :-)

  • Stacey Tenenbaum

    I absolutely loved this festival! They were so welcoming and organized and they really care about film makers. I loved the programming as well - so many great, uplifting films to watch. They also had great parties and delicious food. This fest is the best!

    May 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much, Stacey! It was an honor to have you and your film at DocLands -- we cannot wait to take a look at your next project. Please do keep us in the loop!