This will be our 9th in person film festival with a theater, box office, and special events. We feature all genres of independent films from all over the world & love to bring independent film to our local community while also showcasing Kansas films and Kansas filmmakers.

We are an official 501(c)3 charitable organization working at a grassroots level to build a community of great filmmakers while bringing the best of independent film from around the world. We pride ourselves on our willingness to work together to make film festivals and independent film the best it can be. Make Art, Share Stories, Show Truth!

Best Overall Film from a Kansas Filmmaker $500

Best Overall Film from any non-Kansas Filmmaker $100

Best Documentary Film (Both Kansas & Non-Kansas) $50

Best Comedy Film (Both Kansas & Non-Kansas) $50

Audience Appreciation Award: (Festival Audience Vote for any film)$100

Programming Director's Award: Laurels & free submission to next year's festival

Judge's Kansas Choice Awards: Award, Laurels, & free submission to next year's festival (at least 3 available)

Judge's Choice Non-Kansas Awards: Laurels & free submission to next year's festival (at least 3 available)

Student Filmmaker Recognition Awards: Laurels & free submission to next year's festival

Thank you for your interest in the Doc Sunback Film Festival in Mulvane, Kansas on July 19th & 20th, 2023. The following is a list of rules for those who would like to enter:

All films in any genre from anywhere in the world will be considered for entry for 2023. All films submitted are screened by at least 2 screeners. Kansas filmmakers will have an additional group of screeners set specifically to score their films.

• All filmmakers who had films selected for entry in last year’s film festival will receive a free entry for 1 film.

• We will send laurels & certificates via e-mail to the address provided. In order to receive cash prizes filmmakers must be able to accept American checks from American banks and must be present or have a designated representative to receive prizes on their behalf on the evening of the awards program. The Doc Sunback Film Festival does not make delivery of prizes and awards to foreign addresses. All prizes will be distributed at the awards program during the festival.

• Regular submission will be from October 15, 2023, to May 1st, 2024. Unless a waiver is authorized non-student films must be submitted with a $20 submission fee. Student films must be submitted with a $5 submission fee or receive a fee waiver.

• Student Films must be submitted with a copy of a current valid Student Identification Card. This image can be transmitted via e-mail.

• Films that contain nudity, visual violence, content of a highly sexual nature, or extensive use of profanity may be labeled inappropriate for small children in our program listings.

• Films must be submitted through Please test before sending. All films with non-English dialogue or script must contain English subtitles in the film. (Film credits are not required to be listed in English.) We suggest file types H.264 or MP4.
To ensure quality playback, data files must NOT be larger than 8GB. Anything larger will not be guaranteed screen time even if it was initially selected for entry. (Films submitted with data files larger than 8GB often have issues with playback even on dedicated computers and professional-grade equipment. We do not have access to streaming at our location)

• Films must have been completed after January 1, 2018. Films must be available for screening during the 2024 Doc Sunback Film Festival.

• Narrative and Documentary films with U.S. distribution (obtained prior to being selected for Doc Sunback Film Festival screening) or films produced, financed, or initiated by a major film studio or television network are ineligible for competition but may be considered for a special screening. Selection for screening will be determined no later than one month prior to the festival. Films that have screened on US network or cable television or distributed to theaters prior to the festival dates are also ineligible for competition but may be available for screening.

• We know that other film festivals make decisions based on premiere status. We do not. We want an audience for your film and would like to provide opportunities for filmmaker feedback and as such are not interested in where your film has premiered or screened previously. However, we reserve the right to ban filmmakers who, submit a film, and then pull it after being selected for entry and interrupt our programming efforts because of a desire to please other film festivals. Our completion dates are more generous in an attempt to allow filmmakers more opportunities to screen at more festivals. We support and respect filmmakers, please in turn respect our programming schedules & volunteers' time.

• Please do not submit your film until it is complete.

• Please include an e-mail if your film was SHOT IN KANSAS (include locations).

• Best Kansas Films or Kansas prize winning films must be directed by current or former residents of the State of Kansas & proof of residency must be provided, i.e. Kansas I.D., Kansas Driver’s License, etc.

• Once an entry payment has been processed we cannot provide a refund. If a payment is disputed, the account holder may be subject to any fees.

• Film submission does NOT guarantee entry.

* Films selected as official entries may be used for promotion of the festival prior to the festival itself. This includes the use of trailers on social media for festival marketing purposes.

• We reserve the right to change these rules at any time & at our discretion.

Send your synopsis and, if desired, a cover letter introducing you/your film. DVDs will not be returned. Include a self-addressed, stamped postcard for each submission if you wish acknowledgment of the receipt of your entry in regular mail.

Overall Rating
  • Keith Cantrell

    This was a wonderful film festival experience! I was bummed I didn't get to attend in-person, but my family was very impressed with the screening and how kind everyone was. The organizers even sent me a T-shirt as a souvenir from the festival. Would love to submit again in the future!

    May 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thanks, Keith! We appreciate you and look forward to your future productions.

  • Doc Sunback has always been incredibly warm and welcoming every single time I've gone. Amazing local festival that everyone in the Kansas area should submit to!

    May 2022
  • Lauren Loesberg

    Great festival. Timely responses, always efficient. Highly recommend.

    November 2019
  • David Walter

    The Doc Sunback FilmFest is a great small town festival with a very hospitable atmosphere. All the festival programmers were polite and friendly and made the event as welcoming as possible for newcomers. The programming was diverse and I saw many wonderful films over the course of the festival.

    September 2019
  • Wanjiru Njendu

    Great festival. Very organized and communicative. I was not able to attend but did a video chat for the Q&A which had great questions.

    June 2019