Docfest • international documentary film festival in Maastricht is a film festival in the cross-border region of the Netherlands.

Thanks to its unique character and principles, Docfest has become a very accessible and socially relevant documentary film festival, which offers insight, inspiration, a broader view and diversity through human stories that matter in this time of globalization, internationalization and search of identity in the individualized society.

Docfest has no age limits or defined groups: No restrictions on origin, nationality or background. Docfest stands for connecting and meeting, accessibility, education and talent development, conversation and collaboration.

We offer a great stage for documentary filmmakers in the cross-border region of Docfest. Here you can inspire and get inspired by people from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and many more international nationalities who stay in this region.

The typical and unique character of the festival certainly contributes to the experience and success of Docfest. Docfest has a festival hearth, where visitors and filmmakers meet each other. Talkshows, Q&A’s, inspiring side-programs and cosy meeting places are its sign of identity. Furthermore, the festival offers a masterclass, workshops for professionals and students and many possibilities to meet other documentary filmmakers in the evening after-parties.

Docfest Award for Best 1st or 2nd Documentary Film- To encourage filmmakers who made their first or second documentary film short or long.
Youth Recommendation Award.
Audience Award.

We are looking for films!
The filmmakers of the selected documentaries from FilmFreeway will receive €0,50 for each visitor of their film during the Festival.

We select films who tell human stories from all over the world and from the cross-border region of Docfest. The documentary should at least meet one of the requirements below:

1. The documentary has a relationship with the cross-border region Netherlands , Germany and Belgium. The author lives here, was born here, educated or trained here.

2. The subject of the documentary takes place in this cross- border region Nord Rhein Westfalen (D), Limburg (NL), Limburg (B), Vlaanderen/Liege/Wallonie (B).

3. Documentaries are human driven stories. Personal stories who tell bigger themes.

4. The documentary meets one of the specific subjects within the festival. The subjects of Docfest edition 2018 are;
- human stories - personal stories which tell bigger universal themes
- Human technology**
- Sustainable love***
- Rise Up****

**This theme is about how technology influences our daily lives. We search for films that shows the effect from the human perspective and gives us different sights for the future.

***This theme is about the new possibilities in sustainability from a human perspective instead of a technical one. What are the best solutions in sustainability? How can people in love last out together for over more than 5 decades? Can we learn from that to have a more sustainable world?

***This theme is inspired by the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I. After a war people have to rise up again. Try to build up a new life. Find love again. Gaining trust in each other. We don’t specifically look for documentaries which are related to a war, far more we hope for stories in which people who came from a struggle have risen up and have an inspiring story.

Within Docfest we offer a platform for nowadays documentary stories around everyday problematics, happiness, love, hope, fear, hate, politics etc. As long as the story is centrally based on the human. And can tell a bigger story within a small context. We prefer stories with a few protagonists.

1 General requirements for entry

1.1 To be admitted, each film must match the following requirements:
There is limitation regarding the production date of the film, our main focus will be on productions made within the last two years.
The documentary films: short no longer 45 minutes (including credits). • feature: 45 minutes or more
In case the film has no clearly spoken English dialogues and/or commentary, English subtitles are required.

The film format in which the film should be presented during Docfest is DCP, MOV and Mpeg-4 only. Presentation of other formats and video systems is exceptional and requires authorization of the Festival program department.

1.2 Deadlines for Docfest the cross-border documentary film festival Film Festival competition:

Regular Deadline: May 31, 2018
Late Deadline; 22 June, 2018

On these dates the submission has to be completed: entry form as well as digital screener have to be sent to Docfest.
In case the film is not yet finished, please send a rough cut screener.

1.3 Entry fee:
Regular deadline: 80 euro
Late deadline: 85 euro

Regular deadline: 50 euro
Late deadline: 55 euro

Regular deadline: 35 euro
Late deadline: 40 euro

Regular deadline: 35 euro
Late deadline: 40 euro

Requested materials for entry:
A completed online submission via We accept submissions through FilmFreeway only. We only accept online screeners. No preview DVD's accepted.
A filmfile uploaded or an embedded URL on, which stays available until at least the end of September. Note: making the Vimeo downloadable is preferred.
Additional material such as credits, synopsis of no more than 75 words, a minimum of 2 stills, a brief director’s biography, a poster and 1 photo of the director via

1.4 Genre:
Documentary (and combinations within fiction, animation, experimental, virtual reality, smartphone and more).

1.5 Docfest • international documentary film festival categories:
Feature documentaries
Short documentaries
Student documentaries
VR documentary
Audio documentary

If applicable the category should be indicated on the entry form. However, the final decision on this is entirely at the discretion of the Festival programming team.

The preview files will be kept in the Festival archive and will only be used for non-circulated reference and educational purposes.

If a short film does not meet all of these requirements, it will not be eligible for selection by the Festival.

2 Awards & Prizes:
Docfest Award (encouraging) for Best 1st or 2nd Documentary Film
Youth Recommendation Award.
Audience Award.

3 Selection and screenings
In case a film is selected, the Festival will notify the primary contact and the director of the film after the 1st of August, 2018.

For promotion of the whole selection and of each selected film, the festival website is allowed to use any still or digital film clip (less than 10% of the film’s duration up to a max of 3 minutes).The Festival is also entitled to use the requested stills, poster, biography and photo of the director and credits from selected films for promotional purposes nationally and internationally.

The Festival has the right to screen selected films during the Festival without paying any screening fees and for educational purposes on other events related to the festival.

The selection committee’s decision to select or reject a film is final. No correspondence will be held in regards to this decision. A selected film cannot be withdrawn from the program after accepting the selection invitation.

Selected films directors will receive an invitation for the Festival and an accreditation. This invitation may not be used by a third party. Festival does not cover travel or staying costs for selected filmmakers, unless specific request of the festival.

General scheduling and timetabling of the public screenings and press & industry screenings are entirely at the discretion of the Festival management.

The filmmakers of the selected documentaries that will be screened through FilmFreeway will receive €0,50 for each visitor of their film during the Festival.

4 Transport, insurance and return

The Festival must receive the screening copy of the film before the 15th of August of 2018. In case the Festival wishes to use the film for a press screening or something similar, the primary contact or print-contact will be contacted prior to this date. The Festival will contact whoever is designated on the entry form as the primary contact about the shipment and the exact shipping address.
When sending the film from a country that’s not part of the European Union (EU), a non-commercial/ pro forma invoice must accompany the print/data-disk, stating the name of the sender, the company, the address, the title of the film, the format, its length, the number of reels, and the description “without commercial value, for cultural purpose only” and mark “no value”, or “not more than 10 Euro / US$”.

The costs of transport of all data-disks and film prints (both from the EU as well as from outside the EU) to the festival office are the responsibility of the applicant. The Festival will pay for the return of the print to the destination of choice.

Participants are entirely responsible for insurance concerning the shipment of films/data-diks to and from the Netherlands. Upon gaining possession of the films/data-disks from the courier or shipping company, the Festival will only accept limited liability, extending to the time that the festival organisation returns the film or video to the shipping company. The definition of this limited liability includes a refund of laboratory expenses for making a new print of the film reel(s) damaged or the duplication of the DCP. This refund will be calculated according to the current Dutch laboratory prices. It does not extend to negatives, positives, or masters.

In case of faulty projection, the Festival cannot be held liable for immaterial damages suffered by director, producer, or distributor. Complaints will only be considered if they are filed within four weeks following the Docfest festival.

Guests of the Festival are not covered by the festival insurance. Press kits, photos, and screeners for publicity purposes and other materials are not included in the limited insurance liability.

All prints will be returned within twelve weeks after the Festival. By acceptance of the selection, the participant will be asked to give the return address. It's the responsibility of each participant to inform the Festival in due time on the details of the return address as well as the desired date of arrival at the return address.

5 Conclusion and contact

Participation in the Festival implies acceptance of these regulations and decisions made by the management and board. The management and/or board of the Docfest the cross-border documentary film festival decide in all cases where the regulations do not suffice.

The management and/or board of the Festival can always decide on exceptions of the regulations.

The entrant guarantees to have cleared all (intellectual property) rights needed for screening during Docfest international documentary film festival 2018 and shall indemnify the Festival against all liability towards third parties.

Overall Rating
  • Enrico Ventrice

    Great experience, thank you :)

    September 2016