The 15th Durango Independent Film Festival is a late winter/early spring destination festival cultivating a reputation as a filmmaker’s festival. Located in picturesque southwestern Colorado, filmmakers will enjoy staying within walking distance of two of three venues, fine restaurants, boutiques, brew pubs, art galleries, and historic Victorian hotels. Durango offers many recreational diversions such as the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge train and early spring skiing at nearby Purgatory Ski Resort. In addition to festival parties, we host nightly gatherings in the private filmmaker’s lounge with complementary beverages such as our own festival beer courtesy of SKA Brewing.

All films selected will be screened at least twice during the festival. Filmmakers are encouraged to participate in Q&A sessions following screenings to further engage and connect with the audience. To be more involved, there is an opportunity to participate in panels and/or workshops. Each year, our festival seeks out an eclectic mix of narrative features, documentaries, and short films. We seek all genres of film including: Adventure, LGBT, Native American, and Family. We also curate creative films suitable for students of all ages for our REEL Learning School Program.

This is a juried film festival concluding with both juror and audience award presentations. Cash awards for the five jury winning films; Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Short Documentary, Best Live Action Short, & Best Animated Short.

Please no requests for submission fee waivers.
Works in progress must be received prior the early bird deadline and final completed work must be received by November 1, 2019.
For exhibition formats, BluRays are required for back-up purposes only.
Please notify the festival if your film will be broadcast on cable or network television or released for sale on DVD prior to the beginning of the festival.
DF reserves the right to exclude a film from the festival if that film has been previously broadcast.
Please note that DCP is the required exhibition format for all feature length documentaries and narrative features as well as short films. All festival venues have DCP formats.
Durango Film will only return ship to domestic destinations, including domestic film festival destinations.
Selected films will not be paid a screening fee. Films that require a screening fee are not eligible for either a juried or audience award. All films will screen twice during the festival and filmmakers will be notified by mid-January 2020 when both screenings have been scheduled.


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  • What a fantastic festival. When our film was selected, my filmmaker friends said it was one of the best one's they've been to, and they were right! Good people, they take good care of you, a crazy-unique setting, engaged and supportive community who fill the theaters, and great food. They even have their own airport. Highly recommended.

    March 2020
  • Paul Sutton

    We have screened our doc, "Straight from the Pen," at dozens of festivals across the country. We drove over 2,000 miles to this one to discover that Durango was one of the best! Incredibly well organized, right down to the brochures listing events--easy to find everything and everything was very closeby. All kinds of Intimate gatherings with a very engaged community. We totaled about 200 people at our two screenings--a huge number for a prison documentary and more than we had at any other festival. And we had people stopping us on the street to congratulate us on our unique show. So many parties and events that we couldn't begin to attend them all, and, of course, some really outstanding films! Lovely setting, great venues, and absolutely WONDERFUL and engaged community.

    March 2020
  • Meghan Falcone

    What a wonderful festival! Screenings were all full, lines to get in - great Q and As and a wonderful assortment of content. A truly wonderful community that welcomes filmmakers. This festival goes above and beyond in every way!

    March 2020
  • Leon Chambers

    One of the most enjoyable festivals I have attended. They really know how to make their filmmakers feel welcome and what a setting! Screenings are very well attended and the town embraces the festival with open arms. Definitely an audience facing festival and not an industry one, so don't expect to meet distributors, but great for networking with other filmmakers. I already have two projects I am now working on with people I met there.

    March 2020
  • Durango Independent FF was wonderful in every way. They picked me up at the airport, paid for a night in the local hotel, organized the screenings well, hosted helpful workshops with veteran filmmakers, and communicated with me throughout the entire process. I could not recommend DIFF more. It was a great experience and I hope to attend again next year!

    March 2020