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.

Overall Rating
  • Jessica Martin

    I can't recommend this festival enough! Incredible programming- not a weak film in the bunch, and the NICEST festival staff that truly takes care of you. I felt like part of a family being there, and hope to go back many more times again.

    March 2019
  • I loved my time at Durango Film Festival! My short documentary film Child, Disrupted played to two almost-sold-out screenings at 9:30 AM and 12:00 PM on weekdays. It was an incredible turn-out and one of the best audiences I've had in terms of engagement and enthusiasm. The festival team was 5 stars all of the way - from the gorgeous complimentary hotel room to the great VIP party/lounge, I had an amazing time. Durango is such a cute and lively town with a great mix of ages and it was definitely reflected in the movie-goers. I met a lot of great filmmakers at the festival and hope to collaborate with them in the future!

    March 2019
  • Wendy Solberg

    The communication and professionalism demonstrated by the festival representatives was simply amazing! Our little film ( literally just a few minutes long ) was treated like a major motion picture. We were treated with the upmost respect and we just can't wait to submit another film and attend this wonderful festival.

    June 2018
  • Abigail Wright

    Such a wonderful and welcoming experience, thank you! Like a great film, I had heard such praise and wondered if it might be overrated, but it was not at all. I was blown away with the tight knit community, the networking events and opportunities, the quality of the films, the friendliness of the staff and volunteers, and the hospitality in general. They make me want to create my next film, so I can submit again soon!

    March 2018
  • Lisa Rodriguez

    This fest was nothing short of top-notch! The town of Durango is a vibrant artsy hub of great people and avid film lovers who flock to see every film. There were multiple events, mixer's, and great opportunities to network with fellow filmmaker's and producers. Truly unforgettable and everything a film festival "should" be...

    March 2018