The 16th Durango Independent Film Festival is an 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 artfully brewed by SKA Brewing.
We are optimistic that we will be able to present a theatrical festival so that attending filmmakers will be able to experience a live audience reaction to their films. We are planning a virtual component which may compliment our live programming, or possibly replace live programming should we find ourselves unable to gather in a theatrical setting. We will be transparent with any possible changes, such as the need to go virtual only, so that we can be socially responsible in these unpredictable times. However, we will continue to champion the art of independent filmmaking and will showcase your film in the best possible way.
We have signed the 2020 Festival Survival Pledge. We have no premiere status requirements. Therefore, if your film has screened in an online film festival event, your film will be given the same consideration as all other submitted films.
If a live festival is held as planned, 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. There are opportunities for filmmakers to participate in panels, workshops, and our Coffee Talk with Filmmakers. Each year, our festival seeks out an eclectic mix of narrative features, documentaries, and short films. We seek all genres of film including: Adventure, LGBTQ, Native Cinema, 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 with both juror and audience award presentations:
Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature
Jury Award for Best Best Documentary Feature
Jury Award for Best Short Documentary
Jury Award for Best Live Action Short
Jury Award for Best Animated Short
Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
Audience Award for Best Documentary
Audience Award for Best Short
Audience Award for Best Native Cinema film
Audience Award for Best Adventure film
Audience Award for Best Family film
Audience Award for Best REEL Learning film
Please no requests for submission fee waivers. Alumni filmmakers may contact the festival for a waiver code for one submission.
Works in progress must be received prior the early bird deadline and final completed work must be received by November 6, 2020.
For exhibition formats, BluRays are accepted for back-up purposes only and are not used in presentations.
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.
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.