The El Dorado Film Festival offers a curated selection of independent cinema to audiences in El Dorado, Arkansas: a small town with a unique and vibrant history in the arts. The film festival started as part of the South Arkansas Arts Center's 50th anniversary in 2014. We put a big emphasis on southern hospitality and do our best to make the festival an inviting and amazing experience for filmmakers and audiences alike.

El Dorado Film Festival has brought filmmakers together and, in turn, created opportunities for those filmmakers to grow together. We put our heart into building relationships, celebrating the amazing accomplishment of making a film, and giving the audiences a direct connection to you, the filmmaker. Who knows, you might bump into your next big investor?

Previous special guests include: Joey Lauren Adams (Big Daddy), Jamie Costa (Bring Him To Me), Summer Shelton (You & I, People Places Things), Kristin Mann (What Happens Later, To The Stars), and more! Last year, Rotten Tomatoes critic Keith Garlington came to the festival and reviewed many of the shorts and features.

This festival is all about building community so that each filmmaker can continue to pursue their dreams.

The El Dorado Film Festival offers several cash awards and works to arrange free housing and discounts to make it easier for filmmakers to attend the event.

-Cash Awards-

Best of Fest - $1,500
Pam Callaway Spirit of the Festival Award - $1,000

Best Narrative Feature - $500
Best Documentary - $500
Best Short Drama - $500
Best Short Comedy - $500
Best Arkansas Ties Short Film - $500

- All entries must be postmarked by the deadline date.
- Acceptable formats for submission: Online Submissions/Vimeo Link
- All films that are not in English must have English language subtitles.
- Each entry must be a separate submission which includes form and payment for each submission.
- Only submissions with completed entry forms and entry fee will be accepted.
- If selected, a ProRes or DCP version of your film must be sent to the El Dorado Film Festival for screening along with a backup Blu Ray or DVD copy.
- Short films must be 30 minutes or less
- Releases for music and talent must be obtained by the filmmaker. The El Dorado Film Festival is not liable for copyright infringement or unauthorized use.
- If you submit your film to the "Made in Arkansas" category and your film was not made in Arkansas, you will be immediately disqualified.
- If your film has been selected to be screened at the festival we will request you send a press kit to include: stills, posters, postcards, a file/link of the trailer, and other publicity materials to maximize exposure for your film. These materials will not be returned.
- The El Dorado Film Festival does not assume any liability for damage to films, videos, or publicity materials.

Overall Rating
  • Great festival. Engaged audience of film lovers and plenty of opportunities for filmmakers to hang out and chat with each other and the viewers. Recommend!

    February 2024
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Raeden! "The Hill We Climb" is an incredible film and we can't wait to see what you do next!

  • Joshua Gallas

    Alexander was great at communicating and the staff was very welcoming. We had a great time.

    February 2024
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much, Joshua, and congrats on "Smoke" winning Best of Fest!

  • Being apart of El Dorado Film Festival is always a great experience and worth the trip. They really care about their filmmakers and the arts community in Southern Arkansas is always eager to watch and support. I've made connections and relationships at this festival that have lasted years.

    February 2024
    Response from festival:

    Mary, it's always an honor to get to share your work! Thank you for bringing Mama Love to El Dorado!

  • Jake Siam Solomon

    Every aspect of this festival was put together with thought, care, and intention. Tamra and Alex did a wonderful job curating a schedule that allowed us to see all the incredible films there while also providing a lot of opportunities to connect with the community there. Left with a lot of new friends and connections and feeling creatively rejuvenated!

    February 2024
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Jake! We are so glad you made new friends and connections, that inspires us to make next year's festival better for our filmmakers!

  • Kelvin Phillips

    I had a wonderful time at EDFF. We have screened our films at many prestigious festivals, including the Austin Film Festival, and I must say that EDFF was one of the best festival experiences I've ever had. The attendees were incredibly supportive, and the films were of top quality, all while maintaining the independent spirit. Alex and Tamra (and El Dorado): Thank you so much for the invitation and for all the love.

    February 2024
    Response from festival:

    Kelvin, it was such an honor to have you in town for the festival and to be able to share "Music for a While" with audiences in El Dorado!