The El Dorado Film Festival is turning 5 and we are excited to see what this year has in store! Our festival will take place August 2nd-5th this year... Bring on the shorts and features!

Filmmaker Kim Swink said of her experience: "In the past 18 months, I've been to more film festivals, large and small, than I can recall without looking back at my datebook; and they have, almost without exception, been amazing and rewarding; but I can honestly say, regardless of size or location, that the El Dorado Film Festival was special...magical."

The El Dorado Film Festival was founded as part of the South Arkansas Arts Centers' 50th anniversary and we strive to bring the best in independent cinema to our local audiences, featuring a wide range of genres, lengths, and subject matter.

Keeping with tradition, if you are a filmmaker accepted to the 5th annual El Dorado Film Festival and have any work-in-progress projects, we encourage you to bring them with you for a secretive after-the-awards-ceremony screening with the most encouraging audience you could ask for.

We love watching films, and we cannot wait to see your hard work!

-Monetary Awards-

Best of Fest - $1,000
Best Comedic Short - $250
Best Narrative Short - $250
Best Arkansas Made Short - $250
Best Student Made Film - $250
Best Feature Film - $250

-Certificate Awards-

Best Direction
Best Screenplay
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Sound Design
Road to El Dorado Award for Best International Film

- All entries must be postmarked by the deadline date.
- Acceptable formats for submission: DVD & BluRay, Online Submissions are preferred
- 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 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
  • Ned Ehrbar

    A gem of a festival! Emily, Joanna, Richard and the whole team were incredibly welcoming and communicative, and the town was so friendly and welcoming. Genuine hospitality. They make filmmakers feel like family.

    September 2018
  • Jason K. Allen

    An impressive festival – excellent films, great venues, unique events for filmmakers, and lots of networking opportunities. I loved the enthusiasm and creative energy surrounding the festival, and appreciated the good ol’ southern hospitality of the organizers and volunteers. Everyone was just super friendly and helpful. It was tons of fun, and I hope to return. They definitely have something special going on there.

    August 2018
  • dom lenoir

    We didn't manage to make the festival as we were stuck overseas but had such a great experience with the positivity of the staff and festival. Made to feel very welcome as filmmakers

    August 2018
  • Adam Hansen

    While I wasn’t able to attend, my crew and I were extremely grateful for the attentiveness, kindness and professionalism of the festival coordinators/organizers. It was an honor to be selected and I feel incredibly grateful and fortunate to walk away with two awards. An absolute pleasure overall.

    August 2018
  • Johnnie Brannon

    I was excited that my short film, The Devil Made Me Do It, was selected as part of the Made In Arkansas line-up. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend this year but I'm very thankful for the opportunity to screen in south Arkansas. I've heard nothing but great things about the festival and I can't wait to get down there next year.

    December 2017