The El Dorado Film Festival is entering its fourth year and we could not be more excited to see the next round of shorts, features, and documentaries hitting the festival circuit this year. Despite being a young festival, we have received great feedback from filmmakers and audiences alike.

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 4th 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. In previous years, we have stayed up 'til 4am watching and discussing work-in-progress films and it has been a highlight of the event!

Last year, special guest Joey Lauren Adams brought her years of industry experience as an actress, producer and director to a memorable panel at the El Dorado Film Festival. Additionally, founder of BlackBerry Messenger, Gary Klassen, gave a presentation on the advent of digital technology such as VR, AR and more.

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

Awards & Prizes

-Monetary Awards-

Best of Fest - $1,000
Best Comedic Short - $250
Best Dramatic Short - $250
Best Oxford American Southern Made Film - $250
Best Feature Film - $250
Best Arkansas Made 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

Rules & Terms

- 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
- Southern Made Short Films - to be eligible for this category, at least 90% of your film's production must have taken place in one or more Southern states.
- 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" free submission 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.

9 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    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
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    Chris Churchill

    I was unable to attend the festival but I had a great experience. The staff was very available and helpful. I will definitely be submitting more projects in the future.

    November 2017
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    Brent Scott Maze

    This was a fantastic festival. I felt very welcome everywhere I went. The festival directors and volunteers really went out of their way to make sure we all had an amazing experience. I will be going back next year.

    Most importantly, there were no problems with the screenings of my films or any other films that I saw for that matter. It was an all around great experience, and I suggest going.

    November 2016
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    Brooklyn Alexander

    Awesome festival! Full of southern hospitality!

    October 2016
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    Christine Chen

    What a fun little festival full of very nice people. We felt very welcomed. The only downside is that El Dorado is quite small and does not have much to do, but the upside is you really take the time to watch as many films as possible. The networking sessions are intimate and helpful. Easy to meet people.

    October 2016