The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF) is the world’s premier showcase of environmental films. Through our annual festival, year-round programs, and online resources, we seek to advance public understanding of the environment through the power of film. The 27th Annual DCEFF will be held at venues throughout the Washington, D.C. area March 14-24, 2019. We welcome films on all topics related to the natural and built environment.

Submission Categories

Short Films
This category includes films with a running time of 40 minutes or less, including credits. All short films will automatically be considered for the Eric Moe Award for Best Short on Sustainability.

Feature Films
This category includes films with a running time greater than 40 minutes. All feature films submitted will automatically be considered for the following awards: the Polly Krakora Award for Artistry in Film, the William W. Warner Beautiful Swimmers Award, and the Shared Earth Foundation Award for Advocacy.

Virtual Reality (VR) Films
The Environmental Film Festival is now accepting the submission of interactive virtual reality projects for the 2019 Festival. Please submit a link to a 360° video file (.mp4) for consideration. Projects must be viewable via Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard.

Please carefully read the following rules and guidelines for submission requirements. If you have specific questions about submitting a film to DCEFF, contact

Shared Earth Foundation Award for Advocacy
Established for the 2014 Festival, this award recognizes a feature film that inspires advocacy in response to a compelling environmental challenge. The award includes a $10,000 cash prize.
2018 Winner: The Game Changers, directed by Louie Psihoyos.

William W. Warner Beautiful Swimmers Award
Established by the Warner/Kaempfer family for the 2015 Festival in memory of William W. Warner - author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay - this award for feature films includes a $10,000 cash prize.
2018 Winner: Silas, directed by Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman.

Polly Krakora Award for Artistry in Film
Established in 2010 by Joseph Krakora in memory of his wife Polly Krakora, a member of the DCEFF Advisory Council, the award recognizes artistic achievement, craftsmanship, and cinematography in an environmental film. The award includes a $5,000 cash prize.
2018 Winner: Five Seasons, directed by Tom Piper.

Eric Moe Award for Best Short on Sustainability
Established for the 2014 Festival by Julia and Richard Moe in memory of their son Eric, to honor his strong interest in film and his commitment to sustainability, this award recognizes an innovative short film that best captures efforts to balance the needs of humans and nature. The award includes a $5,000 cash prize.
2018 Winner: Water Warriors, directed by Michael Premo.

DCEFF accepts films in any genre with themes related to the natural and built environment.

DCEFF is primarily a platform for showcasing the best new environmental films, with a strong preference for films completed after January 2018. While DCEFF does not exclude films with prior screenings, World, US, and DC Premiere submissions are strongly encouraged.

DCEFF accepts unfinished films with a completion date of January 2019.

Non-English language film submissions must include embedded English subtitles.

Screener Format
DCEFF requires an online screener submitted through FilmFreeway for consideration. Passwords for private links must not expire before January 15, 2019.

Selection Status
Filmmakers will be contacted about selection status by February 1, 2019 through FilmFreeway.

If selected to the Festival, final exhibition copies must arrive in the EFF office no later than February 15, 2019. DCEFF screening format will depend on the screening venue.

Submitters are responsible for all postage costs associated with exhibition formats.

Rights & Releases
By entering a film for consideration to DCEFF, the submitter understands that they agree to the following:
They own or control the film's copyright and are duly authorized to submit the film to the DCEFF.
If chosen as an Official Selection, the submitter grants DCEFF non-exclusive screening permission for unlimited showings over the course of the Festival (March 14 - 24, 2019).
DCEFF reserves the right to copy and use any publicity materials (photographs, film stills, trailers, and film segments up to 3 minutes) for non-commercial promotional purposes and for archival material, at no additional cost.
While the utmost care is taken to safely handle every submission, DCEFF is not responsible for the loss or damage of film media during the Festival - This includes media sent to and from the DCEFF office.
DCEFF and its partners are harmless from any claims connected with the film.

Overall Rating
  • Bruno Chatelin

    Amazing festival, so professional, wonderful easy and fast communication. We were treating like kings, and ...also never received such a big cash award in any festival before, Rob family is totally thrilled at the respect they showed to rob s legacy.

    April 2019
  • The highlight of my festival run with my short film, How the World Looks Now, has been to show at Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capitol. We had two screenings but I was only able to attend the first at E Street Cinema. The projection was excellent, and the audience was better - that's what a filmmaker wants from a festival. Thank you so much, it was an honor to show my film EFFDC.

    April 2019
  • Day's Edge Productions

    Incredible platform, audience, mission, staff. Every part of this festival is great. We are honored to be involved.

    April 2019
  • Isaac Kerlow

    Honored to be a part of this festival. Great program and great experience.

    March 2019
  • Melissa Lesh

    I hold DCEFF close to my heart. This year I screed a short film at the festival. It was my first time. After the experience I hope to return every year now. The staff is one of a kind - their board of directors are absolutely wonderful and overall it feels like a big family. The events were professional and delicious. Many of the filmmakers were there and I was happy to make new and now life-long friendships. Thank you DCEFF.

    April 2018