At a time of quarantine as a result of COVID-19 as well as different social justice movements, we recognize the importance of essential perspectives across the globe. Essential perspectives are those that are unique to one's position and circumstance in society and the current environment. The DocFilm Institute at San Francisco State University will host an inaugural festival of "Essential Stories" as part of their annual Pluralities conference in 2020. We want to hear stories from people who are living this reality to create an archive for those documenting their experiences.

Projects can be as simple as a video diary or as complex as a produced short film. We will also accept alternative projects like VR, AR, archives of relevance, or other timely submissions.

By submitting your project, you give us permission to exhibit without restriction your project if selected. This includes sharing your name, occupational role, image, and project(s) throughout our social media platforms, websites, film festival, and other electronic spaces where the submitted content may appear.

Overall Rating
  • Brenda Miguel

    Wonderful festival! Simply loved it! Thanks so much for the prize.

    November 2020
  • Very touching stories from different parts of the world!

    November 2020
  • Christina Katsiadakis

    Being part of Essential Stories, was a great experience. The organizers were on top of everything, communication was clear and easy-going. In this weird year of everyone, it was nice to be reminded that we are all in this together and that we need to keep that in mind. That is the power stories have.

    November 2020
  • Great experience with Essential Stories and the SF State Doc Institute. Solid Communication, easy viewing and engaging panel discussions for the filmmakers. Really well run with awesome people behind the scenes.

    November 2020