Now in its 36th year, the Washington, DC International Film Festival (Filmfest DC) celebrates over three decades in which we have presented thousands of new films to residents and visitors to our nation's capital.
In 2022 the festival will back in traditional late April dates: April 22 - May 1. Most likely with a hybrid combination of in-person and virtual screenings.
We welcome entries of international and independent cinema, and include several programs to showcase films made by artists living and/or working in Washington, DC.
As the largest and longest-running annual international film festival in Washington, DC, Filmfest DC has established itself as one of the city's major cultural activities.
The festival's audience is widely diverse, curious and knowledgeable. Filmfest DC delivers provocative and entertaining stories from around the globe to our own DC neighborhoods.

1. CIRCLE AWARD - juried competition of selected feature films that deserve increased recognition.
2 CROSSCURRENTS FOUNDATION JUSTICE MATTERS AWARD - an international juried competition of feature length films which expand our awareness and understanding of social justice issues around the globe, and the people who are doing something about them.
3. FILMFEST DC SHORTS AWARD - a juried award which tends towards recognizing less well known filmmakers and those whose work illustrates a balance of economy and emotional resonance. Shorts in all genres are eligible, DC area premiere is preferred.
4. SIGNIS AWARD - the jury presents this award to the film deemed to best illuminate and celebrate what it means to be human in a diverse and challenging world.
5. FILMFEST DC AUDIENCE AWARDS to feature narrative and documentary films determined by audience ballot.

1. Filmfest DC strongly prefers to have the Washington, DC area premiere of films selected for the festival and gives priority to such films.
2. Submission criteria:
-Completion AFTER January 1, 2021
-In English or in the original language with English subtitles
- Not screened or streamed on television or theatrically in the U.S. or screened s prior to May 1, 2022.
-Not be available to the public online as a DVD or as a digital download/streaming link for purchase or rental .
3. Works in progress that are not final cuts may be submitted but please clearly note what is missing or will change.
4. JUSTICE MATTERS COMPETITION. Please submit feature length films about social justice issues (including environmental, economic, etc) through the Justice Matters category. ONLY feature length (50+ min) films are considered in this category.
If you are a filmmaker living and/or working in the DC Metro area you may be eligible for a discounted entry fee. Please contact us PRIOR TO SUBMISSION with your name, address, name of film, date of production, run time and a brief description of your/your film's connection to the DC Metro Area.
For short (METROSHORTS) and JUSTICE MATTERS films contact <>;
all others write to <>
6. More than one entry may be submitted; however an official entry and entry fee must accompany each submission.
7. If your film is selected, Filmfest DC may require a DCP exhibition copy for the festival's physical public presentation, or an upload of an mp4 should it be virtual.

Overall Rating
  • Linda and Juliet overcame the challenges of Covid to curate an excellent selection of films. I'm grateful to have Landfill included, and to have met fellow filmmakers in person as the world opens up. Thank you!

    June 2021
    Response from festival:

    You are so correct, Heidi, about the challenges this year; we gave it our best efforts, and we are really pleased as well with the quality of the films. Thank you for this, and also for your participation in one of the recorded interviews, we appreciated your comments as well as your film!

  • Cheryl Jacobs Crim

    Sadly, Filmfest DC was delayed over 5 months due to Covid. But the communication we received from from Linda Blackaby through the entire time was extraordinary. She was thoughtful and thorough and extremely helpful to me as a first-time filmmaker. I highly recommend this festival.

    November 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Cheryl, it was a real pleasure to work with you this year. Onward!

  • Jeanne Hospod

    I highly recommend applying for this festival. The organizers are passionate and genuine about each filmmaker's contributions, no matter where their current status or position is in the film world. Communication was clear, easy and timely. Films are placed into smaller screening groups with curated themes which opens a thoughtful post-film discussion amongst the contributing artists and crew. Filmmakers have at least several chances to network on a more personal level. I had a chance to do so at a lovely brunch held in the home of one of the head organizers at Filmfest DC. It was an all-around top-notch, memorable festival.

    February 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Jeanne!

  • Michal Birnbaum

    Linda was extremely helpful and communicative. She answered every question we had promptly and it was great meeting her in person at the screening as well. Thank you Filmfest DC!

    May 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Michal, it was a pleasure to meet you and your team.
    The fact that you all could attend one of the screenings and
    engaged so enthusiastically with the audience greatly enriched their experience and our program. We look forward to seeing your next endeavor.

  • Gregory Dixon

    We LOVED Filmfest DC! The staff of this film festival is very experienced and knows how to throw a celebration of film. The programming is top notch and they are also very accommodating to young filmmakers. They even surprised me at my screening with a birthday cake. We look forward to attending again in the future.

    May 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Gregory, it was great having you with us for the festival AND your birthday, and look forward to seeing you again.