The Global Impact Film Festival (GIDC), brought to you by DCBX, is a dynamic independent film festival in Washington, D.C. that focuses on cultivating global outreach, celebrating culture and supporting non-profit organizations through their selection of socially impactful films.

Our mission is to empower lives by celebrating the power of media for social justice. We showcase short documentary and narrative films that provoke and inspire social change.

Short films in the documentary and narrative category must be between 3 and 30 minutes.

Our festival theme is the Emerging Power of Media for Social Justice.

Last year, some major topics in films both in the documentary and narrative category included agriculture, the environment on a global scale, homelessness, sexual abuse and refugees in different parts of the world, to name a few.

Previous speakers and talent have included the likes of Jaws Cinematographer, Bill Butler; Mind and Media's Aldo Bello and DC Stunts Coalition's Dylan Hintz among others.

We will showcase short documentaries and narratives as well as provide attendees with informative panel discussions, workshops and fun networking events.

The following awards will be given to the selected winners at our Awards Ceremony to be held on Sunday, August 25th in Washington, DC:

Best Documentary, Best Narrative, Best Student Short Film, Best Local (DMV) Short Film and 1st Time Filmmaker Award.

Mark you calendar for AUG 23 - 25, 2019 for our 5th edition of the Global Impact Film Festival!

The following awards will be given to the selected winners at our Awards Ceremony to be held on Sunday, August 25th in Washington, DC:

Best Documentary, Best Narrative, Best Student Short Film, Best Local (DMV) Short Film and 1st Time Filmmaker Award.


1. The GIDC only accepts short films. Short films must be between 3 and 30 minutes; no more, no less.

2. GIDC accepts short films of any genre that provoke and inspire social change. This includes experimental short films. This does not include commercials, infomercials, trailers, music videos, web series, episodic documentary series, or Virtual Reality (VR).

3. Submissions are accepted via FilmFreeway only.

4. Filmmakers will be notified no later than May 1st of their submission status.

5. Short films in a foreign language must have English subtitles or English dubbing.

6. There is no premiere requirement for short films. (Films played in other festivals are eligible for consideration). We ask that the short film is not shown online during the coming weeks of the film festival in August.

7. More than one entry may be submitted. Each entry must be accompanied by an official entry form and entry fee.

8. Previously submitted films will not be accepted, unless the film has undergone significant content changes (60% or more) and meets all other submission requirements. Permission to re-apply is required. Please email

9. Due to the high volume of submissions, we cannot accept rough cuts or works-in-progress to avoid confusion on our staff in the programming department. When applying, please make sure to submit the final version of the short film via FilmFreeway.

10. The entry fee is non-refundable. We only accept short films between 3 and 30 minutes.

11. Due to the number of submissions, GIDC cannot provide feedback on entries.

12. All film entries selected for the festival grant Global Impact Film Festival (GIDC) the rights to use provided stills, footage, clips, trailers and information from the film for promotional purposes only.

13. All short films submitted must be free from any legal disputes and the filmmaker must have cleared all rights for music and exhibition.

14. GIDC reserves the right to change any information contained in this document (including Festival dates, venues, events, awards and eligibility requirements) without further notice.

15. All film entries must fill out the entire FilmFreeway submission criteria in order to be considered. That includes attaching posters, synopsis, bios, film stills and more.

All short films must be uploaded via the Secure Online Screener function on FilmFreeway. Film completed prior to January 2015 are not eligible for consideration for the 2019 edition of the film festival. Short films do not have any premiere requirements. US and International do not forfeit their eligibility for submission to the festival if they were pervasively released theatrically or via any home video platform, broadcast or streamed on television or the internet, or screened at any number of film festivals in the world. Films that have been submitted for Festival consideration in previous years are eligible for resubmission for 2019 Festival consideration, but only if the film has been changed significantly since the previous year it was submitted. GIDC reserves the right to determine a previously submitted Film's eligibility, without refund of any or all submission fees the film as compared with the previously submitted version. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure authorization and permission from the copyright owner(s) of any and all copyrighted content or materials included within the submitted film. GIDC will not be held responsible for any unauthorized inclusion of any copyrighted content or materials within or relating to the submitted film, including any content or materials that are or may become the basis for any third party claims for copyright infringement. GIDC reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees previously collected from the applicant, any film with any unauthorized inclusion of copyrights content or materials. Applicants submitting Films that contain significant non-English spoken dialogue must provide on-screen English subtitles. If accepted, applicants must send in the film digitally for exhibition, no exceptions. Films submitted and digitally sent to the festival if accepted is ONLY for the use of the exhibition of the film for the fourth annual Global Impact Film Festival.

Overall Rating
  • Andrea Vandenboer

    The Art for Social Change team would like to say a HUGE thank you to the remarkable team at the Global Impact Film Festival! Thank you for the opportunity to screen our film 'Silent No More - Louise Pentz: A Voice for Social Change' to a Washington, DC audience. What an honour to have our film screen alongside the spectacular 2018 line up of social issue and social justice films. Special thanks to the organisers for the outstanding communications since our acceptance to the festival. Such a friendly, approachable, and organised team! It made the experience truly exceptional. We wish you all the best with the future of this gem of a festival and will be sure to follow you in the years to come. If we have another film accepted in the years to come we will make every effort to attend and enjoy the hospitality and networking opportunities on offer. Thank you!

    September 2018
  • Dale E. Turner

    What a marvelous time I had at the 2017 festival! The hosts were very charming and I met so many gifted filmmakers. Also, my film MY NAME IS LAMAR was awarded with the Global Impact Special Jury Recognition! SO EXCITED!! Don't miss 2019!

    May 2018
  • Elizabeth Licht

    This was the best festival I have attended so far. This was a festival that brought supported how film can restore our human connection by reconnecting us emotionally to the state of our world and human existence. It strips the numbness surrounding our hearts and reconnects us to the value of meaningful connection to each other, the planet and other species sharing our world. This film festival is what it is all about and invites hope for our future.

    August 2017