The 32nd Annual The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is the longest running non-fiction festival in North America. HSDFF offers multiple awards categories, and is a designated Academy-Award© -qualifying festival for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Documentary Short Subject.
MovieMaker Magazine has named HSDFF to its global list of “50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee”. Each year, HSDFF presents multiple special sidebar programs, one of the most recent being Women Behind the Lens: Diverse Perspectives in 2016, funded by a grant from the Academy®.
HSDFF, a 9-day all-pedestrian festival, makes its home in one of the most unique vacation destinations of the American South, the Historic Spa City of Hot Springs, Arkansas, with all screenings and parties held within easy walking distance. Each October, the city comes alive as film-lovers and filmmakers gather to immerse themselves in over 100 of the best international features and shorts the documentary world has to offer, and to attend unforgettable events. HSDFF offers one-of-a kind forums, tributes to industry greats, and numbers of noted guests and visiting professionals. Over the years, Hot Springs has hosted many of the greats in documentary film, and is known for its warmth and hospitality to filmmakers.
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival hosts multiple juries made up of industry professionals. Awards have been given in the categories of Best U.S. Documentary Feature, Best International Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short and Audience Award as well as additional recognitions determined by the juries.
The winning short film in the Documentary Short Film Competition is eligible for Academy Award® consideration without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.
The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival exhibits in a variety of program categories. Not all categories are competitive.
*Short Films: 40 minutes or less
*Features: Over 40 minutes
*Fees are non-refundable.
*Competition is open to U.S. and International entries.
*Films not in English must be subtitled with English subtitles
ELIGIBILITY: Feature and short documentary films completed after September, 1 2022, are eligible for HSDFF 2023.
SUBMISSIONS will be received between December 2022 and June of 2023, with notification of acceptance no later than September 30th, 2023.
Feature and Short films that are available on VOD or a streaming platform may not be eligible for competition at the festival. HSDFF will decide on a case by case basis about competition status.
Feature length films that have been released theatrically or broadcast on television nationally prior to the festival will be considered for non-competitive sections only under special circumstances determined by the festival.
SUBMISSION FORMAT: ENTRIES MUST BE SUBMITTED FOR PRE-SCREENING WITH VIMEO OR YOUTUBE LINK. You are required to keep us updated with passwords.
You may submit multiple entries but must fill out a separate entry form and PROVIDE an entry fee for each.
UPDATED CUTS: Our programming team will review the original screener received. HSDFF is unable to guarantee a review of the updated versions of your film, but links to new cuts can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Great care will be taken with entries while with us, however we cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage incurred en route, or due to normal wear and tear. HSDFF is held harmless from any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses that may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity or screening of any film.