The fifth Lights Dance Festival, "Illuminations," uses live performance and screendance to support Illuminating the Ills and wisdoms of 2020. Illuminations welcomes submissions from dance, movement, and performance artists. We will prioritize BIPOC/queer/trans stories and wonders of what’s bubbling to the surface for patriarchy’s marginalized yet nevertheless persistent and lovely children.

Illuminations are reflective and exploratory—with a third eye towards healing while reimagining what futures might emerge based on what necessities our wounds speak. This could mean many different things. We invite all of those things.

Lights Dance’s mission is to foster a stronger dance community across and beyond the Americas. We understand our 2021 festival as a catalyst for this community building. Illuminations will center exploring co-creating neo-traditions for grieving and healing, and celebrating our resilience--but also the life giving light of dance itself. This event will be a hybrid festival interweaving screen dance and live performances.

Lights Dance Audience Choice Award

All films selected for our festival programming are eligible for the Audience Choice Award. The winning short will be announced during the festival.

General Rules

1. All dance films of 10 minutes or less will be considered. If your film is less than 50% dance as a core narrative component, it may not qualify as a dance film.

2. Films must have been completed after January 1st, 2019. Works in progress are not accepted.

3. Submissions accepted through FilmFreeway only. Please do not send DVD’s or Blu-rays.

4. Please keep links to your films private until after the closing of the festival.

5. Documentaries and live performance recordings are not accepted at this point.

6. If your film is selected, we will request film stills or clips from your film for use in promoting the Lights Dance Festival.

7. All commercial/private property including all trademark/copyrighted materials shown or recorded on the project is the responsibility of the filmmaker. Lights Dance Festival will not take responsibility for any infringement of copywritten materials.

8. No film may be withdrawn from the festival program after its participation has been publicized. Festival does not offer any refund through withdrawal.

Selected films will be requested in their native frame rate in QuickTime format using one of the following codecs: ProRes, ProRes HQ, or ProRes 4444. The digital file should be less than 10GB.

Overall Rating
  • Eric Oberdorff

    Wish I was there! Wonderful festival & team, so important to have an organization carrying such strong themes challenging our society. Thank you for your commitment!

    July 2020
  • John Graham

    An excellent festival with a great team of organizers! I highly recommend participating in Lights Dance Festival

    July 2020
  • Lorna Nickson Brown

    Wonderful, supportive festival. We were delighted to be a part of it. Thank you!

    August 2018
  • One of those I wish I was there. Looked like an amazing event!

    June 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much, Elias!! We hope to see you at our event next year :)