Big news! We're excited to announce our 2021 Featured Artist: internationally acclaimed Portuguese director Pedro Costa. An award-winner at Locarno, Cannes, and many more, Costa's extensive career has transformed documentary and revolutionized the genres of docudrama and docufiction.

Costa will present work from across his storied career, including his latest award-winning film, Vitalina Varela (2019). He will also offer an artist-focused editing masterclass alongside his newly restored film, Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie? Stay tuned for upcoming announcements on how to register for this unique opportunity. Space will be limited!

We invite you to join us at MDF2021 to celebrate this distinctive director and his expansive body of work with a full week of screenings, events, and workshops that are not to be missed.

As infectious political anxieties spread across the world, we are acutely reminded that media build power through discourse. In demanding times, it is crucial to provide alternative paths for works that are equally motivated by form, aesthetics, alertness and care.

The second annual Mimesis Documentary Festival, presented August 4-10, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado, is an immersive theatrical and virtual experience featuring in-person and at-home screenings, workshops, and conversations with documentary artists, scholars, and producers from across the world.

The Mimesis Documentary Festival is an artist-focused event encompassing short, feature, and expanded nonfiction ranging from traditional, docufiction, experimental, ethnographic, and regional documentary. We focus on personal, underrepresented, and culturally specific subjects that offer the most profound experiences of art made from life.

Mimesis is a not-for-profit initiative of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center for Documentary and Ethnographic Media to create and foster a local, regional, and international network of documentary artists, scholars, and producers. We are artist-focused, community oriented, and committed to providing a platform for the infinite potential of nonfiction media.

Submission Categories:

Short Docufiction
Feature Docufiction
Short Documentary
Feature Documentary
Short Regional Documentary
Feature Regional Documentary
Short Ethnographic Documentary
Feature Ethnographic Documentary
Short Experimental Documentary
Feature Experimental Documentary
Student and Emerging Documentary Artists
Expanded Documentary Arts

Jury Awards:

Best Documentary
Best Short Documentary
Best Emerging Artist
Best in Documentary Arts

Audience Awards:

Best Feature Documentary
Best Short Documentary
Best Emerging Artist
Best in Documentary Arts

We strongly believe in transparency about our submission and selection process in an attempt to bridge the gap between festival and artists as much as possible. We are committed to programming 80% of our festival from submission-based content, with the other 20% reserved for the selection of special programming. While not all submissions can be screened at the festival, everyone who submits a film through FilmFreeway will be given a full access pass to all virtual screenings and events during the festival and, upon request, we will provide feedback to artists whose works were not selected for inclusion.

All submissions are considered for the 2021 festival.
We give priority to films completed after January 1, 2018.
We also favor films that have not been publicly shown in Colorado.
Selected artists must sign a Screening Agreement.

Open: Friday, December 4th, 2020
Early Deadline: January 19th, 2021
Regular Deadline: April 20th, 2021
Late Deadline: May 18th, 2021
Notification: June 15th, 2021
Festival Dates: August, 4th-10th, 2021

**Submission fee waivers may ONLY be granted to current University of Colorado students**
Entry fees are non-refundable.
All projects must be submitted through an online link only.

Submissions to the Student and Emerging Documentary Artists category will only be eligible for the Best Emerging Artist awards.

All other category submissions are for programming purposes only, not related to awards.

Overall Rating
  • Jonathan Onsuwan Johnson

    Very progressive programming--all types of documentary inquiry were welcome and they were open to films that pushed the edges of form and content. A much needed festival! Great communication with down to earth, enthusiast programmers.

    September 2020
  • Lin Li

    MDF was very well organized, with an inspiring range of experimental documentary films. The communication from the organizers was excellent and friendly. As an online festival, their website is well presented, clear and easy to navigate.

    August 2020
  • Brilliant festival. Outstanding organisation and communication from beginning to end. Excellent, diverse selection of films and thought-provoking discussions in the panels. It's been a real pleasure. Thanks for selecting my film for the MDF 2020.

    August 2020
  • Mardi Reardon-Smith

    I was very pleased to have my film selected for MDF alongside a host of interesting and diverse films. I had good communication from the organisers throughout, and thoroughly enjoyed attending the festival virtually from the other side of the world.

    August 2020
  • Stephen Wardell

    Cool fest. Glad to be a part of the virtual version this year.

    August 2020