Moving images, moving bodies. Movement and film just go together. From the early experiments of artists like Loie Fuller and physical comedians like Charlie Chaplin, to the lush spectacle of the movie musicals of the 1930’s and 40’s starring dancer/choreographers like Bill Bojangles Robinson and Fred Astaire, to the avant garde movement with the likes of Maya Daren and Merce Cunningham, to Michael Jackson’s Thriller – moving bodies and the camera have shared an ongoing, dynamic conversation.

ADF's Movies By Movers is an annual festival dedicated to the celebration of the conversation between the body and the camera. We love sharing the history of the collaboration between the ephemeral art of live movement and the perpetual nature of film. And we love receiving new expressions of these forms from all over the world from artists like you. Students, emerging artists, seasoned professionals, even those who would not consider themselves “artists,” but have great ideas, find room on our screens to share their craft.

While ADF's Movies By Movers is by all accounts, a dance film festival, our definition of dance is broad and includes whatever you consider to be dance. Modern dance, ballet, jazz, cirque, parkour, skating, sports. We love it all. We screen it all! We also love all genres of filmmaking – experimental, documentary, narrative, animation. We invite you to keep us on our toes – literally – and help us keep pushing boundaries and redefining definitions.

We invite site-specific, media-specific work which demonstrates thoughtful collaboration between movement and film to apply. In other words, we are not looking for archival footage, but work which highlights experimentation, visual intimacy and attention to detail. We welcome work by student, emerging and established artists. Films of any genre - experimental, documentary, animation, narrative, - are welcome, as long as movement (of any genre) is a strong component.

Films are screened at the American Dance Festival in the summer, then again in the fall at Appalachian State University. In the year following, artists have the opportunity to have their films screened at partner institutions across the country and abroad. More details upon acceptance.

All films are celebrated equally! Artists who's work is selected are invited to join us at the American Dance Festival for screenings, free ADF classes and tickets to one live performance. More details upon acceptance.

Projects submitted to ADF's Movies By Movers must be made within three years prior to the festival for which they are entered. Short films must be no longer than 20 minutes in length. By submitting projects to the festival, artists agree that images and footage from their projects may be used for marketing purposes and may be used for future marketing initiatives. ADF's Movies By Movers assumes all music and visual permissions and rights for projects submitted have been attained by the submitting artists. Movies By Movers is not responsible for attaining permissions or rights for material. All artists agree to pay the festival submission fees, which are non-refundable.

Overall Rating
  • Juel D. Lane

    I enjoyed how screen dance/dance on film was highlighted with many different perspectives. Really dope! Cara Hagan has a lovely platform for all dance film makers to be seen!

    May 2020
  • Michelle Bernier

    Although I sadly wasn't able to attend, I was honored to be a part of this renown festival. The communication was efficient and professional, and I felt my film was well taken care of. The experience overall was quite positive, and I'm left wanting to submit again!

    September 2019
  • Muddy Feet

    It was a pleasure to be screened in Durham! The folks in charge of the festival were wonderful and the impromptu Artist Q&A was lovely. So glad we got to have a representative in attendance!

    August 2019
  • I was so honored to be included in the ADF Movies by Movers festival this year. AND Honored to be seen alongside some really wonderful filmmakers. The experience was very satisfying!!!

    August 2019
  • Moira Rowan

    Sadly we were unable to attend , but we were very honoured to have our film 'Get Riel' in this year's festival.Communication was very good overall. Thanks once again

    August 2019