Now Accepting Film Submissions for the 2023 Festival!

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 1930s and 40s 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 Damien Jalet’s collaboration with musician Thom Yorke and filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson—moving bodies and the camera have shared an ongoing, dynamic conversation.

ADF’s Movies By Movers is a multi-faceted festival, dedicated to the celebration of conversation between body, movement, and camera. We want to share the collaborative history between the ephemeral art of live performance 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.

This year ADF is celebrating its 90th anniversary! In honor of this very special occasion, we have added a couple of new submission categories: films made or with origins in ADF’s Historic Locations (North Carolina, Connecticut, California, and Vermont) and 90 Seconds (and under) dance films. These are in addition to the Professional Features, Professional Shorts (2–15 min.), and Student categories.

While ADF’s Movies By Movers is, by all accounts, a dance film festival, our definition of dance is broad and includes movement that may test the genre. Modern dance, ballet, jazz, cirque, parkour, skating, butoh, martial arts, and maybe even sports­—we will consider it all! We invite you to keep us on our toes, literally, and help us keep pushing boundaries and redefining definitions. We welcome work by students and 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.

We live at the intersection of movement and filmmaking, inviting site-specific, media-specific work demonstrating thoughtful collaborations between moving bodies and film to apply. In other words, we are not looking for archival footage or documentation of performances but work that highlights experimentation, visual intimacy, and attention to detail.

Submission Deadline: March 1, 2023 | Notification Date: April 1, 2023 | Event Date: April 15–September 30, 2023

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 15 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
  • Barbara McAlister

    A newer film festival but attached to the lineage of the American Dance Festival, ADF's Movies By Movers did not disappoint. I appreciated the clear communication, the networking opportunities, and the array of selections. What an absolute honor to have participated.

    July 2022
  • Sarah Levy

    It was such an honor to have our film chosen to be part of ADF's, Movies by Movers. Overall, it was an exceptional screendance festival with a vast array of expertly curated films. Outstanding communication throughout!

    September 2020
  • Kosta Karakashyan

    One of the premier dance film festivals! An honor to have been part of it.

    September 2020
  • Chithra Jeyaram

    Love the festival. They pivoted to the online format and provided a way to share the film and engage in a Q and A. Big thanks. Would love to attend in person post COVID

    August 2020
  • Kim Mata

    My experience with this festival was extremely positive. In a challenging time for everyone the organizers of this festival did a fantastic job of communicating with filmmakers and ultimately making the work available in an online format. It was such an honor to share the screen with other incredibly talented artists and I sincerely appreciated the ability to attend from afar. The weekly artists talks provided audience members with the opportunity to hear straight from artists adding value to the online format. It was a pleasure to have my work be a part of this summer's festival.

    August 2020