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
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  • 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
  • Wonderfully curated festival. Loved the attention to detail in communication. Sad that the festival had to be online this year - but they handled it beautifully.

    July 2020