Hello filmmakers,

After weeks of discussion, we have decided that this year’s Newburyport Documentary Film Festival will be a virtual event. It seems clear that gatherings in theaters are going to be one of the last parts of our daily lives to return to any sense of normalcy, and we feel it is in everyone’s best interests to look past September to the day when we can meet again in person.

That said, we are now hard at work to make the 2020 NBPTDocuFest memorable and rewarding in its own way. We will be showing fewer films around the originally scheduled weekend of Sept. 18-20, but that means the ones we do show will get abundant attention in terms of promotions and audience-building. If you have already submitted a film or are considering doing so and have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re looking forward to creating a new model for this year’s festival, and we’re eager to present the best of your films to a growing audience. Stay safe, stay tuned, and keep telling your stories.

NBPTDocuFest Team

NBPT Docu Fest Board of DirectorsThe Newburyport Documentary Film Festival is held every September in a charming seaport village 40 minutes north of Boston. For 15 years we have been committed to bringing the highest caliber documentary films to our community. In addition to screenings all weekend at two historic venues, we also hold filmmaker receptions, after-parties, panel discussions, Q&As and workshops. Most of the filmmakers attend and our audience loves to meet them! We provide two nights lodging at a local B&B and go out of our way to keep you well-fed.

NDFF has six awards:
Best Feature
Best Short
Best New England film (either the crew has ties to New England or the subject matter is related to New England)
Best First Time Filmmaker
David Kleiler Cinephile Award
Audience Award
While we are unable to provide financial prizes, the bragging rights are priceless!

The filmmaker has read and understood the rules and regulations and to the best of their knowledge, all statements are true. The filmmaker is duly authorized to submit this film to the Newburyport Documentary Film Festival.
- Upon submission, the filmmaker consents to allowing their screener material to be shared in its entirety with appropriate Newburyport Documentary Film Festival staff, including programming staff, volunteer screeners, and other appropriate members of staff; shared with press outlets in efforts to secure press for the film; with final jury members; and with select individuals representing community partners who may be interested in supporting the film’s screening or taking part in a panel or Q&A associated with the film.
-The festival is hereby also granted the right to utilize image(s) and/or biographical information of the filmmakers for promotional purposes. The festival reserves the right to fill in any information not supplied by the filmmaker from whatever source available and will not be responsible if incorrect information is entered.
- It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to secure authorization for any copyrighted material that may be used in the film. The filmmaker shall indemnify and hold harmless Newburyport Documentary Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.
- Films should be completed no earlier than October 1, 2018
- By submitting, the filmmaker expressly acknowledges and agrees that they shall be bound by the terms of this agreement.
-If your film is accepted, you'll be asked to provide digital press materials that include a short 30 word synopsis, filmmaker credits, high resolution digital photos from the film and a trailer.
-Blu Ray disc is the screening format. The festival requests DVD backup copies to accompany all exhibition formats.
-All submissions arriving via mail post must be in DVD region 1 or 0 format NTSC
-Foreign language films must be made available with English subtitles.
-For international submissions outside the U.S., filmmakers must write on the package: "NO commercial value - for cultural purposes only."
NDF is not responsible for customs fees and other charges.
-Submitters of accepted films agree to pay for shipping the exhibition copy of their film to NDFF to arrive to the festival by the date requested by the technical team, usually three weeks prior to the festival. NDFF covers return shipping of accepted films' exhibition copies and backup materials only. NDFF does not return marketing materials such as posters or postcards after the conclusion of the festival.
-All entry fees paid are non-refundable.

Overall Rating
  • Joanne, Terry, James and the rest of the Newburyport Doc Fest team did an amazing job putting together a virtual festival this year. They went above and beyond to make this the best experience for filmmakers as possible. They were even kind enough to set up an additional one-on-one interview with me and my film's subjects to share and promote the film prior to our screening. I will definitely be submitting again in the future!

    September 2020
  • Newburyport is classy. We were in the class of 2020, and as a director, I loved Newburyport, despite Covid19. Joanne, James, Terry, and all the festivals organizers, worked hard to make the festival memorable. To be sure, I would have preferred to be with everyone, including my team at Newburyport, but I loved the virtual experience. Newburyport did the festival and the films right. The selection of feature had short films was fantastic, and I appreciated being among such wonderful filmmakers. What a great festival.

    September 2020
  • Michele Citoni

    It was, at the same time, one of my first virtual festival experience (due to the Covid-19 emergency) and one of the most interesting and rewarding festivals I have ever participated in. It's a pleasure, and really useful for filmmakers, to participate in festivals when they are done so well, with care and professionalism, in a fully international dimension even if local, with the feeling that people are interested in you. Sincere thanks to Joanne Morris, James Sullivan, Terry Golesworthy and all the staff.

    September 2020
  • Edward Salier

    My husband, Edward Salier, and I felt honored that our documentary short, "Progress," was selected for the Festival! Turned out that due to Covid-19, the Festival was virtual. The staff of the Festival did an excellent job virtually-showing our film, along with others...with Q&A sessions and director roundtable...all very professionally done on a virtual platform. Well done!!! Much thanks from Patricia Bury Salier and Edward Salier.

    September 2020
  • Jesse Alk

    Really supportive festival, in a beautiful town, with a crowd who really care about documentaries. The hospitality was excellent, they work hard to connect filmmakers with each other, and really are a "filmmaker's festival." I'm so happy I applied, and even happier I was able to attend. Don't miss a trip to the island while you're there!

    October 2019