Named one of the "Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World" by MovieMaker Magazine in 2018, the Olympia Film Society has hosted the annual Olympia Film Festival since 1983. The gathering is a ten-day, around-the-clock extravaganza of films, filmmakers and film-related guests, special performances, discussion panels, and educational workshops. The festival attracts between 5,000 and 7,000 attendees each year.

The festival is well known and respected throughout the film world and is hosted around the Olympia, Washington downtown area, mainly inside the Capitol Theater, a 1924 concert and movie palace owned and operated by the Olympia Film Society. This organization supports a small staff and board of directors along with over 125 dedicated volunteers who select films, organize events, and run the Capitol Theater.

Recent guests of the festival include: Todd Haynes, Whit Stillman, Crispin Glover, Chantel Akerman, Elliott Gould, Les Blank, Fred Willard, Megan Griffiths, Philip Kaufman, Ian Svenonius, Mary Woronov, Hari Kondabolu, SJ Chiro, Denise Crosby, Carl Gottlieb, The Julie Ruin (with Kathleen Hanna), Sophy Romvari, Avery Trufelman, William Nolan, Wendy Jo Carlton, Vanessa Renwick, Jolie Holland, Richard Elfman, Sophia Mitri Schloss, Kevin Nolting, Kristen Yoonsoo Kim, Gillian Wallace Horvat, and many more!

Best Entries will be screened during the 36th Annual Olympia Film Festival at the Capitol Theater April 17 - 25, 2020.

Special audience award laurels will be given for documentary, narrative, and short films.

Independence. Inclusion. Discovery. The 36th Annual Olympia Film Festival is a celebration of curiosity, boundless creativity, and the importance of cinematic exploration. The Capitol Theater in Olympia, Washington has been screening dramatic narratives and documentary features since 1924, and our belief in arts, inclusivity, and emerging directors has been the staple of our programming.

If your film is accepted, filmmaker(s) must be prepared to send a DCP of their feature or short to the Olympia Film Society for screening purposes.

Dates and Deadlines:

July 5, 2019
Opening Date

December 23, 2019
Final Deadline

January 13, 2020
Late Submission

January 16, 2020
Notification Date

April 17 - 25, 2020
Event Date

Overall Rating
  • Always a lovely experience with the Olympia Film Festival. Having my work screened with a live audience is always so exciting, especially with the Q&A discussion afterward. A welcoming community of filmmakers and cinephiles. (-:

    July 2019
  • Incredible experience with Olympia Film Festival! Open and quick communication. Very inviting and supportive of my film. A beautiful experience being included this year!

    November 2017
  • Kristin Pearson

    I sadly could not attend but was so proud to have my short screened at the festival. The organizers' communications were EXCELLENT. Above and beyond!

    November 2017
  • Martin Waldron

    The folks running the festival made it easy for me to contribute my film and were timely in their feedback to my questions. Good job, Oly!

    November 2016
  • Loved the Locals Only Cell to Screen competition. First time seeing my work on a big screen! Keep up the great work. (and the Theater is incredible)

    November 2016