Open City Documentary Festival creates an open space in London to nurture and champion the art of creative documentary and non-fiction filmmakers. The festival offers filmmakers from around the globe the opportunity to have their work seen by award-winning judges, fellow filmmakers and a broad public audience.

Awards & Prizes

2017 ​jurors included Veton Nurkollari (DokuFest Kosovo), Stella Bruzzi (Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, UCL), Mania Akbari (Filmmaker), Marc Schmidt (Filmmaker), Bec Evans (Dazed), Beadie Finzi (Doc Society), Xiaolu Guo (Filmmaker), Nico Marzano (ICA), Gustavo Beck (Programmer), Katarzyna Wilk (Krakow Film Festival), Philip Ilson (London Short Film Festival), Alice Cabanas (British Council), Tristan Anderson (DocHeads), Matimba Kabalika (BFI Network) and Peter Middleton (Filmmaker).

Grand Jury Prize
Best International Emerging Award
Best UK Short Award

Rules & Terms

1. Open City Documentary Festival (OCDF) screening programmes are curated and all submissions will be fully considered by the Programming Team.

2. OCDF accepts documentary films of all lengths and subject matter, originating from anywhere in the world.
3. OCDF only accepts submission of documentary films completed after 1 January 2017.
4. All entries must be in English or contain English subtitles. Non-English entries submitted without subtitles, or supplementary printed translations, will be automatically disqualified.

5. Only completed entries (Entry Form, Preview Screener, Payment) will be processed and considered for screening.

6. Each submission must be accompanied by the appropriate Entry Fee. Entry Fees are not refundable. All payments must be in UK sterling. Films submitted with the incorrect entry fee or in a currency other than UK sterling will not be considered for selection.
7. OCDF accepts FilmFreeway and Vimeo Secure Online Screeners for preview purposes. Whilst we can also accept DVDs, this must be additional to an online screener.
8. DVD entries must be marked with production title and tracking number. Please ensure that DVDs are checked on a stand-alone player before dispatch.
9. DVD entries must be sent to:
Open City Documentary Festival
UCL, 14 Taviton Street
London WC1H 0BW
United Kingdom
10. OCDF is unable to return preview copies.
11.Only completed films may be submitted unless special circumstances apply. Please contact the programmers in this case.
12. OCDF does not accept resubmissions unless substantial changes have been made. Please contact the programmers if you have any specific questions.
13. OCDF does not have a premiere requirement, but please do inform the programmers about previous screenings by filling the relevant section in the submission form.
14. Every reasonable effort will be made to protect films and tapes from damage or loss, but the Festival, and its management cannot assume liability for damage or loss.

16. Waivers (free entry) are granted only to select filmmakers who have been invited to submit by the Programming Team.
17. The cost of postage and packing of an entry to the Festival must be paid by the entrant.

18. If selected, the cost of postage and packing of screening copy (inbound print transport) to the Festival will be covered by OCDF. The filmmaker must cover the costs associated with the return or forwarding of screening copy (outbound print transport) after the festival.
19. OCDF is unable to offer any screening fees for films submitted to the Festival.

20. If a film is selected for screening, the Festival will contact the entrant by e-mail. All entries will be notified by July 1st 2018 at the latest, barring unforeseen circumstances. If for some reason you haven’t received an email by this date, please check festival website for programme announcements or contact the Programming Team.
21. Following selection, the Festival will provide all successful entrants with a Screening Agreement and delivery schedule.

22. All entries are viewed and chosen by the Programming Team. Final selections are at the sole discretion of the Festival.
23. All films selected will be made available for public viewing. All timings, date and venue details will be assigned by the Festival.

24. The Festival reserves the right to place films into relevant programme strands.
25. Preference will be given but is not limited to submissions that have not been distributed theatrically.
26. If selected, the entrant grants OCDF the right to utilize publicity materials related to the production (e.g. press kits, posters, stills, etc.) for promotional purposes and to broadcast or screen clips of a maximum of five minutes.
27. If selected, the entrant must provide OCDF with a secure online screener and DVD of the complete film for the festival to make available to members of the press and jury (if applicable).
28. Successful entries may also be used for private press screenings prior to the festival. In this case, the Festival would contact the entrant in advance.
29. Films selected for public presentation at OCDF will also be eligible for subsequent or additional screenings carried out by Open City Docs outside of the Festival itself.

30. All films selected for OCDF 2017, with the exception of those screening in retrospective programmes, are eligible for awards. Shortlisted films will be determined by the Programming Team.
31. Awards will be decided and presented by a team of International Jury Members.

32. Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images and content in the entry.

2 Reviews

Overall Rating
  • false
    donshades mcnulty

    Brilliant on all fronts. A PROPER festival, run by a brilliant and dedicated team who really care about storytelling.

    November 2017
  • false
    Kees-Jan Husselman

    Very nice festival. Very good film programme and nice cinemas.

    September 2017