Presented by the esteemed Parajanov-Vartanov Institute, STORYTELLA will screen and award Fiction films in an official sidebar of the institute’s signature annual festival DOC LA, which has traditionally programmed fictional stories alongside the documentary competition.

We are enthusiastic about discovering outstanding fiction films by students, emerging auteurs, and established masters, especially those that our city's other important festivals overlook. We are also interested in unusual, strange and unclassifiable films, since the festival presenting institute is named after the renowned nonconformists Sergei Paradjanov (1924-1990) and Mikhail Vartanov (1937-2009), who overcame censorship, persecution and low budgets, and earned praise for their daring point of view from many of cinema’s greatest luminaries.

The festival’s programmer is their disciple and UCLA alumnus Martiros Vartanov who has served as a curator and juror at festivals in Busan and Beverly Hills and worked on the restoration of the The Color of Pomegranates selected for Festival de Cannes. He also presents the institute's annual awards whose recipients include Academy Award ® winning director Martin Scorsese, Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Saroyan, French cinema icon Jean Vigo, Oscar ® winning actresses Emma Thompson, Marion Cotillard and Susan Sarandon, as well as Mark Ruffalo, Emilio Rivera, Usher, Alfred Molina, Angela Bassett and the Grammy-winning rock band System Of A Down.

Best Film Award
Best Short Film Award
Best Student Film Award
Best Animated Film Award

STORYTELLA, at its discretion, may award cash prizes and special awards:

Best Experimental Film Award
Best Cinematography Award
Best Actor/Actress Award
Best Screenwriter Award
Best Horror Film Award
Best Composer Award
Best Sci-Fi Film Award
Best Producer Award
Best Directing Award
Honorable Mention
Best Editing Award
Audience Award


January - September, 2019.


On rolling basis, and appx by 30 September 2019.


Screening copy of your film must be received by STORYTELLA within 72 hours from notification of acceptance.


Student films: any length.
Short films: 1 to 15 min.
Mid-length films: 16-39 min.
Feature films: 40 min and up.
LA area residents: any length.

We accept online screeners only (Vimeo, FilmFreeway player, etc).

By submitting to STORYTELLA. Los Angeles Storyteller Film Festival you understand and agree that:

a). if your film is selected, it cannot be withdrawn for any reason.

b). that you will provide STORYTELLA with the screening copy of your film (MOV/Quicktime file or DCP) within 72 hours from notification of acceptance. The festival reserves the right to change any dates, deadlines, terms, and venues at its sole discretion.

c). that the festival will not be held liable in case your exhibition materials are lost, stolen or damaged, or for any claims arising from improperly secured rights/permissions for your film.

d). that you have all the necessary rights/permissions for your film.

Overall Rating
  • Ankur Malhotra

    This was a great festival that was well organized. Communication was excellent from the beginning to the end. Max was an amazing host. The lineup of films was top-notch and I even walked away with a best screenwriting award, which was amazing! Honestly, the whole affair was classy. This is how film festivals should be run. I highly recommend submitting here.

    November 2018
  • Aina Dumlao

    Intimate. Meaningful. These 2 words perfectly describe this little gem of a festival. Their top-notch communication, attention to detail, and sincerity instantly creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere. I also especially love the format of short film + feature film pairing. They paired our short with a fantastic feature doc (Children of The Snowland), which easily became one of my top films of 2018.

    Thanks again, DocLA for having us! See you next year!

    November 2018
  • Burt Grinstead

    Wonderful little festival, and a perfect environment for our film. Max was super, super communicative, and we were very happy to screen our film in such a historic place.

    November 2018