Welcome Documentary filmmakers!

We believe that film has the power to change the world.

You’ve stood up for things that matter – now it’s your turn to stand up and be recognized.

Our Mission: To support and promote filmmakers who are making a difference in the critical issues of our times through producing impactful documentaries…or making contributions to the world through enlightening and entertaining documentary films.

Our Goal: Our goal at IMPACT DOCS is to promote filmmakers of all backgrounds and experience levels – to ignite social change and to support filmmakers’ careers in meaningful filmmaking.

Our Belief: We believe in the power of film to IMPACT the world – and documentary filmmakers are often on the leading edge of global change by shifting perceptions, behavior and habits of the viewers. It takes great talent to entertain viewers with subjects that are real!

Who We Are: IMPACT DOCS is the newest member of the Global Film Awards Family – a family of film competitions that have been serving filmmakers for more than 14 years. IMPACT DOCS is a unique hybrid awards competition; not a traditional film festival.

Serving YOU: Serving filmmakers is IMPACT DOC’s primary goal.

Our Thanks! If you have found this competition because you are one of these documentarians – we not only welcome you – but wish to offer you a sincere nod of gratitude for what we know has been hard work in bringing an important message to the world at large.

Thank you for all you do!


You are in good company. Our 2015 inaugural competition drew exceptional documentaries from both veteran filmmakers and fresh new talent. The Best of Show was awarded to Academy Award winning director Louie Psihoyos for his documentary "Racing Extinction"…and the additional award winning films came from all over the globe – including many first time filmmakers and students!

• PROMOTIONAL LAURELS – give your film opening and graphics that wow factor! PEER REVIEW – our judges are award-winning filmmakers who understand the craft and what audiences want.
• PUBLICITY ENHANCEMENT – Winners are announced to a database of 44,000+ email industry professionals as well as additional international media outlets.
• PRESS RELEASE - We provide a fill-in-the-blanks Press Release and valuable tips to help you promote your win. We've done the heavy lifting - fill it in and send to media outlets!
• SOCIAL MEDIA PUSH – Facebook and Twitter announcements of winners and updates from our filmmaking community can be shared with your own lists.
• IMDB – Impact DOCS is IMDb approved and can be listed on your IMDb page!

Each season the IMPACT DOCS Awards will honor documentary filmmakers in four different levels of awards.


Quality and creativity are celebrated in four levels of awards: Best of Show, Award of Excellence, Award of Merit and Award of Recognition.

The judging takes place by in-house staff and a committee of industry professionals and documentary filmmakers including Emmy, Telly and Communicator nominees and winners.

As with the Tellys and regional Emmy Awards, entries do not compete against each other. Instead, entries are judged against a high standard of merit and are scored accordingly. Judges score entries on a performance scale and winning entries are recognized and awarded as Awards of Excellence, Awards of Merit, Award of Recognition or no award depending on the score.

Best of Show honors are granted to the top scoring entry. Awards of Excellence are granted to entries with truly exceptional filmmaking. Notable artistic and technical productions are recognized at the Award of Merit award level and Award of Recognition recognizes achievement in a specific category of entry.

All entries will be judged in the documentary category for both full and short docs. In addition, you may enter additional categories, such as cinematography, soundtrack, direction, viewer impact, etc. After you complete your submission you will receive a confirmation email from IMPACT DOCS that will include a link to our ADDITIONAL CATEGORIES website which will allow you to enter your film in more categories.

No fixed number of awards are granted at any level but rather fluctuate based on the total number of entries received for each competition deadline.


Each submission received through the IMPACT DOCS Awards website or any film portal will be contacted via electronic mail to confirm entry.

After judging is completed, winners in all categories will be notified of their award and are provided the opportunity to acquire statuettes and other keepsakes to commemorate their achievement. Submissions that were not awarded will be notified after the judging process.


Many filmmakers want keepsake statuettes of their win as with awards such as Emmy, Telly, etc. The IMPACT DOCS statuette is exceptional in this industry and is a work of art. Covered with 24k gold it is manufactured by the company that makes the worlds’ most prestigious and celebrated awards, the Oscar, Clio, and Accolade. Best of Show honorees receive a complimentary statuette.


The IMPACT DOCS Awards sister competitions are: The Best Shorts Competition honoring the best of short filmmaking (BestShorts.net); The Accolade Global Film Competition (AccoladeCompetition.org) which celebrates outstanding media of every variety around the globe; and The IndieFEST Film Awards (TheIndieFEST.com) recognizing unique gems and cinematic voices. All four competitions share administrative offices but have independent judging – and judging results from one competition will not influence the outcome of the other.


1. Submissions in other than English must be subtitled.

2. After you enter your documentary here - you will be given the opportunity to add additional categories. You will be sent an email acknowledgement from Impact confirming your submission that will include a link to our Additional Categories page on our website where you may include more categories.

Click here to see a list of additional categories on the Impact Docs website: http://impactdocsawards.com/submit-your-film/

3. Online screeners preferred. If you choose not to upload your project to FilmFreeway’s site, please provide an online link to your submission and be sure to include the password. If you choose to send a DVD screener please format it in NTSC, label the cover with the FilmFreeway Tracking ID, filmmaker name and telephone number, and forward it to IMPACT DOCS’ mailing address.

4. *Please note: IMPACT DOCS does NOT download data or accept Dropbox submissions. Please only send links to your media hosted on 3rd party servers such as Vimeo or YouTube.

5. Written comments describing entries are beneficial.

6. DVD Entries will not be returned.

Overall Rating
  • mark pearce

    Would definitely recommend this festival. Great communication and they value story and technical aspects of filmmaking. They also care about issues and this fest has helped get our film heard and seen around the world.

    February 2020
  • Olga and Andrii Andreiev

    Thank you for your wonderful festival! I was very glad to take part in it with my film! I hope in the future we will see you many more times! Thanks again!

    February 2020
  • Angelena Bonet

    I have entered 4 documentaries to Impact DOCS Awards since 2017 and absolutely love being a part of this prestigious film awards! They are very professional and genuinely care about documentarians. I highly recommend to any filmmaker who wants their work respected and taken seriously. Thank you so much Impact DOCS for awarding me the Award of Recognition for each of my feature films in the trilogy!

    February 2020
  • Niklas Goslar

    A great honour to have won an AWARD OF MERIT with MOTHER OF TIBETANS! To have been rewarded in categories like 'Use of Film for Socila Change' and 'Viewer Impact' as well as 'Documentary Feature' means the world to me and the film! Great and important festival, great communication! Highly recommended!!

    February 2020
  • Dawn Engle

    What a fantastic festival; we loved it!

    February 2020