The non-profit Utopia Film Festival seeks entertaining and engaging works which typify our mission: "Seeking to build a better world through film."
We want films and animation which make us laugh, cry and/or expand our consciousness: works which creatively explore the social, political, cultural and environmental issues which challenge humanity's never ending quest - in all its variables - for the perfect "utopian" existence.
Located between Washington and Baltimore in Greenbelt Maryland. Greenbelt was one of America's first planned communities - a New Deal project built by the Roosevelt Administration in the 1930's. Utopia Films screens at venues throughout Greenbelt, including the historic Greenbelt Theater and the Greenbelt Arts Center, attracting audiences from throughout the greater Washington DC metropolitan area.

We seek cinematic works of all genres and lengths,and present the following awards:

BEST SHORT FILM AWARD: The best film under 40 minutes in length.

UTOPIAN VISIONS AWARD: The best work in any category which reflects Utopia's belief in the value of cinema to help create a better world.

BEST YOUNG FILMMAKER AWARD: The best work produced by a filmmaker under 18.

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT AWARD FOR CREATIVITY: The work deemed most creative by the Utopian Film Festival

BEST DOCUMENTARY: Best Documentary under 90 min. deemed by Utopian Film Festival.

Entries must be submitted by original creator (or a parent, guardian or instructor of an entrant under 18 years of age).

If you are accepted, we require that two hard copies - either DVDs or Blue-rays - be shipped to us as soon as possible or a downloadable version in MP4 or MOV format.

Official selection screeners will not be returned unless the submission filmmaker provides a self addressed stamped envelope. no exceptions.

A separate fee must be paid for each entry, though multiple entries may be sent together.

If you have a press kit, it should include a one or two-line description or synopsis of your work; it's running time; and photo stills for publicity purposes.

IMPORTANT: If you are a filmmaker under 18 years of age, no submission fees are required. But you must request a fee waiver which includes proof of age in some form. Contact along with proof of age and your fee waiver request at the time of submission.

Foreign language films must be with English subtitles.

By submitting my film for consideration by the Utopia Film Festival, I agree that:

(1) I am the original creator (or teacher/parent/guardian for youth-produced films).
(2) My film has all necessary clearances and rights to be screened at a film festival.
(3) If my film is selected, it may be screened one or more times at the Utopia Film Festival and other Utopia-related events.
(4) I agree that Utopia has the right to screen all entries and selections of Greenbelt Access Television (GATE), a non-profit community access television station which is the primary festival sponsor.

The Utopia Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted to use for promotional purposes.
The individual submitting the film hereby warrants that he or she is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The applicant shall indemnify and hold harmless the Utopia 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 or damage to screening videos entered.

Overall Rating
  • Sam Hampton

    This is a wonderful little gem of a film festival! Everyone running the festival was very thoughtful and accommodating. We had a great screening along with an engaging Q&A. I hope to return soon!

    November 2018
  • Really enjoyed myself at Utopia, the opening night reception was a great time, and the response from the audience to our film "This Business of Autism" was very encouraging, appreciate all the great questions during the post-film Q&A. Thanks to everyone at Utopia Film Festival for such a welcoming and rewarding experience!

    October 2018
  • Launa Buettell

    Although I was unable to attend, the wonderful people running the festival there were top notched, and very accommodating, treated me like a big name director. Easy to deal with, no snags and my film was well received!! Thank you all!! Great experience!!

    October 2018
  • A big thank you to Chris, Deborah, and Susan for the opportunity to screen our short film. We truly appreciated your communications and your support for us indie filmmakers!

    October 2018
  • Brad Bennett

    Utopia is the unsung festival gem of DC metro area. This is a devoted community of film patrons, and local creatives. The Greenbelt Theater was such perfect venue for our screening. The staff at Utopia Film Festival were so great to work with, and very accommodating to us. We had a nice screening at the Greenbelt Theater, and probably one of the most engaging Q&A sessions ever. On top of all of that, we took home their "Utopian Vision Award"!

    November 2017