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 Theatre 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 your submission is accepted to the festival, 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
  • This festival is fantastic for a lot of reasons. First it's run really well and is so organized. But second, it's just the sense of community that is created leading up to and during the festival! It feels like being around an immensely supportive group of people in watching your own film and others and as an indie filmmaker, and a minority woman, that matters more than anything!

    December 2022
  • Terrific film festival for filmmakers who want to bring positive change. The festival organizers — all volunteers — went above and beyond. I had to cancel my plans to travel to the festival due to family health issues. Frank and others on the team ensured that I could join the Q&A by setting up a computer with Zoom on stage. Thank you!

    November 2022
  • Preston Chase

    It was an honor to be selected as part of the Utopia Film Festival but I just saw that my film won Best Documentary,WOW!!!! I am thrilled and over the moon! Thank you very much for screening my first film, Mr. Emancipation: The Walter Perry Story and sharing my Canadian heritage, about the largest Juneteenth festival

    November 2022
  • It was a real pleasure to join the folks at The Utopia Film Festival for the screening of our film Her Name was Hester. Greenbelt is a charming location for the festival, and Deb, Susan, Frank and Chris were wonderful hosts. I especially loved screening in the historic Greenbelt Theatre.

    November 2022
  • Danielle Mccormick

    Wonderful festival ran by wonderful people.

    November 2022