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
  • Simone Fary

    Just wanted to officially document the awesomeness of this little festival. Screened in a nice classic theater that made the film look and sound great. Was worried nobody would show up at 10 am on a Sunday in COVID-times. But we had 20 people, and a lovely conversation. At another film where there were no filmmakers in attendance a volunteer moderator actually facilitated a discussion on the topic anyway. Saw some films that gave me ideas for other projects, got to actually sit and talk with other filmmakers, get fed, and get a swag bag with a t-shirt that actually fit me and a cute mug to boot. Highly recommended.

    November 2021
  • Margaret Chmiel

    This is a wonderful festival put on by a caring, communicative team of filmmakers. The Greenbelt theater is a wonderful venue cornerstone for film arts in the community. I enjoyed all of the films I got to see and was so honored to be among them. Thank you!

    November 2021
  • Borit Yannick

    Very happy to be à part of your festival, I wish you all the best

    November 2021
  • Thank you Utopia Film Fest! I was so proud to have three of my time-lapse films - Dazzling, Labyrinth of Life, and Crossroads - selected for this year's program of Utopian films with a message for positive change.
    I really enjoyed meeting other film makers at the Q&A and learn about their unique film-making journeys.

    November 2021
  • Jonathan Fisher

    I would give Utopia ten stars if I could! Chris, Susan, Deborah and the rest of the crew ran a perfect festival, in a perfect town. If you want to change the world, this festival is for you!

    November 2021