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
  • Maria Antonova

    I can't say for the most ranking options because I wasn't at the festival in person (very sadly). Even despite that, it will be forever in my memory. Thank you for your professionalism, kindness and mindfulness. This festival is a gem.

    December 2019
  • Utopia Film Festival was such a great experience all around!! Everyone was so organized, friendly, helpful, and positive. The theater is gorgeous, the film looked and sounded superb! Highly recommend this conscious (on many levels) film festival to all. -Nam (Found in Korea)

    November 2019
  • Thank you, Utopia Film Festival, for being such an inspiring festival that - true to it's mission - is: "Seeking to build a better world through film." I enjoyed the excellent and thoughtful programming, meeting wonderful organizers, filmmakers and audience members and I was very honored for my film FROM SEED TO SEED to be included and to receive the Utopian Visions award. This award became even more special once I realized that Greenbelt was part of the 1937 Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, when planners launched an extraordinary home-building experiment in the Washington, DC suburbs. Greenbelt, MD, was one of the most controversial of the 3 "green towns", designed to relieve housing shortages. Residents were selected for their willingness to create healthy, happy and harmonious community.
    Critics charged that the "utopian" green towns were foolishly idealistic, wasted taxpayers $ and the non-profit co-ops were dangerously socialistic.
    Eleanor Roosevelt called Greenbelt "the 1st garden community in the land, planned for the uplift, and unfolding of the human spirit". That inspiring co-operative spirit is still alive in the community and embodied by the Utopia Film Festival. I am hopeful for a Green New Deal to grow.

    November 2019
  • Michael Snyder

    We were honored to be included and thought it was a great festival! The interaction from the audience was excellent.

    November 2019
  • Leslee Goodman

    This is a small, delightful festival, produced by wonderful people who are passionate about film and community. I was thrilled to attend, saw a program of wonderful films on a wide range of topics, and met other fabulously talented filmmakers. I would love to attend again.

    November 2019