Having experienced film festivals all across the country with our own films, we’ve seen so many films that we truly never cared to see. You never know what you and your family are going to be subjected to. This film festival is challenging filmmakers to set aside political agendas (or learn to creatively bury them in your film) and avoid shock value for the sake of shock value. We are challenging filmmakers to bring creativity and beauty to their art of filmmaking and story-telling.

Brought to you by Desoto Arts Institute and located in Southaven, Mississippi, the Desoto Film Festival is designed to bring thoughtful entertainment to families and individuals in the Mid-South as well as give exposure to filmmakers desiring to reach the widest audience of viewers – the entire family.

DFF is open to anyone, anywhere around the world and we encourage people to go out, be creative and produce great films. DFF exists to make great films accessible to the widest audience possible.

The Desoto Film Festival will award several trophies in different categories including Best Feel Good Film. The trophies are handcrafted.


The Desoto Film Festival is a film festival located in Southaven, MS and hosted by the Desoto Arts Institute. Submissions must be made online (via https://filmfreeway.com/desotofilmfestival). Official Selections will be screened at the festival event in October.

Official Selection and award notifications will be delivered electronically. Physical prizes (certificates, plaques, trophies, etc.) will be given to the award winners at the award ceremony during the Desoto Film Festival weekend. Award winners not in attendance can have their awards mailed to them at the expense of the award winner.

Entrants warrant that they have the legal right to enter film work to the Desoto Film Festival. As the Director/Producer of the Film, entrants have submitted to the Festival, entrants represent and warrant to the Festival that the Film and all parts thereof are original; that the Film does not contravene the rights of any person or entity and that entrants own or control the Film and all parts thereof and have the sole authority to submit the Film to the Festival; the Film entrants submitted to the Festival is not subject to nor threatened by any litigation.

Entrants acknowledge that no fiduciary or confidential relationship now exists between the Festival and entrants, and entrants further acknowledge that no such relationship is established by these guidelines, my submission of the Film, or by the Festival’s acceptance, review or retention of the Film.

If a film is accepted, entrants will be solely responsible for delivering their exhibition video materials to DFF. By submitting to the Desoto Film Festival, you give DFF permission to screen your film during the festival weekend at the festival’s discretion.

Submission Rules and Regulations
> No submission fee refund
> No nudity or sexuality explicit scenes
> No offensive language
> Strong violence is prohibited
> Must be uplifting and/or contain positive values
> All non-English Films must have English Subtitles

Overall Rating
  • The folx at Desoto seem like wonderful people. I can't attest to the environment or festival as I couldn't attend in person, but I was very happy our film "The Plumber" screened with their audience and resonated with everyone there. Big thanks to the team as well for our best historical film win!

    June 2021
  • Katherine Johnson

    Great small festival. Excels at organization and communication, which is so rare.

    May 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much Katherine! We enjoyed having your films in the festival. Please reach out soon!

  • LeAnn Morris

    The DFF is a fantastic film festival, and it was an honor to attend this year. Robb and his team did a fantastic job of making us feel welcome as filmmakers. The quality of the films that screened from all over the world were excellent!
    Thank you for selecting our short film "The Dark Places". The feedback we received from the audience was very encouraging.
    I highly recommend this film festival!

    May 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much LeAnn! It was a pleasure meeting you!

  • I attended this fest and let me tell you, it was a JOY. Not only were the people truly wonderful, but the curated movies were so well made, it was an honor to know my film, The Adventures of Wonderboy had made the cut AND walked away with the Founder's Choice Award, which was amazing. It was fun, and as soon as I have another film to submit, I will. I'll be back as often as I can.

    February 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much Marti! We loved having you at the festival and we hope to see you again this year.

  • This is an amazing festival and they go above and beyond to make you feel welcome and valued. The awards are my favorite too! Thank you so much Desoto!

    January 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Kody! We loved having your film as a part of the festival and we can't wait to see your future work!