Presented by the esteemed Parajanov-Vartanov Institute, Los Angeles Film Festival storytelLA will screen and award fiction films in an official sidebar of the institute’s signature annual festival DOC LA, which has traditionally programmed fictional stories alongside the documentary competition.

We are enthusiastic about discovering outstanding fiction films by students, emerging auteurs, and established masters. We are also interested in unusual, strange and unclassifiable films, since the institute that presents the festival is named after the renowned nonconformists Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990) and Mikhail Vartanov (1937-2009), who overcame censorship, persecution and low budgets, and earned praise for their daring point of view from many of cinema’s greatest luminaries, such as Godard, Coppola and Tarkovsky, and inspired the likes of Madonna and Lady Gaga.

The festival’s programmer is their disciple and UCLA alum Martiros Vartanov who has served as a curator and juror at festivals in Busan and Los Angeles and worked on the restoration of the The Color of Pomegranates selected for Festival de Cannes. He also presents the institute's and the festival's annual awards whose recipients include Academy Award ® winning director Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Saroyan, French cinema icon Jean Vigo, Oscar ® winning actresses Emma Thompson, Marion Cotillard, Susan Sarandon, Helen Mirren, and Cate Blanchett, as well as Jeff Bridges, Emilio Rivera, Usher, Ice-T, Michael Weatherly, Joe Berlinger, Alfred Molina, Woody Harrelson, Liam Neeson, John Malkovich, Christoph Waltz, William Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Moby, Dennis Quaid, Mark Ruffalo, and Grammy-winning rock band System Of A Down.

Los Angeles Film Festival storytelLA, at its discretion, may award cash prizes and special awards for Directing, Cinematography, Screenwriting, Producing, Acting, Editing, Animation, Best Film, Best Student Film, Best Sci-Fi Film, Best Horror Film, Best Comedy Film, Best Experimental Film, Best TV, Best New Media, Best Trailer, Best Commercial, Best Composer, Best Music Video, and other awards.


Until August, 2024.


On rolling basis, and appx by 30 September 2024.


Screening copy of your film must be received by Los Angeles Film Festival storytelLA within 7 days from notification of acceptance.


We accept online screeners only (Vimeo, FilmFreeway player, etc).

By submitting to Los Angeles Film Festival storytelLA you understand and agree that:

a). you are the creator/owner of the film, or you are authorized by the creator/owner of the film to submit it.

b). you will provide DOC LA with the screening copy of your film (DCP -- or -- Quicktime/ProRes/H264/etc) within 7 days from notification of acceptance. Submission fees are nonrefundable. The festival reserves the right to change any dates, deadlines, terms, format, and venues at its sole discretion.

c). that the festival will not be held liable in case your exhibition materials are lost, stolen or damaged, or for any claims arising from improperly secured rights/permissions for your film.

d). that you have all the necessary rights/permissions for your film.

Overall Rating
  • Tanya Wheeler

    It was a real thrill to be selected for StorytelLA, but then to win Best Horror, was a real surprise for a short horror film from New Zealand. MEANS TO AN END (2022) was my directorial debut and it has been such a dream come true to be recognized and supported around the world. StorytelLA had clear, warm, and friendly communication and went above and beyond. Thank you for the selection and recognition. The whole team is very happy for your acknowledgment of our low-budget, self-funded, first-time director horror film. Thank you!

    November 2023
  • D. Mitry

    This was a great experience for us! Thank you so much for sharing our film with your audiences!

    November 2023
  • Stefano Da Frè

    Excellent Program. Very Professional. High Standards from filmmaking. This is what you get at this festival. And most of all, the care and the respect to the filmmakers and producers who's films are screened. Among the most elite of festivals I have attended. Highly Recommended.

    November 2023
  • Suzanne Friesen

    The organizers of this festival are so incredibly kind and supportive. This is a festival that truly cares about the art of the medium. It was very special to be recognized within this festival, thank you for a wonderful experience :)

    October 2023
  • Magdalena Zielonka

    Wonderful Festival, Everyone involved was so communicative kind and welcoming. The organizers are there along the way to help you and assist in any way possible.

    October 2022