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, 2023.


On rolling basis, and appx by 30 September 2023.


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. 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
  • 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
  • Mark Cheng

    What a wonderful festival to be a part of! The organizers are very sincere and supportive- you can really tell that really respect the creative work of the filmmakers! The venue was intimate and very high quality. Even though many shorts were only a couple minutes long, they highlighted each filmmaker and really gave us a moment to shine. Thank you!

    October 2022

    Awesome film festival! Great staff and screening! Really felt immersed and it was beautiful to see the films screened in such an amazing way!!

    November 2021
  • Fran Olmedo Longeri

    It was such an honor to be part of this festival! Amazing location and great film line up. Organizers were super welcoming and communication was superb. I highly recommend submitting here, I definitely will for future projects.

    November 2021
  • My film Dark Passage had the honor of screening at this festival! Apart from the super-pro location and incredible ambience, the experience is one of a kind. I feel fortunate that my film had the opportunity to screen alongside a unique line up of films.

    The fest was expertly run and organized by Max (+ team), one of the sweetest people you'll meet. I want to personally thank the team one more time for making my film feel important. It felt like a personal journey that I hope I get to experience again.

    Side : Seeing Jamie Lee Curtis was the highlight of the night! ;)

    October 2021