Spo​tlight Documentary Film Awards searches the globe for the best documentary films on Earth to spotlight and support. We are dedicated to promoting experienced and new filmmakers through our international film competition.

We publicize our award-winning films through various websites, press releases, social media posts and email campaigns to industry leaders, film festival organizers, and more. Our award-winning filmmakers get the recognition they deserve, and can have a better success rate on the sometimes arduous journey through the festival circuit.

Our organization is composed of industry professionals: filmmakers, independent film consultants, film festival organizers, festival programmers and judges who have been in the business nearly 20 years, and share a passion for independent film. Our team has evaluated and judged more than 25,000 independent films from directors and producers just like you. Many of the films were spectacular, and some needed a little tweaking, but they were all magically created with the unwavering spirit of the true independent filmmaker.

Spotlight Documentary Film Awards is a must for filmmakers who are searching for someone who can give their documentary films the undivided attention they deserve. We can now shine the spotlight on an unlimited amount of talented filmmakers from around the world, and celebrate the art and beauty of filmmaking.

Awards are announced every year in December. The top rated Platinum films will then screen at various events throughout the year. Filmmakers with documentary shorts and features are encouraged to Enter your film to Spotlight Documentary Film Awards.

AWARDS

Platinum Awards: ​celebrate truly remarkable films with the highest scores from our panel. Platinum Award Winners will be screened in competition at the Spotlight Film Awards in January.

Gold Awards: celebrate incredible films with the second highest scores from our panel.

Silver Awards: awarded to unforgettable films with the third highest scores from our panel.

Bronze Awards: awarded to films with high artistic achievement with the fourth highest scores from our panel.

No Award: Films not receiving an award will be given important and honest feedback from our organization upon request. We know the amount of hard-work it takes to make independent films. This feedback could be essential in getting your film out there for the world to see.

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Award Winners Receive:

Hi-resolution digital downloads of Spotlight Documentary Film Award Winning Laurels.

A personalized digital Certificate of Excellence in Filmmaking announcing your award.

Social Media posts, press releases and emails to our extensive database of industry professionals with announcements of your award.

Links from our website, and our sister websites, to your film website, film trailer, and / or sales of your film online.

Filmmaker Spotlight with director photo, bio, and links to chosen websites.

The top rated fiilms will be screened at the Spotlight Film Awards in January.

RUNNING TIME
Documentary Shorts are 45 minutes and under. Documentary Features are 46 minutes and over.

AWARD ANNOUNCEMENTS
Awards are announced every year in December and the top rated films will be screened in January.

LANGUAGE
Entries in any language other than English or Spanish should be subtitled in either language.

FORMATS​
Entries can only be submitted via FilmFreeway with a secure link of an online copy through vimeo or other host. No hard-copies of films will be considered. Email us with questions.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Thank you Spotlight Documentary Film Awards for including “For Love of the Land” into your festival. I’m honored to have been selected as an award winner.

    February 2022
  • Preston Chase

    It was an honor to be selected as part of the Spotlight Documentary Film Awards but to receive an award, I am over the moon! It's a great festival. Thank you very much from Canada, for spotlighting my first film, Mr. Emancipation

    February 2022
  • Shonnese C. L. Coleman

    Thank you for selecting Radio Theatre For Your Soul A DOCU-STORY for a Silver Award. The promotion and the Spotlight is appreciated!

    February 2022
  • Judit Papp

    Great team and support towards filmmakers.

    February 2022
  • Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity and the award! Wish you lots of successful editions to come.

    February 2022