The Spo​tlight Documentary Film Awards is dedicated to promoting experienced and new filmmakers through a unique and important international film competition. We are searching the globe for the best films on Earth to spotlight and support.

Spotlight 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.


Platinum Awards: ​celebrate truly remarkable films with the highest scores from our panel.

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.


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.

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

Awards are announced every year in December.

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

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
  • Thank you for choosing my film as part of the festival

    April 2023
  • We appreciate the opportunity to have our documentary viewed and awarded. The website link in the list of award-winners clicks right through to our doc's Facebook page. And our bio was added to the filmmaker page upon request with a link to our YouTube Channel. Spotlight Documentary Awards was an effective way to increase our documentary's online presence.

    March 2023
  • Claudia Gonzalez

    Spotlight Documentary Film was a great film festival to be a part of. Communication with the organizers was easy and they were very friendly.

    February 2023
  • Spotlight Documentary Film Awards is a wonderful festival to get your documentary circulating in the industry. We were thrilled to learn our film, "To Protect and Preserve: Historic Flat Rock's Legacy to Keep" was granted a Gold Award! What a wonderful honor. The friendly communication from Eric Panter was speedy and informative. We will enter again!

    February 2023
  • Gina Cunningham

    I was honored to receive a gold award for my short documentary Pasqualina of Springfield. Thank you Spotlight Awards.

    February 2023