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 January. 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. The top rated Platinum films will be invited to screen at one or more film festivals throughout the year in Atlanta, Georgia.

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 January.

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
  • Safiya Songhai

    Spotlight Documentary Film Awards (2024)

    My film won the Best Documentary Short and I greatly appreciate the honor. Will apply again.

    April 2024
  • Marcus Graham

    Thank you Spotlight Documentary Film Awards for awarding Dream Big Little One. A great honor. Marcus G.

    February 2024
  • It is a great experience !hope next festival .

    February 2024
  • Miki Holiday

    It was an honor being awarded amongst so many talented filmmakers! Thank you for the opportunity!

    February 2024
  • Tamiya Lewis

    This festival is amazing we are so appreciative for the honor of receiving an award.

    February 2024