Skip to content


Documentary Film Festivals

Looking for a festival to screen your documentary? We've compiled a list of domestic and international film festivals that feature documentaries in their lineup, and highlighted the ones with the most clout.

What's missing? Email filmmakers[at] and let us know!

Festival               Location When U.S./Int'l.
AFI Docs (formerly Silverdocs)Top TierWashington, DCJuneU.S.
AmbulanteTop TierVarious, Mexico MayInt'l.
Berlinale FestivalTop TierBerlin, GermanyFebruaryInt'l.
CannesTop TierCannes, FranceMayInt'l.
CPH:DOX - The Copenhagen International Documentary FestivalTop TierCopenhagen, DenmarkNovemberInt'l.
Documentary Fortnight: MoMA's International Festival of Nonfiction FilmTop TierNew York, NYFebruaryU.S.
DOK LeipzigTop TierLeipzig, Germany NovemberInt'l.
Edinburgh International Film FestivalTop TierEdinburgh, UKJuneInt'l.
Full Frame Documentary Film FestivalTop TierDurham, NCAprilU.S.
Hot DocsTop TierToronto, CanadaAprilInt'l.
IDA Documentary Screening Series (replaced DocuWeeks)Top TierLos Angeles, CA / New York, NYSeptember - JanuaryU.S.
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)Top TierAmsterdam, NetherlandsDecemberInt'l.
Jihlava International Documentary Film FestivalTop Tier Jihlava, Czech RepublicOctoberInt'l.
Karlovy Vary International Film FestivalTop TierKarlovy Vary, Czech RepublicJuneInt'l.
Locarno Film FestivalTop TierLocarno, SwitzerlandAugustInt'l.
New Directors/New FilmsTop TierNew York, NYMarchU.S.
New York Film FestivalTop TierNew York, NYSeptemberU.S.
RIDM - Montreal International Documentary FestivalTop TierMontreal, CanadaNovemberInt'l.
Sheffield Doc/FestTop TierSheffield, UKJuneInt'l.
Sundance Film FestivalTop TierPark City, UTJanuaryU.S.
SXSW - South by SouthwestTop TierAustin, TXMarchU.S.
Thessaloniki International Film FestivalTop TierThessaloniki, GreeceNovemberInt'l.
Toronto International Film Festival Top TierToronto, CanadaSeptemberInt'l.
Tribeca Film FestivalTop TierNew York, NYAprilU.S.
True/False Film Fest Top TierColumbia, MOFebruaryU.S.
Venice Film Festival Top TierVenice, ItalyAugustInt'l.
Visions du Réel Top TierNyon, SwitzerlandAprilInt'l.
!f Istanbul (AFM International Independent Film Festival)Istanbul, TurkeyFebruaryInt'l.
15 Minutes of FamePalm Bay, FLMayU.S.
Adelaide Film FestivalGlenside, AustraliaOctoberInt'l.
AFI FestHollywood, CANovemberU.S.
American Documentary Film FestivalPalm Springs, CAMarchU.S.
AmFest Moscow, RussiaOctoberInt'l.
Annual UBC Anthropology Film FestivalVancouver, CanadaMarchInt'l.
Ashland Independent Film FestivalAshland, ORAprilU.S.
Asian American International Film Festival New York, NYJuly - AugustU.S.
Asian CineVisionNew York, NYJuly-AugustU.S.
Aspen FilmFestAspen, COSeptember-OctoberU.S.
Atlanta Film FestivalAtlanta, GAMarchU.S.
Atlantic Film FestivalHalifax, CanadaSeptemberInt'l.
Athena Film FestivalNew York, NYFebruaryU.S.
Austin Film FestivalAustin, TXOctoberU.S.
Bare Bones International Film FestivalMuskogee, OKAprilU.S.
BeldocsBelgrade, SerbiaAprilInt'l.
BFI London Film FestivalLondon, UKMayInt'l.
Big Muddy Film FestivalCarbondale, ILFebruaryU.S.
Big Sky Documentary Film FestivalMissoula, MTFebruaryU.S.
Brooklyn Film FestivalBrooklyn, New YorkMay - JuneU.S.
Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine IndependienteBuenos Aires, ArgentinaAprilInt'l.
Buffalo International Film FestivalBuffalo, NYOctoberU.S.
Busan International Film FestivalBusan, South KoreaOctoberInt'l.
CAAMFESTSan Francisco, CAMarchU.S.
Camden International Film FestivalCamden, MESeptemberU.S.
Catalina Film FestivalSanta Catalina Island, CASeptemberU.S.
Chagrin Documentary Film FestChagrin Falls, OHOctoberU.S.
Charleston International Film FestivalCharleston, SCAprilU.S.
Chesapeake Film FestivalEaston, MDSeptemberU.S.
Chicago International Film FestivalChicago, ILOctoberU.S.
ChileDocSantiago, ChileMayInt'l.
Cine PobreEl Centenario, MexicoJuneInt'l.
Cine! Chilean Film Fest Miami, FLJuneU.S.
Cinema Du Reel International Documentary Film Festival Paris, FranceMarchInt'l.
Cinema Verite Iran Documentary Film FestivalTehran, IranOctober - NovemberInt'l.
CinequestSan Jose, CAFebruaryU.S.
Cleveland International Film FestivalCleveland, OHAprilU.S.
Council on Foundations Film + Video FestivalChicago, ILAprilU.S.
CronografKishinev, MoldovaMay - JuneInt'l.
Cucalorus Film FestivalWilmington, NCNovemberU.S.
Dallas International Film FestivalDallas, TXMayU.S.
DC Independent Film FestivalWashington, DCMarchU.S.
Development Film FestTamil Nadu, IndiaJanuaryInt'l.
Doc AvivTel Aviv, IsraelMayInt'l.
DOC NYCNew York, NYNovemberU.S.
DocHouse London, UKMarchInt'l.
DockanemaMaputo, MozambiqueSeptemberInt'l.
doclisboaLisbon, PortugalOctoberInt'l.
DocMiamiMiami, FLDecember U.S.
DocPointHelsinki, FinlandJanuaryInt'l.
DocsBarcelonaBarcelona, SpainFebruaryInt'l.
DocsDFCuauhtémoc, MexicoOctoberInt'l.
DocuFest AtlantaAtlanta, GASeptemberU.S.
Documenta MadridMadrid, SpainMayInt'l.
Documentarist - Istanbul Documentary DaysIstanbul, TurkeyJuneInt'l.
Documentary Edge Film FestivalAuckland, New ZealandMayInt'l.
DocUtahSt. George/Kanab, UtahSeptemberU.S.
DOK.festMünchen, Germany MayInt'l.
Doku Arts Berlin Berlin, Germany SeptemberInt'l.
DokufestPrizren KosovoAugustInt'l.
DOXA Documentary Film FestivalVancouver, CanadaMayInt'l.
East Doc Platform Prague Prague, Czech Republic MarchInt'l.
Ebertfest: Roger Ebert's Film FestivalChampaign, ILAprilU.S.
EkotopfilmBratislava, SlovakiaOctober Int'l.
Encounters, South African International Documentary FestivalCape Town/Johannesburg, South AfricaJuneInt'l.
Etnofilm Croatia 2013Rovinj, CroatiaAprilInt'l.
FEST International Film FestivalEspinho, PortugalJuneInt'l.
Festival EdocQuito, EcuadorMayInt'l.
Festival of Visual Anthropology AspektyToruń, PolandNovemberInt'l.
Films Des Femmes Film FestivalCréteil, FranceJanuary Int'l.
FlahertianaPerm, RussiaOctoberInt'l.
forumdoc.bhBelo Horizonte, BrasilNovember-DecemberIntl
FranceDocParis, FranceNovemberInt'l.
Freedom Film FestSelangor, MalaysiaJanuaryInt'l.
Fusion Film FestivalNew York, NYMarchU.S.
Göttingen International Ethnographic Film FestivalPaulinerkirche, GermanyMayInt'l.
Guangzhou International Documentary Film FestivalGuangzhou, ChinaDecemberInt'l.
Guth Gafa International Documentary Festival County Meath, IrelandMayInt'l.
Hamptons International Film FestivalEast Hampton, NYOctoberU.S.
Harlem International Film FestivalNew York, NYSeptemberU.S.
Hot Springs Documentary Film FestivalHot Springs, AROctoberU.S.
Human Rights Watch Film FestivalVariousJuneInt'l.
In the Palace International Short Film FestSofia, BulgariaJuneInt'l.
Independent Film Festival BostonBoston, MAAprilU.S.
Indie MemphisMemphis, TNOctoberU.S.
International 1001 Documentary Film Festivalİstanbul, Turkey SeptemberInt'l.
International Random Film Festival/ SwedenGarpenberg, Sweden DecemberInt'l.
It's All True - International Documentary Film FestivalSão Paulo, BrazilAprilInt'l.
Jean Rouch International Film FestivalParis, FranceNovemberInt'l.
Kansas City FilmFestKansas City, MOAprilU.S.
Krakow Film FestivalKraków, PolandMayInt'l.
LA Film FESTLos Angeles, CAJuneU.S.
Lake Placid Film Forum Lake Placid, NYMayU.S.
Lemesos International Documentary Film FestivalLimassol, CyprusAugustInt'l.
Little Rock Film FestivalLittle Rock, ARMayU.S.
London International Doc Film FestivalLondon, UKMayInt'l.
Manhattan Film FestivalNew York, NYJuneU.S.
Margaret Mead Film FestivalNew York, NYOctoberU.S.
Martha's Vineyard Film FestivalChilmark, MAMarchU.S.
Maryland Film FestivalBaltimore, MDMayU.S.
Media That Matters Washington, DC / New York, NYFebruaryU.S.
Mendocino Film FestivalMendocino, CAMayU.S.
Milan International Film FestivalMilan, ItalyMayInt'l.
Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival Minneapolis, MNAprilIntl
Montana CINE International Film FestivalMissoula, MTAprilU.S.
Montclair Film FestivalMontclair, NJAprilU.S.
Nantucket Film FestivalNantucket, MAMayU.S.
Nevada International Film FestivalLas Vegas, NevadaDecemberIntl
New Media Film FestivalLos Angeles, CAJuneU.S.
New Orleans Film FestivalNew Orleans, LAOctoberU.S.
New York Independent Film & Video FestivalNew York, NYSeptemberU.S.
Newport Beach Film FestivalNewport Beach, CAAprilU.S.
Nordisk PanoramaCopenhagen, DenmarkSeptemberInt'l.
Northside Film Festival New York, NYJuneU.S.
NYC Independent Film FestivalNew York, NYOctoberIntl
One World Human Rights Film FestivalPrague, Czech RepublicMarchInt'l.
Open City Docs FestLondon, UKJuneInt'l.
Other Israel Film FestivalNew York, NYNovemberU.S.
Ottawa International Film FestivalOttawa, CanadaFebruaryInt'l.
Oxford Film FestivalOxford, MSFebruaryU.S.
Paley DocFest New York, NYOctoberU.S.
Palm Beach International Film FestivalPalm Beach, FLAprilU.S.
Palm Springs International Film FestivalPalm Springs, CAJuneU.S.
Planete Doc Film FestWarsaw, PolandMayInt'l.
Portland International Film Festival Portland, ORFebruaryU.S.
Pravo Ljudski Film FestivalSarajevo, Bosnia and HerzegovinaNovemberInt'l.
Provincetown Independent Film FestivalProvincetown, MAJuneU.S.
Q Doc - Portland Queer Documentary Film FestivalPortland, ORMayU.S.
Queens World Film FestivalNew York, NYMarchU.S.
RAI International Festival of Ethnographic FilmLondon, UKJuneInt'l.
Real Life Film Festival du cinema C'est la VieSudbury, CanadaAprilInt'l.
Red Rock Film FestivalCedar City/St. George, UTNovemberU.S.
Rhode Island International Film FestivalProvidence, RIAugustU.S.
RiverRun International Film FestivalWinston-Salem, NCAprilIntl
Salem Film FestSalem, MAMarchU.S.
San Diego Film FestivalDel Mar, CAOctoberU.S.
San Francisco International Film FestivalSan Francisco, CAAprilU.S.
San Luis Obispo Film FestivalSan Luis Obispo, CAMarchU.S.
SANFIC (Santiago Festical International De Cine)Santiago, ChileAugustInt'l.
Sarasota Film FestivalSarasota, FLAprilU.S.
Sardinia International Ethnographic Film Festival (SIEFF)Nuoro, ItalySeptemberInt'l.
Savannah Film FestivalSavannah, GAOctoberU.S.
SCRIPT International Short Film FestivalKerala, IndiaFebruaryInt'l.
Seattle International Film FestivalSeattle, WAMayU.S.
Sebastopol Documentary Film FestivalSebastopol, CAMarchU.S.
SF Green Film Festival San Francisco, CAMayU.S.
Sidewalk Film FestivalBirmingham, ALAugustU.S.
Slamdance Film FestivalPark City, UTJanuaryU.S.
Sleepwalkers Film FestivalTallinn, EstoniaNovemberInt'l.
Social Change Film Festival & InstituteRio de Janeiro, BrazilOctoberInt'l.
SOHO International Film FestivalNew York, NYAprilU.S.
South Dakota Film FestivalAberdeen, SDSeptemberU.S.
Spirit Quest Film FestivalEdinboro, PAAprilU.S.
Starz Denver Film FestivalDenver, COOctoberU.S.
Tacoma Film FestivalTacoma, WAOctoberU.S.
Talking Pictures FestivalEvanston, ILMarchU.S.
Tall Grass Film FestivalWichita, KSOctoberU.S.
Tampere Film FestivalTampere, FinlandMarchInt'l.
Telluride Film FestivalTelluride, COAugustU.S.
Thin Line Film FestDenton, TXFebruaryU.S.
Toronto Reel Asian International Film FestivalToronto, CanadaNovemberInt'l.
Trail Dance Film FestivalDuncan, OKJanuaryU.S.
Traverse City Film FestivalTraverse City, MIJulyU.S.
Trento Film FestivalTrento, ItalyAprilInt'l.
Trinidad and Tobago Film FestivalPort of Spain, Trinidad and TobagoSeptemberInt'l.
Twin Rivers Media FestivalAsheville, NCMayU.S.
UNAFF (United Nations Association Film Festival)Stanford, CAOctoberU.S.
VI Moscow International Festival of Visual Anthropology Moscow, RussiaOctoberInt'l.
Vibgyor International Festival for Short & Documentary FilmsThrissur, IndiaFebruaryInt'l.
Warsaw Film FestivalWarszawa, PolandOctoberInt'l.
West Virginia Mountaineer Film FestMorgantown, WVMarchU.S.
White Sands International Film FestivalLas Cruces, NMSeptemberU.S.
WILLiFestNew York, NYSeptemberU.S.
Wisconsin Film Festival Madison, WIAprilU.S.
Womens International Film Festival Miami, FLMarchU.S.
Woodstock Film FestivalWoodstock, NYOctoberU.S.
WorldFest - Houston International Film FestivalHouston, TXAprilU.S.
Yamagata International Documentary Film FestivalYamagata, JapanOctoberInt'l.
Zagrebdox International Documentary Film FestivalZagreb, CroatiaFebruaryInt'l.
Zero Film FestivalLos Angeles, CAAprilU.S.
Zinebi - International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of BilbaoBilbao, SpainNovemberInt'l.

If you have an addition, update or correction, please email filmmakers[at] and let us know!

Last Updated: 2/19/2014