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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]pov.org and let us know!

Festival               Location When U.S./Int'l.
AFI Docs (formerly Silverdocs)Top TierWashington, DCJuneUS
AmbulanteTop TierVarious, Mexico MayIntl
Berlinale FestivalTop TierBerlin, GermanyFebruaryIntl
CannesTop TierCannes, FranceMayIntl
CPH:DOX - The Copenhagen International Documentary FestivalTop TierCopenhagen , DenmarkNovemberIntl
Documentary Fortnight: MoMA's International Festival of Nonfiction FilmTop TierNew York, NYFebruaryUS
DOK LeipzigTop TierLeipzig, Germany NovemberIntl
Edinburgh International Film FestivalTop TierEdinburgh, UKJuneIntl
Full Frame Documentary Film FestivalTop TierDurham, NCAprilUS
Hot DocsTop TierToronto, Ontario, CanadaAprilIntl
IDA Documentary Screening Series (replaced DocuWeeks)Top TierLos Angeles, CA / New York, NYSeptember - JanuaryUS
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)Top TierAmsterdam, NetherlandsNovemberIntl
Jihlava International Documentary Film FestivalTop Tier Jihlava, Czech RepublicOctoberIntl
Karlovy Vary International Film FestivalTop TierKarlovy Vary, Czech RepublicJuneIntl
Locarno Film FestivalTop TierLocarno, SwitzerlandAugustIntl
New Directors/New FilmsTop TierNew York, NYMarchUS
New York Film FestivalTop TierNew York, NYSeptemberUS
RIDM - Montreal International Documentary FestivalTop TierMontreal, Quebec, CanadaNovemberIntl
Sheffield Doc/FestTop TierSheffield, UKJuneIntl
Sundance Film FestivalTop TierPark City, UTJanuaryUS
SXSW - South by SouthwestTop TierAustin, TXMarchUS
Thessaloniki International Film FestivalTop TierThessaloniki, GreeceNovemberIntl
Toronto International Film Festival Top TierToronto, Ontario, CanadaSeptemberIntl
Tribeca Film FestivalTop TierNew York, NYAprilUS
True/False Film Fest Top TierColumbia, MOFebruaryUS
Venice Film Festival Top TierVenice, ItalyAugustIntl
Visions du Réel Top TierNyon, SwitzerlandAprilIntl
!f Istanbul (AFM International Independent Film Festival)Istanbul, TurkeyFebruaryIntl
15 Minutes of FamePalm Bay, FLAugustUS
Adelaide Film FestivalGlenside SA, AustraliaOctoberIntl
AFI FestHollywood, CANovemberUS
American Documentary Film FestivalPalm Springs, CAMarchIntl
AmFest Moscow, RussiaOctoberIntl
Annual UBC Anthropology Film FestivalVancouver, British Columbia, CanadaMarchIntl
Antenna Documentary Film FestivalSydney, AustraliaOctoberIntl
Antigonish International Film festival Antigonish, NS, CanadaOctoberIntl
Ashland Independent Film FestivalAshland, ORAprilUS
Asian American International Film Festival New York, NYJuly - AugustUS
Asian CineVisionNew York, NYJuly-AugustUS
Aspen FilmFestAspen, COSeptember-OctoberUS
Athena Film FestivalNew York, NYFebruaryUS
Atlanta Film FestivalAtlanta, GAMarchUS
Atlantic Film FestivalHalifax, Nova Scotia, CanadaSeptemberIntl
Austin Film FestivalAustin, TXOctoberUS
Bare Bones International Film FestivalMuskogee, OKAprilUS
BeldocsBelgrade, SerbiaAprilIntl
BFI London Film FestivalLondon , UKMayIntl
Big MINI Media FestivalBrooklyn, NYNovemberUS
Big Muddy Film FestivalCarbondale, ILFebruaryUS
Big Sky Documentary Film FestivalMissoula, MTFebruaryUS
Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF)Boulder, COMarchUS
Brooklyn Film FestivalBrooklyn, New YorkMay - JuneUS
Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine IndependienteBuenos Aires, ArgentinaAprilIntl
Buffalo International Film FestivalBuffalo, NYOctoberUS
Busan International Film FestivalBusan , South KoreaOctoberIntl
CAAMFESTSan Francisco, CAMarchUS
Camden International Film FestivalCamden, MESeptemberUS
Catalina Film FestivalSanta Catalina Island, CASeptemberUS
Chagrin Documentary Film FestChagrin Falls, OHOctoberUS
Charleston International Film FestivalCharleston, SCAprilUS
Chesapeake Film FestivalEaston, MDSeptemberUS
Chicago International Film FestivalChicago, ILOctoberUS
ChileDocSantiago, ChileMayIntl
Cine PobreEl Centenario, La Paz, MexicoJuneIntl
Cine! Chilean Film Fest Miami, FLJuneUS
Cinema Du Reel International Documentary Film Festival Paris, FranceMarchIntl
Cinema Verite Iran Documentary Film FestivalTehran, IranOctober - NovemberIntl
CinequestSan Jose, CAFebruaryUS
Cleveland International Film FestivalCleveland, OHAprilUS
Collinsville Film FestivalCollinsville, CTAprilUS
Council on Foundations Film + Video FestivalChicago, ILJuneUS
CronografKishinev, MoldovaMay - JuneIntl
Cucalorus Film FestivalWilmington, NCNovemberUS
Dallas International Film FestivalDallas, TXMayUS
DC Independent Film FestivalWashington DCMarchUS
Development Film FestTamil Nadu, IndiaJanuaryIntl
DMZ Korean International Documentary Film FestivalGoyang, South KoreaSeptemberIntl
Doc AvivTel Aviv, IsraelMayIntl
DOC NYCNew York, NYNovemberUS
DockanemaMaputo, MozambiqueSeptemberIntl
doclisboaLisbon, PortugalOctoberIntl
DocMiamiMiami, FLDecember US
DocPointHelsinki, FinlandJanuaryIntl
DocsBarcelonaBarcelona , SpainFebruaryIntl
DocsDFCuauhtémoc, MexicoOctoberIntl
DocuFest AtlantaAtlanta, GASeptemberUS
Documenta MadridMadrid, SpainMayIntl
Documentarist - Istanbul Documentary DaysIstanbul, TurkeyJuneIntl
Documentary Edge Film FestivalAuckland, New ZealandMayIntl
DocUtahSt. George/Kanab, Utah SeptemberUS
DOK.festMünchen, Germany MayIntl
Doku Arts Berlin Berlin, Germany SeptemberIntl
DokufestPrizren, KosovoAugustIntl
DOX BOX (on hiatus as of 2013)Damascus/Homs/Tartous, SyriaFebruaryIntl
DOXA Documentary Film FestivalVancouver, British Columbia, CanadaMayIntl
East Doc Platform Prague Prague, Czech RepublicMarchIntl
Ebertfest: Roger Ebert's Film FestivalChampaign, ILAprilUS
EBS International Documentary Film Festival (EIDF)Seoul, South KoreaAugustIntl
EkotopfilmBratislava, SlovakiaOctober Intl
Encounters, South African International Documentary FestivalCape Town/Johannesburg, South AfricaJuneIntl
Etnofilm CroatiaRovinj, CroatiaAprilIntl
FEST International Film FestivalEspinho, PortugalJuneIntl
Festival EdocQuito , EcuadorMayIntl
Festival of Visual Anthropology AspektyToruń, PolandNovemberIntl
FIDMarseille: Marseille's International Film FestivalMarseille, FranceJulyIntl
Films Des Femmes Film FestivalCréteil , FranceJanuary Intl
FlahertianaPerm, RussiaOctoberIntl
forumdoc.bhBelo Horizonte, MG, BrasilNovember-DecemberIntl
FranceDocParis, FranceNovemberIntl
Freedom Film FestSelangor, MalaysiaJanuaryIntl
Fusion Film FestivalNew York, NYMarchUS
Golden Egg Film FestivalNew York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Cancun, Mexico, United States / MexicoMay, November, DecemberIntl
Göttingen International Ethnographic Film FestivalPaulinerkirche, GermanyMayIntl
Guangzhou International Documentary Film FestivalGuangzhou, ChinaDecemberIntl
Guth Gafa International Documentary Festival County Meath, IrelandMayIntl
Hamptons International Film FestivalEast Hampton, NYOctoberUS
Harlem International Film FestivalNew York, NYSeptemberUS
Hot Springs Documentary Film FestivalHot Springs, AROctoberUS
Human Rights Watch Film FestivalVarious, Canada, Switzerland, UK, USAJuneIntl
In the Palace International Short Film FestSofia, BulgariaJuneIntl
Independent Film Festival BostonBoston, MAAprilUS
Indie MemphisMemphis, TNOctoberUS
International 1001 Documentary Film Festivalİstanbul , Turkey SeptemberIntl
International Random Film Festival/ SwedenGarpenberg, Sweden DecemberIntl
International Uranium Film FestivalVarious, VariousVariousIntl
It's All True - International Documentary Film FestivalSão Paulo, BrazilAprilIntl
Jean Rouch International Film FestivalParis, FranceNovemberIntl
Kansas City FilmFestKansas City, MOAprilUS
Krakow Film FestivalKrakow, PolandMayIntl
LA Film FESTLos Angeles, CAJuneUS
Lake Placid Film Forum Lake Placid, NYMayUS
Lemesos International Documentary Film FestivalLimassol, CyprusAugustIntl
Little Rock Film FestivalLittle Rock, ARMayUS
London International Doc Film FestivalLondon, UKMayIntl
Manhattan Film FestivalNew York, NYJuneUS
Margaret Mead Film FestivalNew York, NYOctoberUS
Martha's Vineyard Film FestivalChilmark, MAMarchUS
Maryland Film FestivalBaltimore, MDMayUS
Maui Film FestivalMaui, HIJuneUS
Media That Matters Washington, DC / New York, NYFebruaryUS
Mendocino Film FestivalMendocino, CAMayUS
Miami International Film FestivalMiami, FLMarchUS
Milan International Film FestivalMilan, ItalyMayIntl
Mill Valley Film FestivalSan Rafael, CAOctoberUS
Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival Minneapolis, MNAprilUS
Montana CINE International Film FestivalMissoula, MTAprilUS
Montclair Film FestivalMontclair, NJAprilUS
Mountainfilm in TellurideTelluride, COMayUS
Mumbai Film FestivalMumbai, IndiaOctoberIntl
Nantucket Film FestivalNantucket, MAMayUS
Nevada International Film FestivalLas Vegas, NevadaDecemberUS
New Media Film FestivalLos Angeles, CAJuneUS
New Orleans Film FestivalNew Orleans, LAOctoberUS
New York Independent Film & Video FestivalNew York, NYSeptemberUS
New York Wild Film Festival New York, NYJanuary US
Newport Beach Film FestivalNewport Beach, CAAprilUS
Nordisk PanoramaCopenhagen, DenmarkSeptemberIntl
Northside Film Festival New York, NYJuneUS
NYC Independent Film FestivalNew York, NYOctoberUS
One World Human Rights Film FestivalPrague, Czech RepublicMarchIntl
Open City Docs FestLondon, UKJuneIntl
Other Israel Film FestivalNew York, NYNovemberUS
Ottawa International Film FestivalOttawa, Ontario, CanadaFebruaryIntl
Oxford Film FestivalOxford, MSFebruaryUS
PaleyDocFest New York, NYOctoberUS
Palm Beach International Film FestivalPalm Beach, FLAprilUS
Palm Springs International Film FestivalPalm Springs, CAJanuaryUS
Planete Doc Film FestWarsaw, PolandMayIntl
Portland International Film Festival Portland, ORFebruaryUS
Pravo Ljudski Film FestivalSarajevo, Bosnia and HerzegovinaNovemberIntl
Provincetown Independent Film FestivalProvincetown, MAJuneUS
Q Doc - Portland Queer Documentary Film FestivalPortland, ORMayUS
Queens World Film FestivalNew York, NYMarchUS
RAI International Festival of Ethnographic FilmLondon, UKJuneIntl
Red Rock Film FestivalCedar City/St. George, UTNovemberUS
Rhode Island International Film FestivalProvidence, RIAugustUS
RiverRun International Film FestivalWinston-Salem, NCAprilUS
Salem Film FestSalem, MAMarchUS
San Diego Film FestivalDel Mar, CAOctoberUS
San Francisco Green Film FestSan Francisco, CAMay - JuneUS
San Francisco International Film FestivalSan Francisco, CAApril-MayUS
San Luis Obispo Film FestivalSan Luis Obispo, CAMarchUS
San Pedro International Film Festival (SPIFFest)San Pedro, CAOctoberUS
SANFIC (Santiago Festical International De Cine)Santiago, ChileAugustIntl
Sarasota Film FestivalSarasota, FLAprilUS
Sardinia International Ethnographic Film Festival (SIEFF)Nuoro, ItalySeptemberIntl
Savannah Film FestivalSavannah, GAOctoberUS
SCRIPT International Short Film FestivalKerala, IndiaFebruaryIntl
Seattle International Film FestivalSeattle, WAMayUS
Sebastopol Documentary Film FestivalSebastopol, CAMarchUS
SF Green Film Festival San Francisco, CAMayUS
Sidewalk Film FestivalBirmingham, ALAugustUS
Slamdance Film FestivalPark City, UTJanuaryUS
Sleepwalkers Film FestivalTallinn, EstoniaNovemberIntl
Social Change Film Festival & InstituteRio de Janeiro, BrazilOctoberIntl
SOHO International Film FestivalNew York, NYAprilUS
South Dakota Film FestivalAberdeen, SDSeptemberUS
Spirit Quest Film FestivalEdinboro, PAAprilUS
Starz Denver Film FestivalDenver, COOctoberUS
Tacoma Film FestivalTacoma, WAOctoberUS
Taiwan International Documentary FestivalTaipei, TaiwanOctoberIntl
Tall Grass Film FestivalWichita, KSOctoberUS
Tampere Film FestivalTampere, FinlandMarchIntl
Telluride Film FestivalTelluride, COAugustUS
The Nashville Film Festival (NaFF)Nashville, TNAprilUS
Thin Line Film FestDenton, TXFebruaryUS
Toronto Reel Asian International Film FestivalToronto, Ontario, CanadaNovemberIntl
Trail Dance Film FestivalDuncan, OKJanuaryUS
Traverse City Film FestivalTraverse City, MIJulyUS
Trento Film FestivalTrento, ItalyAprilIntl
Trinidad and Tobago Film FestivalPort of Spain, Trinidad and TobagoSeptemberIntl
Twin Rivers Media FestivalAsheville, NCMayUS
UNAFF (United Nations Association Film Festival)Stanford, CAOctoberUS
VI Moscow International Festival of Visual Anthropology Moscow, RussiaOctoberIntl
Vibgyor International Festival for Short & Documentary FilmsThrissur, IndiaFebruaryIntl
Warsaw Film FestivalWarszawa , PolandOctoberIntl
West Virginia Mountaineer Film FestMorgantown, WVMarchUS
White Sands International Film FestivalLas Cruces, NMSeptemberUS
Wildlife Conservation Film Festival New York, NYOctoberIntl
WILLiFestNew York, NYSeptemberUS
Wisconsin Film Festival Madison, WIAprilUS
Womens International Film Festival Miami, FLMarchUS
Woodstock Film FestivalWoodstock, NYOctoberUS
WorldFest - Houston International Film FestivalHouston, TXAprilUS
Yamagata International Documentary Film FestivalYamagata, JapanOctoberIntl
Zagrebdox International Documentary Film FestivalZagreb, CroatiaFebruaryIntl
Zinebi - International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of BilbaoBilbao, SpainNovemberIntl
ZWICKLSchwandorf, GermanySeptemberIntl

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

Last Updated: 12/3/2014