The Oregon Documentary Film Festival is a bi-annual live theatrical screening event on the Film Festival Circuit featuring international independent documentary films and documentary television episodes. Multiple short films are screened in a "back to back" format Outdoors at the Sunshine Mill Drive Up Theater in The Dalles, Oregon. This event was founded by author and retired filmmaker Mikel Fair who worked on location in the Film and Television industry from 1999-2015.
Are you inspired by interesting people, historical events, political awareness, behind-the-scenes insights and thought provoking events? Do you enjoy watching films that tell a story? Are you a documentary enthusiast, documentary series binge watcher or story teller? If so, you'll meet a great community of documentary film supporters at our next event in The Dalles.
Hear what filmmakers are saying about the Oregon Documentary Film Festival.
"A well organized event showcasing an interesting and diverse array of important documentaries; The Oregon Documentary Film Festival is truly a celebration of filmmaking and a must attend festival for anyone interested in phenomenal and honest storytelling. The Oregon Documentary Film Festival should be on any filmmakers festival list. A remarkable experience showcasing honest, moving and important films that need to be seen and appreciated." - Ricky Cruz ( South Africa / California)
"This is a fantastic festival. Great communication. Mikel puts the work into promoting the films being screened on social media. I had the opportunity to attend and I had a ton of fun - even did a Q&A after my film with a very receptive audience. Hope to be involved again in the future!" - Director Andrea Beça (Canada)
"Mikel is an awesome programmer and wonderful communicator. He is supportive and really takes an interest in your work. I was unable to attend but felt like I was really kept in the loop. Highly recommend!" - Director Kate Haug
"Fantastic festival. Mikel is a skilful and a very friendly festival director. He is tremendously good in sharing his passion for film. Great communication and film selection. I am honoured to have had my short film "Faceless for the Voiceless" screened and to have received an award for it. Highly recommended! Totally worth travelling from Europe!" - Nicholas Snyder (Belgium)
You don't want to miss our Virtual Filmmaker Networking Mixer events every Wednesday at 1pm Pacific Standard Time. (Los Angeles) Meet with filmmakers, producers, investors, distributors and other industry professionals. Tell the group what you're working on and what you're looking to accomplish in the film/tv industry. Make connections. It's free to register and attend.
Are you a documentary filmmaker? Are you working on a documentary television program? We are looking for excellent storytelling, compelling interviews, fresh topics, good production value and stories that will keep our audience engaged. Submissions are now open for films and videos that are 30 minutes or less. https://filmfreeway.com/OregonDocumentaryFilmFestival
Video submissions with a runtime between 6:00 - 30:00 minutes including all credits.
- $35.00 USD - First Deadline: January 31, 2021
- $36.00 USD - Discount Deadline: February 28, 2021
- $37.00 USD - March Deadline: March 31, 2021
- $38.00 USD - April Deadline: April 30, 2021
- $39.00 USD - May Deadline: May 31, 2021
- $40.00 USD - Final Deadline: June 30, 2021
Micro submissions with a runtime between 1:00 - 6:00 minutes including all credits.
- $25.00 USD - First Deadline: January 31, 2021
- $26.00 USD - Discount Deadline: February 28, 2021
- $27.00 USD - March Deadline: March 31, 2021
- $28.00 USD - April Deadline: April 30, 2021
- $29.00 USD - May Deadline: May 31, 2021
- $30.00 USD - Final Deadline: June 30, 2021
- Oregon Documentary Film Festival Summer 2021 (Coming Soon)
- Oregon Documentary Film Festival Winter 2021
- Oregon Documentary Film Festival Fall 2020
- Oregon Documentary Film Festival Spring 2020
- Oregon Documentary Film Festival Winter 2019
- Oregon Documentary Film Festival Summer 2019
- Oregon Documentary Film Festival Spring 2019
- Oregon Documentary Film Festival 2018
- Oregon Documentary Film Festival 2017
Here are a list of partner film festival events that we think you will love.
- Documentary Film (6-30 minutes)
- Documentary Micro Film (1-6 minutes)
- Documentary Series Episode (6-30 minutes)
- Documentary Series Micro Episode (1-6 minutes)
- Experimental Documentary Film (6-30 minutes)
- Experimental Documentary Micro Film (1-6 minutes)
Our judges can't wait to watch your films and videos. We want to experience your story. Please read our Documentary Film Category Judging Guide - Download .pdf (Link) or Read It Online (Link) if you'd like to understand our how we rate and select submissions for this event. We make the process as fair and objective as possible. No politics here, we're just looking for the most engaging creative works that we can find, to entertain our audience. Have more questions about the rules and restrictions for Oregon Documentary Film Festival submissions? Please visit the Film Festival Circuit FAQ Frequently Asked Questions - LINK
The official selections represent the top 30% of submissions rated by the judges on a scale of 1-10. All official selections screen at the event, regardless if they are nominated for awards or not. From the pool of official selections, up to 5 submissions per award category are named as 'finalists' by the judges and are eligible to win an award. In some cases, less than five finalists may be nominated for a specific category, if there weren't enough films that finished in the top 30% of official selections in that specific category. For example, we may have 20 Experimental Documentary Film submissions, but only 4 were rated in the top 30% of the official selections, therefore, only 4 award films are announced as finalists for the "Best Experimental Documentary Film" Award.
16 Award Categories For Film And Video Submissions
- Best Cinematography
- Best Director
- Best Micro Film
- Best Editing Award
- Best Experimental Film
- Best Experimental Micro Film
- Best International Director
- Best International Film
- Best International Micro Film
- Best Oregon Film
- Best Oregon Micro Film
- Best Original Music
- Best Picture
- Best Series Episode
- Best Series Micro Episode
- Most Inspirational Film
Support the Oregon Documentary Film Festival buy purchasing shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, mouse pads and more at or Oregon Documentary Film Festival Spreadshirt Store. (LINK) Your contribution keeps our event running. Thanks for your support
Do you live in the Northwest? Interested in helping us operate the Oregon Documentary Film Festival events? We need help with judging, ushers, ticket check-ins and decorating venues. Please reach out if you are interested in helping with a future event. Festival Director Email (LINK)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here is a list of questions that people ask about our events. Film Festival Circuit FAQ (LINK) If you have a questions, don't hesitate to reach out.
The Oregon Documentary Film Festival is looking for sponsors to help with the following costs of operating the event. There are opportunities to feature your business or brand in our marketing efforts. Please email our Festival Sponsorship Coordinator (LINK) for more information.
- Award Printing
- Badge Printing
- Event Photography
- Print Media Marketing
- Program Printing
- Public Relations (PR)
- Social Media Marketing
- Venue Rental
All films are eligible, regardless if they have distribution or not. All films are eligible even if they have been accepted to other film festivals. All films and videos are eligible, regardless of when or where they were produced. Even if your film or series episode is publicly available on YouTube or Vimeo, it is still eligible for submission. For exhibition purposes. all films are expected to provide a download link, so that we can compile and project them in HD 1080p 23.976, 24, 25 or 30 frame rates are eligible. Please do not submit 720p or Standard Definition films to this festival.
The Oregon Documentary Film Festival is owned and operated by Film Festival Circuit LLC. We are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy, and we’ll only use your personal information to provide periodic email updates about our products and services. We will not share or sell your information to other companies.
Director Mikel Fair has written two ebooks that can help filmmakers understand the submission and judging process.
Watch Films Now!
Some of the Oregon Documentary Film Festival alums have posted their films online for free viewing. Here are a few of them.
Farm Truck 912
6th And San Pedro
Chalk Of Champions
Belong, Directed by Dillon M. Banda (Singapore/Vietnam)
"Death and Diabetes in the City of Angels" Directed by Jay Vera
"Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery" Directed by David L. Brown
“Human Zoos” Directed by John West
"Song In A Day" Directed by Kris Jones (Oregon)
"Glass Bubble Project" Directed by Fernando Lopez
Silent Laughs: Spreading deaf culture via stand-up comedy
My name is Mikel Fair and I have written this 30 page ebook to help filmmakers strengthen their submission when submitting to Film Festivals. This guide is based on my experience, starting in 2008 as a Film Festival Director that has watched, rated and reviewed more than 5000+ submissions of all genres from over 100 countries. There are several mistakes that filmmakers are making on a daily basis that I can help you avoid. I explain in detail, about how the packaging and editing of your submission can have a direct effect on how many festivals that your film is accepted to. Priced under $10 US, I have made this book affordable for everyone and will email you any new versions that we release until January 2021. Please read the first chapter for free!
- Chapter 1: Does Packaging Really Matter? - Free Chapter!
- Chapter 2: Are Your Contact Details Accurate? A Daily Common Mistake
- Chapter 3: Does The Name Of Your Film Stand Out? Or Will It Be Lost In The Shuffle?
- Chapter 4: Tips For Creating The Right Tagline And Synopsis
- Chapter 5: Do You Know That A Director’s Bio And Resume Are Two Different Things?
- Chapter 6: How To Write A Compelling Director’s Statement That Tells A Story.
- Chapter 7: The First Impression Of Your Film Is It’s Official Poster.
- Chapter 8: Without A Trailer, Your Film Might Become An Afterthought.
- Chapter 9: Why Do Film Festivals Love Submissions With A Social Media Presence?
- Chapter 10: Your Film’s Website, Is Its History And Point Of Contact
- Chapter 11: Final Cut Or Festival Cut? Don’t Submit The Wrong One.
- Chapter 12: Stretch Your Submissions Budget. Use Promo Codes. Get Discounts.