List of documentary film festivals

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Film festivals

Documentary film festivals are film festivals devoted solely to documentary film, which is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt, in one fashion or another, to "document" reality.

Although "documentary film" originally referred to movies shot on film stock, it has subsequently expanded to include video and digital productions that can be either direct-to-video or made for a television series. Documentary, as it applies here, works to identify a "filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception" that is continually evolving and is without clear boundaries.[1]

In many cities around the world, documentary film festivals are held annually to showcase documentaries made that year. Many of them are theme or genre specific.

List of documentary film festivals[edit]


Name Est. City Country Website
Dockanema 2006 Maputo Mozambique Mozambique
Encounters 1999 Cape Town, Johannesburg South Africa South Africa
Real Life Documentary Festival ?? Accra Ghana Ghana


Name Est. City Country Website
Chinese Documentary Festival 2008 Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong
EBS International Documentary Festival 2004 Seoul South Korea South Korea [1]]
DMZ International Documentary Film Festival 2009 Gyeonggi-do South Korea South Korea [2]
Development Film Festival 2005 Chennai India India
Culture Unplugged Film Festival 2007 India India India
DOX BOX - Ayyam Cinema Al Waqe 2008 Damascus Syria Syria
Freedom Film Fest 2003 Malaysia Malaysia Malaysia
ViBGYOR International Film Festival 2006 Thrissur India India
Yogyakarta Documentary Film Festival 2002 Yogyakarta Indonesia Indonesia
Yamagata International
Documentary Film Festival
1989 Yamagata Japan Japan
Jeevika:Asia Livelihood Documentary Festival 2003 New Delhi India India


Punto de Vista. International Documentary Film Festival of Navarra

Name Est. City Country Website
Biberach Independent Film Festival 2004 Biberach an der Riß Germany Germany
Dokufest 2001 Prizren Kosovo Kosovo
Cinéma du Réel 1978 Paris France France
Copenhagen International
Documentary Festival - CPH:DOX
2003 Copenhagen Denmark Denmark
DocPoint - Helsinki Documentary Film Festival 2001 Helsinki Finland Finland
Doclisboa 2003 Lisbon Portugal Portugal
Docville 2005 Leuven Belgium Belgium
DOK.fest Munich 1985 München Germany Germany [3]
Dok Leipzig 1955 Leipzig Germany Germany
IDFA - International Documentary
Film Festival Amsterdam
1988 Amsterdam Netherlands Netherlands
International Health Film Festival 1994 Liege Belgium Belgium
Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival 1997 Jihlava Czech Republic Czech Republic
Off Cinema 1997 Poznan Poland Poland
2005 Pamplona Spain Spain
See: The Brighton Documentary Film Festival 2005 Brighton United Kingdom United Kingdom
Sheffield Doc/Fest 1994 Sheffield United Kingdom United Kingdom
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 1999 Thessaloniki Greece Greece
Visions du réel 1969 Nyon Switzerland Switzerland
ZagrebDox 2005 Zagreb Croatia Croatia
Beldocs 2008 Belgrade Serbia Serbia
London International Documentary Film Festival ?? London United Kingdom UK
DocHouse 2002 London United Kingdom UK

Middle East[edit]

Name Est. City Country Website
Docaviv International Film Festival 1998 Tel Aviv Israel Israel

North and South America[edit]

Name Est. City Country Website
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Missoula, Montana United States United States
Culture Unplugged Documentary Film Festival 2007 San Francisco, California United States United States
Camden International Film Festival 2005 Camden, Maine United States United States
Chicago International Documentary Festival 2003 Chicago, Illinois United States United States {{}}
Cine Pobre Film Festival La Paz, Baja California Sur Mexico Mexico
DOC NYC Film Festival 2010 New York City United States United States
DOCUTAH - Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival 2009 St. George, Utah United States United States
DOXA Documentary Film Festival 1998 Vancouver Canada Canada
Encuentros del Otro Cine EDOC Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Manta, Ibarra, Portoviejo Ecuador Ecuador
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 1998 Durham, North Carolina United States United States
History Makers 2001 New York United States United States
Hot Docs 1993 Toronto Canada Canada
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival Hot Springs, Arkansas United States United States
Imagine International Film Festival Clearwater, Florida United States United States
International Documentary Film Festival of Mexico City (DocsDF) 2006 Mexico City Mexico Mexico
It's All True International Documentary Film Festival 1996 São Paulo, SP, Rio de Janeiro, RJ Brazil
Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal 1998 Montreal Canada Canada
San Diego Film Festival 2001 San Diego, California United States United States
SilverDocs 2003 Silver Spring, Maryland United States United States
True/False Film Festival 2004 Columbia, Missouri United States United States
United Nations Association Film Festival 1998 Stanford, California United States United States


Name Est. City Country Website
Antenna Documentary Festival 2010 Sydney Australia Australia
Documentary Edge Festival 2005 Auckland and Wellington New Zealand New Zealand


  1. ^ Nichols, Bill (1998). "Foreword". In Grant, Barry Keith; Sloniowski, Jeannette. Documenting The Documentary: Close Readings of Documentary Film and Video. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8143-2639-8.