Submissions

Note: DOC NYC 2022 will take place November 9 – 17, 2022. We are planning an in-person event, but may offer an online component or a hybrid model based on public health guidelines. We will announce updates as we have them via our website: www.docnyc.net.

2022 Film Submissions are now open via FilmFreeway. The Final Deadline to submit your film is July 1, 2022.

DOC NYC, New York’s documentary festival, is an annual event based in Manhattan at the IFC Center, SVA Theatre, and Cinépolis Chelsea. Voted by MovieMaker magazine as one of the “top five coolest documentary film festivals in the world,” the nine-day event showcases new achievements in documentary film along with panels and conversations with acclaimed filmmakers and industry professionals. DOC NYC seeks to make connections that happen “only in New York.” Filmmakers whose projects are selected to screen at DOC NYC will receive festival badges providing rush access to all regular films as well as to DOC NYC PRO panel programming.

“This cinematic bonanza covers everything new and noteworthy in the world of documentary filmmaking.” – The Huffington Post

“DOC NYC has cemented itself as one of our favorite festivals of the cultural calendar.” – Flavorpill

“DOC NYC has become an essential summit for all kinds of documentary filmmaking.” – Wall Street Journal

Launched in 2010, DOC NYC quickly became America’s largest documentary film festival. During the pandemic, when many festivals canceled or reduced their line-ups, DOC NYC committed to maintaining its usual size. The 2020 edition moved online, then the 2021 edition welcomed filmmakers and audiences back into theaters, taking place both in person and online. The festival has hosted hundreds of world premieres over the years including “Making a Murderer,” “Amazing Grace,” “Far From the Tree,” “Dean Martin: King of Cool,” and “Adrienne.” Click here to see 2021 Festival Award Winners.

COMPETITION SECTIONS:

In 2021, DOC NYC introduced several new competition sections: U.S., International and Kaleidoscope.  These three sections replaced the former Viewfinders Competition section.  

U.S. Competition – A spectrum of high quality documentaries produced in the U.S. Of the 12 films chosen in 2021, eight were World premieres including “Anonymous Sister,” “Be Our Guest,” “Boycott,” “Grandpa was an Emperor,” and “Newtok.”

International Competition – A spectrum of high quality documentaries produced outside the U.S. Of the 12 films chosen in 2021, seven were a U.S. premiere including “Comala,” “The Forgotten Ones,” “F@ck This Job,” and “The Mole”; and two were World premieres: “Go Through the Dark,” and “Young Plato.”

Kaleidoscope Competition – Documentaries that tend toward the poetic and essayistic. Of the 7 films chosen in 2021, four were U.S. premieres: “Invisible Demons,” “The Man Who Paints Water Drops,” “Nothing But the Sun,” and “Nude at Heart.”   

Metropolis – Established in the festival’s first year (2010), this section focuses on stories and personalities rooted in New York City. Past titles include World premieres of “End of the Line,” “Mr. Saturday Night,” “Wojnarowicz,” “Moments Like This Never Last,” “Lydia Lunch – The War Is Never Over,” and “Decade of Fire;” and U.S. premieres of “Hold Your Fire,” “The Photography,” “Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco,” “Winter at Westbeth,” and “The Sarnos – A Life in Dirty Pictures.”

Shorts – Selections of nonfiction shorts, organized thematically. Past titles include Seung-jun Yi’s “In the Absence,” Darius Clark Monroe’s “Black 14,” Rishi Chadna’s “Tungrus,” Lydia Cornett’s “Yves & Variation,” Alison Klayman’s “Flower Punk,” and Laura Poitras and Henrik Moltke’s “Project X. 

Note: The DOC NYC Short Film Jury Prize Winner qualifies in the Documentary Short Subject category of the annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

NON-COMPETITION SECTIONS:

Special Events – High-profile events and guests. Past titles include the World premieres of “Kevin Garnett: Anything is Possible” (featuring the NBA star in person), the new season of IFC TV’s “Documentary Now!” (with Seth Meyers, John Mulaney, Renee Elise Goldsberry, and Richard Kind in person), “City of Joy” (with Eve Ensler and Thandiwe Newton in person), the Bruce Springsteen concert doc “Darkness on the Edge of Town” (with Max Weinberg and Thom Zimny in person), “Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?” (with Noam Chomsky and Michel Gondry in person), Amy Berg’s “An Open Secret;” and U.S. premieres of “Finding Vivian Maier,” “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band” (with Robbie Robertson in person), “Sing Me The Songs That Say I Love You” (with Rufus Wainwright in person), and “Charlotte Rampling: The Look” (with Charlotte Rampling in person).

In addition, DOC NYC annually presents several thematic strands, which can change from year to year. Among these have been Luminaries, focusing on new work from acclaimed documentarians; Sonic Cinema on music films; Art + Design covering the art world; Fight the Power on activist stories; Photography & Film on stories of image making; and Portraits that encompass biographical work.

SHORT LISTS AND WINNER’S CIRCLE

DOC NYC has three sections meant to showcase films previously released within the year that are leading contenders for the Oscars and other awards. For these sections, it does not matter if the film has already screened in New York City or is currently in release. 

Submissions for these three sections will open up separately in Spring 2022.  To be eligible for these sections, films must have fulfilled Oscar-qualification requirements by the 2022 Academy deadline.  

Short List: Features – This section, launched in 2011, curates 15 features and has been a leading predictor of future Oscar nominees and winners. 

Short List: Shorts – This section, first launched in 2018, curates 15 shorts and has quickly established a strong track record for anticipating future Oscar nominees. 

Winner’s Circle – This section, introduced in 2019, highlights films that have won major festival awards but might fly below the radar of American audiences. Past films shown in Winner’s Circle include “Writing with Fire,” “The Mole Agent,” “Midnight Family,” and “Advocate” that all went on to make the Oscars’ Short List for Documentary Feature.

WORKS-IN-PROGRESS (NOT TO BE COMPLETE UNTIL 2023-2024):

DOC NYC connects filmmakers who have works-in-progress features or series with industry representatives via our Industry Roundtables program (formerly known as Only In New York), part of DOC NYC PRO, the festival’s industry programming component. Filmmakers whose projects are selected for Industry Roundtables participate in meetings with industry representatives. Past participating companies have included Netflix, HBO, A&E IndieFilms, Amazon Studios, Sundance Institute, Showtime, and over 40 others. NOTE: This is NOT a public-facing program; no public screenings of the WIPs are held.

For more information about DOC NYC’s Industry Roundtables program and how to submit your Work-in-Progress feature or series for consideration when entries open in the Summer, please visit: https://www.docnyc.net/industry-roundtables/

DOC NYC accepts submissions via FilmFreeway for both Features and Shorts.

For rules, terms, and eligibility requirements, please visit our FilmFreeway or email submissions@docnyc.net.

DEADLINES

Features/Shorts:
Early Deadline: March 1, 2022
Regular Deadline: April 1, 2022
Late Deadline: May 2, 2022
Final Deadline: July 1, 2022

Notification date:
September 30, 2022