Filmmaker FAQs

Durango Film is committed to developing film literacy and to being a welcoming, intimate and unique film organization that screens global, innovative and diverse films that connect independent filmmakers, their artistic process, and their vision to the community. Durango Film accepts entries for shorts, documentaries, and feature films on all subject matter. We are committed to diversity and also seek out LGBT films. We also have family, animated, school, adventure/sports and Native American film programs. Submitting to film festivals can be a laborious process, so we hope this FAQ section will help answer some of those questions you may have about the submission process.

Q: What are the 2016 festival dates?
The 11th Annual Durango Independent Film Festival is March 2 – 6, 2016.

Q: Where is Durango, Colorado?
A: Durango is located in southwest Colorado near the four corners region of the Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah borders. It is nestled in the Animas River Valley surrounded by the San Juan Mountains at an elevation of 6,523 feet or 1988 meters. It is a 3 ½ hour drive north of Albuquerque, New Mexico and a seven hour drive south of Denver, Colorado, and the closest airport is the La Plata County Airport. Durango is an outdoor activity paradise – Hiking, mountain biking, road biking, backpacking, rock climbing, hunting, off-roading, year-round fishing, kayaking, rafting and golfing – to name just a few.

Q: Where do the films screen?
A: Films will screen at two downtown venues within very easy walking distance to restaurants, shops, and lodging. An additional screen at the Durango Stadium 9 Theatre will be used Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the festival.

Q: What is the best way to submit my film?
A: We offer two online sources for film submissions and the choice is entirely up to each individual filmmaker. First, we accept film submissions made through Withoutabox (WAB) which can be accessed through our website under the Submit Films tab or Withoutabox offers discounts to filmmakers and you can submit to several festivals at the same time. We also suggest submitting your film through Film Freeway, also accessed through our website under the Submit Films tab or  Both submission vendors now provide filmmakers the opportunity to submit their films for online screening by the festival programmers.

Q: How many times will my film screen during the festival?
A: Each film is screened at least twice during the festival by the general public, and may be screened additional times by the jurors since this is a competitive film festival. The general public screenings will take place at one of the two venues. Each filmmaker will receive a screening schedule so you know the times and venue of your film’s screening.

Q: How do you select films to be in your festival?
A: Screening teams of programmers for each genre fill out film evaluation forms after each screening and vote on which films they feel make the best selections for the festival. The programming teams then make the final decisions on which films are accepted into the festival, and determines when and where those films will screen.

Q: Does my film have to be a World Premiere to get accepted?
A: No, it does not have to be a World Premiere.

Q: Do you accept international films?
A: Yes, we highly encourage international filmmakers to submit to our festival. The film must be submitted in DCP or NTSC format and have English subtitles.

Q: What kind of special film programs do you have at your festival?
A: Durango Film programs include the following:

- feature length films
– short and feature-length documentaries
– short subject films
– animated films
– Native American films
– LGBT films (we are committed to diversity, therefore we program LGBT films in our features, documentary and shorts programs)
– family films
– adventure/sports films

Q: Can I submit my film if it has already played on YouTube or any other online source?
A: That depends on what our Programming Director, Derrick Casto, has had for lunch on the day that you ask this question. If he has had a good lunch, the odds might be in your favor.

Q: Can I submit a rough cut?
A: Durango Film does not accept rough cuts. We like to know that what we see is what we get.

The remaining questions and answers apply only to filmmakers who cannot make an online screener (such as a vimeo or in-program file) available for DIFF programmers.

Q: If I cannot make an online screener available to programmers, what is the best way to send my DVD screeners? 
A: Please follow the mailing directions found on our submission vendors pages. DIFF address information can also be found on our website at

Q: Do I really need to send two screeners? 
A: Yes, DVDs can be easily compromised so a back up DVD would ensure a timely screening by the programming committee. This saves both parties time. If you are providing online screening links, then DVDs will not be needed.

Q: What information needs to be on my screener? 
A: Please include the following:

-Director’s name
-Running time
-WAB number or Film Freeway number
-Contact information including phone number and email address

Q: Can I send publicity material with my screener?
A: If publicity materials are available online, please provide a link so that we may access them. You may physically send them with the screener if you desire the Festival to have pertinent information that might not be available online.

Q: Will I be notified if you have received my screener? 
A: You will receive a confirmation email once all the submission requirements have been met and your DVDs (if sent) are received.

Q: Will my screener be returned to me? 
A: If you desire your screener to be returned, a self-addressed stamped envelope must be provided at the time you send your submission copy to the Festival.

Q: I do not have time to make sure my screener works. Should I just send it anyway?
A: No. PLEASE test your screeners to make sure they work before you send them. If they don’t, we might not have time to contact you.

Have more questions? Please call the Durango Film office at (970) 375-7779 or email us at

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