Bethesda Film Fest Application 2023

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District invites filmmakers to submit recent short documentary films to the Bethesda Film Fest.  The deadline to apply is January 9, 2024.


Up to five films will be selected to be shown. A film by a young filmmaker, under the age of 18, may also be chosen. Filmmakers whose films are selected will receive an honorarium of $1,000. Young filmmakers will receive a $250 honorarium. Short (5-30 minutes), documentary films by filmmakers in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. will be considered. Films must have been completed within the last two years. All topics are eligible. Filmmakers chosen for the 2023 festival are not eligible and may submit again for the 2025 festival.

Filmmakers are required to attend the film festival screening and speak about their work.


All entries must be submitted by Tuesday, January 9, 2024. Notification of the selection panel’s decision will be sent in mid February. The selection panel will choose up to five documentaries to screen at the Bethesda Film Fest.

Submission Guidelines

  • Filmmakers must be current residents of Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia.
  • Films must be between 5 and 30 minutes in length.
  • Films must have been completed within the last two years.
  • Filmmakers may only submit one film for consideration
  • Filmmakers chosen for the 2023 festival are not eligible
  • Films with non-English dialogue must be submitted with English subtitles.


  • All entries must be received by January 9, 2024.
  • There is a $25 entry fee. Filmmakers under the age of 18 do not have an entry fee.
  • Entries may be submitted online.


The Bethesda Film Fest will not be held responsible if copyrighted materials or unauthorized materials are included in the film. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to secure proper permission from the copyright holder of music, stock footage, or any other material which could violate another entity’s copyright or exclusive use of the material.