Digital Narrative Arts Film Festival: Information on Entering the DNA Film Festival (DNAFF)

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How to Submit a Film

The Digital Narrative Arts Film Festival (also known as the DNA Film Festival or DNAFF) is open to filmmakers who might not otherwise get their films screened. This event takes place at Atom Egoyan’s Camera Bar on Queen Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Generally, the screenings for this festival happen in the fall, and the festival is open to anyone. Films need to be submitted via, and mailed submissions will not be accepted. Accepted format is NTSC DVD.

The contest does not break out films into categories. Instead, the only criteria is that they must tell a story and they must be filmed in the digital format. Films may be as long as you like them to be since there is no time restrict-ion for these films.

Accepted Film Genres

Accepted film categories vary widely, but, generally, films should be out of the ordinary. For example, one of the past screened films included Five, which is a thriller based on five friends spending time out in the New Zealand bush. This film mainly focuses on how one of the member’s sister died, what secrets are still hidden and how those secrets can tear apart friendships.

Accepted genres vary widely, and these can include horror, documentary, gay and lesbian, independent, Jewish, science fiction, women-centered, ethnic-centered, art house, promotion and art-house films. Generally, however, films should have some out of the mainstream theme, and cultural or ethnic films seem to be favored at the Digital Narrative Arts Film Festival.

Screening the Films

All films will be screened at the bar, and tickets will be sold before the event. The film screening event is open to the general public. The venue is very intimate, allowing for films to be viewed on a very personal basis.

If your film is chosen to be screened, then you will receive some of the profits for the ticket sales of your film, allowing you to create some money while obtaining exposure.

The DNAFF is a very small film festival, but it does give filmmakers the opportunity to have their films viewed by a few hundred people. Since the DNA Film Festival is focused on little-known films, you will at least have a chance to have your film seen, which could lead to buzz.

If there is enough buzz about a film coming out of a film festival, it could get you an invitation from other larger film festivals, or you may be able to use that buzz to get you in to see some producers. Even though small film festivals do not get their due, they are a way to launch a career. You never know who will show up at these things.

One final suggestion is that usually reserved seating fills up fast. So, if you are interested in screening your own film if it is chosen, then you should reserve seating early.