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April 20, 2018 Regular Deadline

June 15, 2018 Late Deadline

July 6, 2018 Extended Deadline

September 21, 2018 Notification Date

October 19 – 27, 2018 Event Date


Documentary Shorts

maximum 40 minutes

Regular Deadline: $50 USD

Late Deadline: $60 USD

Extended Deadline: $75 USD


Documentary Features

minimum 40 minutes

Regular Deadline: $60 USD

Late Deadline: $70 USD

Extended Deadline: $80 USD


Spa City Sports Series Feature

length documentaries covering indoor and outdoor sports

Regular Deadline: $50 USD

Late Deadline: $60 USD

Extended Deadline: $75 USD


Virtual Reality

Regular Deadline: $35 USD

Late Deadline: $45 USD

Extended Deadline: $60 USD


Episodic Content

Regular Deadline: $55 USD

Late Deadline: $75 USD

Extended Deadline: $80 USD


The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, celebrating its 27th Anniversary October 19th-October 27th is the oldest non-fiction festival in North America. HSDFF offers multiple awards categories, and is a designated Academy-Award© -qualifying festival for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Documentary Short Subject. MovieMaker Magazine has named HSDFF to its global list of “50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee”.

HSDFF, a 9-day all-pedestrian festival, makes its home in one of the most unique vacation destinations of the American South, the Historic Spa City of Hot Springs, Arkansas, with all screenings and parties held within easy walking distance. Each October, the city comes alive as film-lovers and filmmakers gather to immerse themselves in over 100 of the best international features and shorts the documentary world has to offer, and to attend unforgettable events. HSDFF offers one-of-a kind forums, tributes to industry greats, and numbers of noted guests and visiting professionals. Over the years, Hot Springs has hosted many of the greats in documentary film, and is known for its warmth and hospitality to filmmakers.