Call for Entries – The 5th DC Chinese Film Festival

The 5th DC Chinese Film Festival (DCCFF)-Alula Film Festival is excited to announce the official Call for Entries. Submissions are now accepted on FilmFreeway until November 7, 2020. Official Selections will be announced at the end of November. Screenings and other festival programs will take place virtually in December 2020.

Spotlight on Cultural Diversity – Special Welcome to New Generation of Filmmakers

Since its creation in 2011, DCCFF-Alula Film Festival finds its roots in connecting cultures through cinema that highlights artistic creativity and independent thinking. DCCFF is determined to provide a global platform for arthouse and independent films with a connection to China or Chinese. We encourage filmmakers to use creative effort to showcase a glimpse of their unique world. Most importantly, we hope to aid a new generation of filmmakers in the pursuit of their passion and full marketability of their work.

DCCFF-Alula Film Festival, based in the United States capital, boasts a prime location for inter-cultural dialogue. In a year where the COVID-19 pandemic has left film industries in standstill, economies around the world in recession, and our communities more divided than ever, we recognize the power of cinema in facilitating mutual understanding and empathy. To that end, we strive to showcase stories that will resonate with all of us irrespective of cultural differences. However, in light of the ongoing health crisis, we have decided to host this year’s festival virtually unless local conditions improve to allow safe in-person programs. Much like our friends and patrons, we miss the theatrical screenings, but the virtual program is the safest option at this point for the audience, filmmakers, and DCCFF staff. 

Meeting More International Friends

In 2020, DCCFF-Alula Film Festival will collaborate with Filmocacy, a US streaming service that is dedicated to supporting independent films and filmmakers and to emulating the movie-going experience online.  

In addition to our traditional programming, DCCFF will continue a working relationship with the Smithsonian Institution, the Kissinger Institute, and other organizations who share our goal in connecting cultures. Through our US partners, we hope to reach more friends and patrons interested in China and Chinese cinema.

Lastly, DCCFF will facilitate China-US film collaborations, bringing together Chinese filmmakers and production and distribution companies from both countries. Collaborations that arise from this effort can apply to any stage of film production, investment, and distribution, and will further promote the presence of Chinese films in the global market.

2020 DCCFF Submission Guidelines

To qualify to enter the 5th DC Chinese Film Festival-Alula Film Festival, the submitted work must meet one of three criteria: 

  1. The film’s primary language is Mandarin, Cantonese, or a dialect of Chinese; 
  2. There is at least one member of Chinese ethnicity on the film’s creative team 
  3. The film is about China or Chinese-speaking culture.

Main Competition consists of four categories: Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Short Film, and Experimental Film.

Early Bird submissions are accepted between now and October 18, 2020, and registration fee is $10 per entry. For submissions after October 18, 2020 but before November 7, 2020, the registration fee will increase to $20 per entry.

The complete 2020 Submission Rules & Guidelines is available on the DCCFF-Alula Film Festival website.

Looking Back at Past Festivals

In September 2018, DCCFF selected 37 features and short films out of a total of 562 worldwide submissions. Film screenings took place over 4 days in Washington, DC, and nine awards were announce at the Closing Ceremony. The 2018 theme was “Folding World” which focuses on stories of underrepresented communities and lives of Chinese diaspora around the world. Jury members including Liao Ching-song, legendary Taiwanese film editor; Chris Berry, professor at King’s College London and scholar of Chinese film studies; Shih-Ching Tsou, producer of Tangerine and the Academy Award-Nominated Florida Project; Aliza Ma, head of programming at Metrograph in New York; LEI Lei, award winning animation director and lecturer at CalArt; and DU Haibin, critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker (Along the Railway). 

In September 2019, DCCFF collaborated with The One International Women’s Film Festival to host On Both Sides of Camera – Woman inn Film Retrospective, a retrospective screening series featuring Chinese language films made by or about women. The series comprised of classics such as A Touch of Zen (King Hu), Woman Demon Human (Huang Shuqin), Long Live the Missus (Hu Sang), as well as newer releases, including Sending Me to the Cloud (Teng Congcong) and Small Talk (Huang Hui-chen). 

Follow DCCFF-Alula Film Festival on Facebook (, WeChat (hsdhydyj), and Sina Weibo (@华盛顿华语电影节).

More details will be forthcoming on the DCCFF-Alula Film Festival website

For inquiries regarding submissions, please contact

For other inquiries and general questions about DCCFF-Alula Film Festival, please contact