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Daddying Film Festival Atticus Award statuette

3rd Annual Daddying Film Fest & Forum (D3F) 

Virtual Festival - May 2-9, 2024

LIVE Daddying Film Forum in Philadelphia, PA - Friday, May 17 & 18
D3F 2024 Call for Submissions NOW CLOSED


Check D3F website for Event Updates!
Check D3F's Instagram for 2024 Official Selection Updates!

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What is the Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F)?

The Daddying Film Festival and Forum (D3F), is not your ordinary film festival. D3F was created by the DADvocacy Consulting Group and its Daddy Appleseed Fund (DAF), to offer children and youth a stage to express through film/video how they feel about the relationship they have or wish they had with their dads.


The inaugural virtual D3F in 2022 provided students and other non-student, indie filmmakers from 17 countries a worldwide stage to convey the importance of involved dads in their lives. In 2023, D3F expanded, attracting submissions from 21 countries while also specifically encouraging Dad filmmakers to submit their own films for consideration. (Note: when we use the words "father" or "dad," we refer to all those who play a fatherly role.)


The D3F celebrates creativity, authenticity, and communication skills and, more specifically, helps prepare students to think critically as they view films and videos. Because a child’s relationship with their father is not always a positive one, the D3F acknowledges that submissions may also express the sorrow – or "daddy yearning" – filmmakers may feel when a positive father figure either has been absent from their lives or may not be present in the way he or she wants/needs them to be.


Students, Dads/Dad figures, and indie filmmakers create short films/videos, including comedies and music videos, for the D3F that adhere to one of the following themes:

  1. A letter to my father OR my child(ren)

  2. The most joyful/fun thing I ever did with my father/child(ren)

  3. If I could make one wish come true for my dad/child(ren) it would be...

  4. My Daddy dream –  the most positive relationship I could imagine having with my dad/child

  5. Men Caring – a film/video celebrating the many other faces of daddying, including men who play nurturing, fatherly roles and make a positive impact in the lives of children and youth. Examples include foster dads, adoptive dads, granddads, uncles, teachers, mentors and "big brothers," inspirational philanthropists, and other daddying role models/VIP dads. The new D3F Men's Caring Award is sponsored by Circle of Friends  member Equimundo.

CLICK HERE to Follow DCG and #D3F on Instagram!

The D3F Concept

The word “daddying” is what happens when fatherhood and nurturing converge in service to a father’s child. A daddying role can be played by just about anyone else in a young person’s life, including a granddad, uncle, older sibling, coach, or teacher.


Our relationship with our father – in its presence or absence – is one of the most important relationships in our lives. It is foundational in our youth and can echo through generations.


Because kids are most directly impacted by a dad’s involvement – or absence – it was a no-brainer for D3F to provide them with an opportunity to express how they feel about the relationship they have or wish they had with their dads.

Who Can Submit a Film/Video?

All students (1st grade through college undergrads) and Dad/dad figure filmmakers are eligible to submit short films/videos (1 to 10 minutes long) via FilmFreeway for D3F juror consideration for a nominal fee. Please note that FilmFreeway, the platform vendor we use to accept online entries, requires kids under 18 to get parental permission when registering to submit a film/video.

Other independent (adult, non-student) filmmakers and studios may submit short or feature-length films to D3F for a small entry fee. Non-dad, adult entries will be considered for Festival screening and Atticus Award trophies only and are not eligible for Daddy Appleseed Fund cash awards (details below). 

ALL films submitted to the D3F for consideration must somehow relate to one of the D3F themes.


How to Submit Your Film

Students and Dads may submit a short film/video (in MP4 or MOV format) for consideration by registering and uploading their film to the D3F FilmFreeway page. Adult, indie filmmakers may submit films of any length. Early-bird discount deadline is February 5, 2024. The regular submission deadline is March 4, 2024 and late deadline has been extended to APRIL 15. Please visit the D3F website for more information about registration, Festival deadlines, submission guidance, and more details about the live and virtual events.

When/Where Will the Daddying Film Festival & Forum Be Held?

The 2024 virtual Daddying Film Festival will run online (Eventive) from May 2-9, 2024The 2nd Annual Daddying Film Forum will take place on May 17, LIVE from Philadelphia's Parkway Central Library! and May 18, at Philadelphia's iconic Mummers Museum.


Tickets/registration for all D3F events are FREE - CLICK HERE TO GET PASSES ON EVENTIVE


D3F Awards will be presented to one winner in each of the following categories at a virtual event on Saturday, May 11, 2024 (time TBA).


Current D3F judging categories (additional categories TBA):

  1. 1st through 4th grade 

  2. 5th through 8th grade 

  3. 9th through 12th grade

  4. College/university (undergraduate)

  5. Best Feature Film (non-student/indie filmmakers)

  6. Best Short Film (non-student/indie filmmakers)

  7. NEW IN 2024: Best Animated Film

  8. NEW IN 2024: Best Music Video

  9. Best Dad-created Film, aka, the Roy R. Neuberger Prize

  10. NEW IN 2024: Best Dad-Figure Film, aka The D3F Men's Caring Award for best film celebrating the many faces of daddying, including men who play nurturing, fatherly roles and make a positive impact in the lives of children and youth.


Winners in each grade-level category earn an “Atticus,” a statuette to symbolize Atticus Finch from the 1962 film based on Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The book was recently voted the best book of the last 125 years by more than 200,000 NY Times Book Review readers.

Atticus Finch, an iconic single dad, represents several ideal daddying qualities. Specifically, he is attuned to his children’s feelings and ideas and takes the children as seriously as they take themselves. To many, his character symbolizes morality and justice. The fact that the story is narrated by his young daughter, Scout, adds to the importance of the symbolism of this award as it represents the simplicity of childhood observation together with the openness and honesty of "telling it like it is." The American Film Institute (AFI) hailed Gregory Peck's film performance as Finch as "the greatest movie hero of all time."

All student finalists earn a $250 Daddy Appleseed Fund award for use toward an activity or project to enjoy with their father/father figure together with a formal certificate. Up to five (5) finalists can be named in each grade level and other voting category. Winners in each student category earn an additional $250 to advance their studies or to create a program or project to encourage positive father involvement. The winner of the Roy R. Neuberger Prize for best dad-created film/video and D3F Men's Caring Award both earn a $500 award to use toward an activity or project with their child(ren).

Judging Criteria

Preliminary student and adult jurors evaluate and narrow the pool of D3F entries to those that will move on for judging by a panel of academic and entertainment industry professional judges. VIP judges select up to five (5) finalists in each of the four grade-level categories and "Best..." voting categories. Winners are announced during a virtual awards ceremony at the end of the festival.


Voting to determine Atticus Award winners is open to the public/virtual D3F attendees and conducted online during virtual Festival week. 

The criteria our initial student and adult jurors use to evaluate each D3F-themed film submission are a direct reflection of the Daddying Film Festival & Forum’s mission:


  • To shine a spotlight on the importance and impact of fathers/father figures in their presence and in their absence.

  • To provide an opportunity for sons and daughters to reflect upon and express their feelings and wishes about what daddying qualities are most important to them.

  • To provide opportunities for emotional authenticity, creativity, and originality.

  • To portray a variety of family dynamics in order to explore and encourage constructive relationships.

  • To demonstrate film- and/or video-making skills and production values.

To view a copy of the complete D3F juror evaluation form, click HERE.

Student Resources For Short Filmmaking

Do your student filmmakers need a little inspiration or guidance to help them plan their visual "love letters" to their dads, father figures...or the dads they wish they had? Have them check out this D3F "5 Steps to a 5-Minute Film" infographic to get them started! Here are a few more how-to resources they may find helpful:

  • Filmmaking for Kids - A quick, 1-minute lesson for younger kids)

  • Filmmaking Tips and Advice for Aspiring Filmmakers - Maybe better for kids, 4th grade+

  • How To Make A Video: Film and Editing Tips for Kids - A video by kids for kids, especially younger students

  • Eyecandy: Visual Technique Library - Great resource for filmmakers of all ages to get lost in!

Atticus, Scout and Jem Finch
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