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Daddying Film Festival & Forum Atticus Award Trophies with Mockingbird toppers

2nd annual Daddying Film Fest & Forum (D3F


Check our NEW D3F website for Updates!

DFF 2022 student and indie film winners were announced June 18, 2022. Read the release HERE

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2022 KFDFF Indie Finalists meme_FINAL_6-13-22.jpg

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

DADvocacy Consulting Group's Daddy Appleseed Fund created the inaugural Daddying Film Festival (DFF), which ran June 13-20, 2022. The expanded 2nd annual Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F) will take place two weeks before Father's Day in June 2023. The D3F provides a stage for students to use film as a vehicle to communicate the importance of fathers or father figures in their lives.


The D3F celebrates creativity, authenticity, and communication skills and 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 student submissions may also express the sorrow – or "daddy yearning" – they 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.


For the D3F, students, dads/dad figures, and indie filmmakers create short films/videos that adhere to one of the following three themes:

  1. A letter to my father OR A letter to my daughter/son

  2. The most joyful/fun thing I ever did with my father and/or daughter/son

  3. If I could make one wish come true for my dad and/or son/daughter it would be...

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 its 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 his absence – it was a no-brainer for us 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 Video for Consideration?

All students, 1st grade through college/university undergraduates, and Dad filmmakers are eligible to submit their short films/videos for D3F juror consideration for a nominal fee. Please note that FilmFreeway, the platform vendor used to accept online entries, requires kids to provide their student ID number when registering to submit a film/video.

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

ALL films submitted to the D3F for consideration must relate in some way to one of three D3F themes (above).


How to Submit Your Short Film

Students and Dads may submit a 1- to 7-minute short film/video (preferably 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. Please visit the D3F website OR FilmFreeway for more information about 2023 registration, Festival deadlines, and more details about the June event.

When Will the Daddying Film Festival & Forum Be Held?

The D3F will run June 4-11, 2023The first annual Daddying Film Forum will take place in New Mexico on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25 (site and event times TBD).


D3F Awards will be presented to one winner in each of four grade-level categories at a virtual event on Sunday, June 11, 2023 (the week before Father's Day).


The judging categories are:

  1. 1st through 4th grade (elementary school)

  2. 5th through 8th grade (middle school)

  3. 9th through 12th grade (high school)

  4. College/university (undergraduate)

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

  6. Best Short Film (open to all filmmakers)

  7. Best Film submitted by Dad or Dad figure, aka, the Roy R. Neuberger Prize


Winners in each grade-level category earn an “Atticus,” a statuette to symbolize Atticus Finch from the movie based on Harper Lee’s 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 performance as Finch in the 1962 film based on Lee's book 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 also earn a generous scholarship (amount TBD) to advance their studies or to create a program or project to encourage positive father involvement. The dad winner of the Roy R. Neuberger Prize will earn a $500 award to use toward an activity or project with their child(ren).

Judging Criteria

Preliminary student and adult jurors will evaluate and narrow the pool of D3F entries to those which will move on for judging by a panel of celebrity and other industry professional judges (TBA). VIP judges will select up to five (5) finalists in each of the four grade-level categories and three "Best..." voting categories. Finalists will be announced in early June 2023.


Voting to determine the six Atticus Award winners and Roy R. Neuberger Prize will be open to the public/D3F attendees and conducted online during Festival week (June 5-10, 2023). 

The criteria our initial kid 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! And here are a few more how-to resources they may find helpful:


Atticus, Scout and Jem Finch
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