Daddy Appleseed Fund Has already begun planning for the 2nd annual Daddying Film Fest & Forum (D3F) for 2023!

Stay Tuned for Updates on DFF2023: The Sequel!

DFF announced 2022 student and indie film winners on June 18, 2022.

Read the official announcement HERE


To read the DFF 2022 Student and Indie Filmmaker Finalist release (June 8) CLICK HERE


2022 KFDFF Student Finalists meme_FINAL_6-13-22.jpg
2022 KFDFF Indie Finalists meme_FINAL_6-13-22.jpg

What is the Daddying Film Festival (DFF)?

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


The DFF celebrates creativity, authenticity, and communication skills and helps prepare students to think critically as they view film and videos. Because a child’s relationship with their father is not always a positive one, the DFF 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 DFF, students will create short films/videos with the theme: “A Letter to My Father/Father Figure.” These video "letters" will illustrate that being a dad or father figure is not just who you are, it’s what you do.

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The DFF 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, are eligible to submit their short films/videos for DFF juror consideration for FREE. Please note that FilmFreeway, the platform vendor used to accept online entries, requires kids to provide their student ID number when registering to submit their film/video.


Adult independent filmmakers and studios may submit films/videos to DFF for consideration and for a small entry fee. Adult entries are considered for Festival screening and Atticus trophies only and are not eligible for Daddy Appleseed Fund awards (details below). 


Students may submit a 1- to 5-minute short film/video (preferably in MP4 or MOV format) for consideration by registering and uploading their film to the DFF FilmFreeway page. A registration link for the 2023 event and more details about the event and submission deadlines will be available later this year in Q4 2022.

When Will the Daddying Film Festival Be Held?

The DFF will run the week before Father's Day in June 2023.


KFDFF Awards will be presented to one winner in each of four grade-level categories at a virtual event on Saturday, June 18, 2022 (the day before Father's Day), and also a "live" event in Santa Fe at the Muse Studios (pending covid restrictions) on Monday, June 20.


The six judging categories are:

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

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

  3. 9th through 12th (high school)

  4. College/university (undergraduate)

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

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


Winners in each grade-level category receive 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 receive 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 category. Winners in each category also receive a generous scholarship (amount TBD) to advance their studies or to create a program or project to encourage positive father involvement.

Judging Criteria

Preliminary kid and adult jurors will evaluate and narrow the pool of DFF 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 four grade-level categories (see below). Those finalists will be announced in late May or early June 2023.


Voting to determine the four Atticus Award winners will be open to the public/DFF attendees and conducted online during the Festival the week before Father's Day 2023. 

The criteria our initial kid and adult jurors use to evaluate each student-created film are a direct reflection of the Daddying Film Festival’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 DFF 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 DFF "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