Daddying Film Fest 2024 Expands to Celebrate the Many Faces of Caring Men
By Scott Beller
Daddying Editor and Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F) Comms Director
The Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F) grew in several significant areas in 2023, and our planning committee is excited about many exciting changes coming for our 3rd-annual event in 2024.
D3F 2023 received submissions from student, dad, and indie filmmakers from 21 countries, expanded its already world-class D3F Circle of Friends to help boost submissions and festival attendance, gave Dads/dad figures the opportunity to submit their own films expressing feelings about their relationships with their kids, and launched its first-ever, live Daddying Film Forum, which took place the week after Father's Day in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
As our 2024 call for entries via FilmFreeway approaches on New Year's Day, and our live Daddying Film Forum transforms Philadelphia, PA, into the "City of Fatherly Love" on May 17, this "little-international-film-fest-that-could" is growing yet again. Two of our newest Circle of Friends members, the All American High School Film Festival (AAHSFF), the world's largest high-school film festival and premier destination for talented high school filmmakers and media arts enthusiasts, and Equimundo: Center for Masculinities and Social Justice, which works to promote nurturing, equitable, nonviolent masculinity worldwide, have returned to help us expand our program's reach in order to further increase filmmaker and audience participation next year.
After offering expert guidance and referring potential D3F film submissions this past year, AAHSFF invited our founder Allan Shedlin to present an award at its event this weekend and the opportunity to promote D3F 2024 to the hundreds of attending youth filmmakers as well as the 28 college film programs that also will be there to recruit them! Equimundo, which advocates for gender equality and social justice by transforming intergenerational patterns of harm and promoting patterns of care, empathy, and accountability among boys and men throughout their lives, has strengthened its commitment to D3F this year by promoting our program and mission through its more than 100 partners across 65 countries.
Equimundo along with MenCare, its global fatherhood campaign promoting men’s involvement as equitable, nonviolent fathers and caregivers to achieve family well-being, gender equality, and better health for mothers, fathers, and children, will sponsor a special Atticus category in 2024: the D3F Men's Caring Award. This new Atticus follows 2023's inaugural Roy R. Neuberger Prize as our 2nd named award and, similarly, will carry a $500 cash prize.
The D3F Men's Caring Award will recognize the best film submission that in some way celebrates one of 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/patrons, and other daddying role models and VIP dads (e.g., Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Lin-Manuel Miranda, etc.).
D3F 2024 also will debut two new categories for which dad and indie filmmakers may submit their films. In addition to the existing Best Short Film and Best Feature Film categories, adult, non-student filmmakers may enter their work for Best Animated Film and Best Music Video for festival and Atticus Award consideration.
We're already gearing up for another spectacular year of daddying films. We hope you are too. We consider each D3F submission a labor of its creator's love, a positive force that demonstrates the importance of and encourages greater father involvement, and a step towards changing the perception of dads (and those who play fatherly roles) as understudies to dads being co-starring parents.
The countdown to our New Year's Day 2024 call for entries has begun. You can visit our D3F FilmFreeway page for more details on this year's themes, submission requirements, and deadlines. Start planning now, student, dad/dad figure, and indie filmmakers – tell us your daddying stories!
Lights! Cameras! Daddying!
Scott Beller is the proud, imperfect dad of two mighty girls, imperfect husband of a rock-star mom, truth teller, part-time driving instructor, purveyor of banned books, Editor of the Daddying blog, and Director of Communications for DCG and D3F. He's a seasoned writer and PR agency veteran with more than 30 years of experience helping organizations of all sizes reach audiences and tell their stories. Prior to launching his own creative communications consultancy in 2003, he led PR teams with some of the world’s most respected agencies, including Fleishman-Hillard and The Weber Group. As a consultant, he’s helped launch two other parenting advocacy nonprofits with DCG founder Allan Shedlin. His first book, Beggars or Angels, was a ghostwritten memoir for the nonprofit Devotion to Children's founder Rosemary Tran Lauer. He was formerly known as "Imperfect Dad" and Head Writer for the Raising Nerd blog, which supported parents in inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and creative problem solvers. He earned his BA in Communications from VA Tech.