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  • Writer's pictureAllan Shedlin

The Good, the Dad, and the Ugly: D3F Wants Stories Focused on Importance of Involved Dads

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

By Scott Beller

Daddying blog editor

This past week on our DADvocacy Consulting Group's social media, I decided to focus on one question that might lurk in the minds of student and dad, would-be filmmakers as they consider creating and submitting a short video or film for this year's Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F), which will run June 4-11. That one question:

What the heck does a D3F award-winning film/video even look like?

Well, kids and dads/dad figures, we're so glad you asked! And we're even happier to provide you with several examples from 2022's inaugural crop of Daddying Film Fest student and indie films/videos:

A Letter to My Dad

by Brock Brenner, USA, 11, 2022 Middle School Winner (5th-8th Grade)

Hey Dad, It's Me

by Leela Malladi, USA, 18, 2022 High School Winner (9th-12th Grade)

My Other Son (Mi Otro Hijo)

by Gustavo Alonso, Argentina, 2022 Best Indie Short Film

by Pablo De Estrada, Argentina/Canada, 2022 College Undergraduate Winner

Delhi Days

by Eshaan Mani, USA, 16, 2022 High School Finalist

How the Titanic Became My Lifeboat

by Bjarney Ludviksdottir, Iceland, 2022 Indie Finalist

Dad for Hire

by Aaron Scully, Australia, Indie Finalist

We hope by seeing a few of last year's Atticus Award winners and finalists, you might find the inspiration you need to get started on your own submissions for this year's Festival. Your D3F submission might be live action or animation; take the form of a TikTok or even a music video like one that 5-time GRAMMY Award-nominated musician Justin Roberts so graciously provided for the 2022 Festival along with his welcome-to-the-festival video:

I've Got the World (for You)

from the 2020 album Wild Life (Carpet Square Records)

It's really up to you, the filmmakers.

We want to see and hear your dad-related stories however you feel like telling them, so we've tried to place as few limits as possible on your creativity. The only major requirements are that your visual creations be somewhere between 1 and 7 minutes long and relate in some way to one of D3F's daddying themes, which have expanded in scope and also to include dad filmmakers for 2023:

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

  2. The most joyful/fun thing I ever did or wish I could do 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...

And if you're wondering how you, possibly an inexperienced filmmaker, can get started on a film or video that might be worthy to enter into a worldwide film festival, well, our D3F website's got you covered there too. Check out our "Resources" page for some filmmaking 101 and other useful guidance, including links to a few other film festivals where you might consider submitting your work in the future.

Once your daddying video/film is just how you want it, head to our D3F homepage or FilmFreeway page to submit by MAY 1 (reduced-fee, early bird deadline is March 1):

One final note. Because we understand a child's relationship with their father is not always a positive one, D3F welcomes film/video submissions that delve into those complex and often painful stories too. Because in addition to providing students, dads, and other indie filmmakers the opportunity to demonstrate their film- and/or video-making skills, the Daddying Film Festival & Forum's mission is to:

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

  • Provide opportunities for children and fathers alike to reflect upon and express their feelings and wishes about what daddying qualities are most important to them; what kind of dad a father wants to be, and what kind of dad a kid wants/needs.

  • Provide opportunities for emotional authenticity, creativity, and originality; and

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

Are you ready to make an award winner? Go ahead and take a crack at outlining – or storyboarding – your video or film for the Daddying Film Fest right now. If your film makes the D3F cut, it could be worth $250 (for student finalists) or $500 (for student, dad/dad figure, and other indie filmmaker winners)!

Our D3F jurors and VIP judges await – Lights! Camera! Daddying!

Daddy-Daughter date to see Rifftrax Live screening of Mothra in 2016

Scott Beller is the proud, imperfect dad of two mighty girls, Morgan and Lauren, imperfect husband of rock-star mom, Elisabeth, avid fan of horror, sci-fi, and incredibly weird cinema, 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.



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