Research on documentary Festivals has increasingly developed through the last years, leading to a remarkable amount of academic publications.
Check the Film Festival Research Network’s bibliographies here.




Edited by Aida Vallejo and Ezra Winton, the two volumes
Documentary Film Festivals Vol.1: Methods, History, Politics and
Documentary Film Festivals Vol.2: Changes, Challenges, Professional Perspectives,
published in 2020 by Palgrave MacMillan, cover key aspects of the intersections between Documentary Studies and Film Festival Studies. https://www.palgrave.com/gp/series/14990

Check Aida Vallejo’s publications here
(European Network for Cinema and Media Studies’ documentary workgroup founder and coordinator, University of the Basque Country).





(list to be updated).

A complete list of documentary festivals worldwide is available in
Documentary Film Festivals Vol.1. Methods, History, Politics,
chapter: “Introduction to Part II, Vol. 1: Mapping the History of Documentary Film Festivals.”



Edinburgh Film Festival (1947) — originally devoted to documentary —


Cultural and Documentary Film Week” in Mannheim (1952)
Oberhausen Short Film Festival (1954)
International Festival of Documentary and Experimental Film SODRE (Uruguay, Montevideo, 1954-1971)
Leipzig International Festival for Documentary and Animated Film (1955) — today DOKLeipzig
Flaherty Film Seminar (1955) — not a festival —
Zinebi. International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao (1959) — originally Latin American and Philipino Film Contest in Bilbao.
Festival dei Popoli – Florence International Documentary Film Festival (1959)


Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival (1960)
Krakow Film Festival (1961)
Mostra Internazionale del Nuovo Cinema in Pesaro (1964, fiction and documentary)
Nyon International Documentary Film Festival (1969, today Visions du Réel)


Cinéma du Réel (Paris, 1978)


Sundance Film Festival (1983). Independent cinema (including documentary)
Royal Anthropological Institute’s Ethnographic Film Festival. ANTH FF (biannual, since 1985)
South by Southwest (Austin, Texas, 1987)
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) (1988)
Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (Japan, 1989)
États généraux du film documentaire (Lussas, France, 1989)
Message to man (St Petersburg, Russia, 1989)


Biennale Européenne du Documentaire (in its second edition it changed its name to Vue sur les docs and in 1999 adopted the current name FIDMarseille) (Marseille, France, 1990).
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (Arkansas, 1992)
Hot Docs (Toronto, Canada, 1993)
Doc/Fest Sheffield (originally celebrated at Bristol, Sheffield, UK, 1994)
É tudo Verdade/It’s all True (São Paulo, Brazil, 1996)
Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival (Czech Republic, 1997)
Santiago International Documentary Film Festival, FIDOCS (Santiago de Chile, Chile, 1997 –created by Patricio Guzmán–)
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival (originally DoubleTake Documentary Film Festival, Durham, North Carolina, USA, 1998)
RIDM (Rencontres Interantionales du documentaire de Montréal/the Montreal International Documentary Festival) (1998)
DOXA (Vancouver, Canada, 1998)
Thessaloniki Interanational Documentary Film Festival (Greece,1999)


Doc Point Helsinki (Helsinki, Finland, 2002)
AFIDocs (formerly SilverDocs) (Washington D.C., USA, 2003)
Yunfest (Kunming, China, 2003)
CPH:DOX (Copenhaguen, Denmkark, 2003)
Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival (Doha, Qatar, 2005)
Documentary Edge Festival (Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand, 2005)
DocsDF (Mexico City, 2006)
International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (India, 2008)
Atlantidoc. Festival Internacional de Cine Documental de Uruguay (2009)


CinéDOC-Tbilisi (Georgia, 2013)
Fifac. Festival International du Film Documentaire Amazone-Caraïbes (Saint-Laurent du Maroni, Guyane, 2019). Web-site.