Docs in the City Screenings

This film screening series from Docs In Progress pairs seasoned and emerging documentary filmmakers whose films share a genre or theme. Each program includes a screening of a work-in-progress by an emerging documentary filmmaker followed by a feedback session with the audience and the seasoned filmmaker as respondent. This will be followed by a new look at an iconic film by the seasoned filmmaker.


We are currently accepting work-in-progress submissions of environmental documentaries for our next Docs In The City screening which will take place the weekend of March 16-17 in Washington DC as part of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital. The selected rough cut will receive feedback from an audience and special guest Judith Helfand who is both an award-winning filmmaker (Blue Vinyl, A Healthy Baby Girl, Cooked) and field-builder (as co-founder of Working Films and Chicken and Egg Pictures).


  • Films must be focused on themes related to the natural and/or built environment.
  • Films must be documentaries. Although we define “documentary” rather broadly and may screen documentaries with dramatized, animated, political, or advocacy elements, we do not screen pure fiction films, mockumentaries, music videos, or works produced primarily for a nonprofit or advocacy organization.
  • Films must be at the rough cut stage. What you submit must have clarity of some kind of beginning, middle, and end even if it still has gaps. We cannot accept submissions of trailers or scenes alone. Similarly, if your film will already be at picture lock by March, it would not benefit from this opportunity. 
  • Films can be features or shorts. The maximum length submission we can accept is 90 minutes.
  • At least one member of the key creative team must be based in the United States.
  • One member of the team must be available to attend in person to the screening. We will provide travel and two nights accommodations for one member of the key creative team (producer, director, or editor) to come from another U.S. location to Washington DC. If more than one team-member wants to attend, that is fine but we can only cover travel expenses for one. While the final date for the screening has not been finalized, we anticipate it will be between March 15-24.
  • The deadline to submit your film online is January 18, 2019. If selected, you may keep editing your film, but the final version for screening will be needed by March 1 and must not be longer than what was initially submitted. 
  • There is no fee to submit. However, you will only receive feedback on the film if selected for the program. 




July 19, 2018: Spotlight on Identity 
at Landmark's Atlantic Plumbing Cinema in Washington DC
We focused on the theme of identity with Chelsea Hernandez workshopping Building the American Dream and Grace Lee reintroducing us to Off the Menu: Asian America.
Find out more. 

October 7, 2017: Spotlight on Coming of Age
In partnership with the Center for Media and Social Impact at American University
We explored what it means to come of age while the cameras are rolling with a Work-in-Progress Screening of Stephanie Lucas' Work in Progress and a Revisit-an-Iconic Film screening of Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster's American Promise.
Find out more.

August 6, 2017: Spotlight on Personal Documentaries
In partnership with the Washington Jewish Film Festival
Things got personal as we delved into the lives of two filmmakers and their families in an exploration of the genre of personal documentary with a Work-in-Progress Screening of Bonnie Rich's Searching for My Jewish Soul (since retitled Life Is Rich) and a Revisit-a-Classic screening of Doug Block's 51 Birch Street.
Find out more.

This program is organized by Docs In Progress and has been made possible through the support of



2017 and 2018-2019 seasons


2017 season