BOSTON DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL at  Sommerville Theatre on July 16-17, 2021

Truth: Stranger than Fiction

Facts aren’t always facts, and “alternative facts” don't always lie.


In a world where “truth” is carefully curated, filtered, and viewed through the lens of social media, often the only difference between truth and fiction lies in the perspective through which one views the world.


Documentary films offer a fascinating peephole into a particular reality, at a certain time of a certain person's life. Whether in the form of an expository, a poem, an essay, an observational piece, whether it's dramatized, animated, or based on interviews, documentary films all have a message to send.


How can we make a difference in the world?


Documentary films are not just an avenue through which we can observe real life; they also serve to inform, educate, and critique. They are valuable creations in a day and age where media is increasingly curated and so much more homogenous.


That is why Doc.Boston welcomes all of the above forms of documentary film-making, and even more so, those that transcend boundaries to move fluidly between one and more styles.


Ours is a new annual film festival featuring work from around the world by up and coming artists, showcasing innovative independent cinema with all selected films inviting viewers to learn and ponder.


To inspire, motivate, and award new talent, the Doc.Boston film festival will take place at Somerville Theatre.


The Somerville Theatre, part of the Hobbs Building in the heart of Davis Square, was designed by the firm of Funk & Wilcox of Boston and built in 1914 by Joseph Hobbs. Designed for stage shows, vaudeville, opera, and that new fad – motion pictures, the theatre opened its doors for the first time on May 11, 1914. In 1932, the theatre’s decor was “updated” with an art deco paint theme. Throughout the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, the Somerville remained a prime neighborhood movie house. Today, it hosts live concerts and live theater in addition to screening movies. The Somerville Theatre continues doing what it set out to do since 1914 – provide the community with quality entertainment on stage and screen.


Join us at the Somerville Theatre on July 16-17 2021.



Doc.Boston is part of Doc.World, a new global network of Documentary Film Festivals, with festivals in London, Berlin, Sydney, Ghent and Boston.

As a celebration of the cinematic and visual arts, these documentary festivals will bring diverse international films to our community and showcase the best regional and international filmmakers.

Take a look at Doc.Berlin and Doc.London, Doc.Sydney and Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival.

previous festivals



Call for entries: 2021 edition


Submit you documentary film now on our Film Freeway page. Read more >

Submit to Film Freeway  - Doc.Boston

Documentary film exchange


From 2020 onwards, the Doc.World festivals will team up for an annual documentary film exchange. One film from each festival's official selection will be screened at the other festivals.

A look at Doc.Berlin's 2019 edition


We are pleased to announce that Doc.Berlin had its successful first run in what will hopefully become a long and rewarding tradition. Check out some behind the scenes photos below:

Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival 2019


The Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival Ghent kicked off its 11th edition with a full house for the premiere of 'Doel' by Frederik Sǿlberg, a Danish documentary on the Belgian ghost town Doel. Special guests of the 2019 edition also included Rob Maas, Lander Haverals, Annick Timmermans and Bénédicte Liénard who all introduced their work during the festival.. Check out some photos below:




JULY 16, 2021

Line-up to be announced.

JULY 17, 2021

Line-up to be announced.



Submit on Film Freeway - Doc.Boston

We accept short and feature documentary films up to 120 minutes. Click here to submit your film.


All selected filmmakers will receive The Tarkovski Grant, a film festival submission fee waiver package with an average value of about $250. This not only saves you a lot of money, but it also recognizes your work as something to watch for during the selection procedure, making a selection with another partner film festival more likely - but of course, never guaranteed. The Tarkovski Grant supports hundreds of filmmakers each year in their challenging journeys as independent filmmakers, by promoting existing films, no matter the genre, style or length. The Tarkovski Grant is supported by film festivals from all over the world. Find out more here:

All selected films are also automatically in the running for Producer's Night. Producer's Night is an opportunity for independent filmmakers to have their work screened to a private group of elite Hollywood producers. For many directors, it could mean their ticket to the mainstream. The exclusive screening presented by Cinematory, Tarkovski, and Hollywood producer Bhavani Rao, member of the PGA, will show the best of independent cinema from the past year's film festivals at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in West Hollywood. The only way to be considered for this by being selected at one of the partner film festivals. Doc.Boston Documentary Film Festival is a proud partner film festival of Producer's Night. More information:

In an added effort to support new and emerging filmmakers, Doc.Boston will offer a free year of access to Videomaker's digital magazine to all filmmakers submitting their work to the 2021 edition. Videomaker Magazine is dedicated to video production, features tips and tricks for shooting and editing, buyer's guides for equipment, and editorial content on the industry of film. More information:


Each edition, the festival will also give out awards in the following categories: 

Best Feature Documentary Film 
Best Short Documentary Film 
Best US Documentary Film 
Best Experimental Documentary Film 
Best Extreme Short Documentary Film


The Doc.Boston Documentary Film Festival accepts documentaries in all forms. All non-English language films must be subtitled in English. Entry does not guarantee acceptance into the festival. Submissions WILL NOT be returned. We also accept submissions that have premiered elsewhere and that may have distribution agreements already in place. Rough cuts and incomplete projects are not accepted. Multiple entries are allowed, however a separate entry form must be submitted for each. The festival has the capability to screen MP4 & MOV.


EXHIBITION & SCREENING Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of the Doc.Boston Documentary Film Festival. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Doc.Boston Documentary Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Doc.Boston Documentary Film Festival will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling. No film may be withdrawn from the festival program after its selection. If chosen as an official selection, Doc.Boston Documentary Film Festival is granted the permission to exhibit the film at the Doc.Boston Documentary Film Festival and all associated screenings. Location and timing of any screenings of the film shall be the sole decision of the organizers of the Doc.Boston Documentary Film Festival. Filmmakers will be solely responsible for all costs resulting from the submission of the film to the Festival including but not limited to postage or insurance of the film, and expenses of your staff or any representatives of the film. Producer will indemnify the organizers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.

Although every precaution will be taken to prevent loss or damage to materials while in the possession of the festival, The Doc.Boston Documentary
 Film Festival is not responsible should any materials be damaged while in transit to or from, or while in the possession of the festival.

The filmmaker holds the Doc.Boston Documentary
 Film Festival, its management, juries, subsidiaries, agents, sponsors, affiliates, and etc. harmless from any and all claims of liability resulting from entry. The filmmaker certifies to have full rights. Producer will indemnify the organisers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.

The festival does not offer screening fees for its films. By submitting through FilmFreeway you are agreeing to NOT request a screening fee as a requirement for your film's participation in the festival, should your film get selected for the program.

Since the festival only requires a nominal entry fee, we will NOT accept requests for other entry fee waivers.

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Submit to our partner festivals:



Doc.Boston's partners and sponsors:

Doc.World Logo
Doc.Berlin Logo
Doc.London Logo
Doc.Sydney Logo
Viewpoint Logo
The Bigger Screen Black Logo
Tarkovski Agency Black Logo
The Tarkovski Grant Black Logo
iFilmFestival Black Logo
Artyish Black Logo
Zuperbrandz Black Logo
Tree Plan Green Logo
Videomaker Logo
Producer's Night Black Logo


Screenings on July 16 + 17 2021 at Somerville Theatre:

55 Davis Square, Somerville, 

MA 02144, United States

Contact us:

Get FREE tickets


A project by: Cinematory, 113 North San Vicente Blvd, 2nd floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90211,

Communication: Tarkovski Agency,

Festival Directors:
Maarten Cornelis & Kris De Meester