Call for Applications: Flaherty Festival & Doc’s Kingdom Festival

CalArts School of Film/Video will support 2 scholarships for fellowships to the FLAHERTY FESTIVAL (June, 2020) and 2 scholarships to DOC’S KINGDOM FESTIVAL (September, 2020)

THE FLAHERTY SEMINAR/FESTIVAL: a 1-week documentary film seminar/festival held at Colgate University, Hamilton NY, June 13-19, 2020

DOC’S KINGDOM: a 1-week documentary film festival held in Arcos de Valdevez, Portugal, during the first week of September, 2020.

Both are open to School of Film/Video MFAs and BFAs (see ELIGIBILITY below)


See information on both festivals, their respective fellowship programs, and link to submission form below.

1. Info on 2020 Flaherty Seminar

Flaherty Seminar 2020 Programmer: JANAINA OLVEIRA

The FLAHERTY FILM SEMINAR brings together 170 filmmakers, artists, curators, scholars, students, librarians, and film enthusiasts to celebrate the power of the moving image. Participants gather for a communal living experience that includes meals, social hours, special events, and at least three screening sessions daily followed by discussion. Work presented at the Seminar includes documentary, experimental, narrative, and new media works.

For more on the Flaherty Seminar/festival or guest curator Janaina Olveira:

THE FLAHERTY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM offers fellows an extra day on campus before the Seminar begins to meet with the Seminar programmer and Flaherty board members, participate in two master classes, and watch and discuss each other’s films, by way of an informal fellows screening program.

Flaherty Fellows Costs, Travel & Lodging

The School of Film/Video will cover travel expenses up to $600 each for two students from Los Angeles to the Flaherty as well as Seminar fees. CalArts students, like all Seminar participants, will stay in lodging arranged by the Flaherty Seminar at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY, a 1-hour drive from Syracuse, NY, and a 4-hour drive from New York City.

2. Info on 2020 Doc’s Kingdom International Seminar on Documentary Film

DOC’S KINGDOM takes place in Arcos de Valdevez, Portugal, during the first week of September. The format of Doc’s Kingdom is very similar to the Flaherty Seminar. Doc’s Kingdom gathers an international community of 100 participants for an immersive program of screenings and discussions in the presence of 10 featured filmmakers during this weeklong event.  Note that info on the 2020 festival, including info on the guest curator, is not yet online as of early February.

For more info on Doc’s Kingdom:

Doc’s Kingdom Fellows Costs, Travel & Lodging

The School of Film/Video will contribute $800 as a travel stipend to the festival for each student. Festival fees and lodging are supported by the Doc’s Kingdom Festival. Students will be expected to pay any additional travel or other voluntary expenses not directly part of the festival. CalArts students, like all Seminar participants, will stay in lodging arranged by Doc’s Kingdom in Arcos de Valdevez, Portugal.

3. Application & Submission Process

To apply for one of the CalArts Flaherty or Doc’s Kingdom Scholarships, you will be asked to submit:

—A one-page essay (300-500 words) that includes 1) a description of your current work, and 2) why you are interested in attending one of these documentary festivals.  

—a 5 minute work sample posted on vimeo (can be more than one project, or an excerpt, but 5 min total).


Students from all four Film/Video programs, BFAs and MFAs who will have been enrolled for a minimum of one year prior to June 2020 are eligible to apply. The Flaherty and Doc’s Kingdom seminars/festivals are about documentary cinema, though this is viewed broadly and can include essay, hybrids of fiction and documentary, and experimental or formal work that intersect with this year’s Seminar themes. Your work does not need to be restricted to documentary to apply, however, you should be able to demonstrate interest and engagement with questions provoked by documentary and related forms of cinematic inquiry in your essay. Applicants must be reliable and academically productive. Students who have been selected for previous CalArts Flaherty or Doc’s Kingdom fellowships are not eligible.

If you have questions, please email Chris Hill (