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The American Documentary and Animation Film Festival (AmDocs) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity, operating under a fiscal sponsorship of Inquiring Systems Inc. (ISI).  Founder Teddy Grouya desired to create a forum to celebrate and promote documentary film - and the independent filmmakers around the world who bring knowledge and awareness through their stories about real people and issues.  Created in 2011, AmDocs takes place annually in Palm Springs, CA, just 90 minutes east of Hollywood and with a proven track record of viewing audiences that support independent film.


The first festival was held in April 2012, with Academy Award-winning director, screenwriter, and producer Oliver Stone being honored on Opening Night with the "Seeing The Bigger Picture Award" award, and the screening of his provocative documentary "Commandante."  In its inaugural year, AmDocs screened 80 international films in a single theatre. Since then, AmDocs has grown exponentially, with annual honorees and guests including 5-time Grammy winner Dionne Warwick, Oscar-nominated director Julie Cohen, actor and humanitarian George Takei, actor Peter Coyote, Oscar-nominated director and Grammy winner Peter Bogdanovich, director Joe Berlinger, actor Pierce Brosnan, Native Rights activist and Oscars legend Sacheen Littlefeather, actor Shia LaBeouf, actor and 7-time Emmy winner Ed Asner, LGBTQ activist Cleve Jones, and actor Jamie Redford, to name just a few.  The 2013 Festival was the first to feature animated film entries.  Since its inception, AmDocs has bestowed awards upon filmmakers who have significantly enhanced global understanding through their impactful films. These visionary filmmakers boast extensive experience in the industry and have often been trailblazers in their field. The prestigious "Seeing The Bigger Picture Award" from AmDocs epitomizes the essence of cinematic excellence and leadership on a global scale. 


AmDocs has been recognized internationally as an important venue for filmmakers, being named by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the five coolest documentary film festivals in the world and one of the Top 50 Film Festivals in the World Worth the Entry Fee for Filmmakers!  Since 2019, AmDocs has been consistently named one of the Top 100 Best Reviewed Film Festivals in the World by According to reviews from certified users, AmDocs ranks in the top 1% of more than 12,000 Film Festivals around the world. Typically, approximately 2,000 films are reviewed by the AmDocs team for screening consideration at our Fest each year, with submissions coming from across the U.S. and the world.


Recently, AmDocs initiated a new and unique film festival alliance - the North-South Doc Network, in which several important international film festivals provide access to films within each of the participating festivals programs, creating a formal circuit of festivals in which select films will screen.

In support of its commitment to further documentary film awareness and education, AmDocs carries out a variety of outreach activities, including the AmDocs Film Fund Pitch Competition.  American documentary filmmakers are eligible to participate in the Pitch Competition and submit proposals to compete for financing for new projects, as well as works currently in progress.  Film Funds such as this are rare in the U.S. and AmDocs is proud to be able to provide this support.  Past recipients included films that went on to be shortlisted for the Oscars as well as win television's Emmy.


AmDocs is made possible through the generosity of individuals, foundations and businesses that support it by making contributions, buying tickets and providing in-kind services and materials.  The Festival is grateful for this support.

To learn even more about AmDocs, please take a look at our FESTIVAL VENUE page, read about OUR TEAM and Advisory Board, and discover our COMMUNITY OUTREACH efforts. You may also find it worthwhile to VOLUNTEER for our festival or even participate in our Home Stay Host program where local area homeowners offer our visiting filmmakers a place to stay while their films screen at AmDocs.

For ticketing and pricing information, please view our TICKET INFO, and learn about our special deals and passes.

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