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Virtual Festival - May 2-9, 2024 Ended 5/9 @ 9pm ET
Live Daddying Film Forum in Philadelphia - May 17-18

D3F ThemeDiana Lawrence
00:00 / 01:02

WHY does the D3F exist?

Our relationship with our father – in its presence or absence – is one of the most important relationships in our lives. Because a father's presence or absence most directly impacts kids, D3F offers them a creative outlet to freely express feelings about their relationships with their dads or dad figures and, likewise, we provide a complementary opportunity for dads. 


The D3F is the world’s first and only film festival focused exclusively on promoting the importance of positive dad/dad figure involvement for kids and families. Our mission is to:


  • Shine a spotlight on the importance of dads in their presence and their absence.

  • Provide opportunities for kids and fathers alike to reflect upon and express feelings about what daddying qualities are most important to them; what kind of dad a father wants to be, and what kind of dad a kid wants and needs.

  • Provide opportunities for emotional authenticity, creativity, and originality.

  • Portray a variety of family dynamics to explore and encourage constructive relationships.

  • Demonstrate film- and/or video-making skills and production values.











D3F Founder Allan Shedlin visits Philadelphia High School for the Creative & Performing Arts (CAPA)

10th-grade Documentary Film class on 2/14/24 to discuss using film to convey the importance of

Dads/Dad figures, in their presence and their absence.


Our D3F 2023 program broadened the spotlight to include dads in its call-for-entries as more men are recognizing the critical role they can play in their kids’ lives and are embracing the opportunity to do so as they move from being perceived as an understudy to being accepted as a parenting co-star. After all, when men are positively involved, all measures of social well-being improve for kids, fathers, families, and communities. And even though the benefits to kids and youth of positive dad involvement are increasingly known and supported by research, including dads in the program will help demonstrate some of the lesser-recognized benefits dads get from being involved in their children’s lives.


WHEN/WHERE is the 2024 D3F?

D3F’s call for submissions began Monday, January 1, 2024. Entry deadline has passed and submissions are now closed for 2024.


The 2024 virtual D3F festival week was May 2-9, 2024. Award finalists will participate in a moderated discussion before the winners are announced at an online Atticus Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 11. The Atticus Awards ceremony livestream video and discussions will be recorded and made available to other groups to encourage greater father involvement.







Poster Designed by Michael Duggan


The 2024 Daddying Film Forum will be held Friday, May 17, 2024, LIVE at Philadelphia, PA's Parkway Central Free Library from 4-8 pm, and Saturday, May 18, at Philadelphia's iconic Mummers Museum, from 10 am-3 pm! Tickets for the virtual Film Fest (ended 5/9/24 @ 9pm ET) and live Forum events are FREE and available through Eventive.


The world premiere of the Forum took place in New Mexico in June 2023 at The Hiland Theater in Albuquerque and at The Dance Barns in Santa Fe


D3F selected New Mexico as the Forum’s premiere site for several reasons:


  • To spotlight the state’s vibrant and growing film industry

  • A desire to help bolster New Mexico’s future film workforce through student internships and by recruiting student filmmakers and festival judges

  • D3F Director Allan Shedlin’s long history of work with dads and youth in New Mexico, including being the driving force that brought one of the Obama White House’s nine “Fatherhood Forums” to the state in 2010, establishing the New Mexico Alliance for Fathers & Families, and co-founding Santa Fe-based REEL Fathers in 2007, a nonprofit for which he still serves as president emeritus; and

  • Shedlin’s oldest daughter and her husband recently retired after 25 years as teachers in the Albuquerque Public Schools.

Stay tuned for more D3F and Forum details!


WHO May Submit a Film?

Students (1st grade through college undergraduates), dads/dad figures, and other independent filmmakers are eligible to submit films/videos that relate in some way to one or more of D3F's themes:


  1. A letter to my father/A letter to my child(ren)

  2. The most joyful/fun thing I ever did or wish I could do with my father and/or child(ren)

  3. If I could make one wish come true for my dad and/or child(ren) it would be...

  4. My Daddy dream –  the most positive relationship I could imagine having with my dad/child

  5. Men Caring – celebrating the many other faces of daddying, including men who play nurturing fatherly roles, inspire, and make a positive impact in the lives of children and youth. Examples include foster dads, adoptive dads, granddads, older siblings, coaches, mentors, inspirational philanthropists/celebrities, "big brothers," and other daddying role models. The D3F Men Caring Award is sponsored by Circle of Friends member Equimundo.


Students and dads may submit short films/videos of 1 to 10 minutes long, including music videos and comedic films. Adult (i.e., graduates and other non-students) independent filmmakers may submit films longer than 10 minutes, including feature-length films.


All filmmakers must submit films or videos in MP4 or MOV format by uploading to D3F's FilmFreeway page (beginning in January 2024) Students (under 18) must have a parent's permission to register and upload films via FilmFreeway.

HOW are winners recognized?

D3F presents awards in the following voting categories with up to five finalists selected in each:

  1. 1st through 5th grade (elementary school)

  2. 6th through 8th (middle school)

  3. 9th through 12th (high school)

  4. College/university (undergraduate)

  5. Best Feature Film (non-student indie filmmakers)

  6. Best Short Film (indie filmmakers)

  7. NEW IN 2024: Best Animated Film

  8. NEW IN 2024: Best Music Video

  9. Roy R. Neuberger Prize for Best Dad-created Film; and

  10. NEW IN 2024: Best Dad-Figure Film, aka The D3F Men Caring Award for best film celebrating the many other faces of daddying, including men who play nurturing, fatherly roles and make a positive impact in the lives of children and youth.

All D3F student finalists earn a $250 award for use toward an activity or project to enjoy with their dad/dad figure, and student winners earn an additional $250. All D3F winners, including non-student, indie filmmakers, earn an “Atticus,” a statuette symbolizing Atticus Finch from the 1962 film based on Harper Lee’s book To Kill a Mockingbird. Finch, an iconic single dad, represents several ideal daddying qualities. Student Atticus winners also earn an additional scholarship to advance their studies or create a project encouraging positive dad involvement.

The Roy R. Neuberger Prize and Men Caring Award winners both earn $500 to use toward an activity or project with their child(ren). The inaugural Roy R. Neuberger Prize in 2023 went to family musician and kids' book author Justin Roberts for "Everybody Get on Board," one of the songs from his 2022 Grammy-nominated album Space Cadet.





Allan presents Justin Roberts with inaugural Roy R. Neuberger Prize at Wolf Trap's Children's Theater in the Woods, 7/26/23

Public, online votes during the virtual film festival help to select Atticus Award winners. For more information about the D3F and how to get involved as a participating filmmaker, potential juror, sponsor, national or local Advisory Team member, or other collaborator, please CONTACT US!

Lights! Camera! Daddying!

Inaugural Roy N-Justin post_Core Team and Jess Huerta_6-25-23.jpeg
Allan Shedlin presents Justin Roberts with the inaugural Roy R. Neuberger Prize  after his performance at Wolf Trap's Children's Theater in the Woods, 7/26/23
Second Day-Venue Added_4-1-24.jpg
CoF visit and presentation to 10th graders_CAPA-Philly_2-14-24.jpg
IMG_2379_b and w slice_1500x500 for FFwy_edited_edited.jpg
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