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First and Only Film Festival Focused Exclusively on Importance of Positive Dad Involvement 

Encourages Students & Dads Worldwide to Submit Short Films and Videos by April 1


CHEVY CHASE, MD – Monday, January 16, 2023 – The DADvocacy Consulting Group’s (DCG) Daddy Appleseed Fund announced today its official call for entries for the 2nd Annual Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F), the world’s first and only film festival focused exclusively on promoting the importance of positive dad involvement for kids and families.


The D3F virtual film festival takes place June 4-11, winners will be announced on Sunday, June 11, and the in-person Daddying Film Forum will be June 24-25 in New Mexico (site/s TBD). Regular deadline for submissions is Saturday, April 1, 2023 (early-bird is March 1).


“We’re excited to launch the D3F 2023 call for entries as a first sequel to last year’s inaugural Daddying Film Festival, where we welcomed entries from student and indie filmmakers from 17 countries,” said Allan Shedlin, founder of the DADvocacy Consulting Group and D3F Director. “During my more than 25 years of qualitative research on daddying with fathers, children, and youth from 20 countries, a soulful sadness – a daddy yearning – was expressed to me by far too many. It is an expressed sadness that is as painful as it is often preventable. By expanding our D3F call for entries and award categories this year to specifically include dads, we want to give even more filmmakers the opportunity to spotlight their important daddying concerns, ideas, and wishes in order to address them and move them to center stage.”


Who Can Submit a Video for D3F Consideration and How?

Students (1st grade through college undergraduates), dads/dad figures, and other adult, non-student filmmakers are eligible to submit films/videos that relate in some way to one of the three D3F themes:


  • A letter to my father/A letter to my daughter/son

  • The most joyful/fun thing I ever did or wish I could do with my father and/or daughter/son; or

  • If I could make one wish come true for my dad and/or son/daughter it would be...


Students and dads may submit short films/videos of 1 to 7 minutes long. Adult, non-student independent filmmakers may also submit longer films and features.


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


What is the D3F?

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


  • Shine a spotlight on the importance of dads in their presence and in 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 in order to explore and encourage constructive relationships.

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


The 2023 D3F program broadens 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.


D3F Evaluation and Awards

This year, D3F will present awards in seven (7) different voting categories, and up to five (5) finalists will be selected in each:

  1. 1st through 4th grade (elementary school)

  2. 5th 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 (students, dads, and other indie filmmakers)

  7. Best Film submitted by Dad/Dad Figure

To select D3F finalists, submissions will be narrowed by student and adult preliminary jurors from around the U.S., who have been trained in evaluating films by KIDS FIRST! and DADvocacy Consulting Group staff. As in 2022, our student jurors will range from fourth grade through high school (the same grade levels represented in student film/video submissions they evaluate). The criteria jurors will use to evaluate each film/video submission reflect D3F 's mission. All winners will be selected by public, online vote during Festival week (June 4-11), and announced during a virtual awards ceremony, Sunday, June 11. 


All D3F student finalists earn a $250 award for use toward an activity or project to enjoy with their dad/dad figure. All D3F winners, including dads and other 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.

Starting in 2023, the best film submission by a dad/dad figure earns a special award, the Roy R. Neuberger Prize, and $500 to use toward an activity or project with their child(ren).


In addition to launching a call for entries, D3F is recruiting additional jurors, event sponsors, partners, and celebrity judges and presenters.


What is “Daddying?”
The word “daddying,” coined by Allan Shedlin in 1994, is what happens when fatherhood and nurturing converge in service to a father’s child. It is a process requiring active involvement and a lifelong commitment to a child’s physical, emotional, social, intellectual, creative, and moral/spiritual well-being.


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The DADvocacy Consulting Group (DCG) acknowledges the vital roles of fathers and mothers alike. Founded in 2017 by Allan Shedlin, DCG’s mission is to enable every father to become the dad he wants to be – for the good of his children and/or grandchildren, his family, his community, and himself. DCG brings together a team of DADvocates from diverse backgrounds – each with more than 20 years experience in the fatherhood field. Shedlin founded the Daddy Appleseed Fund (DAF) and Daddy Wishes Fund (DWF) in 2018 and launched the Daddying blog in February 2020 to amplify the voices of a broad diversity of parents and colleagues and to raise awareness and promote the benefits of lifelong dad involvement. With partner KIDS FIRST!, DCG and the DAF created the first Daddying Film Festival in 2022.


The Daddy Appleseed Fund (DAF) exists to support organizations that use creative means to encourage positive involvement by fathers and father-figures with their children. Created in 2018 as a donor-advised fund at the Greater Washington Community Foundation (GWCF), the DAF is tax-exempt and can receive donations through GWCF. Given Shedlin’s long history of hands-on experience working with children, fathers, and families, the DAF is well aware of the need to support organizations whose idealism, passion, commitment, creativity, and gumption exceed their limited resources. Thus, the DAF seeks out smaller organizations in which its funds will have the greatest impact. The DAF has often approached such organizations with ideas for creating unusual methodologies and programs. It is partial to the arts and to under-served, diverse populations.

For more information or to arrange an interview with D3F Director Allan Shedlin,

CONTACT D3F Comms Director Scott Beller: scott [at] daddywishesfund [dot] com

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