NBPT Docu Fest

Film Festival

2023 Festival dates
September 15-17th
Our 19th year

We are the Filmmakers Festival

Newburyport Documentary Film Festival is pleased to partner with Newburyport Pride for a special one-time screening of the landmark 2012 documentary HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE at 7 p.m. Monday, June 5 at the Screening Room, 82 State St., Newburyport.

Director David France was a journalist on the front lines of the AIDS crisis during the 1980s and ‘90s. His film, which was nominated for an Academy Award and has a 98 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, documents the incredible work of the protest group ACT UP, which demanded better treatment and medical research for people living with AIDS.

The success of ACT UP has inspired other social protest movements of recent times, including #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, and March for Our Lives and Moms Demand Action, the coalitions in support of gun control. In his book on the essential documentaries, “Well Documented,” author Ian Haydn Smith writes that HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE captures “an extraordinary victory for a group that had little money, faced a seemingly insurmountable opposition and were racing against time.” It’s a powerful reminder for our own troubled times, and we are proud to present it.

Joining us for the Q&A after the screening will be Anne Marie Silvia who has worked in public health and HIV/STD prevention and care for over 45 years. She has served as executive director of both the AIDS Project RI and the Boston AIDS Consortium and as the HIV/Sexuality Specialist at the Rhode Island Department of Education, among many other distinguished posts.

You’re invited to The Watch Club

The comedian W. Kamau Bell knows how to defuse a conflict. As the host of CNN’s Emmy Award-winning UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA since 2016, he has taken viewers inside a dizzying array of social circles in America – including the Ku Klux Klan. As the director of the documentary miniseries WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT COSBY, he explored the sexual assault cases that ruined his own lifelong fandom for the legendary comedian.

Now Bell brings us 1000% ME: GROWING UP MIXED, an adorable and affecting look at the children of mixed-race adults – including his own. How do these kids navigate issues of identity in a volatile world that can ask them to pick a side? Bell’s own playfulness helps get at the heart of what it means to raise multiracial children.  

Watch 1000% ME on Max (the new service replacing HBO Max), then join us at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 7 for a live Q&A with filmmaker W. Kamau Bell

The Watch Club Archives

Our 2023 Film Festival Submissions are open

What are filmmakers are saying?

Bradley Berman

Newburyport is a wonderful festival! The town is full of smart, engaged people who love documentaries. The experiences I had at the 2022 festival are exactly why I wanted to make films--to share non-fiction stories with audiences who care and to meet other doc filmmakers.  It's a gem!

Yunhong Pu

That was a wonderful experience! As a first-time filmmaker, I felt hugely supported and welcomed. They treat the filmmakers so well and the town is very lovely and inviting! Thank you!

Daniel Maurer

It was a very good experience for me having my movie "And outside life goes on" at this very well organized and very nice festival! A very human & enthusiastic ambience. Thanks again for the special mention & all the best for the future!

Michele Noble

Newburyport is a wonderful experience for the filmmaker. A true 'filmmaker's festival'. The Festival welcomes you with very engaged audiences, dynamic programing, evening parties designed for networking. Your film is presented in an excellent way with a robust Q&A. Wonderful. Highly recommend.

Volunteers Wanted

The Newburyport Documentary Film Festival is seeking volunteers for our festival events! If you're passionate about documentary filmmaking and want to be a part of an inspiring community event, we'd love to have you join us!

Volunteer Sign-up
2022 Award recipients located here
Check out more Filmmaker Interviews here.

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This program is supported in part by grants from the local cultural councils of Amesbury, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, and Salisbury, local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Enjoy World Caliber Films in Scenic Newburyport

Every September we invite you to share in the NDF experience. Our charming seaport village is forty minutes north of Boston.

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