Films must follow a specific set of rules in order to qualify for Dogme 95 status.
- All filming must be done on-location. Props and sets are not allowed; if a particular prop is necessary for the story, the location chosen must come equipped with this prop.
- The sound must not be produced separately from the images, and vice versa. Only diegetic music (i.e. music that exists within the scene that the characters can also hear) is permitted.
- The camera must be hand-held and not mounted.
- The film must be in colour, and special lighting is not permitted, save for a single lamp attached to the camera if absolutely necessary.
- Optical work and filters cannot be used.
- The film cannot contain any superficial action (such as murders or use of weapons).
- The film must take place "here and now".
- The film must not be a B-Movie.
- The film format must be Academy 35 mm.
- The director must be uncredited.
So far, fewer than 100 films have been identified as true Dogme 95 films, as the strict rules and guidelines are difficult to meet.
Independent directors have begun to stray from the traditional Dogme 95 formula, creating their own, more lenient rules for creating an artistic independent film. Originally, the last point would've been the biggest stumbling block as it virtually guarantees always needing a day job, but with the quality and accessibility of digital video, 35mm has become something of an indulgence for indie filmmakers.
Dogme '95 films:
- Cabin Fever aka Når nettene blir lange (not to be confused with the 2002 horror movie of the same name)
- The Celebration aka Festen
- The Idiots
- Italian For Beginners
- Joy Ride aka Usfahrt (not to be confused with the 2001 horror movie or the 2023 comedy of the same name)
- Julien Donkey-Boy
- The King Is Alive
- Lovers 1999
- Mifunes Last Song
- Open Hearts
- Reunion aka American Reunion
- Truly Human aka Et Rigtigt Menneske