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Call for Entries for AFI FEST is now open and filmmakers are invited to Filmmakers invited to submit fiction, documentary and animated short films through Film Freeway.

AFI FEST is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival for the Live Action, Animated and Documentary Short Film categories for the annual Academy Awards®. AFI FEST is also a qualifying festival for consideration for the British Short Film categories of both the BAFTA Film Awards and the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA).

Entries for the AFI FEST 2024 Short Film Competition program open today, January 17, 2024. Short films that have been completed after October 1, 2023, are eligible for submission to AFI FEST 2024. Filmmakers are invited to submit fiction, documentary and animated short films.

What are the deadlines and submission fees for the shorts?

  • Early Deadline – March 1, 2024
    • Short Films – $40
      • Fiction (under 40 minutes)
      • Nonfiction (under 40 minutes)
  •  Official Deadline – April 12, 2024
    • Short Films – $50
      • Fiction (under 40 minutes)
      • Nonfiction (under 40 minutes)
  •  Final Deadline – May 31, 2024
    • Short Films – $70
      • Fiction (under 40 minutes)
      • Nonfiction (under 40 minutes)


Are you taking submissions for feature length films?
Filmmakers are invited to submit fiction, documentary and animated short films (all under 40 minues) only. Feature length films invited to screen at AFI FEST 2024 will be curated by our programming team.

How do I submit my short film to AFI FEST?
AFI FEST will only open a call for shorts submissions (under 40 Minutes) through FilmFreeway. You can review our guidelines and submit your short film here:

How do you distinguish shorts from features?
Shorts are 40 minutes or less. Features are 41 minutes or longer.

What is AFI FEST’s premiere status requirement for submitted shorts?
As with most festivals, short films that have not screened previously in the region will be given priority consideration. However, there are no geographic premiere requirement. Short films are eligible to apply regardless of television broadcast history and online availability.

Is there a premiere status requirement for feature length films selected to play at AFI FEST?
Unless otherwise specified, all solicited feature length films must be Los Angeles premieres. Films are ineligible for consideration if they have screened or are planning to screen in the Greater Los Angeles area prior to AFI FEST – this includes the counties of Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura.

Is there a cut-off for how old my film can be in order to be eligible for consideration?
Yes. All films must have been completed on or after October 1, 2023, to be eligible for consideration for AFI FEST 2024.

When is my film due?
Your film must be uploaded to FilmFreeway by 11:59 p.m. PT on the deadline date for which you are applying. Failure to upload your film by the deadline will result in an increased fee. For example, if you submit your film for the Early Deadline, you must upload your film by 11:59 p.m. PT on Friday, March 1.

Can I submit an updated version of my film after I’ve already submitted to AFI FEST?
We request that you send only one version of your film for consideration. However, if you feel strongly that a newer version of your film warrants a second look, you may contact the programming department to discuss possible arrangements. Please do not send another version of your film without contacting the programming department. If permission is granted, we will do our best to ensure that we view the new version of your film, though this cannot be guaranteed. The programming department can be reached at

Can I get a refund?
The submission fee is non-refundable.

Do you offer fee waivers and how do I request one?
We offer a limited number of fee waivers each year for AFI Conservatory Fellows or Alumni and AFI Festivals Alumni. If this applies to you, please write to to request a fee waiver prior to the final deadline. AFI Conservatory Fellows and Alumni: please include your full name, year of graduation and discipline. AFI Festivals Alumni: please include the festival you participated in (AFI FEST or AFI DOCS), your previous film title, your role in the production and year that it was screened at the festival. We are unable to offer any other entry fee waivers at this time.

Will I be notified when AFI FEST receives my film?
You will receive an automated confirmation email from FilmFreeway after your submission is registered in the system, confirming that your submission was processed successfully and is now under consideration. You may also log into your account at to verify that your film has been received. Most submissions are updated within five (5) days of receipt.

Which screening formats does AFI FEST accept?
We welcome online submissions via the FilmFreeway secure online screener system only. The system will provide information as to how to upload your screener directly using the platform, or with a link to a compatible external platform (such as YouTube or Vimeo).

If my film is in a language other than English, do you require subtitles?
Yes, we require either subtitles or dubbing on any film that is in a language other than English. Subtitles are preferred.

When will I know if my film has been invited to screen at AFI FEST?
All filmmakers will be notified of their status by September 25, 2024, via email. Please keep us informed of any changes regarding your contact information by emailing

Do you accept work-in-progress films?
Rough cuts and works-in-progress are eligible for entry if submitted prior to the final deadline and if the final cut will be available by May 31, 2024. However, please be aware that, if we have already reviewed the submission, we may not be able to re-screen your film. If submitting a rough cut or work-in-progress, please add a title card to your submission and specify which elements are incomplete (i.e. temp sound, needs color correction, etc.). Our programming staff is accustomed to viewing works-in-progress, however AFI FEST only screens completed films. To avoid confusion throughout the screening and review process, we would prefer that you only send us one version of your film.

I submitted my film last year. Can I re-submit this year?
Previously submitted films are not eligible for consideration unless the film has undergone significant content changes (constituting 60% or more) and meets all other submission requirements. Permission to re-apply is required. Please email If permission is granted, be sure to note this in your submission application.

What if the programmers cannot get my film to play?
We will make every effort to view your submission. If we are unable to due to technical complications, we will notify you and request a new link using the primary contact information provided on your application. Please ensure that we have your correct contact information and that your secure online screener passwords are not reset prior to September 1, 2024.

How many films can I submit?
If you have multiple films that you would like to submit that meet all submission requirements, you are welcome to submit as many films as you would like. We will require a separate application and submission fee for each and do not offer reduced fees for multiple submissions.

Can you provide feedback on my film?
Unfortunately, due to the high volume of film submissions, AFI FEST is unable to provide feedback on your submission.

If you have further questions, please contact