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AFI FEST 2020 FILM SUBMISSIONS

Submissions for AFI FEST 2020 are now closed.

FAQS

What are the deadlines and submission fees?

  • Early Deadline – February 3, 2020
    • Short Films – $40
      • Fiction (under 40 minutes)
      • Nonfiction (under 40 minutes)
    • Feature Films – $60
      • Fiction American and International (over 40 minutes)
      • Nonfiction American and International (over 40 minutes)
  • Official Deadline – April 10, 2020
    • Short Films – $50
      • Fiction (under 40 minutes)
      • Nonfiction (under 40 minutes)
    • Feature Films – $75
      • Fiction American and International (over 40 minutes)
      • Nonfiction American and International (over 40 minutes)
  • Final Deadline – June 5, 2020
    • Short Films – $70
      • Fiction (under 40 minutes)
      • Nonfiction (under 40 minutes)
    • Feature Films – $85
      • Fiction American and International (over 40 minutes)
      • Nonfiction American and International (over 40 minutes)

 

How do I submit my film to AFI FEST?
You may submit your film through filmfreeway.com. If you already have a FilmFreeway account, please go ahead and log in. If you do not, please register your project through the website and follow the instructions on the site.

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?
All 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 Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties.

For short films, there are no premiere requirements. Films can play in the Los Angeles area and appear online before the festival, and they are still eligible for consideration.

When is my film due?
Your film must be uploaded to FilmFreeway by 11:59 p.m. PST on the deadline date for which you are applying. Failure to upload your film by the proper deadline will result in paying the increased fee for the next deadline. For example, if you submit your film for the Early Deadline, you must upload your film by 11:59 p.m. PST on Saturday, September 17.

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 it cannot be guaranteed. The programming department can be reached at programming@afi.com.

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

Do you offer fee waivers?
We offer a limited amount of fee waivers each year for AFI Conservatory Fellows and AFI FEST alumni. If you are a member of one of these groups, you can write to programming@AFI.com to request a fee waiver before the final deadline. AFI Conservatory fellows, please include your full name, year of graduation and discipline. AFI FEST alumni, please include your previous film title, your role on the film and year that it was screened at AFI FEST. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any other entry fee waivers at this time.

Will I be notified when AFI FEST receives my film?
Due to the high volume of entries, we are unable to notify filmmakers when we receive their submission. You are able to log into your account at FilmFreeway.com and see if your film has been marked as received. Most submissions are updated within five days of receipt.

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 10, 2020 via email. Please keep us informed of any changes regarding your contact information by emailing programming@AFI.com.

Do you accept work-in-progress films?
Rough cuts and works-in-progress are eligible for entry if submitted by the deadlines and if the final cut will be available by September 17, 2020. However, please be aware that our programming department may not be able to re-screen your film if you send a final cut after submitting a rough cut. If submitting a rough cut or work-in-progress, please add a title card to your submission and specify what is incomplete (i.e. temp sound, needs color correction, etc.). Our programming staff is accustomed to viewing films that are missing minor elements. AFI FEST only screens completed films during the festival, and unfortunately does not have a venue for works-in-progress. To avoid confusion throughout the screening review process, we would prefer that you only send us ONE version of your film.

I submitted my film last year. Can I resubmit in 2020?
Previously submitted films will not be accepted, unless the film has undergone significant content changes (60% or more) and meets all other submission requirements. Permission to re-apply is required. If permission is granted, be sure to note on your application that you’ve previously submitted the film to AFI FEST. Please email programming@AFI.com.

My feature film has aired on television and/or is available on a digital viewing platform. Can I still submit to AFI FEST?
If your feature film has aired on television in the US, or available on a digital viewing platform, then that version is not eligible for AFI FEST. However, if you submit a significantly different version for consideration in the festival, it may be eligible. Films that have aired on television, but not within the U.S., are eligible. Short films are exempt from this rule.

My feature film will be available to purchase online prior to the festival. Can I still submit to AFI FEST?
If your feature film can be purchased online prior to the festival, either on a digital viewing platform or on DVD, then that version is not eligible for AFI FEST. However, if you submit a significantly different version for consideration, it may be eligible. Short films are exempt from this rule.

What if the programmers cannot get my film to play?
We will make every effort to stream the film that you submit. In the event that we are unable to view your film, we will contact you to request another copy using the primary contact information provided on your application. Please ensure that your online screener passwords are not reset until September 10, 2020.

How many films can I submit?
You can submit as many films as you’d like. You need to treat film entries individually and create a separate application for each. We do not offer reduced fees for multiple submissions. For example, if you submit three films, you must pay the submission fee for each film.

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

If you have any further questions, please contact programming@AFI.com.

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