Submission FAQ

Your LA Film Festival submission questions—answered.

View complete LA Film Festival Submission Guidelines.

When does the LA Film Festival take place?

The 2017 LA Film Festival will take place June 14-22, 2017.

When is my film due?

Your film must be postmarked by the Early Bird Deadline on October 28, 2016; Regular Deadline on November 18, 2016; or the Late Deadline on January 6, 2017.

Update: Submissions will be accepted if postmarked by the Extended Late Deadline on February 3, 2017.

Film Independent Members may submit as late as February 10, 2017. Submission fees are waived for Film Independent Filmmaker Pro Members and discounted for general Film Independent Members.

2017 LA Film Festival submissions are now closed.

When will I know if my film has been invited to the LA Film Festival?

All filmmakers will be notified by the end of April 2016. Please make sure the email address on your application will be operational and the best way to reach you at that time.

What if my film gets accepted at another festival that takes place before the LA Film Festival?

Let us know! If you receive an invitation to another film festival, reach out to us via email with the subject heading “EARLY DECISION.” Since we require world premieres for most feature-length films, we are more than willing to consider your film for an early acceptance, so you can make an informed decision about which festival will best serve your film.

What kind of films does the LA Film Festival screen?

In line with Film Independent’s mission, the LA Film Festival exhibits work from emerging independent storytellers with a distinct perspective, unique voice, and innovative approach. Our programming reflects a variety of tastes and backgrounds; from comedy to horror, experimental to animation, character-driven documentaries to hard-hitting exposes. Filmmakers and stories that reflect a multiplicity of racial, ethnic, class and geographic backgrounds and gender identifications inspire us.

How many times do films screen, if selected?

LA Film Festival screenings are one-night only events with cast, crew and special guests in attendance. These special events are not to be missed and create much excitement and anticipation for filmmakers and audiences alike. For films that are in high demand and sell out quickly, we will make our best efforts to add a second screening.

Which section is my film eligible for?

U.S. Fiction Competition
Feature-length, fiction films exploring the breadth of American experiences across race, gender, sexuality, class, geography and national identity. World premiere requirement.

Documentary Competition
Feature-length documentaries exploring compelling, character-driven stories from the U.S. and around the world. World premiere requirement.

World Fiction Competition
Feature-length, fiction films from around the world, especially curated for LA audiences. U.S. premiere requirement.

Nightfall Competition
From the bizarre to the horrifying, these are feature-length films best watched after dark. U.S. premiere requirement.

Short Films
Emerging and established stories in short film form. No premiere requirement.

Emerging digital storytelling online. No premiere requirement.

What constitutes LA Film Festival’s premiere status requirement?

Feature films must be world premieres to be considered for the U.S. Fiction and U.S. Documentary competitions. For the World Fiction, World Documentary and Nightfall competitions, films must be at least a U.S. premiere. Feature films that have screened publicly or online are not eligible. Short films and episodic content have no premiere requirement.

What films are ineligible for the LA Film Festival?

Feature films (fiction and documentary) that have publicly screened in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties are completely ineligible. Feature films completed prior to May 2016 are also ineligible.

Do you accept work-in-progress films?

We welcome rough cuts and works-in-progress in consideration for the Festival. In the “overview” field of your Film Freeway application, note that your submission is a rough cut and specify what is missing (e.g. temp sound, needs color correction, ADR pickups, further editing, etc.) While sound mixing is not necessary, please be sure your film is audible. We are only able to evaluate one version of each film.

How many films can I submit?

You can submit as many films as you’d like. You only need to create one Film Freeway account and upon doing so, you may submit individual applications for multiple films. We do not offer reduced fees for multiple submissions. For example, if you submit three films, you must pay the submission fee for three films.

What screening formats does LA Film Festival accept for submissions?

We prefer digital screeners to be submitted online. Submitting screeners digitally significantly facilitates our programming team’s evaluation process. If necessary, we will accept DVDs. Three (3) DVD copies are required, as well as a completed online submission form via Film Freeway. DVD screeners can be mailed to the LA Film Festival office:

Attn: Programming [Insert Film Freeway ID Number]
Los Angeles Film Festival, 9911 W. Pico Blvd, 11th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90035

What if the programmers cannot get my submitted film to play?

We will make every effort to play your film but it is your responsibility to ensure your link is working and the film plays all the way through and is audible.

View complete Submission Guidelines

If you have any further questions, please contact [email protected].