Submission Guidelines

LA Film Festival official submission guidelines and eligibility requirements

2018 LA Film Festival: September 20-28

Submission Deadlines

Early Deadline: February 12, 2018
Regular Deadline: April 9, 2018
Late Deadline: May 21, 2018
Exclusive Late Deadline: June 1, 2018 — Film Independent Members only

The final submission deadline for the 2018 LA Film Festival has passed.
Film Independent Members may submit through June 1. To join or learn more about Membership, call 323 556 9322 or email us at [email protected].

For other late submission inquiries, please email [email protected].

Submission fees are waived for Film Independent Filmmaker Pro Members. Submissions are discounted for general Film Independent Members ($10 off feature length films, $5 off short films). More information below.

Eligibility Requirements

Please thoroughly review the premiere requirements below. Refunds will not be made for filmmakers who submit films that are ineligible.

  • All feature and short films must have been completed on or after January 1, 2017. If production took place prior to that date but your film was not completed until 2017, the project is still eligible for submission.
  • Feature films must be an LA premiere. Films that are at least a California premiere are eligible for the US Fiction, Documentary, LA Muse, World Fiction, and Nightfall competitions.
  • Any feature films that have had public or festival screenings in Southern California – including Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties – and feature films that have had commercial theatrical, television, or internet play in the US are ineligible.
  • There is no premiere requirement for short films, music videos and episodic content.
  • Feature films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English for Festival consideration and presentation.
  • Please observe the running time frames for your submission:
    • Feature-length Fiction and Documentary Films (more than 51 minutes)
    • Short films (less than 26 minutes)
    • Mid-length short films (between 26 and 50 minutes)
    • High school shorts (less than 20 minutes)
    • Web Series (less than 12 minutes)
  • Films that have been submitted for consideration in previous years are eligible for re-submission only if significant work has been done on the film.
  • For submission purposes, films may be works-in-progress, with temporary color, soundtracks, score or digital outputs.
  • Filmmakers must deliver final format (as indicated in the “Screening Requirements” section below) for Festival screenings. No exceptions will be permitted.
  • High school shorts must be works shot, directed and produced by high school or secondary (pre-college) students. Adult supervision must be limited to an advisory capacity.

Award Qualification

Selection to the LA Film Festival qualifies films for prestigious award nominations, including:

  • Film Independent Spirit Awards (for feature-length films)
  • Cinema Eye Honors for Non-Fiction Filmmaking (documentary films)
  • Academy Awards® in the Narrative Short, Animated Short and Documentary Short Film categories (short films)

Films in the Festival will be programmed within one of the various categories. In competitive categories, winners are selected by competition-specific juries.

Submission Requirements

  • An online submission form completed accurately and in its entirety, submitted digitally via Withoutabox
  • An online screener submitted digitally
  • Submission fee payment
  • Do not submit a press kit. We will request press kits only once a film has been accepted.

You may submit more than one film, but each film must be accompanied by its own completed submission form and submission fee.

Film Independent Members

Submission Fee Discount and Exclusive Deadline

  • To be eligible for the discounted Film Independent Member submission rate, and also for the exclusive deadline, you must be a current Film Independent Member in good standing.
  • You must include your Member number with your submission. If you submit your film(s) at the Film Independent Membership rate and do not include your Film Independent Member number, your submission(s) will not be considered. Your Member number is located on the back of your Film Independent Membership card.
  • For more information on Film Independent Member benefits, please visit

Screening Requirements

If your film or music video is selected for exhibition, please be advised that the Festival will require:

  • For feature-length films, shorts, music videos and episodic series: DCP (must be DCI compliant)
  • For high school shorts: Quicktime files (Native Resolution, using Pro-Res 422 Codec) on DVD data disc or hard drive, or DCP (must be DCI compliant).
  • Digital press kits with photo stills (color and black/white)
  • Headshots of director(s)
  • One sentence synopsis of film; 150 word synopsis of film
  • Trailers, clip reels, posters, postcards and electronic press kit