Submission Guidelines

2018 LA Film Festival submission guidelines and eligibility requirements

2018 LA Film Festival: September 20-28

LA Film Festival submissions will open January 1, 2018.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Feature films must have been completed after August 2017.
  • LA premieres are required for all feature-length films. Feature films that have public or festival screenings in Southern California – including Los Angeles, Orange and/or Ventura counties – are ineligible.
  • Short films do not have any premiere requirement.
  • Feature films that have had commercial theatrical, television, or internet play in the U.S. are ineligible.
  • 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 45 minutes
    • High school shorts — less than 20 minutes
    • Episodic content — less than 12 minutes
  • Films that have been submitted for consideration in previous years are eligible for re-submission.
  • For submission purposes, films may be works-in-progress and/or in rough cut form, with temporary soundtracks or digital outputs. Please be sure your film is audible.
  • 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.

Festival Awards

Films selected for the LA Film Festival’s competition sections are eligible for Juried Awards.

The LA Film Festival is a qualifying festival for prestigious awards in the film industry. Films selected for the LA Film Festival qualify for the following nominations: the Spirit Awards (for feature-length films), the Academy Awards® in the Narrative, Animated, and Documentary Short Film categories (short films), and a Cinema Eye Honors for Non Fiction Filmmaking (for documentary feature films).

Submission Materials

All submissions must be made via Withoutabox. Required submission materials:

  • Completed submission form, submitted online via Withoutabox.
    • We prefer all screeners to be submitted online. However, we also accept DVDs if necessary. Three (3) DVD copies are required (Region 0 or 1 and NTSC preferred). For short films (under 45 mins.), submit one (1) DVD.
  • Submission fee payment.
  • For any mailed materials, write your Withoutabox Submission ID number on the envelope and, if submitting a DVD, on the disk. Please Note: we greatly prefer online screeners, not DVDs.
  • Do not submit a press kit. We will request press kits only once a film has been accepted.

Complete your online submission form before submitting your materials. Submission materials must be delivered together in one package. DVDs and other submission materials will not be returned, and will be recycled through a secure facility.


We greatly prefer digital, online submissions. However, if you are not able to upload your film and can only send a DVD, please include the English language title and the running time on the DVD itself. Indicate the region-coding of the disc and if the DVD is in PAL format, print “PAL” on the disc. If submitting a work-in-progress, indicate the elements that are incomplete on the DVD.


All costs for shipping submission materials are the responsibility of the sender. We recommend shipping your DVD in a protective, bubble-pack envelope. Fiber-pack envelopes can damage DVDs and DVD players. The Festival is not responsible for any damage to submitted materials incurred in shipping.

International Entries

All entries from outside the US should be sent Air Mail Registered or by a parcel or express service. We cannot accept entries shipped via air-freight if customs and delivery fees have not been paid.

Multiple Entries

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

Screening Requirements

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

  • For feature-length and short films: DCP (must be DCI compliant)
  • For episodic content and high school shorts: Quicktime files (native resolution, using Pro-Res 422 Codec) on DVD data disc or hard drive.
  • Digital press kits with photo stills (color and black/white)
  • Headshots of director(s) and writer(s)
  • One sentence publicity synopsis of film; 150 word synopsis of film
  • Trailers, clip reels, posters, postcards and EPKs (if available) to maximize exposure for your film