55th Festival: Call for Entries

Submissions open July 1st, 2016!


The 55th AAFF will take place March 21 – 26, 2017 in Ann Arbor, MI.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival serves as an Academy Award®-qualifying festival in the United States for the Short Films category. The AAFF presents over $20,000 in cash awards to filmmakers in competition, as determined by the awards jury. The AAFF is highly competitive, receiving over 3,000 submissions annually from more than 60 countries. All submissions are reviewed by a minimum of 2 trained screeners, with many films watched and discussed collectively by 6 - 10 members of the festival screening team.

Each year the festival presents 100-125 shorts and 6 -10 features as part of the films in competition programming. The majority of the works selected are documentaries, experimental and animated films and are screened throughout 20-24 competition programs composed of films from all genres; with additional programs dedicated to LGBTQ-themed films, Animation, and Music Videos.

Entry Fees & Deadlines
July 1st - Submissions Open
August 1st - Early Deadline ($30 Short, $40 Feature)
September 1st - Official Deadline ($45 Short, $55 Feature)
October 1st - Late Deadline ($60 Short, $70 Feature)

Submission Rules and Requirements
Entries are accepted in the following formats: Internet Link (URL) and 16mm. We do not accept DVD, Blu-Ray, VHS or video data files for screening purposes. Entries are accepted in one of two categories: short and feature length. Short films are 59 minutes and under in runtime. Feature films are 60 minutes or longer in runtime.

Internet Link (URL)
If you have a link (ie. Vimeo, YouTube) you may submit with this entry form only. There is a section to submit your films URL and password (if applicable). If at any time you change the URL and/or password it is your responsibility to contact the AAFF immediately. You do not need to send in a physical copy of your film(s).

16mm Screening
If you would like the festival to preview a 16mm print of your film, please contact the AAFF directly to make shipping arrangements - submissions@aafilmfest.org.

Selection Notification
All submitting filmmakers will be notified regarding acceptance by approximately February 1, 2017 with the email address provided at the time of submission (please add "mail@aafilmfest.org" to your email address book to ensure receipt of notification). If your email address changes before notifications are sent out please contact the AAFF immediately with the new email.

Exhibition Formats and Delivery
If your film is selected for the festival program, you must provide an exhibition copy (16mm, 35mm, Digital File, DCP) by February 12, 2016 unless otherwise informed.

Terms & Conditions
By submitting your film, you agree to the following Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF) Terms and Conditions, and indicate that you have read and understood the AAFF entry guidelines.

The following will apply for all film/video submissions:
1. The AAFF retains the right to archive the submitted screener copy of my film/video (excluding 16mm prints) in physical and/or digital format solely for historical and research purposes, and will not publicly screen it without my permission.
2. The AAFF will conduct private screening sessions to review submissions, which may include my film/video.
3. The AAFF does not provide refunds on submission fees.

The following will apply if my film/video is selected:
1. My film/video will be screened during the Ann Arbor Film Festival and will be eligible to win a filmmaker award.
2. My film/video will be shipped (at filmmaker's expense) in one of the exhibition formats specified above by February 12, 2017.
3. My film/video may be utilized for promotional purposes of the festival, limited to private screenings and preview-only copies for press and supporters, unless otherwise arranged with the AAFF.
4. I will permit the AAFF to use my name and stills from my film/video (at least one print-quality version provided upon request) for promotional purposes.

To Submit a Film (beginning on July 1, 2016): 

Through Withoutabox, please click the link below:

- OR -

An online form will available on our website as of July 1.

For more information, visit our festival submissions page on withoutabox.com.

Please contact Tim Harkins at submissions@aafilmfest.org with any questions. 

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