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July 1 - October 14, 2023


The Ann Arbor Film Festival is open to experimental films as well as films that demonstrate a high regard for the moving image as an experimental art form, no matter the genre. Each year the AAFF selects 100-145 shorts and features for exhibition in the awards competition portion of the festival.

  • Films previously submitted may not be re-entered unless there has been a significant change to the edit. Later versions of a film may be reviewed and/or selected at the programmer's discretion.

  • Short and feature-length entries are accepted.

  • Short films run no longer than 60 minutes. Feature films run 60 minutes or more.

  • Entries not in English should have English subtitles.

  • Works in progress may be submitted, but are juried in the same pool as all other submissions.

  • Work must be contemporary - completed within the last three years.

  • Entry fees are per film entered, and must accompany the entry form for confirmation. Entry fees are non-refundable.

  • Make checks and money orders payable to the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

  • It is the policy of the Ann Arbor Film Festival not to give waivers or discounts.

  • Entries are accepted via secure online screening and 16mm only. We do not accept DVD, VHS or video data files for screening purposes.

  • If you would like the festival to preview a 16mm print of your film, please contact the festival directly at to make arrangements.


The AAFF offers approximately $24,000 in both cash and in-kind awards each year.


In addition to conferring prestige and financial support, an AAFF award can also qualify filmmakers for an Oscar® Nomination by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the short film category.


Qualifying AAFF awards include the Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival, the Chris Frayne Award for Best Animated Film, the Lawrence Kasdan Award for Best Narrative, and Best Experimental Film. To find out which films were recognized with festival awards at the 61st AAFF in 2023, click here. See a description of all the awards here.


Please review the following postmark deadlines carefully:

Early Deadline - July 31, 2023

Regular Deadline - August 31, 2023

Late Deadline - September 30, 2023
Extended Deadline - October 14, 2023


Shorts - films that the filmmaker deems to be experimental with a runtime less than 60 minutes.

  • Earlybird Deadline - $30

  • Regular Deadline - $45

  • Late & Extended Deadline - Standard: $60

Features - films that the filmmaker deems to be experimental with a runtime of 60 minutes or longer.

  • Earlybird Deadline - $40

  • Regular Deadline - $55

  • Late & Extended Deadline - $70

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