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|The Narrative Feature category is for fictional films that run 40 minutes or longer. Animated and Experimental films that meet these guidelines also qualify.
|The Documentary Feature category is for non-fiction films that run 40 minutes or longer. Animated and Experimental films that meet these guidelines also qualify.
|The Narrative Short category is for fictional films shorter than 39 minutes and 59 seconds. The winner of this category becomes Oscar-Qualified for the Academy Award® for Best Live-Action Short Film.
|The Documentary Short category is for non-fiction films shorter than 39 minutes and 59 seconds. The winner of this category becomes Oscar-Qualified for the Academy Award® for Documentary Short Subject.
|The Animated Short category is for films shorter than 39 minutes and 59 seconds that feature primarily animated content or stop-motion animation. (Films that feature live-action puppetry belong in the puppetry category). The winner of this category becomes Oscar-Qualified for the Academy Award® for Best Animated Short Film.
|The Experimental Short category is for experimental films shorter than 39 minutes and 59 seconds. Films submitted in this category will be eligible only for Experimental programming. Our experimental thread champions films created with conscious, referential use of the medium, rejection of traditional narrative arcs, and opposition to mass media or conventional storytelling practices. Overall, these are avant-garde shorts that go beyond form and function. Includes but not limited to non-narrative, abstract, film and video art.
|The Music Video category is for original music videos (an official reel, a visual accompaniment and/or representation of a piece of music that’s generally 1-10 minutes in length) and music films (musically structured narrative, experimental, documentary or animated shorts that are no longer than 20 minutes). Songs must be the ORIGINAL composition of the band or musician featured in the video. Covers will not be considered.
|The Puppetry Short category is for films shorter than 39 minutes and 59 seconds that feature live-action puppetry primarily but not necessarily exclusively. (Stop-motion films belong in the Animated Short category).
|Pilot Episodes may include presentations or full-length pilots between 5 and 60 minutes long. Episodes include television, mini-series and/or webisodes. Be sure to note any additional or upcoming episodes (with approximate run-times) in your cover letter.
|Family Friendly Feature
|The Family Friendly Feature category is for narrative or documentary films that run 40 minutes or longer and are appropriate for families to view together.
|We’re thrilled to bring VR back for 2018! Please submit your 360 screener via VR-ready platforms (ex: YouTube, Vimeo360 or Samsung Oculus app). Shorts must be between 59 seconds and 39 minutes. All films are reviewed via Samsung Gear VR.
MISSION & OBJECTIVE
Leading the community in creative and cultural discovery through the moving image.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Now approaching its 42nd year, the Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF)—an Academy Award®-qualifying festival—is the Southeast’s preeminent celebration of cinema and the flagship production of the Atlanta Film Society. One of the largest and longest-running festivals in the country, ATLFF showcases both emerging and established artists’ works. Recent festivals have seen audiences of nearly 27,000 film-lovers joining over 300 attending filmmakers in support of moving images that push the boundaries of independent cinema.
Every spring, our 10-day festival—recognized as the Best Film Festival by Creative Loafing, Sunday Paper, 10 Best, and Atlanta Magazine, as well as the Best Spring Festival by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution—presents local and international works selected from over 6,000 submissions representing 40+ countries. ATLFF has been named a “Top 50 Festival Worth the Entry Fee” and one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker magazine. Historically, ATLFF’s program is comprised of approximately 80% - 85% submissions.
ATLFF actively strives to be an inclusive showcase with spotlights on filmmakers of color, LGBTQ films (Pink Peach), women filmmakers (New Mavericks), family friendly programming, Food on Film and/or experimental subjects and themes. Our experimental thread champions films created with conscious, referential use of the medium, rejection of traditional narrative arcs, and opposition to mass media or conventional storytelling practices.
ATLFF’s continued exposure is in part thanks to growing distributor and press outlet attention. Recent distributor attendance includes Participant Media, Vimeo, Netflix, Film Collaborative, Cinelicious Pics, Paramount, HBO, Turner, NBC Universal, Comcast, Archer Gray, Kickstarter and Seed & Spark.
The Georgia Film Award will honor a Georgia-made film from any filmmaker with a current Georgia address. Those eligible for entry in the Georgia Film category will pay a subsidized $20 submission fee (early, regular and late). Georgia Film submissions will be considered for additional competition categories as applicable.
Cash prizes ranging from $500-$1,000 will accompany the Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, Best Animated Short, and Georgia Film Award distinctions.
In order to ensure that each submission is given the careful consideration it deserves, we are instituting a cap of 7,500 submissions for the 2018 season.
Alyssa Armand (Programming Director); Cameron McAllister (Associate Director); Christopher Escobar (Executive Director)
We strongly encourage you review this carefully. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that you have read and agreed to all of the following rules and terms. All projects that have been submitted by our final deadline and that adhere to the following terms will be considered for inclusion in the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival.
If you have any further questions, please visit our FAQ page: http://www.atlantafilmfestival.com/submission-faq/
Each submission must be accompanied by a submission fee paid in full and a working screener in order to be considered. Once we have all necessary materials, the submission will be marked “In Consideration”. It is the submitter’s responsibility to make sure that all requirements are met. If your film has not been listed “In Consideration” within 7 business days of submission, please contact us to find out what is needed to move your film into consideration.
Press kits and cover letters are not required, but are appreciated. If you wish to submit either, please attach it to your submission. DO NOT send hard copies to our office; they will be recycled.
Online screeners are STRONGLY preferred, either via a password protected Vimeo link or uploaded directly to Withoutabox or FilmFreeway. The submitter is responsible for ensuring that their screener link and password is active through at least April 30, 2018. In the event of a password or URL change after submitting, email us immediately. If we discover an error with the screener, we will attempt to email the submitter for an update. Failure to respond by the final submission deadline will result in disqualification without refund of submission fees. Online screeners must be available to stream, we do not accept any films that must be downloaded.
If you are absolutely unable to submit via an online screener, you may submit your screener via DVD (region 1 or 0). We require (2) copies of DVD submissions. Please test your discs on several makes and models of DVD players before sending them to us. If we are unable to play your DVD, we will contact you immediately for an updated copy. Failure to deliver a playable screener by the final deadline will result in disqualification without refund of submission fees. DVDs should be sent in a paper sleeve with the film title, tracking number, and director’s name written on the disc in sharpie. Please DO NOT send your film in a hard case or include labels or stickers on the disc.
If submitting on DVD, entries must be received in our office by the deadline. Deadline dates are not postmark dates. DVD screeners will not be returned. Please do not send self-addressed stamped envelopes.
For Virtual Reality submissions, it is strongly encouraged that you send it in a private VR-enabled format (such as YouTube or Vimeo 360) or other formats that allow full 360 playback via Samsung Gear VR.
All foreign-language films must be submitted with English subtitles. Any films that do not provide working subtitles will be disqualified without refund of submission fees.
WORKS IN PROGRESS
Works-in-progress are accepted with the following stipulations:
- Incomplete projects must be clearly listed as such. Films should be marked as either a “Rough Cut” or “Work In Progress/WIP”. All incomplete materials or changes to be made should be clearly indicated (ex: temporary sound, missing VFX, no color-correction) both in your cover letter and either the film cut itself OR the screener’s thumbnail.
- The entrant may update their screener up until the final deadline, as long as the link and password for the submission remains the same. However, ATLFF is only responsible for considering the project as it exists at the time of review. We are under no obligation to revisit updated cuts once a screener has been seen. We do not accept updated cuts via email or DVD.
- No updated cuts will be accepted after the final submission deadline: November 16, 2017.
- If selected, the final version of the film must be available by February 1, 2018.
Please review submission categories carefully before submitting. All entrants are required to pay the submission fee of their film’s appropriate category. If you believe you have submitted your film to the wrong category, contact us immediately. While we can facilitate a change in category, the entrant will be responsible for any changes in submission fees. We cannot offer partial refunds for categories with a smaller fee. If the new category has a higher fee, the entrant is responsible for paying the difference.
Submission to multiple categories is not encouraged. Please read category descriptions carefully to determine where your submission belongs. If the entrant wishes to submit to multiple categories, a separate submission fee must be paid for each category. ATLFF reserves the right to determine eligibility of a submission in each respective category. Refunds will not be offered for submission to the incorrect category.
The Georgia Film category is for any feature or short film that was at least partially filmed in Georgia AND comes from a director who resides in the state of Georgia.
Films programmed from the Georgia Film category will be eligible for the Georgia Film Award as well as any other juried categories that we may deem appropriate. If you submit to this category without meeting the necessary criteria, you will be disqualified from consideration for the festival and will not be issued a refund.
Please note, submitting in this category makes no difference to the chances of being accepted into the festival, as all local films must stand alongside the other films in ATLFF’s programming. The Georgia Film category is intended as a way to support our local filmmaking community by offering a low-cost means of entry (and also makes it easier for us to identify local films within the thousands of submissions we receive each year).
*Submissions for the Georgia Film category are not currently available on Withoutabox. For more information on how to submit, please visit www.atlantafilmfestival.com/submit
Feature films must be theatrical premieres in the state of Georgia.*
There is no premiere requirement for short films, but a Georgia premiere is strongly preferred. Short films that are available online are programmed on a case by case basis, but we typically prioritize films that have not yet been released to the public. Feature films that have been released online, on VOD, or DVD are not eligible to screen.
It is the submitter’s responsibility to notify ATLFF of any updates in premiere status as they occur, especially if the film is selected for another Georgia festival.
*Exceptions to this rule may be made on very rare occasions and are solely at the discretion of the programming staff. However, feature films that are not Georgia Premieres will NOT be eligible for competition. Similarly, films that have acquired US distribution of any kind prior to selection at ATLFF are not eligible for competition.
Please keep track of deadlines closely if you plan on submitting within a certain window. All deadlines are set for 11:59pm EST.
Any submissions with an unpaid balance after a deadline will be required to pay the following deadline’s submission fee. Failure to pay the appropriate fee may result in disqualification without a refund.
If submitting on DVD, please keep in mind that deadline dates are not postmark deadlines; they are the date by which your DVD must be received in our office.
All works selected must be available by February 1, 2018 for inclusion in the festival.
Should your film be accepted in the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival, you grant ATLFF the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.
All accepted films will screen at least once during the festival, with the option of an encore screening for select films/shorts blocks. All scheduling is purely at the discretion of the ATLFF staff.
ATLFF only pays for return shipments of prints. Flash drives will only be returned upon request, and local drives are pick-up only. We cannot return international flash drives, so we highly recommended sending online. Flash drives left after a year will be recycled.
DCP capability is limited and dependent on the screening venue. DCP must be approved by the Content Manager after the schedule is finalized. ATLFF is not responsible for any shipping expenses of unapproved print formats. Schedule and screening venues are decided solely at the discretion of the programming staff, and ATLFF cannot guarantee that any film will play in a DCP-capable theater. Please be prepared to have an alternate print format available. If approved for DCP, you must provide a backup format (such as Blu-ray or digital file).
The Atlanta Film Festival DOES NOT PAY SCREENING FEES. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that the festival will not pay to present your work.
COPYRIGHT AND LEGAL TERMS
By entering your film for consideration to the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival, you authorize that your work is cleared for festival exhibition and accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. The submitter and all filmmakers associated with the project shall indemnify and hold harmless the Atlanta Film Festival, Atlanta Film Society, and any representative or affiliates from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.
REFUNDS AND DISQUALIFICATION
Once a project is listed “In Consideration” on Withoutabox we are unable to offer refunds for any reason, including (but not limited to):
- Submission to the wrong category
- Change in premiere status or distribution
- Duplicate submissions
- Failure to pay the full submission fee by the final deadline
- Failure to provide a working screener by the final deadline
- Project’s failure to comply with submission Rules and Terms
- Rejection from the festival
- Withdrawing your submission for any reason (including changes of heart)
ATLFF reserves the right to disqualify any submission without refund of submission fees.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
By submitting my project for consideration to the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival I acknowledge that I have read and agree to all rules and regulations (listed above) for submission to the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival.
I understand and agree that my submission must be accompanied by a submission fee paid in full and a playable screener in order to be considered, and that it is my full responsibility as the submitter to ensure my submission is complete and remains complete throughout the submission process.
I acknowledge that entry fees are non-refundable, and that ATLFF reserves the right to disqualify any submission without refund of submission fees.
I understand and agree that, if selected, my film must be available by February 1, 2018 for inclusion in the festival. If selected I also grant ATLFF the right to utilize an excerpt from my project at (and prior to) the Festival for promotional purposes.
I acknowledge that all scheduling and screening venues are decided purely at the discretion of the ATLFF staff.
I understand and agree that the Atlanta Film Festival only pays for return shipments of prints.
I understand and agree that the Atlanta Film Festival does not pay screening fees. By submitting my project, I acknowledge that the festival will not pay to present my work.
By entering my project for consideration to the 2018 Atlanta Film Festival, I authorize that my work is cleared for festival exhibition and accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. The submitter and all filmmakers associated with the project shall indemnify and hold harmless the Atlanta Film Festival, Atlanta Film Society, and any representative or affiliates from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.