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17-Apr-2014 12:06am PDT  


Tacoma Film Festival

9 Annual October 09, 2014 to October 16, 2014

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606 S. Fawcett Ave
Tacoma WA 98402
Phone: 253.572.6062
Fax: 253 572 0130

OPEN CALL FOR ENTRIES • Select a Category of Entry to continue.

Feature Narrative (Fiction; Animated or Live-Action) [30+ minutes]
Fiction (animated or live-action) films 30 minutes or longer.
Short Narrative (Fiction; Animated or Live-Action) - [1-30 minutes]
Fiction films (animated or live-action) 30 minutes or shorter.
Student Film (any length and genre) [Valid Student ID is required]
Student Films can be a film of any length or genre. Filmmakers submitting in the discounted Student category must provide TFF with a copy of a current student ID before the film can be placed into consideration. To receive the student submission rate, the filmmaker must be enrolled in an accredited school (K-12, undergrad or graduate) at the time of production.
Feature Documentary (Non-fiction) [30 + minutes]
Non-fiction films 30 minutes or longer.
Short Documentary (Non-fiction) [1-30 minutes]
Non-fiction films 30 minutes or shorter.
Washington State Resident [Proof of residency is required]
A film of any length or genre from a filmmaker residing in Washington State. Filmmakers submitting in the discounted Washington State category must provide TFF with proof of permanent residence within Washington State. This submission category is only active through the first two deadlines (ends April 30th, 2013).
253Film Collective [Proof of Membership Required]
A film of any length or genre from a filmmaker who has a 253Film Collective Membership ( must provide TFF with proof of membership before acceptance.

"One of the premier film festivals in the Northwest." -

The Tacoma Film Festival celebrates current independent film from around the globe. Our primary focus is to bring quality film to the big screen and to showcase exceptional independent films - some that our audiences will probably never get the chance to see again. Join us for the 9th annual Tacoma Film Festival on October 9-16, 2014 for 8 days of films, events, conversation, and fun! This is our time to celebrate you - the filmmaker, and the invaluable artistic talents that you provide to the film community. Each year our mission is to enrich our community by bridging the gap between ourselves and outstanding works of independent film.

Established in 2006, the Tacoma Film Festival was created and developed by the passionate individuals behind Tacoma's only non-profit art-house movie theater, The Grand Cinema ( The Grand (TFF's primary venue) is one of the Puget Sound region's strongest outlets for both international and local independent filmmakers, and works hand-in-hand with the festival to connect our neighborhood with even more dynamic and entertaining films. We bring films from all over the world to our festival, but we particularly encourage filmmakers from the Pacific Northwest to submit their work. We strive to invigorate and support our film community by putting on the Tacoma Film Festival every year. This also provides a platform for our neighborhood filmmakers to share their work. The Grand's impact reaches beyond our city limits as well: The Grand's staff started a new annual event in 2010, and coordinated with Filmmaker Magazine to host the first-of-its-kind film series for the publication's 25 New Faces of Independent Film issue. We look forward to continuing this special event, as we aim to further support up-and-coming indie filmmakers and their work.

Known as the "City of Destiny," Tacoma is far more than just the little sister of Seattle. Since the mid-90s, a thriving arts community has grown up within and out of Tacoma's gritty, blue-collar roots as a port town. Tacoma has undergone a renaissance in the past twenty years, bringing in delicious restaurants and cafes, fashionable and quirky boutiques, as well as a number of galleries that supplement the beautiful museums and theaters that already graced the downtown area. The Grand Cinema and the Tacoma Film Festival are two vital facets in this dynamic community of artists and art enthusiasts. In addition to its cultural attractions, Tacoma's location - nestled in the shadow of Mount Rainier - provides breathtaking views and a wide range of outdoor activities. Although Seattle is only a drive away, we guarantee that you'll want to stick around to explore all that Tacoma has to offer!

While our staff and volunteers are committed to providing our patrons with the opportunity to enjoy new and vibrant works of film, our festival remains focused on you - the filmmaker. We are dedicated to highlighting what you bring to our festival, and to our community. It is because of our TFF alumni that we have gained solid footing on the festival circuit, and are continuing to grow and establish ourselves as a strong regional fest. It is our goal to provide the same support to our filmmakers, and to enable further success with their films and their careers. We are committed to maintaining complete and timely communication, showcasing your work to an interested audience, promoting an engaging conversation with your fellow filmmakers and movie-lovers alike, and providing an overall enjoyable and unforgettable experience with our humble, yet passionate festival. The eight days of the Tacoma Film Festival allow you to connect, view, celebrate and grow. We hope you'll be a part of everything this October.

“Truly, TFF has been a highlight of our festival circuit and a highlight of our year! Tacoma is blossoming into an arts mecca in part due to the hard work and creativity of people at the Tacoma Film Festival!” – Nicole Teeny - Director (BIBLE QUIZ, 2013 TFF Selection), Grand Jury Award - Best Documentary, Slamdance

"The Tacoma Film Festival was an incredible festival experience for our film, LOSING CONTROL, that I won't soon forget. It is an intimate festival that fosters bonding with fellow filmmakers and creates lasting relationships. The festival did a great job of promoting our film and we had a standing-room-only screening. The local press gave us two must-see reviews and the Grand Cinema and its warm, film-loving staff created a casual and easy environment to network with other filmmakers and get to know our audience. The hospitality was top-notch and we had enough downtime to explore the great gems like the Museum of Glass that Tacoma had to offer. It's definitely a fest I want to go back to soon!" -- Valerie Weiss - Director (LOSING CONTROL, 2011 TFF Official Selection), Winner - Top Female Filmmaker of 2011 at the Chicago Comedy Film Festival

"Our documentary (These Amazing Shadows) has screened at over 30 film festivals this year. It was great to be invited to and screen at the Tacoma Film Festival. The staff at Tacoma was very friendly and very organized....and very "director-friendly". We would definitely return." --Paul Mariano, Gravitas Docufilms, THESE AMAZING SHADOWS (2011 TFF Official Selection)

Jen De Hart (Volunteer Coordinator) ; Laura Marshall (Festival and Programming Director; Filmmaker Liaison) ; Laura Marshall (Tacoma Film Festival Director) ; Rachel Marecle (Director of Events and Sponsorships) ; Zach Powers (Marketing and Communications Director)

To be considered for 2014, the Tacoma Film Festival requires:
1. A completed entry via
2. A DVD/Blu-Ray (region 1 or 0), NTSC format ONLY, or secure online screener of your film.
3. The required and appropriate entry fee.
4. English language or English subtitles.
4. The film to have been completed no earlier than January 2013.

- Entries should be submitted on NTSC DVD/Blu-ray or via secure online screener only. The Tacoma Film Festival requires three (3) submission copies of each film. All filmmakers will be notified when our offices receive your submission(s).
- Please make a note in your submission if you have any connections to the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia) region.
- Returning TFF alumni filmmakers’ entry fees are waived. To request a waiver, please include the film title and year it played in Tacoma and email us at
- Preview screeners or exhibition DVDs will not be returned unless a request is made to return it and a pre-paid/SASE is provided.
- Please do not submit works in progress. Please do not include multiple submissions on one DVD.
- Music videos, instructional films, industrials or promotional videos are not appropriate for submission.
- Entry fees will not be refunded.
- Your film must be postmarked no later than the deadline under which you've registered. If the submission is not postmarked appropriately, or if a payment is received after a postmark deadline, we will not view your film until the difference is paid to the Tacoma Film Festival. It is the responsibility of the filmmaker or submission contact to ensure that all requirements are met. The festival retains the right to disqualify an entry, with no refunded fee, if submission guidelines are not met.

The top films based on screener’s comments will be placed in competition for festival awards at the sole discretion of the Tacoma Film Festival. Awards will be given for: Best Narrative Feature, Best Feature Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Short Documentary, Best Animated Film and Best Regional Film. TFF audiences will determine the winners of our two Audience Choice Awards (Puget Sound area filmmakers are eligible for the Local Audience Choice Award; while those from other regions are eligible for the Audience Choice Award). Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners in each category.

- All submitters will be notified of our decisions (whether accepted or not) by August 1st, 2014.

- Filmmakers should be prepared to submit a final exhibition copy of their film to be used for screening by September 1st, 2014. DCP, 35mm, Digibeta, BetaSP, Blu-Ray or digital files are preferred, though other formats can be discussed according to exhibition capabilities. The TFF reserves the right to show films during the festival using DVDs should mechanical or venue issues make it necessary to do so. Films may be shown once or several times during the festival at various locations throughout Tacoma. Our objective is to show your work in the way you intend audiences to see it - please let us know what you have in mind for exhibition and we will work with you towards achieving those goals.

- Should your film be selected, we want you to attend! Nearly 1/2 of our films had a filmmaker present at their screening in each of the past 4 years. Your presence and participation in our fest is invaluable! While we are a non-profit organization and may not have the funds to contribute towards filmmaker travel and/or lodging, please don't hesitate to ask! We will do whatever we can to help.

-TFF grants two All Access Festival passes per film to those filmmakers planning to attend all films and special event, plus the best hospitality our festival can offer. Events not to be missed - FREE Filmmaker Workshops and our FREE annual Filmmaker mixer! Free food & beverages are provided, along with the perfect opportunity to network with other filmmakers!

- Portions of your submitted material may be copied and utilized for the purpose of promoting your film. Upon submission, filmmakers grant the Tacoma Film Festival the right to use clips and press materials from the film for promotional purposes unless the filmmaker requests otherwise in writing.

- You are responsible for shipping the exhibition copy of your film to the festival. TFF will pay domestic ground shipping only to return exhibition copies. Non-ground or international shipping must be paid by the filmmaker.

No phone inquiries, please. Please email us with questions: Thank you!


By entering the Tacoma Film Festival, entrants release and hold the promoter and host and other contest entities harmless from and against any and all losses, damages, rights, claims and action of any kind arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the festival. The Festival will handle the films with care but cannot be held liable for any damage or loss during the shipping, preview or screening. The Festival is not responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark or royalty infringements related to the work. Applicants are responsible for their own insurance and are not covered by the festival's insurance. The Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless The Festival 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.