4th Annual

Defy Film Festival

August 23, 2019 to August 24, 2019

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DECISIONS ALREADY MADE • This event has already made decisions and notified submitters for the current cycle. Submissions are no longer being accepted.

Feature Length
Any work that runs over 45 minutes.
Short Form
Any work that runs under 44 minutes.


DEFY is focused on great work. Work made outside of the system. Work that had to defy all conventions to be made. Filmmakers that defy expectations. We are searching for artists that broke the mold, went beyond formulas, stepped outside of the frame, artists who took the traditions by the shoulders and shook out the dust.

Without limiting categories, we are open to anything, as long as it inspires. Defy gravity to lift us up and remind us why we love movies, love art, love the crazy people who put any chance of a normal life on the line in the service of bold, new work.

All great art is a disruption. Defy Film Festival.


“We call it Defy for a reason. The festival showcases unique filmmakers and introduces audiences to work that they won’t see anywhere else. We’re always looking for submissions that are a little bit different and one-of-a-kind. We’re about something new and fresh. When you see that spark of innovation and bold intention, that’s what really turns me on about film.” - Dycee Wildman, Festival Director


Named “Best Indie Film Festival” last year by the Nashville Scene, DEFY is entering its fourth year and continues to top the one that came before. “Fest organizers brought to East Nashville the festival’s most diverse and dynamic selection of international experimental films and art videos yet” -Joe Nolan, Nashville Scene

DEFY is driven by the desire to showcase unknown talent from around the world and to program with focused intention for a unique experience. It's this cinematic experience that we are determined to bring our Nashville audiences.

There are only two categories, features and shorts.

Without specific genre categories, DEFY has the flexibility to steer into whatever ideas and talent are submitted each year. We won't feel obligated to program something mediocre just because we have to fulfill a category. Your work will inform our festival.

No matter what kind of film you have, we want to see it - drama, comedy, experimental, animation, documentaries, horror/sci-fi, music videos, etc. We are independent filmmakers ourselves and we know the financial hardships you went through and the uncompromising passion it took to create the great film resting in your hands right now. Your film will treated and viewed with the respect that we would want for our own films.


Dycee Wildman (Festival Registrar)


Eligibility Requirements for the feature film and short film competition:
- Running time for all feature films must be 45 minutes or more and not exceed 150 minutes
- Running time for all shorts must be less than 44 minutes.
- Defy requires a Nashville Premiere for screening.
- Selected films must be made available in a Quicktime file.
- Film submissions in a foreign language must be subtitled in English.
- Preview screening format are digital screeners ONLY - No DVD screeners.
- If submitting more than one film, a separate completed entry is required for each title.
- All entries fees are non-refundable.

- Films are scheduled at the discretion of the Defy Film Festival. Defy retains the right to make changes to the published schedule at any time and for any reason. Films may be screened more than once.

- Our local film community is important to us. If you are the director or producer and a Nashville resident, we will waive your submission fee. Email us a copy of your driver's license for qualification. This offer is only available up to the regular deadline.


Please Read Carefully:

By submitting an entry, filmmaker states that he or she is responsible as an agent to promote the film and that the film is an original work.

Please clearly label your submission. Proper payment and a submission form is required for EACH submission. All entry fees are non-refundable. Screeners will not be returned (don't send us your master).

I, the undersigned, represent and warrant that I have full legal right and authority to submit the mentioned film for consideration by the Defy Film Festival, and that all necessary consents, licensing, and approvals have been obtained. I understand that my submission is in no way a guarantee of acceptance into Defy.

All materials (including but not limited to the submitted film and promotional materials) will be retained by Defy. Excerpts of the submitted film and all promotional materials may be used for various Defy promotional purposes, including but not limited to local, national and international press and electronic media. For films selected in the festival, Defy reserves the right to screen the entry at the festival. Deft will retain a copy of the film, along with all promotional materials, for its archives. 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 Defy 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.