14th Annual

Tacoma Film Festival

October 03, 2019 to October 10, 2019

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Film Market
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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; Live-Action) [45+ minutes]
Fiction films 45 minutes or longer.
Short Narrative (Fiction; Live-Action) - [1-45 minutes]
Fiction films (live-action) 45 minutes or shorter.
Feature Documentary (Non-fiction) [45+ minutes]
Non-fiction films 45 minutes or longer.
Short Documentary (Non-fiction) [1-45 minutes]
Non-fiction films 45 minutes or shorter.
VR (Virtual Reality)
Virtual reality experiences 20 minutes or less.
Music Video
Music videos 20 minutes or less.
Feature Animation (45+ minutes)
Animated (or primarily animated) film 45 minutes or longer.
Short Animation (1-45 minutes)
Animated (or primarily animated) film 45 minutes or less.
Pacific Northwest Feature (45+ minutes)
Films (45+ minutes) by filmmakers from the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho) and/or films produced and set in the PNW. Please contact for a waiver code.
Pacific Northwest Short (1-45 minutes)
This is for films (45 minutes or less) by filmmakers from the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho) and/or films produced and set in the PNW. Please contact for a waiver code.


The Tacoma Film Festival celebrates current independent film from around the globe. Our primary focus is to present the best in contemporary independent filmmaking and to connect filmmakers and their work with appreciative, receptive audiences. Join us for the 14th annual Tacoma Film Festival on October 3-10, 2018 for 8 days of films, events, conversation, and fun!


50 Film Festivals worth the Entry Fee, 2014-2018 - MovieMaker Magazine

“…Rising stars would be remiss not to add it to their annual itinerary." - MovieMaker Magazine

"The ultimate indie film festival." - Seattle's CityArts Magazine

"One of the premier festivals in the Northwest." - PostDefiance.com

The Tacoma Film Festival is a celebration of independent film mirroring the diverse and eclectic sensibilities of Western Washington’s second largest city. Including selections from the Pacific Northwest and all over the world, TFF prides itself on showcasing the connectedness of local, national, and international film. It’s a great festival to connect with audiences, filmmakers, critics, and professionals because of the friendly, and collegial atmosphere throughout. The whole community gets behind the festival and makes it a really one-of-a-kind experience.

“It was one of the most diverse and current selection of films, shorts and new media that I have ever experienced in a film festival. I met people there that I will continue to be connected to for a long time.”– Juan Carlos Zaldivar, filmmaker

“The programming at TFF had such a progressive vision of cinema. The festival had a definite voice and created a warm atmosphere for filmmakers…” Masami Kawai, filmmaker

“Very friendly, great emphasis on the films and filmmakers and creating an intimate community for film-going. Beautiful festival.”- Derek Knowles, filmmaker


- 180+ films including world, US, and Washington premieres. Our programming presented films that featured innovative storytelling, creative non-fiction, and wonderful works of animation.

- It was the 3rd year of our wildly successful filmmaker housing program where we hand-select wonderful residents to host filmmakers.

- The third edition of our Music Video program (Track 03), screened at Fawcett Hall, a state of the art music venue with one of the best sound systems in the state

- The Veldt VR Studio. Our fourth year presenting a diverse selection of virtual reality works, exhibited in a beloved community space, and without time limits.

- Panels and workshops geared towards independent filmmakers

-Fun parties and after parties

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 city to the art of film.

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. We guarantee you'll want to stick around to explore all that Tacoma has to offer.


David Dinnell (Director/Programmer); Rachel Marecle (Director of Events and Sponsorships); Wade Neal (Assistant Executive Dir)


1. Submission Deadline Structure

Submissions Open: December 15, 2018

Earlybird Deadline: February 15, 2019

Regular Deadline: April 1, 2019

Late Deadline: May 1, 2019

Extended Deadline: June 1, 2019

2. Submission Format

Films must be submitted via secure online screener.

3. Submission Eligibility

All submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2018.

4. Premiere Status

- US Premiere status is preferred.

- Premiere status for regional films (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia) must have a Pierce County Premiere.

5. Selection of Films

- The Tacoma Film Festival will complete the selection process by August 1, 2019 and will contact all submitting parties by email with programming status at that time. Accepted films will receive a Filmmaker Welcome Packet via email that will include important information about DCP exhibition, “Host a Filmmaker” lodging program, press and publicity, guest accreditation, festival filmmaker liaison contact information and how to make the most of participation in the festival.

- The accepted film must be received by Simple DCP by 9/1/2019 to be played at the Tacoma Film Festival, October 3-10, 2019.

- The submitter is responsible for shipping or uploading the exhibition copy to Simple DCP in Culver City CA. TFF will pay domestic ground shipping only to return exhibition copies if applicable (no overnight or express). Non-ground or international shipping must be paid by the filmmaker.

6. DCP is Required for features and shorts*

WE REQUIRE DCP (Digital Cinema Package). Shorts must supply DCP and 1080p downloadable file backup, and features must supply either 1080p downloadable file or blu-ray backup. If you are not prepared to meet the DCP requirement, please do not submit your film. *(Music videos/VR submissions are not required to supply DCP).

We are proud to partner with Simple DCP exclusively for our film traffic and conversion needs. There are DCP software tools, both free and paid, and other houses that do similar work, but we highly recommend Simple DCP for a number of reasons.

Playback on DCP equipment is crucial when testing DCPs. Using an emulator can lead to color shifting and other errors that cannot be caught unless played in a real DCP environment.

Simple DCP reviews every second of film in a cinema environment and ensures that it is converted at the highest quality and problems are caught before the film arrives at the festival.

Another benefit of using Simple is that your film can be archived with the company for use with other partner festivals, saving on shipping and time.

You are not required to use Simple DCP - if you have an existing DCP from another house or have created one on your own you can submit it to Simple DCP via link and they will provide troubleshooting and quality control at no cost to you. If you need assistance with the process or questions about pricing, please contact Simple DCP at info@simpledcp.com.

7. Festival Screenings and Scheduling

The festival aspires to provide the best quality projection possible but will not be held liable for any failure in the technical quality of the projection, nor will fees be refunded in any such case. The Tacoma Film Festival assumes that the submitting party or filmmaker(s) or entrant(s) or print source company has insured for damage and loss of the festival print or tape.

Screenings are scheduled during the festival at the discretion of the Tacoma Film Festival. The Tacoma Film Festival also retains the right to run limited Press & Industry screenings the week leading up to the festival.

-Festival Promotion
Should your film be programmed, 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.


- Please make a note in your submission if you have any connections to the Pacific Northwest 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 info@tacomafilmfestival.com.

- Works in progress will automatically be disqualified.

- Industrials, promotional, or news report films will not be considered if submitted.

- Entry fees will not be refunded.

We provide waivers and/or discounts to the following:
TFF Alumni - if you’ve screened at TFF in the past, we will waive submission.

Washington State Filmmakers - if your film was made in Washington, or you have strong ties to the area, you may be eligible for a waiver.

Student Discount - we provide a $10 discount for students or student works (films made during matriculation) on presentation of current student ID or proof of enrollment during production of your film.

We do not provide waivers for any other types of submissions.

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


If a film obtains distribution after submission, TFF will have the right to screen the film at the festival without screening fee. TFF will place any such film in its respective category for competition.

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.

On submission, the filmmaker grants The Festival 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 warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The submitting filmmaker shall indemnify, defend, 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, expert witness 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.