The 1904 Film Festival is inspired by a former renowned National Association of the Deaf (NAD) President, Dr. James L. Smith, who strongly advocated preserving sign language at NAD’s 6th national convention during the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. At that convention, George W. Veditz was elected as the 7th President of NAD. George W. Veditz led the production of an infamous film, "The Preservation of Sign Language,” which was completed in 1913. In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

To continue to honor this vision, the 1904 Deaf Film Festival will champion over 20 emerging deaf filmmakers and their production. This event will take place virtually from Friday, March 15 through Monday, April 15, 2024.

Jury prizes in the following categories:

- Best Narrative Feature (>40 minutes)
- Best Documentary Feature (>40 minutes)
- Best Narrative Short (<40 minutes)
- Best Documentary Short (<40 minutes)

If short-listed for a Jury Prize, additional preview copies of the film must be provided or authorized by the submitting party if requested by 1904DFF.

All films will be enter for the Audience Award competition.

The 1904 Deaf Film Festival (1904DFF) will take place virtually from Friday, March 15 through Monday, April 15, 2024.

1. Submission Deadline

Submissions will be accepted from August 16, 2023. The deadline is Sunday, February 11, 2024. Early entry is encouraged but in no way guarantees acceptance.

2. Submission Format

Films must be submitted via a link with password (Vimeo or YouTube) or the FilmFreeway online screener only. The title, submission ID number, screening format, and running time must be clearly listed.

3. Submission Eligibility

All submissions must be at least one of the following:

1.) related to deafness, sign language or deaf culture
2.) consist of deaf/hard of hearing performers
3.) production crew that includes deaf and/or hard of hearing
4.) produced by a deaf and/or hard of hearing individual

4. Submission Fee

All submissions for 1904 Deaf Film Festival are $10.00. However, student films are free to enter. The submission fee is non-refundable.

5. Selection of Films

Submissions are reviewed and selected under the following criteria:

- Strength of story
- Quality of narrative and production values
- Includes sign language (ASL or foreign)
- Must include English captions for any spoken language and sign language
- Independent nature of the production

1904 Deaf Film Festival endeavors to complete all selection procedures in February 2024, and inform all submitting parties, in writing, that their film has been selected or not. Successful submissions will receive a request to allow us to download and upload the submissions.

6. Shipping

Submissions should be sent to:

Festival Submissions
St. Louis Deaf Film Festival
25 E. Frisco Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63119

All shipping and postage costs for the submission package and, if the film is selected for the Festival, for all prints, tapes and additional materials sent to and returned from 1904 Deaf Film Festival must be borne by the submitting party. 1904 Deaf Film Festival will not accept Cash On Delivery shipments. 1904 Deaf Film Festival will not absorb any fees incurred in customs. All charges must be pre-paid. 1904 Deaf Film Festival will not accept submissions if customs and delivery fees have not been paid by the submitting party.

Submission packages from outside the US must be labeled 'Trade Sample' on any customs label and, for customs purposes, must be given a value of no more than US$20.

7. Festival Screenings and Scheduling
1904 Deaf Film Festival has the capability to screen .mov, Blu-ray and DVD. We have no capability to screen DCP. Since we can't screen your film in DCP, you will be required to provide the film also in a file or DVD/Blu-ray. Please clearly label whether your film is PAL or NTSC. Our facilities do NOT support 35mm, Super 16mm or double-head formats.

1904 Deaf Film 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. 1904 Deaf 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 St. Louis Deaf Film Festival. While every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, 1904 Deaf Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. 1904 Deaf Film Festival will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling.

No film may be withdrawn from the festival program after its selection, and no film may be screened within 400 miles range from the festival venue before or during the Festival without the approval of 1904 Deaf Film Festival.

8. Festival Jury Prizes
Jury prizes for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Short, and Best Documentary Short. If short-listed for a Jury Prize, additional preview copies of the film must be provided or authorized by the submitting party if requested by St. Louis Deaf Film Festival.


1. I, the representative of the project being submitted (the "Film"), acknowledge and agree as follows in connection with the Film's submittal to 1904DFF (the "1904DFF") for consideration for the 1904 Deaf Film Festival (the "Festival"):
2. I hereby represent and warrant to the Festival that (a) I am duly authorized, on my own behalf and on behalf of all other persons or entities who have any ownership rights in the Film, to exhibit this Film at the Festival, (b) this exhibition will not violate any law or any right or consent of any person or entity and (c) the Film is not subject to litigation nor is it threatened by any litigation.
3. I further represent and warrant that, to the best of my knowledge, the exhibition of the Film at the Festival will not violate or infringe any copyright, patent, privacy right, publicity right, trademark, service mark or any other personal or property right of any person or entity and that my Film does not constitute a defamation of any person or entity. I have paid and will pay in full all license fees, clearance fees, and other obligations, of any kind, arising from the exhibition of the Film in connection with the Festival.
4. If accepted, I acknowledge that the Festival's presentation of the Film does not create any confidential or fiduciary relationship between the Festival and I. I understand that I will not receive any compensation for such exploitation, although some prizes at the Festival may include cash awards. I acknowledge that no obligation of any kind is assumed by or may be implied against the Festival or the 1904DFF because of the Festival's selection of the Film. I understand and acknowledge that the selection of my Film by the Festival does not in any way constitute an express or implied endorsement or approval by the Festival or the 1904DFF of the content of the Film or any opinion expressed therein.
5. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless the 1904DFF, the Festival, the affiliate, subsidiary and parent entities of each, and the officers, directors, employees, attorneys, advisors and agents of each of the foregoing from and against any and all claims, losses, or liabilities (including reasonable attorneys' fees) that may be asserted against any of the foregoing or incurred by any of the foregoing at any time in connection with the Film or the Festival's use thereof, and/or arising from any breach or alleged breach of any representation made by me to the Institute or the Festival.
6. In the event that the Film is accepted into the official Festival program, myself and all other parties involved with the Film agree that the Film will not associate with nor receive support from corporations during or related to the Film's participation in the Festival that are not Official sponsors or supporters of the Festival without prior written consent of the Institute. Methods of support include: hosting a dinner, party or junket for or in conjunction with the Film, providing media space for roundtable or one-on-one interviews, etc. The 1904DFF is a non-profit organization that relies on the funding of our official sponsors and supporters to produce the Festival. For an official list of sponsors and supporters, please refer to the contributors list at If you have been approached by a company or corporation that does not appear on this list, they are NOT officially aligned with the 1904 Deaf Film Festival.
7. If accepted, I hereby grant without reservations, to the Festival, and their related entities (a) the right to use footage, stills and/or titles, and information from the Film for promotional purposes and (b) the right to issue and authorize publicity concerning the filmmakers and the Film and to use all associated names, likenesses and biographical information. I also agree to provide contact information for the director and producer(s) of the Film and grant the Festival the right to provide this information to film industry organizations sponsoring Festival events at its discretion.
8. I represent that I am 18 years of age or older, or that if I am younger than the legal age to enter into contracts in my state, I have provided a written consent from my parent or legal guardian. I agree that any controversy arising out of or in connection with my Film and the Festival will be governed by the internal laws of the State of Missouri and conclusively determined by arbitration in the County of St. Louis in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association before a single arbitrator mutually agreed by the parties. I hereby waive any and all rights and benefits which I might otherwise have or be entitled to litigate any such dispute in court, including without limitation a trial by jury.
9. I acknowledge that I have read and understood the rules and regulations for submitting a film to the Festival.
10. By clicking "I Agree" below, or by submitting a film or screenplay to 1904DFF, I constitute my full and complete acceptance of the terms hereof. I acknowledge that no oral representations of any kind have been made by the 1904DFF or the Festival

Overall Rating
  • Marie-Andree Boivin

    Great festival. Thank you very much!

    September 2022
  • Marko Pejović

    Good film selection, friendly organizers, a beautiful platform for everyone who thinks about the deaf in the art world.

    October 2021
  • Juan Castaneda

    It was a great festival, thank you very much for having my film :)

    October 2021
  • Wonderful festival, great team and wonderful experience.

    October 2021
  • Amazing Festival! Good communication, kindness and passion! Congratulations!

    October 2021