Accepting now through Feb. 28th 2021 for potential screenings in any 2021 sessions APRIL through DECEMBER, submissions will then re-open Saturday March 6th thank you!

* 2020 was meant to be our FIFTH SEASON?!?!?! It has been a challenging year for our world and hopefully we will grow stronger for it. In the meantime we're trying to fire up again and as of the time of this writing (September, 2020) we will be looking to solicit submissions for the final screening dates in 2020 and our full season in 2021. We hope to remain open for live, limited seating, safety-protocol enforced in-person screenings and are looking into either live streaming the festival screening itself or presenting the material online for a limited engagement viewing. More info on that to come. Thanks for checking us out and we wish you all continued health, strength and inspiration.


The 2021 First Friday FIlm Festival Screening Session Dates are as follows:
February 5th, March 5th, April 2nd, May 7th, June 4th, July 2nd, August 6th, September 3rd, October 1st, November 5th, December 3rd

The FIRST FRIDAY FILM FESTIVAL - KC is a short film screening series that takes place on select first Fridays of the month throughout the year. We are looking to program provocative and compelling shorts from filmmakers of all experience levels, in any genre, from across the planet. Our mission is to expose great work to great audiences and get conversations started! Submissions are accepted year-round and programming is put together month to month. Your submission will be eligible for any of the following remaining editions of the festival in 2020 and our full program schedule for 2021.


ORIGINS: The First Friday Film Festival (4FKC) programming team saw an opportunity to incorporate a film component into Kansas City's famous First Friday open gallery nights in the form of a public exhibition series. As filmmakers ourselves we understand the work entailed in making a film and we look to share the filmmakers' vision with our growing audience. Our goal is to provide atmosphere that champions provocative and compelling work from regional makers and international artists, and establish a forum for discussion of the work & relevant social issues by fostering dialogue between the audience and visiting filmmakers.

On the First Friday of every month, thousands of residents and visitors fill the sidewalks of the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City, Missouri, enjoying what has become the city’s liveliest and most popular event. Arts organizations, galleries, studios, and a wide variety of local businesses feature regional and national artists as well as live entertainment starting at 5 p.m. year-round. Occurring officially since the late 90’s, the tradition continues to grow with up to 10,000 attendees on any given weekend.

The First Friday Film Festival serves as a destination for gallery-goers after most venues have closed for the night, and is a free event open to the public. Kansas City, Missouri is a destination on the rise for film production and boasts and active, close-knit filmmaking community. The festival will provide filmmakers with a chance to have their work seen by an enthusiastic and receptive audience, thus opening new connections and recognition in the town that Huffington Post in 2014 declared as being “The Coolest City in America.”

As an ongoing festival of new programming, there are multiple screening sessions that make up the fest each year. Each screening session runs roughly 120 minutes with an intermission. Sessions are not programmed by genre but rather are combined in what we feel constitute compelling clusters, offering the audience films across genres, every session.


LOGISTICS: 4FKC is a recurring film festival. We screen on several, but not every first Friday evening in the calendar year. This is based on when the theater is available to us and based around other bookings and events which they have going on. We have a $10 suggested donation but guests may pay what they can if facing financial hardship.
Consequently, we only schedule sessions on the months the theater is available to us.

Your submission THIS MONTH, will put your film in consideration for any of the sessions AFTER the session immediately following whichever session is upcoming at the time of your submission. FilmFreeway does not have a system in place specifically for recurring festivals yet, don't be scared! We open as a new season each and every month on the Monday following the previous screening. Submit your film to us ANYTIME for consideration for placement in an edition of 4FKC the month following the session immediately after your submission date and onward. If we decide we're able to share with the greater Kansas City audience, we will, regardless of premiere status, year of completion, budget, etc...

Again, we have a "rolling deadline," meaning we are accepting submissions all year round. All submissions will be notified via e-mail, accepted submissions will receive a festival laurel and are eligible each screening for the "Audience Choice" award, which goes to the top two vote-getters each session.

Festival laurels and certificates to all accepted applicants. Every session we select two AUDIENCE CHOICE award winners and further laurels are awarded.

There is a $20 submission fee to help offset the cost of staffing and promoting the festival, but we don't want it to inhibit your submitting. If you are a filmmaker facing financial hardship but you feel it's important to submit your work, please get in touch. Thank you...


VENUE: Our screening cinema is located within the beautiful Musical Theater Heritage facility in Crown Center. It’s a short walk from the bustling Crossroads Arts District, where the First Friday extended-hour open gallery tours are nationally renowned. We are a festival dedicated to exhibiting independent cinema that demonstrates what we define as a “unique artistic vision” and which place great importance on crafting well-developed characters and provocative storytelling. Festival programmers will give preference to films that could be classified as dramas, comedies, science fiction/fantasy or animated works, though compelling shorts in the horror/thriller, documentary and action genres will certainly be considered.

Thanks for your submission and good luck out here!
-Matthew, Emily and Fredrick

AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS - Two laurels awarded monthly for the top two vote-getting films as recorded by the audience.

4FKC Submission Guidelines
*Please carefully read these guidelines before filling out the entry form.

A) Guidelines
1 – Competition open to anyone wishing to enter.
2 – Films are limited to 25 minutes or less. (DOCUMENTARY FILMS MUST BE 10 MINUTES OR UNDER FOR CONSIDERATION)
3 – Multiple submissions are allowed, each submission accompanied by the $10 (USD) entry fee.
4 – There are no date-of-completion or budget restrictions.
5 – Foreign language films must be subtitled in English for festival exhibition.
6 – All films must be submitted through FilmFreeway. No mail applications please.
7 – Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authorization to submit the entry into the festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry.
8 – Entrant permits usage of clips from the entry for promotional use on television, radio, in print and at live Festival events.
9- There are NO PREMIERE STATUS RESTRICTIONS. Your work may have premiered anywhere at anytime before the FFFF. We just want great work to be seen in Kansas City by great audiences.

B) Notifications
1 – All entrants will be notified by email when their film or video has been received.
2 – For publication purposes, entries selected will be required to supply three high-resolution stills from the film and at least one high-resolution photograph of the film’s director. Publicity and press materials will not be returned and become property of the film festival. The FFFF has permission to use excerpts from any accepted film for promotional purposes.
3 – If accepted, entrants will be notified by email one month prior to their dedicated screening session. Filmmaker will need to provide a downloadable .mov or mp4 via Dropbox or Vimeo to preview and screen.

C) Entry Fees
1 – Submission Fee is $10 (USD) per entry.

D) Returns
1 – As we only accept digital files there are no guidelines on returns.

E) Categories and Awards
1 – 4FKC reserves the right and has discretion to change submission category for an entry.
2 – 4FKC will be juried and competitive. Payment of the entry fee does not guarantee a screening.

F) Travel and Accommodations
1 – This is the sole responsibility of the entrant. However, in some circumstances, assistance in finding accommodations may be provided. If you wish to attend the screening of your short, we will work with you to procure a discounted rate at one of KCMO’s downtown hotels.

G) Festival Dates, Locations, and Times*
Screenings take place on the first Friday of every month barring any necessary blackout dates which come up due to theater availability conflict.
*Subject to change.

Festival Screening Sessions with Q&A discussion will run from 7:30pm-10pm CST

Venue Location:
Musical Theater Heritage
2450 Grand Blvd #301
Kansas City, MO 64106
Free Parking

Questions/Inquiries? Please e-mail us:
We look forward to reviewing your submissions, thank you!

Overall Rating
  • Always a great mini fest to get into! Always meet good people and an opportunity to get your film out there in the publics eye a bit more.

    February 2021
  • Gabriel Angulo

    Great Festival! Thanks for the Opportunity!

    January 2021
  • This festival is very professional and the communication is open. Thank you.

    January 2021
  • Ji ber ku we kurte filmè min hilbijart ez gelek keyfxweş bum û sipasiya we dikim.

    November 2020
  • The festival is great! They are to be congratulated! Very attentive and answered me quickly.
    Thanks for everything!

    November 2020