Now approaching its 43rd year, the Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF) is the Southeast’s preeminent celebration of cinema and the flagship production of the Atlanta Film Society. One of the largest and longest-running festivals in the country, ATLFF showcases both emerging and established artists’ works. In addition, the Atlanta Film Festival is one of less than twenty US film festivals that is Academy Award®-qualifying in all three categories: Narrative Short, Documentary Short, and Animated Short. Recent festivals have seen audiences of over 27,000 film-lovers joining over 300 attending filmmakers in support of moving images that push the boundaries of independent cinema.

Every spring, our 11-day festival—recognized as the Best Film Festival by Creative Loafing, Sunday Paper, 10 Best, and Atlanta Magazine, as well as the Best Spring Festival by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution—presents local and international works selected from over 7,600 submissions representing 50+ countries. ATLFF has been named a “Top 50 Festival Worth the Entry Fee” and one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker magazine. Historically, ATLFF’s program is comprised of approximately 80% - 85% submissions.

ATLFF actively strives to be an inclusive showcase with spotlights on filmmakers of color, LGBTQ+ films (Pink Peach), women filmmakers (New Mavericks), family-friendly programming, Food on Film and/or experimental subjects and themes. Our experimental thread champions films created with conscious, referential use of the medium, rejection of traditional narrative arcs, and opposition to mass media or conventional storytelling practices.

ATLFF’s continued exposure is in part thanks to growing distributor and press outlet attention. Recent distributor attendance includes A24, Paramount, Netflix, Lionsgate, Participant Media, Vimeo, Film Collaborative, Cinelicious Pics, HBO, Turner, XLrator, NBC Universal, Comcast, Archer Gray, Kickstarter and Seed & Spark.

Now in its fourth year, our Georgia Film Award honors a Georgia-made production. A subsidized $20 submission fee is available for submissions that were both shot in Georgia and come from a director with a current Georgia address. Georgia Film submissions will be considered for additional competition categories as applicable.

Cash prizes ranging from $500-$1,000 will accompany the Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, Best Animated Short, and Georgia Film Award distinctions.

Jury awards are given for the following categories:

Best Narrative Feature ($1,000 prize)
Best Documentary Feature ($1,000 prize)
Best Narrative Short ($500 prize)
Best Documentary Short ($500 prize)
Best Animated Short ($500 prize)

The winners of our Narrative Short, Documentary Short, and Animated Short prizes all qualify for the following year’s Academy Awards.

Films competing in juried categories are chosen solely at the discretion of the ATLFF programming team. Acceptance to the festival does not guarantee placement in Competition.

ATLFF juries are comprised of filmmakers, film critics and industry figures. Recent jurors have included Academy Award-nominated filmmakers and representatives from The Los Angeles Times, Indiewire, XLrator Media, Vimeo and Film Independent.

All officially-selected features and short films will be eligible for our Audience Awards. Non-juried Awards will also be considered in categories such as Georgia Film, New Mavericks, and Pink Peach - all official selections that meet the guidelines of the award will be eligible.

Additional prizes to be announced.

We strongly encourage you review the following carefully. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that you have read and agreed to all of the following rules and terms. All projects that have been submitted by our final deadline and that adhere to the following terms will be considered for inclusion in the 2019 Atlanta Film Festival.

If you have any further questions, please visit our FAQ page:


Each submission must be accompanied by a submission fee paid in full and a working screener in order to be considered. Once we have all necessary materials, the submission will be marked “In Consideration”. It is the submitter’s responsibility to make sure that all requirements are met. If your film has not been listed “In Consideration” within 7 business days of submission, please contact us to find out what is needed to move your film into consideration.

Press kits and cover letters are not required but are appreciated. If you wish to submit either, please attach it to your submission. DO NOT send hard copies to our office; they will be recycled.


All projects must be submitted via secure online screener - either as a password protected Vimeo link attached to your submission, or uploaded directly to FilmFreeway. The submitter is responsible for ensuring that their screener link and password is active through at least April 15, 2019. In the event of a password or URL change after submitting, email us immediately. If we discover an error with the screener, we will attempt to email the submitter for an update. Failure to respond by the final submission deadline will result in disqualification without refund of submission fees. Online screeners must be available to stream, we do not accept any films that must be downloaded.

We DO NOT accept DVD or Blu-Ray screeners. In addition, we cannot accept screener links via email, they MUST be attached to your submission.

For Virtual Reality submissions, you must A) provide a 360-enabled screener, such as Vimeo or YouTube, or B) both a 360 screener and download link. Downloadable films will be viewed on an HMD (likely Gear VR). For interactive works, please send a video of the project (no builds please).


All foreign-language films must be submitted with English subtitles. If we discover a submission is missing subtitles, we will attempt to email the submitter for an update. Failure to provide working subtitles by the final submission deadline will result in disqualification without refund of submission fees.


Works-in-progress are accepted with the following stipulations:
Incomplete projects must be clearly listed as such. Films should be marked as either a “Rough Cut” or “Work In Progress/WIP”. All incomplete materials or changes to be made should be clearly indicated (ex: temporary score, missing VFX, no color-correction) both in your cover letter and the film cut itself (ideally as a title card at the start of the film).
The entrant may update their screener up until the final deadline, as long as the link and password for the submission remains the same. However, ATLFF is only responsible for considering the project as it exists at the time of review. We are under no obligation to revisit updated cuts once a screener has been seen. Therefore, you should not submit your project if it is not complete enough to adequately represent the final product.
Updated cuts must be accessible via your FilmFreeway account. We cannot accept updated cuts via email.
No updated cuts will be accepted after the final submission deadline: November 15, 2018.
If selected, the final version of the film must be available by February 15, 2019.


Please review all submission categories carefully before submitting your project. All entrants are required to pay the submission fee of their film’s appropriate category. If you believe you have submitted your film to the wrong category, contact us immediately. While we can typically facilitate a change in category, the entrant will be responsible for any changes in submission fees. We cannot offer partial refunds for categories with a smaller fee. If the new category has a higher fee, the entrant is responsible for paying the difference.

Submission to multiple categories is not encouraged. Please read category descriptions carefully to determine where your submission belongs. If the entrant wishes to submit to multiple categories, a separate submission fee must be paid for each category. ATLFF reserves the right to determine eligibility of a submission in each respective category. Refunds will not be offered for submission to an inappropriate category.


The Georgia Film category is for any project that was at least partially filmed in Georgia AND comes from a director who resides in the state of Georgia. This category has a flat entry fee of $20. Submissions are only accepted on FilmFreeway, and require a password to submit. If your project applies, email Please allow up to 7 business days for a response.

Films programmed from the Georgia Film category will be eligible for the Georgia Film Award as well as any other juried categories that we may deem appropriate. If you submit to this category without meeting the necessary criteria, you will be disqualified from consideration for the festival and will not be issued a refund.

Please note, submitting in this category makes no difference to the chances of being accepted into the festival, as all local films must stand alongside the other films in ATLFF’s programming. The Georgia Film category is intended as a way to support our local filmmaking community by offering a low-cost means of entry (and also makes it easier for us to identify local films within the thousands of submissions we receive each year).


All projects must have been completed on or after October 1, 2017 to be considered for the 2019 Atlanta Film Festival.


We do not require a World Premiere in any category, but premiere status is taken into consideration when making final selections. Typically, we prefer to screen films that have premiered after our 2018 festival (May 2018 or later), but there are always exceptions.

Feature films must be premieres in the state of Georgia. Exceptions to this rule may be made on very rare occasions and are solely at the discretion of the programming team. However, feature films that are not Georgia Premieres will NOT be eligible for competition. Similarly, films that have acquired US distribution of any kind prior to selection at ATLFF are not eligible for competition.

Feature films that have been (or will be) released online, on VOD, or DVD prior to the 2019 Atlanta Film Festival are not eligible to screen.

There is no premiere requirement for short films, but a Georgia premiere is strongly preferred. Short films that are available online are programmed on a case by case basis, but we typically prioritize films that have not yet been released to the public.

It is the submitter’s responsibility to notify ATLFF of any updates in premiere status as they occur, especially if the film is selected for another festival in the state of Georgia.


Please keep track of deadlines closely if you plan on submitting within a certain submission window. All deadlines are set for 11:59pm EDT.

Any submissions with an unpaid balance after a deadline will be required to pay the following deadline’s submission fee. Failure to pay the appropriate fee will result in disqualification without a refund.

You can find a full list of deadlines (and associated submission fees) at the following link:


All works selected must be available by February 15, 2019 for inclusion in the festival.

Should your film be accepted in the 2019 Atlanta Film Festival, you grant ATLFF the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

All accepted films will screen at least once during the festival, with the possibility of an encore screening for select films/shorts blocks when appropriate. All scheduling is purely at the discretion of the ATLFF staff.

ATLFF only pays for return shipments of prints. Flash drives will only be returned upon request, and local drives are pick-up only. We cannot return international flash drives, so we highly recommended sending online. Flash drives left after a year will be recycled.

DCP capability is limited and dependent on the screening venue. DCP must be approved by the Content Manager after the schedule is finalized. ATLFF is not responsible for any shipping expenses of unapproved print formats. Schedule and screening venues are decided solely at the discretion of the programming staff, and ATLFF cannot guarantee that any film will play in a DCP-capable theater. Please be prepared to have an alternate print format available. If approved for DCP, you must provide a backup format (such as Blu-ray or a digital file).


The Atlanta Film Festival DOES NOT PAY SCREENING FEES for submitted films. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that ATLFF will not pay to present your work.


By entering your film for consideration to the 2019 Atlanta Film Festival, you authorize that your work is cleared for festival exhibition and accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. The submitter and all filmmakers associated with the project shall indemnify and hold harmless the Atlanta Film Festival, Atlanta Film Society, and any representative or affiliates 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.


Once a project is listed “In Consideration” on FilmFreeway, we are unable to offer refunds for any reason, including (but not limited to):
Submission to the wrong category
Change in premiere status or distribution
Duplicate submissions
Failure to pay the full submission fee by the final deadline
Failure to provide a working screener by the final deadline
Project’s failure to comply with submission Rules & Terms
Rejection from the festival
Withdrawing your submission for any reason (including changes of heart)

ATLFF reserves the right to disqualify any submission without refund, even after a film has been invited or final programming has been announced, at the sole discretion of ATLFF staff.

Overall Rating
  • Maegan Houang

    The programming at the Atlanta Film Festival was fantastic. I went to numerous screenings and by the end I felt so honored that my film had been included among so many great ones. Cannot wait to attend this festival again in the future.

    April 2019
  • Ed Hancox

    Screening at the Atlanta Film Festival was SUCH a fabulous experience. After spending months editing the film and planning its distribution, it was wonderful to meet the incredibly engaged audience, and to hang out with other filmmakers. The programmers, staff and volunteers were diligent, friendly and passionate about film. And, crucially, they know how to throw a party.

    April 2019
  • Daniel Oramas

    Though I've been in Atlanta for a few years now, this was my first time attending the festival. I fell in love immediately. The staff was amazing and the events and screenings they had organized were a wonderful, diverse, and delectable. The master classes were great, the creative conferences were great, and the parties were great. Amazing opportunities and friendships were forged this year, and I look forward to going back for many years moving forward.

    May 2018
  • I couldn't attend because of visa issues, but I followed everything on social media (mainly instagram) and it looked amazing.
    Although we had a short film in the competition, we were contacted by some people who were in the audience during the screening and it always wonderful when people contact u and praise the film.
    Definitely one of the best film festivals in the US.
    Thanks for having us.

    May 2018
  • Ed Barreveld

    A great festival in a great city. Very hospitable festival staff. Wish we could have stayed the whole time!

    May 2018