Now approaching its 42nd year, the Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF)—an Academy Award®-qualifying festival—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. Recent festivals have seen audiences of nearly 27,000 film-lovers joining over 300 attending filmmakers in support of moving images that push the boundaries of independent cinema.

Every spring, our 10-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 6,000 submissions representing 40+ 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 Participant Media, Vimeo, Netflix, Film Collaborative, Cinelicious Pics, Paramount, HBO, Turner, NBC Universal, Comcast, Archer Gray, Kickstarter and Seed & Spark.

The Georgia Film Award will honor a Georgia-made film from any filmmaker with a current Georgia address. Those eligible for entry in the Georgia Film category will pay a subsidized $20 submission fee (early, regular and late). 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.

In order to ensure that each submission is given the careful consideration it deserves, we are instituting a cap of 7,500 submissions for the 2018 season.

Jury Awards are given for the following categories:
Narrative Features ($1,000 prize)
Documentary Features ($1,000 prize)
Narrative Shorts ($500 prize)
Documentary Shorts ($500 prize)
Animated Shorts ($500 prize)

Non-juried Awards will also be considered in categories such as Georgia Film,
New Mavericks, and Pink Peach. In addition, all officially selected features and short films will be eligible for our Audience Awards.

We strongly encourage you review this 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 2018 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.


Online screeners are STRONGLY preferred, either via a password protected Vimeo link or uploaded directly to FilmFreeway. The submitter is responsible for ensuring that their screener link and password is active through at least April 30, 2018. 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.

If you are absolutely unable to submit via an online screener, you may submit your screener via DVD (region 1 or 0). We require (2) copies of DVD submissions. Please test your discs on several makes and models of DVD players before sending them to us. If we are unable to play your DVD, we will contact you immediately for an updated copy. Failure to deliver a playable screener by the final deadline will result in disqualification without refund of submission fees. DVDs should be sent in a paper sleeve with the film title, tracking number, and director’s name written on the disc in sharpie. Please DO NOT send your film in a hard case or include labels or stickers on the disc.

If submitting on DVD, entries must be received in our office by the deadline. Deadline dates are not postmark dates. DVD screeners will not be returned. Please do not send self-addressed stamped envelopes.

For Virtual Reality submissions, it is strongly encouraged that you send it in a private VR-enabled format (such as YouTube or Vimeo 360) or other formats that allow full 360 playback via Samsung Gear VR.


All foreign-language films must be submitted with English subtitles. Any films that do not provide working subtitles will be disqualified 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 sound, missing VFX, no color-correction) both in your cover letter and either the film cut itself OR the screener’s thumbnail.
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. We do not accept updated cuts via email or DVD.
No updated cuts will be accepted after the final submission deadline: November 16, 2017.
If selected, the final version of the film must be available by February 1, 2018.


Please review submission categories carefully before submitting. 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 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 the incorrect category.


The Georgia Film category is for any feature or short film 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).


Feature films must be theatrical premieres in the state of Georgia.*

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. Feature films that have been released online, on VOD, or DVD are not eligible to screen.

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 Georgia festival.

*Exceptions to this rule may be made on very rare occasions and are solely at the discretion of the programming staff. 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.


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

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 may result in disqualification without a refund.

If submitting on DVD, please keep in mind that deadline dates are not postmark deadlines; they are the date by which your DVD must be received in our office.


All works selected must be available by February 1, 2018 for inclusion in the festival.

Should your film be accepted in the 2018 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 option of an encore screening for select films/shorts blocks. 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 digital file).


The Atlanta Film Festival DOES NOT PAY SCREENING FEES. By submitting your film, you acknowledge that the festival will not pay to present your work.


By entering your film for consideration to the 2018 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 of submission fees.

Overall Rating
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    Lyntoria Newton

    Wonderful experience! It was great to show my film in the town I call home.

    May 2017
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    Paulo Cesar Toledo

    ATLFF is a wonderful, welcoming and friendly festival in a fabulous city. The conference debates are very helpful and the audience is also really interested and we had a great Q&A session . Their PR is also very effective (I gave my first interview to NPR thanks to ATLFF!). Really hope to spend more time in Atlanta when (I hope!) I come back in the future.

    April 2017
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    Gerardo González Pérez

    The conferences and screenings were really good, I'd liked to watch other movies that were presented at the same time I was watching other things. It was a good event tho.

    April 2017
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    Denise Meyers

    I was fortunate enough to have been one of three screenwriters selected as winners of the screenplay competition at the Atlanta Film Festival in 2017. What an incredible experience. Instead of giving us an award, or money, they gave us the most valuable reward of all. Meetings with three outstanding mentors; Michael Lucker, who is an accomplished screenwriter and who teaches screenwriting at Emory University and North Georgia State, Diane Drake, a screenwriter who used to work for Sydney Pollack and who teaches screenwriting at UCLA, and Kathryn Dean, a unit production manager for films like Winter's Bone and Hell or High Water. We met with each mentor at Serenbe Community, which hosted each of the three screenwriters, and their mentors for two days of meetings, while the Atlanta Film Festival provided airfare, lodging and meals for the weekend, so all we had to worry about was taking notes on how to improve our screenplays. We also participated in a table read with SAG/AFTRA actors to here the words we had written interpreted by professional actors so we could see what was working and what wasn't. The experience was beyond invaluable. The Creative Conference the following week (which we had complete access to) made it possible to network with some people I would never have met otherwise. If you are thinking about applying to this festival, please, please do. If you win, you will thank me. Ali Coad is the current screenplay competition coordinator and she is amazing. The entire experience was.

    April 2017
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    Eunhye Hong Kim

    The BEST film festival that I ever attended !

    April 2017