LOCALS ONLY is a recurring screening of short films from Georgia’s independent filmmakers with each event having a distinct theme and focus. Featured short films come entirely from submissions.

The theme of Winter 2024's LOCALS ONLY is dedicated to the loverrr–in you, and you, and YOU! Does your narrative feature a love story? Does your documentary focus on the love of music? Well, we can’t wait! LOCALS ONLY Presents: LOVE NOTES. This season, we’re screening romance shorts that make us swoon and music videos that make us groove. We want your feel-good short docs on how your grandparents met and your animated shorts that immerse us in your favorite albums. If your short film focuses on love, music, or both, send us a note!

Submitted films must be at least partially filmed in Georgia AND come from a director who resides in the state of Georgia. Maximum runtime is 20 minutes. If you submit in this category without meeting the necessary criteria, you will be disqualified from consideration and will not be issued a refund.

All selected films will screen at the event, scheduled to take place on February 13th at the Tara Theatre and receive Official Selection laurels. Additionally, selected filmmakers will receive a waiver to submit their LOCALS ONLY entry to the next Atlanta Film Festival. Each selected film will receive 5 free tickets to attend the screening as well as two free tickets to the Tara Theatre ($30 value).

Jury and Audience prizes will be awarded. Each will come with a $100 cash prize. Winning films will also receive winner laurels, 2 All-Access badges each to the next Atlanta Film Festival ($800+ value) and 2 Tara Theatre ticket/popcorn/drink combos ($54 value).


LOCALS ONLY is open to thematically appropriate projects that were at least partially filmed in Georgia AND come from a director who resides in the state of Georgia. If you submit in this category without meeting the necessary criteria, you will be disqualified from consideration and will not be issued a refund.

Entries are accepted in digital formats only and should be 20 minutes or less.

During the submission process, please make sure your film is not available to the general public for online viewing.


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 February 14, 2024. 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.


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, ATLFS 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.

If selected, the final version of the film must be available by January 31, 2024.


ATLFS regularly uses private, secure third party software to organize, track, and review submissions. By submitting to our festival, you are authorizing us to use such software to track your film and information about your film.


Please be advised that the Atlanta Film Society has instituted a code of conduct by which all attendees of the festival are expected to follow. Those who fail to follow the terms of this code of conduct will face possible dismissal from the festival. Possible grounds for dismissal may include, but are not limited to, the following: gross misconduct or insubordination, theft of property or misuse of agency materials, abuse or mistreatment of clients, guests, staff or other volunteers, failure to abide by agency policies and procedures, any form of harassment or assault. To view the full code of conduct, please visit: http://www.atlantafilmsociety.org/code-of-conduct.


By entering your film for consideration to LOCALS ONLY, 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 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)

ATLFS 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 ATLFS staff.

Overall Rating
  • Anca Vlasan

    Incredible local festival! It was such a special night thanks to everyone who at the Atlanta Film Society and the other filmmakers. The venue was iconic and seeing my film at the Plaza Theater was truly special. The event definitely brought out the ATL film community!

    November 2019
  • Friendly, wonderful, inclusive, exciting, fun. Loved participating in this event! The Plaza Theatre is one of my favorite venues - with top-notch projection and a comfortable environment. I look forward to this growing into a major event!

    November 2019