Ae seeks to exhibit short-form experimental film and video art at a length 12 minutes or shorter. Each year a theme is selected based upon trends noticed in the selected submissions.

Over the past ten years Altered Esthetics has hosted over 100 group exhibitions, launched a solo exhibitions program for emerging artists, and have brought the work of more than 500 artists to public view - many of whom were sharing their artwork with the public for the very first time. Altered Esthetics largest program is the the Ae Film Festival, an annual event dedicated to the organization’s mission to foster an inclusive and sustainable arts community through exhibitions, education, and outreach. This festival exhibits artists who explore the art of the moving image, including artworks that represent experimental narratives, genre expanding documentary, contemporary art practices, and avant garde poetics. The selections of short film and video work and accompanying screenings stretch the notion of what the moving image is and can be.

Regarding submission fees:
We do ask for national and international artists to pay a submission fee to enter this festival. We do understand there are some countries where it is difficult to pay a fee. We also understand that there are artists that can't pay the fee at all. All we ask is that you email us at to let us know you can't pay the fee. Do this before you consider enter into the Minnesota Artists category. If you do it will be automatically disqualified. Answer the following questions, and we may be able to help waive your fee:

Who are you, where do you live, and where did you make your film/video?
Why do you want to enter into the Ae Film Festival?
Why do you need a waiver?

Our approval is case by case, as receiving submission fees are important to the financial stability of the event. We can't showcase the work of over 50 artists without the fees.

Each year the film festival presents 3 different prizes, all which include special recognitions:

Creative Vision - 1 juried award to one artist/film which demonstrates a commitment to their personal voice and vision over conventional storytelling, with work usually expressing and visualizing deep meaning. If funding is available, the recipient of the Creative Vision Award may receive an honorarium (in US dollars). All accepted entries are eligible for nomination. Curators generally nominate 5-7 films for the Creative Vision Award.

Featured Artist - The purpose of this award is to honor and recognize promising artwork from 1-2 artists who are innovative with their approach with the moving image medium. Only Minnesota-based artists are considered for the Featured Artist recognition. If funding is available, Featured Artists receive an honorarium.

Audience Award - Audience members are encouraged to vote for their favorite films from the festival.

Please read the following before submitting your short film project:

Do not submit films over 12 minutes in length and no more than 3 submissions. Anymore than that may disqualify you all together and you will have to resubmit your projects. Submit your project in the right category or you will be disqualified. Do not submit into the Minnesota Made category unless you are a resident of the state of Minnesota. If you are an artist that has shown with this festival before, please email us at to collect a waiver.

Submissions need to offer the legal ability to download your work. Vimeo is a highly recommended site to submit with. Artist statements are encouraged.

Imagery or details of your imagery (along with sound) may be used to promote the festival. If you prefer not to release your artwork to Altered Esthetics for promotional purposes, please let us know immediately by email.

Artists selected are invited to attend the their screening night with two complimentary passes. RSVP is required.

Feel free to email if you have any questions about the submission process by sending a message to

Overall Rating
  • A great program - well put together, friendly communication and great movies!

    September 2019
  • Ellen Mueller

    I had a great time showing in this festival and attending the screening. I would recommend!

    September 2019
  • John Graham

    Despite 3 email requests for a screening program for the 2019 Altered Esthetics Film Festival, the interm festival director ignored all of my communications. There is no online screening program either.

    September 2019
  • Bahman Shahravan

    Insanely humanitarian, I’m from Iran and they let me enjoy the journey of being in Altered esthetics Film Festival!

    August 2018
  • Being unable to attend the festival it is hard to review all different aspects
    of the festival. It is great when the festival covers that gap with good film promotion and networking. I would recomend the festival to any independent filmmaker.
    Nice work guys
    see you next year

    June 2018