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.

Awards & Prizes

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 recepient 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.

Rules & Terms

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.

Participating artists and award winners are announced on April 13, 2018.

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

7 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Tanin Torabi

    Very well organized, friendly and professional :)

    June 2017
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    Micah Dahl

    fun festival - small and building - hope to see more of it in the future - thanks for the opportunity!

    June 2017
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    Elizabeth Davis

    While I didn't get a chance to attend, the communication I received from the AE Film Festival was always polite, efficient, and gave me all the information I wanted about the festival. They were quick to respond and I trusted that my film was going to be shown well and the festival would be professional. I hope I can attend one year, regardless if I get a film in!

    June 2017
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    Jason Ewert

    AE Film Festival welcomed my work and gave me an incredible experience - True support and a real confidence builder!

    May 2017
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    Jonathan Johnson

    Well organized and very friendly staff. Southern Theatre is a stellar venue. Hope to come back next year!

    August 2016