Welcome to the Ancient Way Film Festival, a monthly showcase for Native American and International Films of all genres created by independent filmmakers from around the world. The festival shines a spotlight on Native American Films especially, and other film genres which are often overlooked by many festivals. We also offer young, student, and first time filmmakers the opportunity to present your creative work to an appreciative film festival audience. The Festival gives our community the opportunity to come together to view truly independent, high quality film productions from around the globe that you will not see in the commercial movie industry.

Our monthly Ancient Way Film Festival event consists of 3 to 4 hours of short feature and feature length film selected from a wide variety of genres. At the end of each film, our audience rates the film on a scale of 1 - 10. In the following days the ratings are tallied and the monthly "Audience Choice Award" is announced. At the end of the current Festival Season, the ratings for all the films screened during the entire season are tallied, and the "BEST" Film Awards in each category are announced.

About our Venue, El Morro and our Community:

The venue for the festival is the Old School Gallery, an old country schoohouse converted into a community-owned art gallery, community event center and home to El Morro Area Arts Council. For 21 years The Old School gallery has been host to dramas, comedies, musical stage plays, concerts, music festivals, renaissance festival, may day festival, fiber arts festival, poetry fests, dances, bingo, Christmas market, art workshops and weekly yoga, tai chi, martial arts lessons, and a now Film Festival.

El Morro is a very unique artist community that lies along the ancient trade route between the Acoma and Zuni Pueblos, known as the Ancient Way. El Morro Valley is home to a diverse "live and let live" community of creative, imaginative, homesteaders, artists, painters, poets, musicians, potters, gem traders, silversmiths, weavers, ranchers, organic farmers, photographers and amateur filmmakers.

The El Morro Area is a tourist destination with El Morro National Monument, Malpais National Monument, Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. We are surrounded by a beautiful, wild landscape with the Zuni Mountains, volcanic cones, vast lava fields, 800+ year old Anasazi ruins, and the rich history and ancient culture of the ancestoral puebloans, Navajo and Zuni Pueblo Native Americans.

For the history buffs... In 1540 the infamous Spanish Conquistador Francisco Vázquez de Coronado passed through with his expedition of 400 European men-at-arms (mostly Spaniards), 1,300 to 2,000 Mexican Indian allies, slaves, four Franciscan friars, and a herd of a thousand cattle and horses. The Coronado expedition was in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Gold. According to legend, the seven cities of gold could be found throughout the pueblos of the New Mexico Territory. They camped one mile west of El Morro at Inscription Rock and the oasis pool, which is now El Morro National Monument.

1 Mile from El Morro is the lesser known Atsinna Pueblo, an 800 year old, partially excavated Anasazi Pueblo fortress that lies at the top of the steep, high, Mesa. Atsinna had a central plaza surrounded by 870 rooms (on multiple stories) providing shelter for 1000 - 1500 residents. It was 2-3 times larger (in population) than present day Ramah, NM and larger in size than the better known Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. After only 70 years of habitation, the people abandoned Atsinna and no one knows for sure where they went or why they departed. The mystery remains.

Monthly Award:

Audience Choice Award

End of Film Festival Season Awards:

Best Native American Theme Film
Best Native American Produced Film
Best Young Filmmaker (18 years or younger) - Proof of age required
Best College/University Student Film - Image of school ID required
Best First Time Filmmaker
Best Feature Film
Best Short Film
Best Documentary Film
Best Comedy Film
Best Animated Film
Best Music Video
Best LGBTQ Film
Best Experimental Film
Best Smartphone Video
Best New Mexico Film
Best El Morro Area Film

1. By submitting your film, you confirm that you have read, understand and agree to the following rules, terms and conditions for participation in the Ancient Way Film Festival

2. Filmmaker is duly authorized to submit this film to the Ancient Way Film Festival

3. Filmmakers may submit up to 3 films. NO MORE THAN 3, PLEASE. Any films submitted after the 3rd will be disqualified. Submit individual films only one time each and assign the relevant categories to that one submission. DO NOT SUBMIT A FILM MULTLPE TIMES FOR MULTIPLE CATEGORIES.

4. Films must be submitted electronically via upload to, vimeo, youtube or other suitable platform. No physical media, including DVD and Blu-ray, are accepted as submission copies.

5. Any film submission fees paid by the submitter are non-refundable.

6. There is NO screening fee charged by the filmmaker-submiter or by The Ancient Way Film Festival (does not pertain to film submission fees)

7. If the filmmaker's work is selected, a 1920 x 1080, High Definition .mp4 - m2ts, - or .mov format video file must be provided via download. The Ancient Way Film Festival will not stream film via the internet for the public screening.

8. For films selected, filmmaker will provide press kit, photographs, trailer (if available) and promotional materials, for use at our discretion in promoting the film, film festival and its activities. Ancient Way Film Festival may use any segment of your film for promotional purposes.

9. Filmmaker gives permission to Ancient Way Film Festival to screen submitted film, in a public forum, for an admission fee or free of charge.

10. Final decision of the scheduling of films included in Ancient Way Film Festival will be at the absolute discretion of the Event Organizers.

11. The Ancient Way Film Festival retains the right to cancel the screening of any film selected for the Festival, at the Festival's absolute discretion

12. Filmmaker owns all intellectual property rights to all content in the submission and you have the performing rights for any music contained in the film. Filmmakers are responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and releases for public screening of their work.

13. If requested filmmaker will provide evidence of intellectual property ownership, should it be required. To the best of filmmaker's knowledge, all of the statements in said document are true.

14. The film submitted is not subject to litigation nor is threatened by any litigation.

15. Films considered for Best Young Filmmaker (18 years or younger) must provide proof of age. Films considered for Best College/University Student Film must provide image of Student ID.

16. Filmmaker understand and agrees that Ancient Way Film Festival, El Morro Area Arts Council, or Ancient Way Film Festival Director are not liable for any type of loss or damage to you, pertaining to the film or its use by Ancient Way Film Festival.

17. Inclusion of your film in the Ancient Way Film Festival implies the filmmaker's understanding and agreement to the above rules, terms and conditions.

Overall Rating
  • l am very proud to be in part of this film festival thank you..

    July 2020
  • Anku Parashar

    Very good experience and festival people's are provided lovely hospitality by festival team.

    July 2020