Nestled on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay less than an hour away from Washington D.C., Annapolis is best known for its rich colonial, African-American, and naval history. As the sailing capital of the U.S. and a vacation destination, it charms its tourists with many restaurants, museums, and galleries.

For our big 10th Anniversary festival, we are excited to be back screening in theaters. All venues are walkable within the city center and provide filmmakers with a high-quality digital presentation.

We are seeking an approximate total of 90 films to be shown March 31 - April 3, 2022. The festival is known for its quality slate and a strong line-up of both documentary and narrative films (both short and feature-length) from emerging and established filmmakers. We present a balanced program consisting of films with a common emphasis on storytelling excellence and/or innovative vision and cinematic artistry.

In addition to our commitment to screen the newest acclaimed films and premieres, we are also interested in films with nautical and environmental themes, films highlighting diverse cultures including African American, Latino, Asian and Jewish experiences as well as LGBTQ+ and women-centric perspectives.

This year we will present Jury Awards and Audience Awards for our Best Narrative Feature and Short and Best Documentary Feature and Short. A select number of films in each category will be nominated and judged by a jury of industry professionals. Juried films will be awarded for displaying exceptional creativity, originality, and skill in script, direction, acting and high-quality production values.

Past guests have included iconic director Rob Reiner (LBJ), esteemed documentarian Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter), actress Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), actor Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice), actor Rory Culkin (Gabriel), Independent Spirit Award-winning filmmakers Matt Spicer (Ingrid Goes West) and Joshua Marston (Come Sunday, Maria Full of Grace), Oscar-winning screenwriter David S. Ward (The Sting), and noted speaker/writer/producer Ambassador Shabazz.

Oscar-nominated actress Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient) and director Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty) were slated to attend the 2020 Opening night with their film Military Wives, but had to cancel due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. In 2021, Emmy Award winning actress Rhea Perlman participated in a virtual Q&A for the opening night screening of Marvelous and the Black Hole. Last year's award winning feature films were: Luzzu (Jury Award for Best Feature), The Perfect Candidate (Audience Award for Best Feature), Not Going Quietly (Jury Award for Best Documentary), and Holy Frit (Audience Award for Best Documentary.

The AFF continues to strengthen the reputation of our festival by bringing top films to this beautiful city and to invite filmmakers to showcase global perspectives and independent thought to a community that truly embraces the art of filmmaking. Visiting filmmakers have been thrilled with the community's response. One filmmaker claimed, "this festival has the smartest audiences and the most community engagement we have seen on the festival circuit".

The mission of the Annapolis Film Festival is to encourage and grant the development of all aspects of the creative arts in and around Annapolis through the cinema experience. With independent films, panels and special showcases that will inspire, enlighten and entertain diverse audiences on a variety of topics, the festival will ensure the promotion of Annapolis as a cultural arts center. It will also define the economic impact on the town as community engagement broadens.

Due to the ongoing struggles caused by the Covid-19 pandemic for artists and filmmakers, the Annapolis Film Festival has reduced our entry fees again this year.

Jury Award - Narrative Feature
Jury Award - Documentary Feature
Audience Award - Narrative Feature
Audience Award - Documentary
Jury Award - Narrative Short
Jury Award - Documentary Short
Audience Award - Narrative Short
Audience Award - Documentary Short

I agree to the Rules & Terms as follows:

1.) The Annapolis Film Festival is accepting entries with a completion date of anytime after June of 2020. Submissions to the Annapolis Film Festival, Inc. must not be scheduled for theatrical release or broadcast on television prior to April 2022. Submissions must not have had prior public screenings in the Annapolis area (unless an exception is granted by the festival).

2.) All films submitted must be free from any legal disputes and third-party claims and filmmaker must have cleared all rights for music and public exhibition.

3.) Please note that for preview purposes the festival accepts secured online screeners through our online submission platform or via a password protected online link.

4.) Entries should be accompanied by any required materials (e.g. fees, press kits, student IDs, etc).

5.) Submissions must be in English or subtitled in English.

6.) Narrative and documentary feature films must have a run time of a minimum of 40 minutes. Short films must have a run time of under 40 minutes.

7.) Filmmakers will be notified by approximately Jan. 15, 2022, if their film has been accepted to the Annapolis Film Festival, Inc.

8.) Upon acceptance, exhibition copies and additional press materials will be requested. Selected films will be screened in the following exhibition formats: DCP (for select venues) or digital files (MP4 or .MOV) must arrive on hard drive or thumb drive. Please notify us in writing about any exceptions to the delivery date, otherwise you may forfeit your place in the program and the Annapolis Film Festival, Inc. is under no obligation to screen a selected film.

9) The individual or corporation submitting the film warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless the Annapolis Film Festival, Inc., Inc. from and against any and all disputes, arbitration, 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, including but not limited to third party claims involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to or the inability to screen videos entered.

10) The festival will not pay screening fees for any submitted film that we program.

Overall Rating
  • Greg Armstrong

    Great festival for filmmakers! Excellent communication and audience engagement.

    May 2021
  • An amazing festival, great communication!

    April 2021
  • Jane Yao

    Due to the Covid-19, they hold the online this year. They were very efficient and handled risk management very well. Great to cooperate with them.

    May 2020
  • Mirra Bank

    In the midst of the Covid19 crisis, AFF came up - early - with an effective and engaging plan to stream the festival, including Q+As on Zoom, so that filmmakers and audiences got the very best of the experience. Everyone, from Admin to Tech to Interview hosts did a superb job. It made what could have been a disaster into an exploration of what the future might be, with benefits for both audiences and filmmakers. Great to be part of this with our feature doc, No Fear No Favor.

    April 2020
  • It was very Phenomenal !!!!

    April 2020