Anthem Libertarian Film Festival presents the year's best films about personal and civil liberty. We seek narrative films and documentaries about self-reliance, innovation, entrepreneurship, individual rights, and the power of persuasion over force. And we love shorts.
Why should you choose Anthem? Most film festivals struggle to attract an audience to watch their movies. But that's not a problem at Anthem, where filmmakers often screen to standing-room-only audiences. That's because Anthem is part of FreedomFest, “the world’s largest gathering of free minds.” With over 2,500 attendees, 250 speakers, and a cadre of journalists on Media Row, FreedomFest provides a ready audience of eager viewers for Anthem’s filmmakers, as well as expert panelists for post-screening discussions.
Filmmakers have a blast at Anthem. They go to yoga classes in the mornings, listen to fascinating speakers during the day, watch and comment on each other's movies, network with filmmakers and potential producers, and celebrate at our Gala Awards Banquet. And FreedomFest attendees love the film festival. Viewers pack the theater.
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that so many of our films have gone on to find distribution when carrying the Anthem laurel. "Seized," which premiered at Anthem in 2016 and won our award for Best Short Documentary, went on to win an Emmy in 2017. So did "Saber Rock" in 2018. Our 2017 grand prize winners both found distribution deals and critical acclaim: Ramsey Denison's expose of police brutality and corruption, "What Happened in Vegas" and Courtney Balaker's full-length narrative "Little Pink House," with A-list actors and an outstanding libertarian theme about eminent domain. Our 2016 grand prize winner, "Can We Take a Joke?" topped several critics' lists for documentaries that summer. Another of our 2016 films, "Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made" reached 92% on RottenTomatoes during its theater run and was selected by the New York Times as one of its to-20 documentaries in 2020. Our 2014 winner, "Poverty, Inc.," screened at several prestigious festivals worldwide, -- and we screened it first at Anthem. If you're a filmmaker creating movies about individual liberty, you need to be at Anthem.
FreedomFest invites the best and brightest minds to speak about geo-politics, health & wellness, finance, history & philosophy, science & technology, art & literature, investments and more, attracting an audience of intelligent influencers and free thinkers. In 2017 William Shatner and producer Fraser Heston headlined the conference, and Hercules Kevin Sorbo was a keynote speaker in 2019, along with Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary . Regular speakers include publisher Steve Forbes, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, Skeptic Magazine publisher Michael Shermer, and Hollywood's biographer, Marc Eliot. We've also hosted science fiction authors David Brin and Orson Scott Card. FreedomFest speakers are available for your post-screening panel.
Why the name "Anthem"?
We think Anthem is the perfect name for our film festival. An anthem is a choral composition that stirs its hearers to action. We consider our Anthem to be a similar voice of warning, one that stirs viewers to action against both tyranny and mediocrity.
"Anthem" is also the title of Ayn Rand's second novel, and for pure storytelling, we think it's her best book. Set in a dystopian future when the concept of individuality has been completely stamped out, it tells the story of a man who discovers this suppressed truth: all humans are and ought to be free to think and act for themselves. Written in 1937, "Anthem" was a precursor to such great warning voices as George Orwell's "1984" (1948), Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" (1953), and Lois Lowry's "The Giver" (1992).
Libertarian films tell stories about choice, opportunity, and overcoming obstacles. They often point out the unintended consequences of government intervention, but they're just as likely to present a personal struggle for self-expression. They show us how to make the world a better place simply by making our own lives better. If that describes your film, we urge you to submit it to Anthem!
We hope to see you at the Elks Theater, Rapid City, South Dakota, july 21-24, 2021.
Filmmakers receive two tickets to FreedomFest, two tickets to our Filmmakers Reception and Master Class, and two tickets to our gala Saturday night banquet and dance-- a package worth $1,500. Trophies are awarded for Best Overall, Excellence in Filmmaking, and Best Libertarian Ideals in four categories: Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Short Narrative, and Short Documentary.
Cash Awards include $2,500 to the Grand Prize winner, and $500 for Best Original Score (sponsored by Anthem Vault).
Films must present a libertarian theme. Libertarian films tend to tell stories about choice, accountability, and individual worth. They demonstrate the power of persuasion over the force of authority. Libertarian films often point out the unintended consequences of government intervention and the very real hardships that government regulations cause. But they are just as likely to present a protagonist’s personal struggle for self-expression and self-reliance. They show us how to make the world a better place simply by making our own lives better.
Submit your film via a secure vimeo link. Include a synopsis of the film and a list of cast and credits with your submission. If your film is selected you will be asked to submit a poster image in two sizes, one no larger than 1MB and the other high res (4MB) and formatted for printing 22" x 28." A trailer will be requested but not required.
Terms and Conditions:
Anthem Libertarian Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.
The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby 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 Anthem Libertarian Film Festival 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.