Started in 2007 by Tamsen Merrill and Harry Keramidas, The Ashfield Film Festival began as a fun community event to honor local town hero and famous showman, Cecil B. DeMille. Each year the town comes together to watch feature films and competitive shorts. The winner is awarded the famed Baby Cecil Trophy. The Ashfield Film Festival is a completely volunteer run event and is fiscally sponsored under the West County Arts and Culture 501(c)3.

The FilmFest has now screened some 150 films, most of which were filmed within our community, by local residents. Each year the entries continue to improve, and demonstrate not only the cultural and historical diversity of our town but a growing enthusiasm for the creative art of storytelling with film/video. We have added workshops over the last several years to assist people with film-making and broaden the diversity of film entries.

The town and increasingly the greater surrounding communities, looks to the Film Festival as a treasured annual tradition, and a reason to gather with friends, perhaps dress up, and watch a new crop of films that add to our sense of wonder and amazement for the community we live in.

Grand Prize - Take home the coveted Baby Cecil trophy!

Audience Choice Award

Some or all of the following awards may be included:

Best Actor

Best Animation

Best Musical Score

Technical Achievement

Best Youth Film

Best Documentary

Best Comedy/Musical/Experimental.

1. Films must be FIVE MINUTES OR LESS

2. Films must have a DIRECT CONNECTION TO WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS HILLTOWNS! The film can be made in the hilltowns of western Mass, or have some principal talent from the hilltowns, like a lead actor, writer, director etc.

3. Entries must be suitable for general audiences. The festival is an event geared towards a general audience from 5 to 105 years old. Therefore all films submitted must conform to a PG rating as defined by the Motion Picture Association of America. There may be some mild profanity but gratuitous violence, overt sexual behavior, depiction of drug use and nudity are not permissible. Dress that is suitable for public places (e.g. the beach) is acceptable. The final decision on eligibility is at the sole discretion of the Ashfield Film Festival judges.

4. Music or musical score must be original, public domain or used with written permission of the copyright holder. A vast wealth of recorded music exists out there that can be used for free. Sites like or are a great source for independent and non-profit filmmakers and film students to obtain a license free of charge. You can also try searching the internet with terms like: fair use music, public domain music, fair use songs.

5. Full written permissions, including the participants, copyrighted materials, and music must be submitted with the entry to be considered for inclusion in the FilmFest.

6. Entrants retain all copyrights for their materials!

7. All content needs to be submitted in HD format. We accept .mov, .mp4, or .m4v files.
We also accept physical media (thumb-drives etc.). Bear in mind these are not returned to the filmmaker. Please send them, along with an entry form by mail to:

Ashfield FilmFest
P.O. Box 337
Ashfield, MA 01330

8. Western Massachusetts residents should use the promo code: BABYCECIL upon submission to waive the entry fee.

That's it!