Bare Bones was created to champion the small budget filmmaker who wears many hats to bring their project to completion By Any Means Necessary. BAMN! 'No Frills-No Waste' is our common battle cry.

If you are a fiercely independent filmmaker producing small budget films this festival is for you.

We are a festival run by Filmmakers, Professors of Film and Film Fans for Filmmakers, Film Students and Film Fans at all levels of expertise. This is a festival where recognition is generous and you are the Star no matter what role you played or how many roles you assumed, everyone is treated like a Rock Star. We roll out the red carpet for your premiere, allow time for Q & A following the screening, or the block of films if you are in the shorts category.

If you have special skills, you may be invited to moderate a panel or participate as a panelist. Festival Alumni are invited to serve as Awards Presenters during the Bonehead Awards Gala/Ceremony, along with Actors, and Community Leaders.

Indie Auteur of the Year-Top award given to the Best of the Best, qualifying with a minimum of 4 key credited production positions: i.e. Writer, Producer, Director, Lead Actor or Lead Actress, Cinematographer, Editor, PR/Marketer.
Winner get a custom Bonehead trophy, gold medallion, Embroidered Indie Auteur Ballcap and post-fest promotional consideration.

* In all of the following categories Bonehead winner receives a Bonehead Plaque
Best of Fest Feature Narrative Film*
Best Producer-Best Feature Picture Awards*
Best of Fest Short Narrative Film*
Best of Fest Maximum Short Film*
Best Director* (Also wins Best Ensemble Cast)
In all of the following categories Winner receives a Bare Bones Festival Gold Medallion
Best Animation Film
Best Foreign Language Feature Film
Best Foreign Origin Feature Film
Best Cinematography in a Feature Film
Best Editing in a Feature Film
Best Soundtrack/Score/Song in a Feature Film
Best Production Design in a Feature Film
Best Ensemble Cast (Up to 5 members) (Also wins Best Director- in a Film)
Best Male/Female: Lead Actor, Character/Support Actor, Youth Actor in a Feature
Best Script-2-Screen Movie (Script entered in Bare Bones Screenwriting Competition now a movie)
Best Oklahoma Setting/Soil Film (shot on Ok Soil)
Best Domestic Violence Awareness Film
Best Genre Awards: Horror, Faith, Comedy, Drama, Western, Sci-Fi, Docu-Drama, Thriller, Medieval, Action

Festival reserves the right to not select award for any listed category.

It is encouraged but not required that all screenplays/movies should be copyrighted/registered with the Writers Guild of America or the Library of Congress.

A budget summary should be included for feature length movies to verify that the project meets the "Bare Bones" requirement of less than $1 million budget category I Features or less than $5 million for budget category 2 Features.

The festival is under no obligation to provide airfare, accommodations or other expenses incurred to attend the festival.

Filmmakers/Screenwriters attending the festival will be granted 4 VIP Gold Bare Bones Festival Passes as outlined in each category. Additional passes/Tickets may be purchased at a discount for crew, cast or special guests.

Films produced or initiated by a major movie studio with budgets more than one million dollars are not eligible for competition, but may be considered for a showcase; but will not compete.

All entries must come with the non-refundable entry fee and online screener. Optional: Send a Flash Drive, Blu-ray or DVD for consideration.

The live screening selections are at the sole discretion of the festival judges, directors, programmers, all decisions are final. Website will be main source for updates on selections and scheduling.

The festival does NOT grant fee waivers. Please do not tell us that you have run out of money submitting your project to other festivals.

The festival does not return screeners, exhibition Flash Drives, Blu-Rays, DVDs.

Non-English projects must have English subtitles or be dubbed in English.

All films selected as official selections will be posted on the festival website (Logline, short synopsis) prior to the festival and will remain on the website for at least 60 days after the festival. Be sure to list the genre or special consideration (i.e. OK Soil/Setting, Domestic Violence Awareness, Indie Auteur, etc) that you feel your film belongs in.

All accepted films are required to submit a press kit, either electronic or paper. Postcards, fliers may be sent in hard copy to the festival headquarters. Poster graphics must be emailed in time (as specified) for a web listing and for program schedules. Hard Copy Posters for Competition or for Promotion of your film must arrive by April 1st.

All participants are encouraged to engage in "Shameless Do-It-Your-Self-Promotions" by any means necessary to help build an audience for their screening.

All films are encouraged to send their weblinks for downloadable trailers (vimeo, youtube, and facebook) for promotional purposes.

Award winners not present to receive their award will pay $10 USA/$25 INTERNATIONAL for shipping and handling, unless they were in attendance prior to the ceremony and left prior to it.

Those who want duplicate awards or Awards Certificates for their filmmaking partners, producers, cast or crew may order and pre-pay for duplicates, plus shipping and handling. Award winners may also order an upgraded award plaque at the posted pricing.

Overall Rating
  • This was one of my favorite film festivals to date.

    (1) Amazing people. The representatives at this festival are hospitable and very cool.
    (2) The venues where they screen the films are really nice. One is a refurbished historic movie theatre.
    (3) Networking networking networking. I met soooo many talented colleagues at this fest.
    (4) Seminars and workshops were really interesting. I went to most.
    (5) Caliber of films were wonderful!

    July 2019
  • Thrilled to have had my feature screenplay, "Transgressions," awarded Best Thriller in 2019. The Rays are so committed, so nurturing--this event truly keeps me stoked for entire year, always has.

    June 2019
  • My short horror film A Grave Mistake was nominated for Best Micro-Short Film. We didnt win, but it was a pleasure being screened with all the other films. We werent able to attend, but thank you so much for having our little film!!

    June 2019
  • Doug Phillips

    I've been submitting to Bare Bones since 2002, and attending (most years) since 2004. Always an excellent time. Including this year. Support of ultralow-budget Indies, and overall hospitality, are outstanding.

    May 2019
  • Sara Casaus

    The Bare Bones film festival is a great experience especially if you are a filmmaker that focuses on small, independent productions. The level of communication and hospitality that Shiron and Oscar show their guests is off the charts. Thank you to Bare Bones for screening Bottled Up at the 2019 festival and for the award for Best Romantic Comedy micro short! It's truly an honor!

    May 2019