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, Original Music Composer.
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 Mounted Bonehead or Bonehead Trophy.
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*
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)
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, Bio-pic.
Named Awards are presented at the discretion of the Judging team.

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 more than a million but 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. We will list the Lodging options that offer a discount to Bare Bones Filmmakers & attendees to 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. Download options from Youtube, Vimeo are to be password-free.
Optional: Send a Flash Drive, Blu-ray for consideration.

The live screening selections are at the sole discretion of the festival judges, directors, programmers, all decisions are final.

NOTE: Festival Website ( will be main source for updates on selections and scheduling.

The online screening platform (Entertainment Oxygen) will be setup and activated prior to selection of live screenings. More up-to-date info will be on the website.

The festival does NOT grant ENTRY 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 or Blu-Rays unless a SASE (Self Addressed Stamped ( or UPS/FEDEX) Envelope is provided or prior arrangements are made for in-person pickup post-festival.

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

All films selected as official selections:
A Festival movie poster graphic (theatrical style) will be posted on the festival website (Logline, short synopsis) prior to the festival and may remain on the website for up to 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. (limit of 2).

All accepted films are requested to submit a promotional 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 or before April 1st. Sizes are optional. 11x17 to 41x27. For a physical display, send framed or funds to purchase a frame.

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. YOU are responsible for soliciting an audience for your film beyond what the festival does.

Do not expect the festival to individually promote your film screening. Use your postcard fliers to personally share with prospective in-person attendees. Invite your database to join the festival's fan club via the EOapp for virtual (online screening & award consideration)

All films are encouraged to send their weblinks for downloadable trailers (vimeo, youtube, and facebook) for promotional purposes. TRAILERS ARE KEY FOR FESTIVAL PROMOTIONS.

Award Mail-outs for non-attendees range from $12-USA-to $25 Canada & 45+ for International (depends on country) for proper packaging, shipping and handling,

Those who want duplicate awards or Awards Certificates for their filmmaking partners, producers, cast or crew may order and pre-pay for duplicate awards plus packaging, shipping and handling. Award winners may also order an upgraded Award plaque or Trophy at the posted pricing. (listed on main festival website)

Overall Rating
  • George Meyers

    Absolutely wonderful festival, this was my 3rd year attending and each year seems to get bigger and better. It is incredibly well run and well organized, and it is so much fun spending the weekend in the historic town of Muskogee Oklahoma. The award ceremony was also incredibly exciting, a HUGE thank you to Sharon and Oscar for putting on such an amazing, fun film festival!

    August 2023
  • Andy Bowles

    It was great I won 2 awards. I won Best Feature: Thiller / Horror and Best Actor!!!

    May 2023
  • Fantabulous experience, great chance for indie filmmakers to mingle, see some wonderful movies, and explore this wonderful land called "Oklahoma". Thanks Bare Bones, my son and I enjoyed the event and seeing our short film screened at your festival!

    May 2023
  • The Bare Bones International Film & Music Festival may be recognizing great films done on shoestring budgets but there's nothing shoestring about them - they pull out all the stops! The hospitality here is like no other. You step off the plane and become one of their family. And everything is done with the heart. The festival directors, organizers and volunteers go above and beyond to help, recognize and congratulate everyone's achievements. They even help you pass flyers to get the word out! This is Southern Hospitality at its finest and kindest. Thank you for the Best Ensemble Cast Award, First Time Filmmaker Ambassador medal, and Best DIY Marketing Special Award!!! And thank you for showing so many wonderful films and providing such excellent networking opportunities! We met some truly talented people! Wish we had another film to go back with next year! This is a festival not to be missed!

    May 2023
  • Dewayne Irving

    I’ve heard nothing but positivity about this festival for many years, and after experiencing it for myself I can definitely see why. The town was intimate, the people were friendly, the food was wonderful, and the festival itself was fantastic to say the least! By the time you leave you would have found a second home and a new film family! Mrs. Sharon and Mr. Oscar are both Saints! You can feel their passion for the festival and film from just a short conversation. There’s less than five festivals I cherish dear to my heart and this is definitely one of them! I highly recommend submitting and can’t wait to go back myself!

    May 2023