Seated amid the rolling hillsides and lofty timbers of Eastern West Virginia, Baretower Forge is a unique monthly world-wide short film competition devoted to fostering creativity, inspiring imagination and showcasing extraordinary filmmaking near and abroad. The craft of motion picture is among the most complex and emotionally captivating art forms on Earth. We believe art is powerful, and your film might change the world… or at least someone’s.

At Baretower Forge your film is judged on a high standard of excellence across multiple award groups so your entry is automatically eligible for multiple award selections. Depending on the number of entries competing for a given award, each award class may be presented to winning films as either “Runner-Up” or “Nominee” with the exception of “Jury Prizes”. Ex: (your film could win “Best Picture”, “Best Picture – Runner-Up” or “Best Picture – Nominee”.) We do not adhere to a minimum award requirement and there is no guarantee that all award classes or their divisions will be issued every month. Our screening is held at Town Run Brewing Company located at 202 E Washington St, Shepherdstown, WV, on the first Wednesday of every month from 7:00PM to 9:00PM EST. The event is open to the public and there is no admission charge. Awards are presented to productions showcasing extraordinary skills in the following award classes:


Awarded to a production entirely by unanimous decision whose outstanding qualities and skill of execution stand most distinguished among others.


Awarded to a production entirely by unanimous decision whose outstanding qualities and skill of execution stand second most distinguished among others.


Awarded to a production entirely by unanimous decision whose outstanding qualities and skill of execution stand third most distinguished among others.


Awarded for visually
stunning and immersive imagery.


Awarded for outstanding
audio production technique.


Awarded to films featuring expressive
or complex musical compositions.


Awarded to productions
showcasing excellent camera work.


Awarded for exceedingly believable
or moving character performance.


Awarded for truly expressive or emotionally
complex storylines and plot dynamics.


Awarded for authentic environments,
scenery and intricate set designs.


Awarded for detailed, realistic or complex
costume, makeup and character design.


Awarded for exceptionally
complex or convincing special effects.


Awarded for professional, fluid, clean and
creative motion graphics and animation.


Awarded to films featuring inventive and unconventional methods of production (entry must include production photos, video or documentation).

Prizes include:

***All Category Winners, Runner-Ups, and Nominees in all award classes will receive our official laurel corresponding to your specific award class as a digital download that you may use in thumbnails, posters, pamphlets, DVD cases, etc. for promoting or advertising your winning film. Your film will also be announced at our live screening, featured on the WINNERS page of and promoted on all related social media pages.

***All Category Winners will, in addition to receiving all aforementioned prizes, receive a 6 month subscription to* services.

***All Jury Prize winners will, in addition to receiving all aforementioned prizes, receive a 1 YEAR FREE subscription to* services and your film will be screened at our public event where we host live Q&A with the winning filmmakers in person or via Skype.

*** Grand Jury Prize winners will, in addition to receiving all aforementioned prizes, be awarded with an original, hand-decorated and framed award certificate bearing the name, director and key cast of your award winning production.


We are currently working in collaboration with our partners to bring award winning films a more diverse range of prizes including: film tools and digital content downloads from reputable design companies, branded merchandise and cash prizes.

SUBTITLES: We welcome submissions in all languages, even those that do not feature English subtitles. However, in order to be considered across ALL award classes, please include embedded English subtitles with your entry.

LENGTH: We accept all films 30 minutes or less in length (including credits).

SUBMISSION FORMAT: All entries must be full HD resolution and submitted through FilmFreeway. We accept only digital copies of work hosted on Vimeo or YouTube. Please do not mail DVDs, flash drives or any physical media containing your work. Award winning filmmakers will be asked to provide a downloadable copy of their film prior to our live screening.

CONTENT: We understand that you may choose to use explicit content to express your vision. Violence, nudity, sexual content and drug use are permissible so long as your submission is not pornographic in nature. However, entries that do contain explicit content, while eligible for awards, are unable to be screened in full if our event is held at a public venue. Alternatively, chosen segments of winning films will be shown and announced upon recognition.

FEES: All submission fees are non-refundable.

COPYRIGHT: we will not be held responsible for any copyright disputes or infringements pertaining to your entry. By submitting your film through FilmFreeway you agree that you own or have permission to use all content featured in your submission.

RE-SUBMISSION: Films not selected for an award may re-enter each following month. Returning award winning films will only be eligible for awards not received within that year.

Overall Rating
  • Marc Lyon Galang

    Great festival and communication from the festival staff.

    July 2017
  • Daniel Robinette

    Excellent film competition - the selections are top notch films and I applaud Baretower Forge for supporting independent filmmaking. They were great! It was an honor to receive our awards!

    July 2017
  • We are honored to be a part this festival. Drew and his team have been incredibly helpful and easy to communicate with throughout the entire process. We very much to work with Baretower Forge again in the near future with more projects. Thank you again for acknowledging our work!

    June 2017
  • Laura Winter

    Brilliant festival and one that I am happy to recommend. The communication is very efficient and the festival is well organised. The team is friendly and there are a range of categories of awards which is wonderful. Also really enjoyed the announcement of awards over the facebook page. We were happy to be part of the festival and would be happy to enter films into this festival in the future, definitely worth the entrance fee.

    June 2017
  • I am very pleased to have participated in this festival.
    A very interesting and well-organized festival from all points of view.
      A festival that immediately aroused my interest.
    Thank you so much !!!

    June 2017