Born in Baltimore celebrates new voices in cinema and photographic arts. Filmmakers and photographers of all ages whose work is of, from, and about Baltimore are invited to submit. The Festival seeks images, sounds, and textures that are uniquely Baltimore; the music, the faces, the stories of our city and its citizens, past and present, young and old, native and newly arrived.

Capture your world and your vision on film. Share with a live audience and on the Born in Baltimore website. We want to hear from you!

Born in Baltimore is a production of Baltimore Youth Film Arts, which is sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Film and Media Studies Program and supported by a grant from the Andrew. W. Mellon Foundation.

There will be Judges' Awards for three films and one photograph. There will be Audience Awards for one film and one photograph. Finalists for Judges' Awards will be posted on the website and awards will be announced at the Festival.

There is no fee to submit and artists of any level of experience may enter. Beginners are welcome! Films must be under ten (10) minutes and photography submissions are limited to three (3) images. Filmmakers may submit up to two (2) films totalling no more than ten (10) minutes for both. Filmmaker-photographers may submit in both categories.

Born in Baltimore will consider all types of material, including documentary, fiction, animated, and experimental films; music videos; and stand-alone excerpts from longer works. Films must be at least 30 seconds in length. The Festival will accept submissions of works in progress, but cannot consider second submissions of revisions, so submit the version you're ready to share. Films in all languages will be considered. Dialogue in languages other than English should be accompanied by subtitles. All photography subjects and styles are welcome. Freshness and honesty are a plus. The Festival appreciates surprise and authenticity as much as polish. Artists are encouraged to use their own best judgement when submitting material featuring illegal activity, explicit sexuality, or explicit violence. Films and photographs with strong sexual content or gratuitous, graphic violence may not be accepted.

The Festival cannot consider material created for clients, but personal, expressive films and photographs created in a workshop or class are welcome. Artists may submit only their own work. Collaborations are welcome if all partners agree in writing to the terms and conditions of the Festival. There are no restrictions on the date a work was created.

Born in Baltimore cannot consider any work that contains copyright violations. All entries must be original. Use of any third party materials, including third-party prose, song lyrics, photography, or video requires written permission of the copyright owner. Original music is preferred. Filmmakers are encouraged to use their own original music or music created by their friends. This is an opportunity to get your work out there where it can be heard! All contributors, including musicians, must agree in writing to Festival terms and conditions.

Attendance at the Born in Baltimore Festival is strongly encouraged for all entrants, even if your film or photograph is not accepted for exhibition. You contribute by participating and the Festival values your contribution. Join us in celebrating Baltimore’s growing film and photographic arts community. Support your fellow artists. Admission is free!

All entrants irrevocably grant to Born in Baltimore, the Baltimore Youth Film Arts Program, and Johns Hopkins University the right to use their names, likenesses, and films or photographs for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium. These grants are perpetual, and all entrants agree that they shall have no right of approval and no claim to compensation.

All entries must be original works. Use of any third party materials without both acknowledgement and written permission of the copyright owner, including but not limited to third-party prose, song lyrics, photography, video, or audio will result in disqualification.

All entrants represent that they have the permission of each and every identifiable individual person in the submitted films or photographs to use the name and likeness of each and every such person, sufficient to enable inclusion and use of the submission by the Festival.

All entrants agree to release and indemnify, defend and hold harmless Born in Baltimore, the Baltimore Youth Film Arts Program, and Johns Hopkins University from any and all liability and damages or losses they may suffer to their persons or property, arising from their participation in the Festival. They further agree to indemnify Born in Baltimore, the Baltimore Youth Film Arts Program, and Johns Hopkins University for all costs, damages, and attorneys’ fees resulting from any third party claims, including copyright infringement, arising from their participation.

Agreement to these terms is required in writing from all entrants, including all contributors to collaborative projects. Releases may be downloaded from the Born in Baltimore website:

Refer to the website for more details on all aspects of the Festival, and check out the 2017 and 2018 Festival Galleries.

Your story. Your city. Submit to Born in Baltimore!

Overall Rating
  • Nic Kelly

    I was not able to attend the festival personally. However, I had a host of friends there who told me how nice the festival was and how much they enjoyed seeing my film on the big screen. Thanks for supporting my voice Born In Baltimore.

    July 2018
  • Alec Jordan

    Such a wonderful program, can't wait for next year's!

    July 2018
  • Earl walker

    I thought this festival was a wonderful opportunity for emerging local artist from these platforms to get there work acknowledged and admired I look forward to the next one

    February 2018
  • Vonnya Pettigrew

    We were thrilled and surprised to learn that our film Youth Truth wan the Judges Award for 18 and under and the Audience Choice Award!

    January 2018
  • kevin hogan

    Fantastic event with wonderful organization.

    July 2017