Because film is important. Because you are important. And because nobody grew up dreaming of one day having a film screen on an iPhone. We intend to put films in theaters where they belong and nothing short of a government ban can stop us. We did it in 2020 and we are doing it again in 2021.


So far for 2021, we're already welcoming filmmakers from five continents!

Ask us directly about feature length productions



***New Covid19 category for all those works completed during quarantine! (including online content) or produced under Social Distancing/Covid-Safe conditions!***

****Film Narratives == Dramas, Comedies, Mysteries, LGBT or ANYTHING not covered under the other categories*****

When it comes to film festivals they all claim to be different. But, well, we’re different! We’re perhaps the first film festival to look ahead at what artists will accomplish instead of behind at what they’ve already done. We weren't allowed to hold "Social" events in 2020 but we've already invited in a sound man to talk about audio on a budget, and a filmmaker about indy financing. CROSS YOUR FINGERS! It’s all designed to leave you with more than you came with! Covid19 restrictions may or may not interfere with plans but we'll keep you informed!

Best Picture

Best Documentary
Best Picture (Short)
Best Horror
The Mick Cusimano Award for Best Animation or Art Film
Best Performer
Best Music Video
Best SciFi/B-Movie/Cheese

Best Screenplay Feature
Best Screenplay Short
Most Original Screenplay

We reserve the right to alter/delete/amend these rules as we see necessary and to allow exceptions when & where we deem it appropriate, without penalty to any qualifying work previously submitted.

We reserve the right to add or remove judging categories at no penalty to qualifying works previously submitted.

We reserve the right to move selections from one category to another as we see fit.

DUE TO COVID19 RESTRICTIONS seating may be limited. We are only able to offer a complimentary pass to a filmmaker whose work we have selected for screening, and we're going to have to ask filmmakers to RSVP any sessions they would like to attend. LOOK FOR UPDATES! These things are changing as we speak.

All films will be judged in regards to the genre they were submitted to when possible.

We are an all volunteer staff organized under the wing of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Our expenses run into the thousands. Please don't ask for fee waivers.

Prize amounts reflect total value and may or may not include cash, gifts or trophies.

All works should include a title screen. We may be screening films back to back and the audience should know when one ends and another begins.

Online screeners are permitted for submissions.

All works selected for inclusion within the festival should be available as something other than DCP files. Not all theaters are equipped to play DCP files, especially the independent venues, so there's a strong possibility that we will never be able to screen them. If you're unsure on what format you should make your film available on, please ask.

Once selections are announced filmmakers must make a screening copy available to the festival within two weeks or it will be re classified as an un-screened selection or disqualified, probably disqualified.

NOTE: WE WILL NOT DOWNLOAD A YOUTUBE VIDEO! The easiest method to get us a film is to upload it to FilmFreeway than grant us download privileges. Otherwise Dropbox, Google Drive or good ol' fashioned snail mailing a USB drive works great.

Content that glorifies or advocate hate or violence will not be permitted. This includes bigotry of all kinds such as racism, homophobia and religious intolerance.

All subjects/genres are welcome except pornography, in which we including NC-17. We do not accept pornography and will reject it and not offer you a refund, not after the way you made us watch it.

We highly recommend that films in something other than the English language be dubbed or be available with subtitles. Subtitles preferred.

BEFORE SUBMITTING, if there is any question about your works qualifications or if you need an exception to any rule (film length, for example), contact us FIRST, before you submit! Otherwise, we will not refund the submission fees for unqualified entries that the judges had to watch. So, check with us first if there is any doubt. You may be asked to make your work available to us in order to answer your question.

Permissible works include but are not limited to film narratives, documentaries, animation, internet content and even music videos.

Internet content would be any video produced specifically for streaming/viewing over the internet. This would include webisodes, How To videos, Vlogs or short films.

Works could be produced at any time. There is no date restriction on works.

Because we accept web content, and to keep things fair, there is no premiere status requirement on any work. It's okay if your work has been publicly displayed. Yes, blame the web content producers. Or thank them.

Anyone is free to submit works for festival screenings without restrictions but, any submission from a member of the festival’s staff will be excluded from consideration for awards. We're more flexible with people who submitted works FIRST, and then were invited to join us as staff.

The number of screenings, days and venues is at the sole discretion of the Festival. Publicized venues are subject to change in this Post Covid19 world so check for updates!

Works produced by people under 18 years of age must be submitted by an authorized representative (parent/etc.) 18 years of age or older.

By submitting a film a person is certifying that they have every legal right to the work, that they are either the copyright holder or legally represent the copyright holder of the work and that all content (dialogue, music, etc) is either original to the work or that they have obtained all rights and clearances. The submitter agrees to assume all responsibility for damages resulting from the public display of the work, including but not limited to all legal fees associated with copyright infringement claims or contract disputes against the festival or any member of it's staff.

DO NOT use FedEx, UPS or any carrier other than the postal service to ship entries or other materials to our PO Box. The USPS will not deliver materials from private shipping firms to a Post Office box.

DVDs, videos, drives and other materials submitted to the festival become the property of the festival and will not be returned.

Mailed inquires/submissions must include the film representative’s name, the title of the film, any tracking or identification number and all pertinent contact info including physical mailing address. Don't confuse us! The more information you give the less likely we'll be wondering who sent it.

Final selection of films should take place no more than six weeks prior to the festival, assuming you got your entry in before then. If you entered on an extended late deadline then give us another two weeks at least.

Once an entry payment has been processed we cannot provide a refund. If a payment is disputed the applicant may be subject to any fees.

AGAIN, if there is any doubt as to whether your work qualifies or if you need an exception ask FIRST, before you submit! Otherwise, once your entry/payment is processed it will not be refunded. You may have to make your film/video available to us in order to answer your question.

Overall Rating
  • Kristin Herby

    Although I wasn’t able to attend the Screaming Ostrich Film Festival in person, it looked like a fabulous event. The communication was great and I received a lovely certificate in the mail. I hope to attend next year with a new film.

    November 2020
  • Haddon Kime

    Highly recommended. John McGuinness and the whole SO team really cares about helping film makers and giving our films a great venue in which to be experienced. Wasn't able to attend this year because of COVID-19, but I heard nothing but great things from my friends in Boston that were able to attend.

    November 2020
  • Honoured that my short film "Bucky" was an Official Selections!
    Top notch pleasantness and excellent communication and ...!

    November 2020
  • Cameron Johanning

    Grassroots festival with a lot of upward potential. Strange year, but they made the most of it and made me feel welcome as one of two filmmakers to attend our screening block.

    November 2020
  • I was delighted to be selected for the 2020 festival! Unfortunately I was not able to attend with COVID restrictions, but nonetheless Screaming Ostrich were fantastic in keeping me up to date with the festival's running. Great festival and definitely worth entering!

    November 2020