We are looking for BRAVE STORIES, feature films and shorts, animation, digital Series, music videos and live action narratives and documentaries that showcase a celebration of the arts for justice, diversity and inclusion.

We invite you to submit your films that would be a great showcase in our fest. We want to celebrate movies in all genres that bravely explore how we think, how we live, how we interact with others and how we see the world anew.

We're looking to elevate brave voices by those who make films and tell stories. We value underrepresented voices and seek to partner with emerging storytellers as well as established filmmakers. We look forward to being moved for powerful art.

We will have both in person fest screenings and online.

STAY TUNED for celebrity guests, social media ambassadors, and hosts!

Brave Stories change the world and we want to celebrate YOURS with live screenings, red carpet, Q&A's, networking events, workshops and parties. Submissions exclusively on FilmFreeway.

Our Festival will be screening all films in DCP the industry standard playback format for digital cinema (and some in .mp4 format). All filmmakers selected to screen there films in person at the Century 20 theater MUST submit their film by DCP (using our partner SIMPLE DCP) by June 10th. NO EXCEPTIONS any films that do not meet the deadline will not be included in the festival. (And they must include OPEN CAPTIONS EMBEDDED on all films).

The BraveMaker Film Festival has partnered with Simple DCP to handle all film print
deliveries this year. Simple DCP will offer our filmmakers a 20% discount on DCP creation services and complimentary archival services. There will be no charge for filmmakers who submit a compatible, pre-existing DCP to Simple DCP.
Whether you submit a current DCP to Simple DCP or have your DCP created with Simple DCP, your DCP can also be quickly and affordably delivered to other festivals and venues. Every DCP in the Simple DCP archive will be integrated into partner festivals free of charge.

For this year’s BraveMaker Film Festival, Simple DCP will collect, create (if necessary), test, and ship all DCPs to our exhibition venue in an organized and efficient fashion.

See our INSTAGRAM page for recaps of our past film fests:

and watch our 2022 RECAP VIDEO here: https://youtu.be/i_QqNNjlkBI
Our 2023 recap video : https://youtu.be/4Wx3Hqd9QYA?si=ECrMQjRXuYwaqZA0

Each filmmaker selected to screen their film will will receive press and promotion to our 2000+ person subscriber email with an online, LIVE STREAM panel discussion in person film fest.

We do invite our top rated selected filmmakers to submit a pitch for their next project--and 6-10 of those filmmakers will then have a chance to pitch their project to a panel of Hollywood decision makers to win up to $4000 in grants.

The nonrefundable entry fee must be payable in US dollars to BRAVEMAKER. Entries must be POSTMARKED by the deadline. Submission costs vary depending on category and discounts. When submitting to the festival you are agreeing that, if selected and the invitation accepted, to screen the submitted film during the dates of the festival. BraveMaker Film Fest (BMFF) will *not* pay any screening fees for presentation of the film during the festival. The only exception would be if there is a negotiated agreement preceding the submission of the film.

All films MUST be submitted with open captions in order to be inclusive to all audiences. New requirement since 2023.

BraveMaker film fest is a small, nonprofit organization. We are unable to provide lodiing or travel for filmmakers.

We are partnered with a local hotel that offers discounted rooms--a link to book rooms at the Courtyard Marriott Redwood City for filmmakers (and audiences) will be made available and filmmakers can facilitate shared rooms.

*Some food and drink is included in VIP events for all filmmakers.

This a not a competitive showcase-- there will be no prizes awarded to selected filmmakers. We want our makers to enjoy the fest and screening experience with no added pressure of competition.

The BMFF reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any project submitted. Only works completed in 2020 - 2024 are eligible for selection. There is no limit to the number of entries.

All international language entries must have English subtitles. Projects must be submitted for consideration as an online screener through FilmFreeway only. Emails sent to our staff with screeners will not be accepted. Please do not submit works in progress. Screening material, press and any application materials sent to BMFF will NOT be returned. If you did not receive a confirmation of submission, please email fest@bravemaker.com. All features and documentaries submitted must be available in DCP for festival presentation. There will be certain venues that will require a digital file submissions, TBD.

If selected, the BMFF will require an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) to include high-resolution production stills, key art, bio and filmography of the director, production notes and full cast and crew credits.

The cost of shipping all entries, DCPs, materials and films to the festival must be paid by the entrant. BMFF will not pay the cost of shipping the print back to the filmmaker and will not be responsible for expedited or overnight shipping charges to other organizations.

Submission of an entry gives the BMFF permission to have excerpts of accepted work, including film trailers, shown in all promotional activities related to the festival.

Films selected for the BMFF will be notified no later than May 31st, 2024.

Overall Rating
  • Meghan Atherton

    I had the best time at Bravemaker! They were so welcoming to everyone and made me feel so special as a first time and student filmmaker. I would recommend any filmmaker but especially students to submit here at I learned so much. The workshops were incredible, I met so many amazing up and coming filmmakers and learned so much from the panels. I’ll forever support Bravemaker!

    November 2023
  • Kyra Knox

    This is a phenomenal festival that I'm honored to be part of, and they make the filmmakers feel special as well. We even received a large donation from an audience member that went to the non-profit featured in my film! I would encourage anyone to submit to this amazing festival!

    August 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Kyra! We are so proud of you and your success.

  • Bravemaker was truly an amazing festival experience! Their mission is to be the Sundance of the Bay Area and I believe they are on their way. It felt like a cohesive event rather than a bunch of separate screenings and panels. I found so much value in the networking opportunities and made so many great connections. Bravemaker will always hold a special place in my heart!

    July 2023
    Response from festival:

    Mike! Punk Kids was such a fun celebration of BAY AREA talent. Huge kudos to you and your fans who really showed up and sold out screenings!

  • Faye Brenner

    L loved the festival. Tony and everyone involved were so friendly and communicative and welcoming? Great panels, films, and workshops. Could not have asked for more. I’ll go back even if I don’t have a film

    July 2023
    Response from festival:

    We loved you Faye! Thanks for bring your experience on film and TV in such a profound way to the panel discussion at your film!

  • Sara Mohazzebi

    Hands down one of the best run filmmaker focused festivals our team has attended! We can’t say enough about this festival. So many wonderful films, panels and workshops. Redwood City is the perfect location and very walkable. They really thought of everything. What a gem! We made some lifetime friends and collaborators!

    July 2023
    Response from festival:

    Sara! This is one of the reasons why we do our fest! To elevate brave storytellers like you! Thank you!!