** ByDesign will take place in March as a hybrid festival (March 17–19 in-person and March 17–26 online), and NWFF will continue adapting to evolving recommendations to protect the public from COVID-19. **

ByDesign Festival explores intersections of design, architecture, the built environment, and the moving image. The program celebrates artists who combine forms and disciplines to transform our visual culture. Each edition features an array of guest artists, film screenings, performances, hands-on generative workshops, panels, and presentations that illuminate the roots, currents, and future of design in motion.

ByDesign is hosted and produced annually by Northwest Film Forum in collaboration with community partners. The festival integrates NWFF’s core values by focusing on societal growth and community-building—as viewed through the lens of design-centered thinking.

Founded in Seattle in 1995 as an independent film and arts nonprofit, Northwest Film Forum incites public dialogue and creative action through collective cinematic experiences. Each year the Forum presents hundreds of films, festivals, community events, multidisciplinary performances, and public discussions. As a comprehensive visual media organization, the Forum offers educational workshops and artist services for film and media makers at all stages of their development. More information is available at nwfilmforum.org.

ByDesign features a select number of films each year. Please see prior editions of the festival to get a sense of the work we typically feature: https://nwfilmforum.org/bydesign

• Short and feature films highlighting a broad definition of design forms, facets, and disciplines are eligible.
• English captions are required for all English language films. English subtitles are required for all non-English language films.
• ByDesign does not require festival premiere status.

NOTE: Please complete all required questions, as your form will not submit if any fields are left blank. If something does not apply, write N/A.

Short films fall under 30 minutes; anything above that length would qualify as a feature film.

Please be aware that submission fees help NWFF cover costs associated with screening, programming, and exhibiting ByDesign. Your nominal submission fee helps us support our continued work in presenting the best design and architecture films to our community.

A limited number of waiver codes are available to those from communities that have historically lacked access or equitable representation in media. Please contact rana@nwfilmforum.org for details.

ByDesign will inform all entrants no later than February 20, 2023 whether their film has been selected for the festival. NWFF will communicate with selected filmmakers via their email address provided in FilmFreeway.

If selected for screening at the festival, the filmmaker will be required to submit the following in a timely fashion:
• Brief film synopsis
• Credits for director(s)
• 1-2 high-resolution film stills
• 1920x1080 h.264 film exhibition copy under 10GB (additional format options available for in-person screenings of feature films)
• Two versions of film: 1) With captions/subtitles burned in. 2) With captions/subtitles as a separate .srt or .vtt file. (If your English language film does not have captions, please use Rev.com to create an accessible experience for online audiences.)

Each selected film will receive an artist fee.

By submitting a film to ByDesign Festival, you certify that:
• You are the owner of the film you have submitted or you have full authority to submit the film to the festival.
• This film is not subject to any litigation nor is threatened by any litigation.
• This film is your original work and you agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Northwest Film Forum and its employees, volunteers and board of directors individually and collectively, from and against all claims, complaints, causes of action, liabilities, judgments, losses, costs and expenses including reasonable attorneys fees arising out of or in connection with any and all claims and/or third party claims based on materials you are submitting to the festival.

Please direct all submissions inquiries to rana@nwfilmforum.org.

Overall Rating
  • Great festival with wonderful curation!

    March 2023
  • Graham Kew

    It's a lovely niche festival. They have a great aesthetic online Quick and clear in all communications. Unfortunately we couldn't travel there due to Covid restrictions, but we hope to attend in the future. Thank you!

    August 2022
  • Kamil Bembnista

    Thank you, very nicely curated festival!

    April 2022
  • Tom Strnad

    Thank you ByDesign Festival for selecting our film and for creating an online virtual festival during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amazing organization and communication, proud to have been a part of the 2020 ByDesign Festival.

    March 2020
  • The festival was held on the inconvenience of the COVID-19 pandemic and they quickly adapted to the situation by showing the films virtually. It was a great job that they did and earned my recognition and admiration. Congratulations!

    March 2020