The Charlotte Film Festival was created to give established and emerging filmmakers a weekend festival to showcase their works for industry peers and avid enthusiasts of independent film. Over the years, the Festival has grown to include state of the art venues attracting filmmakers from around the world as well as industry professionals, corporate sponsorship, and a dedicated audience. We strive to bring the most innovative independent cinema to Charlotte, NC for our festival patrons and film enthusiasts from neighboring states. The festival has evolved but what remains consistent is our mission to “DISCOVER DIFFERENT” and to provide the highest quality festival experience for filmmakers and audience members alike.

Juried "In Competition" Awards:


Special Awards:


Non-Juried Award:

AUDIENCE AWARD - Given to Film with highest audience rating. Can be any length/type/genre.


Please read all of these terms carefully prior to submitting.

All films MUST be Charlotte, NC premieres. Any film previously screened in Charlotte, NC will be disqualified from acceptance into the 11th Charlotte Film Festival.

All genres are eligible for consideration.

All films must have been completed after May of 2018.

1. Submission starts and deadline dates: Open on January 1, 2019. "Early Deadline" for entries is February 28, 2019. "Ahead of the Curve Deadline" is April 30, 2019. "Regular Deadline" deadline is June 30, 2019. The "Extended Deadline" is July 26, 2019.

2. All deadlines are RECEIVED-BY deadlines. They indicate the dates that films must UPLOADED by those dates.

3. Entry fees are non-refundable.

4. A completed entry form and appropriate fee (payable to Charlotte Cinema Arts in U.S. dollars only) must accompany your entry.

5. North Carolina and South Carolina filmmakers can receive a discount on their submission fee - please contact the Programming Director ( for details.

6. Eligible works must have been completed after May 2018 and must not have been publicly screened in the Charlotte, North Carolina area prior to the 2019 festival dates. Accepted films may not screen in the state of North Carolina between acceptance date and date of screening at the Charlotte Film Festival (unless OK'd by the programming director). Films available to publicly view online (via youtube, Vimeo or some other web service) will also be considered public screenings and may not be selected or screened.

7. Accepted running times are as follows:
NARRATIVE and DOCUMENTARY FEATURES: 30 minutes or longer
NARRATIVE and DOCUMENTARY SHORTS: 29 minutes or shorter

8. Works in Progress are accepted only if submitted by the deadline of April 30th, 2019 and must be at least 95% complete at the time of submission deadline. 'Work in Progress' or 'Rough Cut' must be clearly marked on the submission. Entry fees will not be refunded for entries that fail to submit a final cut by the required date.

9. Projects in a foreign language (other than English) must have English subtitles prior to submission.

10. All DCP exhibition copies for accepted films must be received by September 13th, 2019 for inclusion in the festival. Filmmakers are responsible for the shipment of the exhibition DCP copy to the festival by the requested deadline. If the film is received after this date there is no guarantee the film will screen during the festival. Exhibition copies of entries will not be returned, unless accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope (or some other form or return shipping information). The filmmaker is responsible for covering costs for shipping return information labels and/or postage.

An exhibition print of the film must be provided in one of the following formats: DCP or 35mm (subject to venue availability). Note: We do not accept/screen Bluray or DVD as the exhibition format for accepted films. Failure to comply with technical specifications may result in the removal of the film from Festival line up.

11. DCP Requirements: 
DCPs must be DCI compliant and delivered on an external hard drive with either a CRU enclosure or an USB* interface.

12. Due to limited time and resources, the Charlotte Film Festival is unable to provide comments or feedback about specific films.

13. Posters provided for festival use are not guaranteed for return. It has been our policy to return materials in person to filmmakers or representatives whenever possible after films have been exhibited only upon request. In the event that posters or materials are lost or damaged during CFF2019, the festival will not replace or reimburse for any provided promotional materials.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Please read carefully the following terms and conditions in connection with your submitted entry materials to the Charlotte Film Festival. Submission of your film acknowledges acceptance of the General Rules and Terms and Conditions of the Charlotte Film Festival:

1. I/We attest that I/we have read and understand and complied with the General Rules of the Festival, that I/we am/are the sole owner(s) of legal right and title thereto have absolute authority to submit the Material to the Festival.

2. I/we understand that by submitting said Material, I/we authorize the Festival to exhibit the Material during the 2019 Festival dates if the Material is selected for exhibition by the Festival. The Charlotte Film Festival reserves the right to screen said film up to 3 times during the festival and screen provided clips/trailers of the film to promote the screenings in advance and during the festival.

3. I/we will indemnify and hold harmless the Festival, its organizers, judges, sponsors, and partners, individually and collectively, from and against all claims, demands, losses, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses including legal expenses arising out of or in connection with any and all claims, or third party claims based on Material submitted to the Festival.

4. I/we understand that the Festival is not responsible for any type of damage to or loss of the Material while it is in the Festival's possession, or while en route to or from the Festival, and I/we release the Festival, its organizers, judges, sponsors, and partners, individually and collectively, from any and all liabilities regarding damage to or loss of the Material while en route to or from the Festival or while in its possession.

5. I/We agree that any dispute arising between me/us and the Festival shall be subject to binding arbitration pursuant to the then effective Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association. The arbitrator shall have the authority to award all appropriate relief, including equitable or injunctive relief; provided, however, that the arbitrator is not authorized to award punitive damages. The award issued by any such arbitrator may be entered and confirmed as a judgment in any court of competent jurisdiction. The state with jurisdiction over any disputes relating to this agreement is North Carolina, and the sole location for proper venue is Charlotte, North Carolina.

6. Selection into the 2019 Charlotte Film Festival will permit the Festival to use their name, and/or likeness & publicity stills, film or video footage, title, and logline of Material, in pre & post-competition publicity & promotional efforts. This may include additional post-festival screenings and events.

7. The Festival may, at its own discretion, transfer the submitted Material to a compilation DVD for Festival screening and the resulting DVD may be used for Festival promotional purposes. However, said compilations are not sold or distributed by the Festival.

8. Should Material win one or more awards "Award(s)" at the Festival, I/we am/are authorized and/or empowered by all parties legally representing Material to name the individual(s) listed on the Award Designation List to receive any and all Award(s). If Material is eligible for Award(s) and no one was designated to accept it/them, the Award will be deemed forfeit and another award winner will be chosen.

Overall Rating
  • Picture and sound quality of the screenings is among the best I've experienced at film festivals. Excellent communication from staff. The fest is on the smaller side, but the slate of films was top-quality. Large, engaged audience to boot!

    February 2019
  • Ashley Brim

    A well curated program, beautiful screening in a real movie theater, and great communication make this a festival not be missed. Thanks for having us CFF!!!

    November 2018
  • Louisa Fielden

    Great festival! Excellent communication. Was delighted to screen my film there.

    October 2018
  • Anil Dhokai

    One of the best festivals I have been to. Very supportive of indie filmmakers. The screenings draw a big crowd and the theater is awesome.

    October 2018
  • Lance Johnson

    The CFF festival/team provided a smooth, professional and fun experience for myself and other filmmakers.

    October 2018