In 2006, 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 sponsorships, and a dedicated audience of film fans.

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 AWARDS - Given to film with highest audience rating in each category.


Please read all of these terms carefully prior to submitting.

All feature films MUST be Charlotte, NC premieres. Any feature films previously screened in Charlotte, NC for a public audience will be disqualified from acceptance into the 16th Charlotte Film Festival.

Short films may have screened in Charlotte, NC for a public audience and will not be disqualified if screened previously.

All genres are eligible for consideration.

All films must have been completed after May of 2023.

1. Submission deadline dates: Open on January 1, 2024. "Early Deadline" for entries is February 29, 2024. "Ahead of the Curve Deadline" for entries is April 30, 2024. "Regular Deadline" for entries is June 30, 2024. "Extended Deadline" for entries is July 21, 2024.

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 Film Society 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 2023. Feature films must not have been publicly screened in the Charlotte, North Carolina area prior to the 2024 Charlotte Film Festival dates. Short films can be screened in Charlotte, NC prior to the 2024 Festival, but accepted films may not screen in the state of North Carolina between the acceptance date and the date of screening at the 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
ANIMATED SHORT FILMS: 15 minutes or shorter (any animated short film over 15 minutes should be submitted in the appropriate category above).

8. Works in Progress are accepted only if submitted by the "Ahead of the Curve" deadline of April 30th, 2024 and must be at least 80% complete at the time of submission deadline. 'Work in Progress' or 'Rough Cut' must be marked on the submission. A final cut of the film must be submitted by June 30th, 2024. Entry fees will not be refunded for entries that fail to submit a final cut by the required date.

9. Projects in a language other than English MUST have English subtitles prior to submission.

10. Filmmakers are responsible for the shipment of the exhibition DCP copy to the festival by the requested deadline. 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 the following format: DCP. Note: We do not accept/screen Blu-ray/DVD or any other digital files (ProRes/MP4/MKV etc) as the exhibition format for accepted films. Failure to comply with technical specifications may result in the removal of the film from the Festival line up.

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

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

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. If posters or materials are lost or damaged during CFF2024, the festival will not replace or reimburse for any provided promotional materials.


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 2024 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 dates, or special "best of" additional screening dates, 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 2024 Charlotte Film Festival will permit the Festival to use their name, and/or likeness & publicity stills, film or video footage, title, and log-line 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 or video file for Festival screening and the resulting DVD/video file may be used for Festival promotional purposes. However, said compilations are not sold or distributed for sale 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
  • We're so glad we had our film 'The Choice To Love' have its North American Premiere at the Charlotte Film Festival. The festival team were really clear and great at communicating! Despite us not being able to attend the film festival in person we appreciated being able to be immersed through videos and photos on social media, the festival have a good social media presence. Hoping future editions of the festival include an online element, if not virtual screenings, a way to participate remotely like maybe even having virtual Q&A's projected into the cinema. So filmmakers from overseas who can't attend can participate more.

    October 2023
  • Micah Troublefield

    One of my favorite festivals. Well run and well attended in a cool independent Charlotte theater. Has a better-than-normal filmmaker lounge where it's easy to meet other filmmakers, and everyone who works the fest is kind and passionate. I recommend going for as many days as possible, including the after parties, etc. to get the best experience.

    October 2023
  • The indie film scene in Charlotte is definitely in good hands with the CFF! Unfortunately, I came down with COVID and was unable to attend, but my brother went in my place and said it was awesome. The Independent Picture House, where the festival takes place, is such a valuable asset to Charlotte and indie cinema. We need more theaters like this, and showing support to them is crucial. Additionally, Taylor Montalto demonstrated excellent communication and was incredibly helpful. I highly recommend submitting to this amazing festival.

    October 2023
  • Very great festival, great people, super nice venue and a great vibe overall. Very pro!

    October 2023
  • Excellent communication before, during and even after the festvial. An amazing lineup of films. Very honored to have been selected. I highly recommend this featival (to both filmmakers and film lovers alike).

    October 2023