Since 2005, Children’s Film Festival Seattle has grown to become the largest and most respected film festival on the West Coast dedicated to children and their families. Each year, Northwest Film Forum selects international children’s films from dozens of countries, reaching more than 10,000 people during festival screenings in Seattle and a subsequent festival tour of 20-25 U.S. cities. 2020 Festival dates are February 28 to March 8.

What we stand for: Racial equity and diversity, inclusivity, social justice, global awareness, and the best in age-appropriate, visual storytelling for young people.

Produced by Northwest Film Forum, this cinematic extravaganza celebrates the best and brightest in international cinema for children, featuring live performances, animation, features, shorts and hands-on education workshops, all crafted with care for the next generation of movie lovers.

Most festival events are held at Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Avenue between Pike and Pine on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

Audience Prizes (based on votes):
• Favorite Live Action Feature, Favorite Animated Feature, Favorite Documentary Feature
• Favorite Live Action Short Film, Favorite Short Animated Film, Favorite Youth-Made Short Film

Catbus Kids Children's Jury Prizes (awarded by jurors ages 8 to 10):
• Best Live Action Feature; Best Animated Feature; Global Zoom Prize for the film that best promotes intercultural understanding; Best Animated Short Film; Best Live Action Short Film; Special Prizes as decided by jury

Fantastic Foxes Children's Jury Prizes (awarded by jurors ages 11-14):
• Best Live Action Feature; Best Animated Feature; Global Zoom Prize for the film that best promotes intercultural understanding; Best Animated Short Film; Best Live Action Short Film; Special Prizes as decided by jury

Iron Giants Children's Jury Prizes (awarded by jurors ages 15+):
• Best Live Action Feature; Best Animated Feature; Global Zoom Prize for the film that best promotes intercultural understanding; Best Animated Short Film; Best Live Action Short Film; Special Prizes as decided by jury

Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2020
Information, Rules and Regulations

1. Organization

Children's Film Festival Seattle (http://www.childrensfilmfestivalseattle.org) is an annual, competitive, international film festival presented by Northwest Film Forum (http://www.nwfilmforum.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to programming and supporting independent film and video. Children's Film Festival Seattle typically screens more than 140 films from more than 30 countries. Children's Film Festival Seattle 2020 will take place in Northwest Film Forum's two cinemas, with screenings offered to both the general public and school groups. Dates for the 2020 Festival are Thursday, February 8 to Sunday, March 8. Weekday screenings for school and childcare groups will be scheduled on weekdays from February 24 to April 3.

2. Mission

Children's Film Festival Seattle provides an artistic alternative to mainstream commercial media and creates a reliable venue for filmmakers who make great films for children, youth, and families. We promote debate, discussion, and spark new interests in different languages and ways of life by showing innovative, inspiring and fun films from around the globe. We provide opportunities for Seattle's diverse communities to connect with and celebrate powerful images of their own homelands and cultures. We encourage our audience members to sharpen their critical eyes through workshops with professional actors, directors, writers, technicians, and producers. We stand for racial and gender equity, inclusivity, social justice, global awareness, and the best in age-appropriate, visual storytelling for young people.

3. Entry

Submit a film by sending the following materials to the Festival Director, Elizabeth Shepherd, to arrive by October 15, 2019. Filmmakers are highly encouraged to submit films earlier than that, however, as we begin to make decisions about films and programs as early as July. Waiting to submit your film until the entry deadline highly decreases your chances of it being in the festival. Entry fees for our festival are kept very low compared to most other festivals and we hope you will pay them, as all the funds collected with go toward supporting the important mission of the festival. However, if you require a waiver, please write to liz@nwfilmforum.org explaining the reason.

All e-mail correspondence about entries should be sent to liz@nwfilmforum.org and cffs@nwfilmforum.org

4. Eligible Films and Videos

• All entries submitted must be suitable for children ages 14 and under.
• The Festival accepts both live-action and animated submissions, completed 2017-2019.
• All entries whose original language is not English must be subtitled or dubbed in English. Dialogue lists or scripts are not acceptable as a substitution for this rule and should not be submitted to the festival — we do not use them.

5. Selection/Festival Director

Selection will be made by Festival director Elizabeth Shepherd and a selection committee made up of Festival and Northwest Film Forum staff. Input will also be sought from children and educators. Since 2005, Shepherd has been the curator of all children’s programs at Northwest Film Forum. She is the former director of the Chicago International Children's Film Festival and has served on many festival juries throughout the world. She also curates special children's film programs in Los Angeles for the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre; in New York for the Brooklyn Academy of Music; in Notre Dame, Indiana for ANDkids World Film Festival, and many other venues throughout the United States.

6. Criteria for Selection

• Film content should be creative and demonstrate artistic and technical mastery.
• Content should speak positively to children of diverse backgrounds and cultures. We look for films that provide strong role models for all children and do not contain gender, racial or cultural stereotypes and biases. The content of the films should fit our ideals of racial and gender equity, inclusivity, social justice, global awareness, and the best in age-appropriate, visual storytelling for young people.
• Stories should be culturally authentic, timely, uplifting and of universal appeal to young audiences. Plot-lines, ideally, should be child-driven, FOR children, rather than ABOUT them. Films with bleak messages or unhappy endings are typically not enjoyed by our audiences.
• Films should not contain gratuitous violence or explicit nudity. Sexual content of any kind is not appropriate for our audience. Strong and/or repeated profanity will disqualify your film.

Entries may be disqualified for technical or procedural reasons, including:
• Any entry not subtitled or dubbed into the English language. (This is enforced for both submission and festival screening purposes. Scripts or dialogue lists may not be sent as a substitution for this rule.)
• Films and videos that are purely educational or instructional in nature.
• Films and videos that are aimed primarily at an adult audience.

7. Notification of Festival Status

The Festival will inform all entrants no later than December 1 if films have been selected for Children's Film Festival Seattle 2020. Notification about BAMKids Film Festival will come sooner.

8. Additional screenings, including Best of the Festival 2020 screenings and inclusion in REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival and BAMkids Film Festival. This section pertains to short films only.

Selected short films and festival short programs may be included in additional screenings taking place in the weeks and months immediately following Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2020. These additional screenings fall into three categories: 1) Best of the Festival screenings and 2) REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival and 3) BAMkids Film Festival

Best of the Festival: Each year, 20-25 venues throughout the Northwest, the United States, and Canada request screenings of the prize-winning and audience favorites of our festival. Children’s Film Festival Seattle director Elizabeth Shepherd selects two programs — one animation and one live action — comprised of approximately 10 short films. The programs are then professionally compiled and sent to participating venues. Filmmakers and distributors should indicate on the Festival Film Submission Form if they give permission for their films to be included in this program. All filmmakers and distributors of films selected for the Best of the Festival program will be notified of the venues offering this program.

REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival. For the past 14 years, Children’s Film Festival Seattle director Elizabeth Shepherd has curated the annual REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre) International Children’s Film Festival in Los Angeles, using inspiration from Children’s Film Festival Seattle shorts programs as the starting point in selecting the REDCAT program. All short film submitted to Children’s Film Festival Seattle 2020 will also be considered for REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival. Dates for this festival are not yet set but it is anticipated the festival will take place in the late spring or early summer of 2020.

BAMkids Film Festival: In association with Northwest Film Forum and TIFF Kids™ International Film Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music presents Brooklyn’s favorite children’s film festival. In 2020, BAMkids will present shorts and features from around the world—representing approximately 25 countries in total. This festival offers audience prizes. All short films submitted to Children’s Film Festival Seattle by September 1, 2019 will also be considered for BAMkids Film Festival 2020. Dates for BAMkids Film Festival are February 1 and 2, 2020.

There is not a separate entry form for the REDCAT and BAMkids festivals; the entry form Children’s Film Festival Seattle also covers participation in REDCAT and BAMkids.

9. Festival format of films and videos selected

For Festival screenings, we are able to screen feature films in DCP, BluRay, DVD or digital files. DCP is accepted for feature films only and must be accompanied by a DVD or BluRay backup. Ideally, DCPs should be unlocked. All short films must be sent to us as .mov, .mp4 or .m4v files. Precise specifications will be provided upon acceptance of the films.

10. Correspondence and contact

For more information, contact Elizabeth Shepherd, Director, Children's Film Festival Seattle, liz@nwfilmforum.org. The general office email is cffs@nwfilmforum.org.

11. Transportation of films and videos selected

The Festival formats of films and videos selected for festival inclusion must arrive at the Festival offices no later than January 10, 2020. Much earlier deadlines will be imposed for films selected for the BAMkids Film Festival. Hard drives, BluRays, DVDs and DCPs are to be sent to the following address: Children's Film Festival Seattle, Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave. Seattle, Washington, USA 98122. All transportation costs of Festival formats to Seattle must be borne by the participant, including charges for customs clearance.

The Festival will pay the cost of shipping all films and videos back to the participant or the film's next venue excluding charges for customs clearance.

12. Deadlines

October 15, 2019: Deadline for film entry form, support materials, and preview copy for Children's Film Festival Seattle selection. Please note that we prefer earlier entry and that your film's chances of being accepted into the festival are greatly increased by an early entry. Deadline for films to be considered for BAMkids Film Festival is September 1.

Please note that deadlines for receiving festival formats of films may be earlier if the film is accepted to the BAMkids Film Festival.

The following deadlines are for CFFS and REDCAT only:

December 15, 2019: Deadline for Festival format of all films being shown in DVD, Blu-Ray or digital files.
January 10, 2020: Deadline for Festival format of all feature films being shown DCP, other digital files, BluRay and DVD.

13. Rulings

Northwest Film Forum reserves the right to rule on cases not covered by these regulations.