Cinema Columbus celebrates the diverse people and stories brought to life by independent filmmakers, sparking curiosity, conversation, and understanding through independent film. Cinema Columbus works collaboratively with venues throughout central Ohio to establish an outstanding annual film festival bringing independent film from around the globe, and here at home, to our audiences.

- Best Narrative Feature
- Best Documentary Feature
- Best Short (Narrative or Documentary)
- Audience Choice


Narrative Feature Film: A narrative, animated, or experimental film 41+ minutes in length.
Documentary Feature Film: A documentary film 41+ minutes in length.
Short Film: A narrative, animated, experimental, or documentary film 40 minutes or less in length.

If your film is selected to participate in Cinema Columbus, it must be available for screening in DCP. In the case of short films only, digital files are acceptable upon communication and consultation with festival team.

Prior Screenings:
We do not operate on "premiere" status. Films may be screened at other film festivals or theatrically outside of Franklin County, OH, prior to Cinema Columbus.

Explicit Sexual Content:
No pornography. Explicit sexual content may result in disqualification.


• All films must be submitted as a secure online screener (i.e. Vimeo).
• Once a submission link has been accepted, we cannot guarantee that subsequent updates will be viewed.

Accompanying Materials:
The following materials must be submitted via and will not be returned. Incomplete entries will not be considered.
• Official online entry form through with all required information.
• Non-refundable entry fee (payable via Visa, Mastercard, or American Express):

Early-Bird submission: August 26 – October 8, 2023
Regular submission: October 9 – November 5, 2023
Late submission: November 6 - December 3, 2023
Extended submission: December 4-31, 2023

Local Entry Fee:
Films with 50% or more of the footage shot in Ohio are eligible to submit under a local entry fee.

Opt in:
By submitting your film, you agree to be added to our mailing list in order to notify you of your entry’s status as well as news about the festival.


Films selected to be screened as part of Cinema Columbus will be notified on or before February 1, 2024.

If a film is selected to participate and must be shipped, it must be prepaid, insured, and packed in proper containers. Cinema Columbus will be responsible for return shipping charges. Cinema Columbus will not pay international shipping on US films.

Cinema Columbus does not assume any liability for damage to prints due to improper containers or otherwise. All films in our possession will be insured against damage or loss while participating in the festival.

Overall Rating
  • Matthew Paul Everitt

    Underrated gem of a festival. I cannot recommend highly enough.

    May 2024
  • Victoria Negri

    Amazing communication, great people and loved the venues at this festival. Big fan of Cinema Columbus.

    May 2024
  • Tysen D'Eston

    What a fantastic festival in the heart of the midwest! A must stop for the festival circuit. Brett did an amazing job bringing together a terrific selection of films that played throughout an eclectic and wide ranging array of Columbus' finest venues. Kudos to the whole team and excited for the future of cinema in Ohio's capital!

    May 2024
  • Thiele Brothers

    You don't want to miss Cinema Columbus. The programming team is very intentional and the venues are super cool. A younger festival with a grassroots movement, definitely one to follow.

    May 2024
  • Jordan Sommerlad

    Cinema Columbus is a fantastic festival, uniting all the great theaters in town to show a great variety of works. The Columbus film scene has been growing rapidly, and it definitely shows in all of the great local showcases. There are also tons of non-local films as well, creating a great blend of cinema.

    April 2024