Clifton Film Celebration brings independent film to beautiful, historic Clifton, Virginia. The three day event features networking events, screenings, and awards.

Your submission automatically makes you eligible for any awards in the given category, and all cross-category awards (Best Drone Application, Best Shot, etc.).

The "Clifton Caboose" Award is an audience choice award and will be presented to the audience favorite of all films screened at the festival.

The "Do The Thing" Award is our version of the "Spirit Award" - it's awarded solely by our Festival Director. This award is to recognize films that look an impossible challenge in the face and decide to Do The Thing anyway - whether it's difficult subject matter, an experimental concept, a crazy shot or stunt - anything that would make most people throw their hands up and walk away. Think your film deserves a nod? Submit today and reach out to us with your story!
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For awards competition, both Documentaries and Narrative Films are split into "Feature" and "Short" categories - HOWEVER - There is just ONE submission option for Docs - your film will be adjudicated based on its total run time (see submission details for more info).

We may adjust the available awards based on submissions. We are considering adding "Genre" awards (Best Horror, Best Comedy, etc.) so IF THIS INTERESTS YOU please let us know!

Years 1 and 2 have been smashing successes - we're excited to continue with year 3 - and we can't wait to watch your film! So what are you waiting for!?!?!

Good luck and DO THE THING!!!

All Official Selection Films & Award Nominees will receive branded laurels.

Winners in sub-categories will receive certificates & branded laurels

Winners in Best Feature, Best Short, and Clifton Award will receive trophies/plaques.

Awards Categories (subject to change):
Best Feature Film
Best Short Film
Best Feature Doc
Best Short Doc
Best Screenplay
Best Director
Best Editing
Best Soundtrack
Best Hair/Make-up/Costumes
Best Acting - Lead Role
Best Acting - Supporting Role
Best Acting - Overall Cast
Best Special Effects - Practical
Best Special Effects - Digital
Best Stunts
Best Cinematography
Best Drone Application
Best New Media Project
Best Music Video
Best Animation
Best Shot
"Do The Thing" Spirit Award
Best Overall Film
Best Veteran/Military Film (featuring vets, advocating for vets, etc.)

Best Student Short Script Submission - 10 Pages Maximum

"Clifton Caboose" Award: Audience Choice, tallied live and announced at festival closing with all other awards.

*Awards categories subject to change based on submissions*

General Eligibility
1. All films must be in English, or have English subtitles.
2. Films must be submitted as an online streaming video via a participating submission platform (FilmFreeway).
3. IMPORTANT NOTE: Clifton Film Celebration (or the “Festival”) is not responsible for the streaming quality of online screeners.
4. In the event of a password change or link change after submitting, you must email the Festival immediately with that change so we may update your record. If the Festival is not notified of the change and the link is found to be inactive or the password to be incorrect the Festival will send an email to the submitter’s address on file to follow up. If a response with the correct information is not received within forty-eight (48) hours, the submission may be deemed ineligible.
5. Films must have been completed after April 1, 2012.
6. Previous Screenings are perfectly acceptable however preference may be given to premiere films when programming festival screenings.
7. Festival reserves the right in its sole discretion to reject or disqualify any entries, without a refund.
8. Our Judges are NOT allowed to vote or judge any work they were associated with.
9. There is only one entry fee. Once entered, every film is judged for each and every category their film qualifies for.
Originality and Permissions;
INDEMNITY
1. Films must be the original work of the applicants. If a film is based upon another person’s life or upon a book or other underlying work, applicant(s) must secure any necessary rights to make such adaptations. However, it is not necessary to submit the adaptation rights agreements to the Festival. Neither the Festival nor its jurists investigates or attests to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you are acknowledging that you have secured all necessary rights.
2. Applicants are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions for third-party materials included in the film, including but not limited to music, trademarks, logos, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights. FESTIVAL reserves the right to request copies of any third party rights.
3. BY SUBMITTING THE MATERIAL, THE APPLICANT HEREBY AGREES TO INDEMNIFY, HOLD HARMLESS, AND DEFEND THE FESTIVAL, ITS EMPLOYEES, DIRECTORS, REPRESENTATIVES, AND AFFILIATES FROM ANY LIABILITY, CLAIMS, AND DAMAGES IN CONNECTION WITH THE SUBMISSION AND FROM ANY FEES AND EXPENSES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO REASONABLE ATTORNEYS’ FEES, THAT ANY OF THEM MAY INCUR IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.
Additional Information
1. We strongly encourage filmmakers to submit their film only after it is fully finished and will judge each submission as a completed work, whether it is or not.
2.One fee and your film is eligible for all categories. You do not need to pay for each category.
3. Once an entry payment has been received we cannot provide a refund. If a payment is disputed by an entrant for any reason, the entrant may be subject to any transaction fees or similar amounts incurred by the Festival in connection with the dispute.
4. You MUST include your physical address either in your entry or in your cover letter. Please do not submit a film without giving us your address, which we need for our records.
5. Payments made with a check are subject to our Bounced Check Policy: If we receive a returned check from our bank for a payment you made, you will be invoiced for the original amount of the check plus a $25 bank fee. The payment of the invoiced amount will be due within 30 days of invoice date. We will not re-submit the original check, nor will we accept another check for repayment. Repayment must be made by money order or cashier’s check.
CATEGORY REQUIREMENTS:
SHORT REQUIREMENTS:
- Films must be under 45 minutes.
FEATURE REQUIREMENTS:
- Films must be 46 minutes or longer.
NEW MEDIA REQUIREMENTS:
- Films under 5 minutes will automatically be judged in the New Media category, however any film under 20 minutes may submit as a New Media project.
MUSIC VIDEO REQUIREMENTS:
- Music Videos must be under 10 minutes (longer videos may be submitted under the New Media category).
RETURNS & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:
DVDs and press materials will not be returned under any circumstances. Include a self-addressed, stamped postcard for each submission if you wish acknowledgment of the receipt of your entry.
COMPETITION IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
COMPETITION CERTIFICATION
I/We have read all the rules & regulations, understand, and have complied with these rules.
I/We warrant the submission of my/our original work and that there are no disputes regarding the ownership of the submission.
I/We also warrant the submitted material does not defame or invade the rights of any person living or dead. I/We indemnify the FESTIVAL against any claim made for such violations of law.
To the best of my/our knowledge, all the statements herein are true and correct.
I/We understand that failure to adhere to the competition rules and regulations will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee.
I/We acknowledge that once an entry payment has been processed, FESTIVAL will not provide a refund
I/We agree to hold the FESTIVAL harmless from and defend them against all claims, demands, losses, damages, judgments, liabilities, and expenses (including attorney’s fees) arising out of or in connection with any and all claims of third parties, whether or not groundless, based on any screenplay/film submitted to the FESTIVAL or on any screenplay/film developed out of such submission.
No revisions will be accepted once entry has been received.
To the best of my/our knowledge, all the statements herein are true and correct.
I/We understand that failure to adhere to the Festival rules will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Theodore Adams

    Fantastic festival in a very intimate and charming setting in Virginia horse country. Festival Directors are extremely caring and approachable. Local restaurants and shops are very supportive.

    November 2018
  • Kevin Alexander Boon

    A charming, intimate festival nestled in a picturesque small town outside D.C. Run by the nicest folks you could hope to meet, from the festival director down to the local volunteers. A pleasure to attend.

    November 2018
  • David Fritzson

    From the second you meet the festival's director, Darrell Poe, you can tell he not only loves films and everything about them, but he wants to ensure your film is taken care of while it's at CFC. With it only being its second year active, CFC is a smaller festival than some mainstream ones, but that doesn't stop it from growing a ton of momentum and creating an environment that is easy for filmmakers and audience members to connect and network. The entire fest takes place in the cities town hall building, with lots of shops and restaurants surrounding it that were fun to see while we were in between screenings. I can't think of another festival where I had the director consistently in touch with me before and after the screening of my short film, and consistently asked me and other filmmakers on how to improve for next year.

    The bottom line is that while it's a new festival, this is one to keep an eye out for and one to submit to. Darrell and his staff really care about the films they select, and want to ensure it's shown to audiences in the best way possible. Go submit to this one!

    November 2018
  • Steve Nerangis

    What a fantastic experience. Fantastic films, a quaint town, and great communication from a wonderful staff. Plenty of thought put into overall atmosphere and viewing experience. Best of all, there was a great turnout and plenty of opportunities for networking. I'll be back for year three!

    November 2018
  • Bradley Howard

    Great folks, good organizer, a nice local festival.

    December 2017