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
  • Thank you for the nomination! Great working with the Clifton Film Celebration!

    November 2018
  • Michael Neyland

    What a fun festival. Located in the historic town of Clifton, this festival brought all the charm of the surrounding town to it. The staff and attendees were all amazing people and we had a great time.

    Thanks, especially to Darrell Poe, for organizing and accommodating so many artists in one place. Also, thank you for the recognition for our short film, "Case 1303: David" - we walked out with two awards and several nominations but, even without that, we had a wonderful time.

    We'll definitely be working on getting out next project finished in time for next year's festival. The whole crew involved in our project agreed that, whatever we do, Clifton Film Celebration should become a tradition for out team.

    November 2018
  • Chad Eric Smith

    The Clifton Film Celebration was an amazing time! It was my first time in the quaint town of Clifton. The festival organizers were very friendly and communicated very well leading up to the screenings. I was very pleased with the audio and visual setup, too. It made my film look really good. It was also a pleasant treat that my film took home two awards: "Best Acting - Supporting Role in a Short" and "Best Editing - Short Film". I definitely will submit again!

    November 2018
  • Joe Kraemer

    Great communication from the festival staff. The town of Clifton is charming. Worth the submission fee especially if you can make it to the festival.

    November 2018
  • Awesome festival in a beautiful small town outside Washington DC. We had a Virginia premiere of our maiden short film "F A L L" this year at this festival in front of a packed crowd. This is a growing festival compared to some of the mainstream ones that we attended. However, we had one of the best experiences in terms of value and networking opportunities. The festival director Darrell Poe and other volunteers have been very caring and approachable. Additionally, they had a fantastic programming of films this year.

    November 2018