Dear Filmmakers,

We have postponed the notification as we may have to adjust the time and location of the 2017 festival. We thank you for your submission and we will be in communication as soon as the scheduling issues are settled. Thank you!

Best regards,


*The First Festival stop is at Penn State University in State College PA, March 22-25 2017*

Dear Filmmakers,

The College Town Film Festival is thrilled to be entering it's fifth year. Along the journey, we have met talented filmmakers and artists; we have been hosted by engaged, intellectually curious students; and we have been welcomed (and challenged) by world-class faculty members who have come to define our festival.

When we first began to formulate the idea for The College Town Film Festival, we knew it had to be a traveling event. We wanted to capture the energy of a place that thrives on youth and deals in the currency of developing minds. Plus, a roadshow would allow us spread the word while gauging the pulse of the college audience. Since those early conversations, The CTFF has grown rapidly over 4 fast-moving years. We have screened Independent films (with accompanying TedTalk-like presentations and panels discussions) for large crowds on major college campuses, enabling students to discover a world of ideas and a sense of passion for issues that matter; often encountering a filmic view of our complex world that isn’t available at the local multiplex.

At the same time, the University Professors we work with are thrilled to welcome the professional Actors, Directors, Editors, Writers, Casting Directors, Crew Members and industry professionals that we invite to campus to discuss the inner-workings of film and professional production. The big surprise however, is that College Deans and Administrators enthusiastically support the festival because they’ve discovered that The CTFF fills a vital need: bringing the University together across disciplines. Which, as one administrator revealed is “normally the provence of sports and keggers… not art and ideas”.

From the beginning, we knew that colleges of communication, theatre and business/marketing would be natural partners. But every year, we discover that new faculty provosts and new deans are reaching out to us. Four short years into the experiment, The CTFF now receives unexpected and enthusiastic support across campus: with strong participation from the colleges of education, psychology, life-sciences, philosophy, engineering, theology and even medicine and computers. Our new challenge is to keep pace with this growing interest… and channel the enthusiasm into a more sophisticated and technologically-advanced platform.

When I meet with professors and deans I explain that we began with (and stay true to) two simple goals. 1) Support Independent filmmakers. 2) Introduce students to unique voices and fresh ideas “without making them feel like they are eating vegetables.” Of course, making these two ideas work together and balancing them, can be a bit of a challenge… but that tug-of-war is what led to a moment of clarity and our third goal, which is what really gives life to the College Town Film Festival. And it is the thing that excites the University faculty heads.

Each year, and with each stop on the tour, the energy and excitement around this event grows. The 2015 Penn State festival was by far our most ambitious and the most successful. Now we are being contacted by new Universities who are interested in bringing CTFF to their campus, and we are looking for filmmakers with something to say to help us grow this festival to reach more students.

The best screenings are attended by the filmmakers. That’s why we help with travel. Sometimes it’s airline tickets, usually it’s a hotel room for a few nights… often it’s both. But always the reason is the same: we want to hear your voice; learn about the backstory and listen to your plans for the future… and always, argue the merits of your film.

But beware: the conversations are real. Sometimes we agree; more often we argue — never do we pull-any-punches. That is the deal we have for you: we won’t pretend to be “the next Sundance” (blah, blah, blah) and you won’t have to worry that we’ll subject you to an audience programmed to agree with you just because you’re in the room.

We’re not interested in how your film was financed or how much it cost or why you cast the girl with the lisp. We just want to know one thing: of all the movies you could have made, why did you make this one?

So submit your film. Know that it will be reviewed by thoughtful judges. That it will be given careful consideration. And when it is accepted… we don’t just want a copy of the DVD… we want you.

CTFF awards prizes on an ad hoc basis. Rather than create categories which we have to fill, CTFF creates awards for films and individuals who are exceptional in one way or another.

When appropriate CTFF recognizes excellence of craft in areas such as acting, directing, production design, music/sound and the like.

CTFF also recognizes intangible qualities such as tenacity, determination, stubbornness and drive as was the case with 2014's Don Quixote award winner "First Light" which took 3.5 years to complete principle photography.

Overall Rating
  • Rick Hamilton

    My only regret was not having more time in my schedule to be able to spend at the festival. It was well run, projection/sound was excellent and the venue was gorgeous. Had a great time meeting with other filmmakers and talking about the work.

    May 2016