The 14th Annual Colony Short Film Festival is a showcase for independent films from all over the United States and across the globe, with a focus on featuring local and regional talent from the Ohio Valley. The Colony Short Film Festival features selections from emerging and established short filmmakers that have ranged from innovative to off-the-wall and quirky to provocative.

The 2020 Colony Short Film Festival will be presented in Marietta, Ohio’s historic Peoples Bank Theatre—a grand performance hall and movie house that was built in 1919.

Downtown Marietta is a charming riverboat town on the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum River that features a wealth of opportunities outside the film festival, including downtown shopping and dining, as well as outdoor adventure by bike or kayak along the rivers. Established as the first settlement of the Northwest Territory by veteran officers of the American Revolution, the town's historic sites date as far back as the 1700s and also include ancient Hopewell earthworks dating from 100 BCE to 500 CE.

A benefit of our small festival is that we provide plenty of opportunities for filmmakers to engage with the audience, whether informally in the VIP Lounge or during audience Q&A sessions after screenings. Our size allows for filmmakers to learn as we feature quality speakers and workshops covering crucial film topics.

Past notable guests and presenting filmmakers have included Academy Award winner Pam Tanner Boll, producer of “Born into Brothels,” Danny Boyd, Director of “Strange Dreams: Invasion of the Space Preachers” and “Chillers,” Jacob Young, Documentary Filmmaker, renown for the cult classic “Dancing Outlaw,” Brad Kalinoski, digital artist for “Black Swan,” and from locals Josh Crook and Will Wedig for their films, “Salvage," “LaSoga,” and “Forged”.

Best of Festival (Trophy, certificate, laurels)
Best Local Film - "The Brian Meade Award" ( $250 cash award, trophy, certificate, laurels)
Best Student Film ($250 cash award, trophy, certificate, laurels)
Best Animation (Certificate, laurels)
Best Documentary (Certificate, laurels)
Best Actor (Certificate, laurels)
Best Screenplay (Certificate, laurels)
Best Cinematography (Certificate, laurels)
Best Director (Certificate, laurels)

Accepted filmmaker receive two passes for entry to all films, workshops, and VIP Lounge
Students and Locals receive feedback from the Colony Short Film Festival judges

1.) Entries must be original, undistributed works produced, written and/or directed by the submitting filmmaker of a running time of 40 minutes or less and completed no earlier than October 1, 2017.
2.) All entries using copyrighted material (sound or picture) must obtain proper clearances and permission to use the material. Documentation showing this clearance and permission must be submitted upon request. Colony Short Film Festival (CSFF) assumes no responsibility for violation of copyright law.
3.) Obscene, pornographic or otherwise offensive material is not allowed under any circumstance. Films with profanity or nudity must be labeled as containing such. Enforcement of this rule will be at the discretion of CSFF.
4.) Submission of an entry automatically transfers unlimited exhibition, duplication and distribution rights for the entry to CSFF. Entries will not be used in any way for commercial purposes. By submitting an entry to CSFF, each entrant expressly grants permission to use their name, likeness, hometown, etc.
5.) Entries will not be returned. DO NOT send your original masters.
6.) All entries must be made through FilmFreeway. No entry will be considered without registration payment in full. A single entry may be entered in only one category and division. If you are entering more than one project, you must submit a separate, completed entry form for each one.
7.) Entrants shall indemnify, defend and hold the Festival, its agents and its representatives harmless from and against any and all claims, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses which may be incurred by reason of any breach of these representations, or arising out of any matter contained in the media or otherwise by the Festival’s use of the media.
8.) An entrant may be disqualified for the following reasons: a.) inappropriate material, b.) incomplete application materials and documentation, c.) submission on unacceptable media, d.) entries which are submitted in incorrect divisions or categories, e.) entries which have been submitted previously to CSFF, and f.) lack of payment.
9.) In case of questions, disputes or misunderstandings the decisions of the Directors of the Festival are final.
10.) Non-US contestants must check with Festival management about any restrictions on foreign participation. Entry is void where prohibited by law.
11.) Entries with soundtracks must be in English or have English sub-titles. Subtitles must be embedded in the submitted film.
12.) Entries must follow the rules as laid out at FilmFreeway.
13.) It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to insure selected films and videos against damage or loss while participating in the festival, if that is necessary.
14.) Submission of an entry to this festival signifies that the entrant understands, accepts and agrees to these conditions.
15.) Entrant acknowledges that submission does not guarantee inclusion into the festival. Submitters of official selections will be notified as soon as possible after the submission period is closed and selections have been made.
16.) Awards/Trophies will not be shipped. While winners do not have to be present for your film to be named "Best of..." winners must be present if they wish to receive a physical award.
17.) For the purpose of this festival, "Local films" are those created by filmmakers whose primary residents is located within 90 miles of Marietta, Ohio.
18.) For the purpose of this festival, "Student films" are those created while enrolled at a post-secondary educational institution and completed no earlier than October 1, 2017.

All submissions must be made through Submitting will pass you to the PayPal site for payment processing. Please note that you can pay with a credit/debit card and are NOT required to have to have a PayPal account. Your credit card statement will reflect “Colony” as the payee.

Overall Rating
  • My film was an Official Selection in 2019. It was scheduled to play on Friday (but I was to arrive next day). So, I asked festival's manager Drew to re-schedule it for Saturday (so I can be there) and he did it! This is something GREAT. They were able to accommodate my needs. Plus, they have a fantastic historical theater that looks amazing. The projection was really good, sound was perfect. And the people are very friendly and want you to feel good. Colony SFF is one of the BEST festival experiences in recent years. And their little town is very interesting and unique. Recommended.

    April 2019
  • Dan Edwards

    Spectacular venue, incredible hospitality, and high quality films! We were honored to have our film "Thirty-Seven Minutes" be part of The Colony Short Film Festival and would love to come back. Highly recommended!

    March 2019
  • Carrie Love

    The Colony Short Film Festival was a delightful experience! It is run by indy filmmakers who passionately support the art and craft of telling meaningful stories through cinema. I greatly enjoyed the panel talk and screening line up.

    March 2019
  • Abbey Frisco

    Unfortunately we weren't able to attend in person, but the festival had great communication beforehand! And I have heard good things about the venue and overall quality of the festival! We were honored to have our film screen at the Colony Short Film Festival.

    March 2019
  • Excellent festival, very professional! I highly recommend the Colony Short FIlm Festival and am honored to have my film: The Spirit Seam screened there!

    March 2019