MISSION & OBJECTIVE
The Columbia Film Festival aims to introduce Howard County audiences to the best in world, national, and local cinema, and is dedicated to inspiring and reflecting the diverse community it serves.

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
The Columbia Film Festival was founded in 2016 and is produced by the Columbia Festival of the Arts. The Festival will present films from all genres, including features, shorts, documentaries, world cinema, special themes, and Maryland based films, as well as work by student filmmakers.

The Columbia Festival of the Arts is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. Founded in 1987, the Festival’s popularity and growth has transformed it into one of the Baltimore/Washington Corridor’s premiere arts events. The Festival presents four weekend-long arts festivals throughout the year, comprised of both free and ticketed events, featuring world-class performances, exhibitions, film programs, concerts, family activities, master classes, workshops and community dialogues. Columbia Festival of the Arts brings together the arts community, businesses, local schools, and individuals to create events that shine a spotlight, not only on the arts, but on the Howard County community as a Maryland showplace.

The mission of the Columbia Festival of the Arts is to present a world class celebration of the arts and entertainment that attracts, engages and inspires the broad and diverse community it serves.

In support of its Vision and Mission the Columbia Festival of the Arts seeks to attract, engage and inspire through the achievement of the following goals:
•Broaden the scope of programming to expand the diversity of offerings for greater community involvement and to increase the Festival’s year-round presence.
•Deepen audience engagement through strong programming and artistic experiences.
•Strengthen, expand and add local, as well as regional and national, partnerships.
•Optimize leadership and management of the Festival and its engagement with Columbia and Howard County residents and businesses.
•Build a financially sustainable organization.

The Festival is dependent upon a variety of funding sources, including grants, corporate sponsorships and individual donations. The funds are used to subsidize Festival programming costs in order to make the arts accessible for people across a broad spectrum of social, cultural and economic strata. The Festival’s focus is on reaching out and embracing the vast and diverse community that exists in the region.

Now in its third decade, the Festival continues to thrive because so many organizations and individuals are committed to its success.

Note: As part of the Columbia Festival of the Arts we are not affiliated with any other local or regional Film Festivals.

Cash Best Of Fest prize, Anchor Trophies and Laurels Awarded:
Best of Fest Award
Best Director
Best Student Film
Best Actor Short Film
Best Actor Feature Length
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Audience Choice Award

2019 AWARD WINNERS

BEST OF FESTIVAL: After Forever 
BEST DIRECTOR:  Jennifer Pepperman, After Forever
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Matt Simpkins, Free
BEST ACTOR FEATURE LENGTH: Kevin Spirtas
BEST ACTOR SHORT: Donald Imm
BEST STUDENT SHORT: Take Me to the Stars 
BEST EDITING: After Forever
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD: The Pharaohs

(See TERMS AND CONDITIONS below for full details)

While films are not required to be a nationwide premiere, films must be a premiere in Columbia, Maryland.

Entry fee is non-refundable.

Narrative and documentary feature films must have a run time of a minimum of 40 minutes. Narrative and documentary short films must have a run time of under 40 minutes.

Press Kits are not required, but requested with each entry.

Online Screener Submissions preferred, however DVDs are accepted.

All films submitted must be free from any legal dispute and filmmaker must have cleared all rights for music and public exhibition.

Student Films/Student Entry Fees: Student submissions will be considered by High School and College/University students who have completed the film primarily through a course of film study. STUDENT ENTRIES MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A PHOTOCOPY OR SCAN OF A CURRENT AND VALID STUDENT ID CARD OR A LETTER FROM AN ACCREDITED SCHOOL VERIFYING ENROLLMENT AT THE TIME OF FILMING.

While distribution deals may be in place, submissions to the Columbia Film Festival must not be scheduled for theatrical release and/or must not be scheduled for broadcast on television or online/digital release prior to June 30, 2020.

Submissions must be in English or subtitled in English.

Columbia Film Festival will notify Filmmakers by approximately March 23, 2020 if their film has been accepted to the Columbia Film Festival.

Filmmaker Agreement:

To the best of my knowledge, all of the statements in this document are true. I have read, understood and complied with all eligibility requirements of the categories for which I would like this film to be considered, and I agree to the terms outlined in the General Festival Rules for the Columbia Festival, Inc. dba Columbia Film Festival I further represent that:

1.I am duly authorized to submit this film to the Columbia Film Festival and, if selected as a participant, will deliver the Exhibition Format DVD, Blue-Ray or .MOV (Quicktime) copy to the Festival office no later than May 1, 2020.

2.The Columbia Film Festival is accepting entries with a production completion date of January 1, 2018 or later. Do not submit works-in-progress, rough cuts or incomplete films.

3.A film will not be considered in multiple categories. The entrant must select the appropriate category at time of submission.

4.While films are not required to be a nationwide premiere, films must be a premiere in Columbia, Maryland.

5.Student Films/Student Entry Fees: Student submissions will be considered by High School and College/University students who have completed the film primarily through a course of film study. ENTRIES MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A PHOTOCOPY OR SCAN OF A CURRENT AND VALID STUDENT ID CARD OR A LETTER FROM AN ACCREDITED SCHOOL VERIFYING ENROLLMENT AT THE TIME OF FILMING.

6.While distribution deals may be in place, submissions to the Columbia Film Festival must not be scheduled for theatrical release and/or must not be scheduled for broadcast on television or online/digital release prior to June 30, 2020. Submissions must be in English or subtitled in English.

7.Narrative and documentary feature films must have a run time of a minimum of 40 minutes. Narrative and documentary short films must have a run time of under 40 minutes.

8.The festival accepts both secured online and DVD screeners with a preference for secured online screeners. All DVD entries must be labeled with the title, FilmFreeway tracking number, running time and contact information (contact name, e-mail and phone number). This information must be on the DVD itself and on the outer case. Each DVD must have an individual outer case. Please do not send submissions in fiber-filled envelopes, as the dust damages DVD players.

9.All DVD entries must be sent with prepaid shipping. Collect or C.O.D. (cash on delivery) shipments are not accepted. Columbia Film Festival will not assume responsibility or accept shipments incurring expenses for terminal charges, duties, taxes or customs brokerage. Please indicate on your shipping bill that all transportation and customs charges will be billed to the sender.

10.Films submitted on DVD and submitted materials will not be returned unless a pre-paid return label is included with a suitable envelope or packaging. Please do not send film prints, master tapes or other originals as entry submissions.

11.Columbia Film Festival will make every attempt to contact you if there is damage to an entry, but cannot be held responsible if entry is not considered due to poorly recorded or unplayable media.

12.If you require confirmation of receipt of DVD entries, please include a self-addressed stamped postcard.

13.If the DVD does not play in an industry standard DVD player and final deadlines have not passed, Columbia Film Festival will make an attempt to contact the applicant based on the contact information supplied at the time of submission in order to obtain a replacement. If a replacement is not available, Columbia Film Festival reserves the right to disqualify the film without refunding the submission fees.

14.Columbia Film Festival will attempt, but is under no obligation, to view a submission that arrives after the designated deadline without refund of the submission fee.

15.Columbia Film Festival will notify Filmmakers by approximately March 23, 2020 if their film has been accepted to the Columbia Film Festival.

16.Multiple versions of the same film will not be considered.

17.All applicants must complete the official festival submission form located on FilmFreeway.com.

18.A film will not be considered in multiple categories. The entrant must select the appropriate category at time of submission.

19.If selected as a participant in the Festival, television ready media clips of the film must be provided by the date provided on notice of selection. I understand that the Festival holds the right to screen my film for Festival screening and promotional purposes and to extract clips from this film for promotional purposes. I understand this may include online streaming of clips on Festival or Festival sponsor sites.

20.I understand that the Columbia Film Festival, Columbia Festival, Inc. are not responsible for any type of damage to or loss of the print during screenings, at any other time during the course of the Festival, while the film is in the Festival’s possession or while en route to or from the Festival, and I release The Columbia Film Festival ("Festival") and Columbia Festival, Inc. from any and all liabilities regarding damage to or loss of the print while en route to/from the Festival or while it is in their possession.

21.Submitted films that qualify based on the regulations and eligibility requirements stated here will be seen by Columbia Film Festival programming staff and be considered equally with all other submissions.

22.Columbia Film Festival reserves the right to disqualify any film for non-payment of the submission fee. Columbia Film Festival will attempt to contact the applicant based on the contact information supplied at the time of submission in order to resolve non-payment status.

23.Columbia Film Festival is under no obligation to provide comments regarding submitted films to any applicant. The festival is not responsible for any internal comments obtained by the applicant regarding their film.

24.The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, exhibition, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. This film is not subject to litigation nor is threatened by any litigation. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Columbia Film Festival, Columbia Festival, Inc, it agents and representatives from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered. Columbia Film Festival, Columbia Festival, Inc shall not be responsible for any expenses or related costs incurred by participants to attend Columbia Film Festival and any and all travel related expenses, meals, or other expenses shall be the sole responsibility of the participant.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Alexis Barone

    Love this festival. They're great at getting a wide range of films, and seeing so many countries repped was amazing.

    August 2019
  • Chris Perillo

    Such a great festival that really values emerging artists and their work. Great communication and great organizers! Can't wait until next year.

    July 2019
  • Theodore Adams

    Wonderful festival with a warm, welcoming, and attentive crew of staff and volunteers. Beautiful venue with great food and a lot of food. A lot of positive energy.

    July 2019
  • megan smith

    Even though my film screened at 11 a.m. on a Sat. and there was a competing interest in town, we had a pretty good crowd -- but most importantly, they were fully engaged for the Q&A. A good experience! Thanks Columbia!

    July 2019
  • Rick Kain

    I went to all four days of this festival starting with the opening night films and ending with the closing night awards ceremony. I had a great time and saw many awesome film projects. My film 'The Tracker' screened in the Friday evening shorts block one and I could not have been happier with the venue. The screen gave accurate and beautiful color, and the sound was fantastic. I saw films in three different venues and all of them were first class. The festival is right in downtown Columbia so there was ample places to eat, and imbibe when not watching films. I will definitely come back to this one.

    July 2019