"Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World" - MovieMaker Magazine
Nestled among towering mountains and golden aspen trees, our intimate and free-spirited festival inspires our audience and filmmakers through quality film screenings, stimulating discussions, authentic connections, and a ton of fun. In alignment with our mission, we curate bold, visceral, high-quality films that activate emotions and invite personal, social, and environmental transformation.
Always the last weekend of September, the festival showcases 75 feature-length and short films spanning the narrative, documentary, outdoor adventure, and children’s films genres. Additional programs sprinkled throughout the festival include panel discussions, meet-and-greets, and other engaging networking events. In addition to our lively, five-day, in-person fest, we are also considering a third year of virtual programming. Please stay tuned for details.
At Crested Butte Film Festival, you’ll be inspired by the transformative power of film, while making lasting connections in an atmosphere of beauty and creativity, fueled by great films, discussions, shared experiences, bike rides, hikes, and our magical mountain scenery.
"This was my FAVORITE festival of all, and we've been on a festival run since last January. Everything about it was wonderful - the wonderful staff and volunteers and community support, excellent films, stunning location, parties and brunches and hospitality, support for our film, and connections we made with other filmmakers. Those connections led to tangible help for our film and outreach work. If you ever get the chance to participate in this festival, leap with joy! This has been a bright light in my long film career. Many thanks to all who made it possible."
— Beret Strong, filmmaker
"Hands down one of my favorite film festivals in the world. The thoughtful selection of films paired with an intimate festival size makes for an amazing opportunity to get inspired and connect with other filmmakers in one of the most beautiful towns around."
— Frank Pickell, filmmaker
"What. A. Festival. I’ve never had, and could not imagine a better film fest experience. From the organizers to the volunteers to the people that come to see the films, there simply isn’t a more authentic, excited and loving group of people anywhere else. Everything about this fest is conducive to having a great time and meeting great filmmakers. Not to mention, Crested Butte is one of the most stunning places to see in the country. You can’t really explain it, you just have to go”
— Hugo Cordova, Filmmaker
A FILMMAKER'S FESTIVAL
Known as a “filmmakers festival,” you’ll experience an atmosphere of inspiration through well-attended screenings, high-quality programming, stimulating panel discussions, and opportunities for authentic engagement. This festival thrives on fostering lasting connections and partnerships among attendees, filmmakers, and industry professionals.
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR
Genius. Artistry. Creation. A new way of telling a story. Connection through film, transformative experiences. Simply put, the best in narrative, documentary, short, outdoor adventure and children's films. We believe in the transformative power of film.
WHAT MAKES CRESTED BUTTE UNIQUE
Town: Crested Butte is a historic mining town turned tourist destination with world-class skiing, biking, and hiking.
Size: At just six by ten blocks with a year-round population of only 1,500 people, Crested Butte is a small mountain town that's packed with local character.
Altitude: A true mountain retreat at 8,885 feet above sea level.
Beauty: We're literally surrounded by mountains. Think epic panoramic vistas with snow capped peaks and dazzling golden aspen trees.
Fun: Off the charts. Bike parades, hikes through golden aspen groves, delicious food, craft rum, and plenty of magically spontaneous moments.
Through the transformative power of film, Crested Butte Film Festival fosters connection and inspires creativity, cultural awareness and social action.
In-Person: September 27 - October 1, 2023
Virtual: To Be Determined
NEW AWARD FOR 2023
New for 2023, Crested Butte Film Festival is excited to announce that one submitted Narrative Short film will be awarded a free, two-day, Script Accelerator script workshop ($12,000 value) to fast-track the development of their next project (feature film, TV series, etc). This service includes the creative support of a team of filmmakers/writers who are Oscar and BAFTA nominated…imagine your very own writers' room where you keep all the credit. You can learn more about Script Accelerator at ScriptAccelerator.com
Film has the power to bring people together which is now more important than ever. Thank you for submitting your film to Crested Butte Film Festival. We’re excited to experience it!
AWARDS AND PRIZES
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD
BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM
BEST NARRATIVE FILM
BEST SHORT FILM - Narrative, Documentary and Comedic categories
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
ACTNOW AWARD (call-to-action, monetary prize awarded to one nonprofit associated with film)
SPIRIT OF THE FESTIVAL AWARD
Each and every submitted film is considered for a Jury Award. Selected films are then shortlisted based on their genre and characteristics and sent to our Festival Jury. The Jury then awards films based on merit, innovation, and outstanding qualities.
SCRIPT ACCELERATOR AWARD
New for 2023, Crested Butte Film Festival is excited to announce that one submitted Narrative Short film will be awarded a free, two-day, Script Accelerator script consultation ($12,000 value) to fast-track the development of their next project (feature film, TV series, etc). This service includes the creative support of a team of filmmakers/writers who are Oscar and BAFTA nominated…imagine your very own writers' room where you keep all the credit. You can learn more about Script Accelerator at ScriptAccelerator.com
A sure measure of success for filmmakers is winning the CBFF’s coveted Audience Choice Award. Solely determined by our audience, the Audience Choice Award is open to any screened entry and is determined by a weighted, tabulated-ratings ballot system on our festival app in conjunction with online trending and audience street reviews.
ACTNOW AWARD - ACTION & CHANGE TOGETHER
Our social action award - this is a cash award that goes to a nonprofit organization linked to a documentary film. If your film has a call-to-action component to it, and it is designated as an ActNow Film by the Crested Butte Film Festival, it will be considered for this award.
For our 2023 season, we are open for submissions from December 1, 2022 - March 11, 2023.
Before filling out the submission form, please be prepared to provide the following:
Full film information including a short synopsis
Entry fee (credit card)
A link to your online screener
Acceptance of Rights and Releases
All submitting filmmakers will be notified on or before June 10, by the email provided with your submission. Please add firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to your email address book to ensure receipt of notification.
Film entries may be of any subject, from any country, and of any length. Submitted films should either be in English or include English subtitles. If the film is selected for the Festival, it is the responsibility of the filmmaker to provide the Crested Butte Film Festival with a file or exhibition copies by July 1, 2023.
Please call Michael Brody, Programming Director, at 310.463.0707 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
We appreciate you sending your work to us and giving us the opportunity to program it for our festival. Obviously, films are the foundation of our festival, and we appreciate the vision, creativity, time, commitment, and resources that went into your work. Thank you!
Response from festival:
Hello Beret, Katrina and John,
So amazing to have you and THIS IS (NOT) WHO WE ARE at Crested Butte. From the beginning, your film lived with me and made me see my hometown in a different light, a much more realistic light.
You three brought so much to the festival and it was a joy to have you here, and so value your appreciation of what we do at Crested Butte. Looking forward to furthering our friendship and to having another of your films play at CB.
Response from festival:
My goodness, we loved VENEERS and are so grateful that you submitted it to us. Let's get you out to Crested Butte next time as we would love to have you (and you will love Crested Butte.) Looking forward to your next film (knowing full well they don't exactly grow on trees) and what you come up with next and looking forward to staying in touch with you.
All my best,
Response from festival:
So great to see you and Erin at the Bike Parade after you already spent the afternoon riding our great mountain trails. Thank you for submitting RESURFACING: KOA SMITH to us (perhaps out of the blue) I love that you knew we would be a good match for your film and hence, you for us. Can't wait to have you back again with your next project (looking forward to your use of B-roll) and thanks for making the festival even better because of your presence. Come see us again. Soon.
Michael, Jen, and Team
Response from festival:
It was so lovely to have you, Loon, and LOON at Crested Butte this year. From the get-go, we knew LOON was our kind of film and it perfectly captured the Crested Butte ethos which is our own personal ethos. Yours was such a beautiful film about the value of conservation and it was a great treat to chat with you among the piles of bacon at our HAIR OF THE DOG brunch.
Until your next film or next email, all our best.
and the CBFF Staff