At the Crested Butte Film Festival, we believe in the transformative power of film. Founded in 2010 by two adventurous filmmakers and film-lovers, our organization is on a mission to move people to move the world.

Nestled among towering mountains and golden aspen trees, our intimate and free-spirited festival inspires, awakens, and activates attendees through an engaging setting of quality screenings, walkable venues, stimulating discussions, and authentic connections.

In alignment with our organizational mission, we curate bold, visceral, high-quality films that activate real emotion and invite personal, social, and environmental transformation.

Always held during the last weekend of September, the four-day event encompasses three walkable venues and the screening of 90 films spanning the genres of narrative, documentary, outdoor adventure, children’s, and short films. Additional programming sprinkled throughout the festival includes panel discussions, lively parties, and other social networking events.

Crested Butte Film Festival was recently named by USA Today’s Go Escape Magazine as “one of the top five fall film festivals in North America” and MovieMaker Magazine dubbed us "one of the best small film festivals in the United States."

Attending filmmakers are provided with an All-Access VIP Pass, lodging accommodations, and a bike to ride for the weekend (the preferred mode of transportation in our little mountain town).

At the Crested Butte Film Festival, you are sure to be inspired by the transformative power of stories while fostering incredible connections in an atmosphere of spontaneity fueled by great films, shared experiences, bikes, hikes, and magical mountain scenery.

“Crested Butte Film Festival has almost anything a filmmaker could want. On top of the scenic beauty that surrounds it, the festival is a creative vortex of top-notch programming and community building opportunities that provide excellent opportunities to see new films and network with your peers...CBFF’s overall programming is an exceptional mix of personal films that fold together some of the best narrative and documentary selections on the festival circuit.”
— Greg Hamilton, MovieMaker Magazine

Read complete MovieMaker article here:


Genius. Artistry. Creation. A new way of telling a story. A location we’ve never seen. Something we’ve never thought of or imagined. And humor goes a long long way with us. Simply put, the best in narrative, documentary, short, outdoor adventure and children's films.


Known as a “filmmakers festival,” we strive to create an atmosphere of inspiration through well-attended screenings, high-quality programming, stimulating panel discussions, and opportunities for authentic engagement. We have a passion for discovering great first films and a desire to nurture the careers of young and emerging filmmakers. All venues are within easy walking distance and events are designed to foster lasting connections and partnerships among attendees, filmmakers, and industry professionals.


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 town that's packed with local character.
Altitude: A true mountain destination at 8,885 feet above sea level.
Beauty: We're literally surrounded by mountains. Think epic panoramic vistas with snowcapped peaks and dazzling golden aspen trees.
Fun: Off the charts. Parties, bike parades, delicious food, craft rum, local brews, and plenty of magically spontaneous moments.


Through the transformative power of cinema, Crested Butte Film Festival fosters artistic creativity and inspires connection, cultural awareness and social action.


Films have 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 see it.


BEST SHORT FILM - Narrative, Documentary and Comedic categories
ACTNOW AWARD (call-to-action, monetary prize awarded to one nonprofit associated with film)


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.


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.


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.

2018 Recipient - LIFEBOAT
2016 Recipient - NEWTOWN
2015 Recipient - RACING EXTINCTION
2014 Recipient - VIRUNGA
2013 Recipient - BLOOD BROTHER
2012 Recipient - BIDDER 70

For our 2019 season, we are open for submissions from December 1, 2018 - April 10, 2019.

Before filling out the submission form, please be prepared to provide the following:

Contact information
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 July 1, by the email provided with your submission. Please add to your email address book to ensure receipt of notification.

For environmental reasons, we request that your submission be sent to us through an online link. Thank you. Your entry can be made via FilmFreeway's Secure Online Screener platform.

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 20, 2019.

Call Michael Brody, Programming Director, at 310.463.0707 or email

We really 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 money that went into your work. Thank you!

Overall Rating
  • India Dupre

    So beautiful- so well organized and so welcoming. A magic film festival - we began with a bike ride around the city, generous locals invited us to film maker brunches, wonderful films, top notch! I highly recommend this film festival!

    September 2019
  • Keith Cantrell

    Sometimes I give festivals 5-stars just to be nice, but Crested Butte Film Festival truly deserves 5-stars in ALL categories. From day 1, communication was frequent and beneficial. I decided to attend the festival for my short film Paddleball Hole, and even though getting to this small mountain town was tricky, the experience was worth it. The festival coordinators and locals made me feel so welcome, and there were many opportunities to get to know the other filmmakers, too. I can't wait to return to this festival in the future. I feel so fortunate to be part of the CBFF family!

    October 2018
  • Collin Monda

    Despite the fact that my film was definitely on the lower-budget end of films chosen to play at the festival, it was given an incredible screening to a sold out house. Crested Butte put together a pair of guests to join me after my film played and it was my best screening and audience so far!

    The festival was flexible and caring, which you don’t always get. The events were fun and had a wonderful energy that allowed for some great networking and even the making of lasting friendships. To cap it all off, I was actually thanked for having a film of a more unique length for programming, which some festivals with closed-minded programming no doubt have turned me away for.

    Lastly, if you get into this thing you’re always invited back! Late September in Colorado among the golden aspens... we will more than likely be back!

    Thanks Michael and Jen!
    And everyone else involved too!

    October 2018
  • A mini -unspoiled- Sundance in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Michael and Jen Brody's own depth is reflected in the excellent programming & organization -- this is a festival that curates great crafts(wo)manship of both tier A darlings & fresh talent. It honors the breadth of the human condition. The outdoors events -- hosted by gold aspens -- greatly enrich the already existing charm of Crested Butte. The hospitality is exceptional. A real Gem on the rise!

    October 2018
  • Love, love, love Crested Butte Film Festival! This is one of my favorite fests. When I accidentally left my wallet with all my cash and credit cards at TSA in my hometown, Michael and Jen (the Executive Directors) made sure I had money to enjoy the town and the fest. At a bigger fest, I'd be sh!t out of luck. Additionally, the town is welcoming, screenings are packed, and you meet plenty of other really cool filmmakers. Submit now. Seriously.

    January 2018