This is the first Deaf Film Festival hosted in Austin, TX! Our festival aims to screen and showcase films that incorporate sign language, Deaf culture, or about deafness. Cast and crew members that are Deaf and use sign language should submit to this festival!

Deaf filmmakers and students that submit to this festival automatically get a VIP pass to participate in the networking event in the evening. Even if your qualifying submitted film is not selected, you will still be given a pass. Don't miss this opportunity in a lifetime to meet with other artists and creatives!

Only films created by Deaf Filmmakers or Deaf-Hearing collaborators are eligible for submissions.

SILENT FILMS made by an all hearing cast or only one deaf filmmaker will NOT be qualified.

Cash awards will also be given to the winner of each category (except for student films)! A total of $1,000 in cash prizes, software, and equipment will be available for all the submitted categories.

When submitting to the festival you are agreeing that, if selected and the invitation accepted, to screen the submitted film during the dates of the festival. The Deaf Film Festival will not pay any screening fees for the presentation of the film during the festival. The only exception would be if there is a negotiated agreement preceding the submission of the film to Deaf Film Festival.

DEAF FILM FESTIVAL (DFF) is a competitive showcase for domestic and international short films and short documentaries by Deaf filmmakers with production teams comprised of all deaf or a collaborative mix of deaf and hearing artists and technicians. Films that have received prior theatrical, cable, television, satellite, DVD, VHS, VOD, or internet screenings are eligible. All films must have been completed between 2020-2023; films made prior to 2020 might be considered depending on submission volume, but they will not be considered for awards. DFF reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any project submitted. There is no limit to the number of entries.

All entries must have English subtitles. Films must have an element of Deaf Culture, sign language, deafness, or have at least TWO cast/crew members that are Deaf. Projects must be submitted for consideration as an online screener. If you did not receive a confirmation of submission, please email the Festival Director MJ Kiego at:

For a list of competitive categories, please see our category section. All films are nominated and voted upon by an impartial jury of deaf and hearing filmmakers, deaf and hearing industry professionals, prominent figures in the domestic and international Deaf Community, and principal festival organizers.

If selected, the Deaf Film Festival will require an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) to include high-resolution production stills/key art, bio and/or filmography of the director, and full cast and crew credits.

Every precaution is taken when handling your film once submitted but we cannot accept responsibility for lost or damaged files that are submitted to us.

Submission of an entry gives Deaf Film Festival permission to have excerpts of accepted work, including film trailers, shown in all promotional activities related to the festival.

Filmmakers whose films have been selected for the Deaf Film Festival will be notified by August 21st (for all entries).