DEFY is focused on great work. Work made outside of the system. Work that had to defy all conventions to be made. Filmmakers that defy expectations. We are searching for artists that broke the mold, went beyond formulas, stepped outside of the frame, artists who took the traditions by the shoulders and shook out the dust.
Without limiting categories, we are open to anything, as long as it inspires. Defy gravity to lift us up and remind us why we love movies, love art, love the crazy people who put any chance of a normal life on the line in the service of bold, new work.
All great art is a disruption. Defy Film Festival.
“We call it Defy for a reason. The festival showcases unique filmmakers and introduces audiences to work that they won’t see anywhere else. We’re always looking for submissions that are a little bit different and one-of-a-kind. We’re about something new and fresh. When you see that spark of innovation and bold intention, that’s what really turns me on about film.” - Dycee Wildman, Festival Director
Named “Best Indie Film Festival” last year by the Nashville Scene, DEFY is entering its fourth year and continues to top the one that came before. “Fest organizers brought to East Nashville the festival’s most diverse and dynamic selection of international experimental films and art videos yet” -Joe Nolan, Nashville Scene
DEFY is driven by the desire to showcase unknown talent from around the world and to program with focused intention for a unique experience. It's this cinematic experience that we are determined to bring our Nashville audiences.
There are only two categories, features and shorts.
Without specific genre categories, DEFY has the flexibility to steer into whatever ideas and talent are submitted each year. We won't feel obligated to program something mediocre just because we have to fulfill a category. Your work will inform our festival.
No matter what kind of film you have, we want to see it - drama, comedy, experimental, animation, documentaries, horror/sci-fi, music videos, etc. We are independent filmmakers ourselves and we know the financial hardships you went through and the uncompromising passion it took to create the great film resting in your hands right now. Your film will treated and viewed with the respect that we would want for our own films.
Best of Festival SHORT
Best of Festival FEATURE
Award of Excellence SHORT
Award of Excellence FEATURE
Eligibility Requirements for the feature film and short film competition:
- Running time for all feature films must be 45 minutes or more and not exceed 150 minutes
- Running time for all shorts must be less than 44 minutes.
- Defy requires a Nashville Premiere for screening.
- Selected films must be made available in a Quicktime file.
- Film submissions in a foreign language must be subtitled in English.
- Preview screening format are digital screeners ONLY - No DVD screeners.
- If submitting more than one film, a separate completed entry is required for each title.
- All entries fees are non-refundable.
ENTRY FEES, DEADLINE, NOTIFICATION, AND SCHEDULING
- Films are scheduled at the discretion of the Defy Film Festival. Defy retains the right to make changes to the published schedule at any time and for any reason. Films may be screened more than once.
- Our local film community is important to us. If you are the director or producer and a Nashville resident, we will waive your submission fee. Email us a copy of your driver's license for qualification. This offer is only available up to the regular deadline.