East Lansing Film Festival (ELFF), the longest-running non-experimental fim festival in Michigan, showcases films from around the world. We screen features, documentaries, many shorts and student films. All festival films contest for Audience Awards. Cash Prizes will be awarded for the Best Feature, Documentary and Short Film.

The East Lansing Film Festival will celebrate its silver anniversary, 25th ELFF, showcasing independent films from around the world. ELFF presents 3 extensive short film programs, plus features and documentaries. The festival hosts parties and a seminar. We invite directors to attend the film festival and hold Q & As with the audiences. Past visiting directors have included Michael Moore, Oliver Stone and Bruce Campbell.

In the past, the Lake Michigan Film Competition (LMFC) ran concurrently as a part of ELFF but is now a film festival of its own with the new name Lake Michigan Film Festival (LMFF). IF YOU ARE FROM MICHIGAN, INDIANA, ILLINOIS OR WISCONSIN PLEASE SUBMIT TO THE LMFF ON FilmFreeway.
We encourage you to contact us and submit your film for consideration.

$300 for Best Feature Film without major distribution.
$300 for Best Documentary without major distribution.
$200 for Best Short Film without major distribution.

Definition of major distribution: a recognized Distribution Company.
Self-distribution qualifies for the award.

$300 for Best Feature Film
$300 for Best Documentary
$300 for Best Short Film
$300 for Best Student Film


Please read and follow the Entry Regulations carefully.

Entry Regulations:

1.Works in progress will NOT be accepted.

2. Submission will not be considered unless accompanied by appropriate fee, completed FilmFreeway online entry form, and a 25-35 word summary. Press and publicity materials are appreciated but only required after being accepted into festival.

3. All entries must be in English or contain English subtitles.

4. If your film is selected for festival screening, you must supply electronially 300dpi+ resolution color stills (not of the production but from the film itself). We also require as much publicity material that is available.

5. if your selected film is a narrative or documentary film is selected for festival screening, you must supply a DCP on hard drive or a Blu-Ray copy of your film. DCPs are preferred for the Christie projection at Studio C. A DCP copy on a hard drive can be created for a nominal fee paid though PayPal.
If your selected film is a short film , it will be electronically copied onto a DCP hard drive for proection. Do not send the a DCP copy.

9.The festival director must authorize exceptions to the festival regulations.


The entrant must pay the cost of shipping an entry print to the festival.


-Entries must not have been previously submitted to the East Lansing Film Festival.
-Entries must be in English or subtitled in English.

Films or videos of any length (feature, short), style or genre (narrative, documentary, animation, etc.) are accepted (see appropriate category). If selected for screening, the filmmaker will be contacted by email by September 10, 2022.

Digital files must be received at least 14 days prior to the festival start date or a screening copy will be used.

Overall Rating
  • Alex Adam

    Was incredible seeing my film in one of my favorite movie theaters! The hosts were very friendly!

    March 2023
  • What a fantastic and welcoming experience. I am amazed by this year's program and very proud to have "Cocoon Love" among such awesome films. Thank you! So appreciate for the great communication and execution. Highly recommended!

    November 2021
  • Aaron Hosé

    Great staff with a quality film program delivered in a theater! What else could you want? Wonderful experience. Thanks, Susan & the ELFF Team!

    November 2021
  • Alexa Villarreal

    ELFF has well curated, quality films. The overall experience ran so smooth, Susan goes above and beyond to put on a top notch festival experience.

    November 2019
  • I was unable to make it to the festival, but have heard fantastic things about Susan and the crew at East Lansing. The communication was stellar. I look forward to the opportunity to be part of this festival in the future.

    November 2019