The Elgin Short Film Festival (ESFF) will celebrate its 13th year on September 18th, 2021, with a hybrid event – virtual and in-theater presentations. On April 1st, 2021 we will begin accepting entries for this year’s festival!
2020 was an unsettling year for everyone, an understatement, we know. While it came with its share of disappointments, it also presented new opportunities for the ESFF and our audience. For the first time we will be a hybrid festival. Every year since 2009 the ESFF has drawn film entries from around the world making this a world-wide competition. This year we will welcome an in-house audience (fingers crossed) as well as viewers from around the world to take part in this impressive event. We are currently inviting filmmakers to submit their short films (20 minutes or less in length including credits) for competition in our festival via filmfreeway.com.
This competition will allow any filmmaker to submit work, even if it has been entered into other festival competitions! We encourage submitting films in every genre and subject matter as long as they are within the scope of the official rules.
Exciting components to our festival:
• The ESFF will feature a Live Action category and an Animation category.
• The ESFF will be a hybrid (on line) and a live-in person event.
• Next In Finalist - Each category will have five potential finalists. The top two, as voted on by the selection committee, will make the finals. The next three films in each category will compete to make the finals in September as part of the Elgin Fringe Festival. (Dates and times TBD)
• The ESFF will accept films that are up to the equivalent of an MPAA ‘R’ rating.
• The Top Finalist’s films selected will be treated to a red carpet arrival the night of the festival and will be shown in the 1,200-seat theater of The Hemmens Cultural Center!
• Mike Toomey, comedian and integral part of the WGN morning show, returns to MC our event.
• Trophies and cash prizes for the top three films--up to $1,000!
We encourage your participation and look forward to receiving your film submission for the 2021 Elgin Short Film Festival. The entry fee for films submitted by July 31, 2021 is $40. Films submitted after July 31, 2021 will have a $50 fee. The deadline to submit films is August 20, 2021!
For a complete list of rules and regulations, and to download an application, go to:
First Place for Best Film: Trophy & $1,000
Second Place for Best Film: Trophy and $500
Third Place for Best Film: Trophy & $300
The People’s Choice Award (based on audience votes cast during intermission): Trophy
The top 3 films in each category will be recognized on the night of the festival, September 18, 2021 .
Please see website for full rules. Since submission of a film constitutes acceptance of these Entry Rules & Regulations (by filmmakers and their agents), please review this document carefully.
Since submission of a film constitutes acceptance of these Entry Rules & Regulations (by filmmakers and their agents), please review this document carefully.
To be eligible for consideration, entrants must fully comply with the following Rules & Regulations, including deadline and entry material requirements and selected film requirements.
Films must be no more than twenty (20) minutes in length (including credits).
1. Films must be postmarked no later than August 23, 2019. Early Entry rates are available for entries postmarked by August 2, 2019. See page 2 for details. The ESFF Committee may temporarily prohibit the acceptance of film entries or may advance the aforementioned submission deadline to any date prior to August 23, 2019 in the ESFF Committee's sole discretion without prior notice.
2. All entries must be either in English, contain English subtitles, or be dubbed in English.
3. NEW FOR 2019: ESFF will accept films that are the equivalent of an MPAA ‘R’ rating. However, the ESFF reserves the right to reject submissions which it considers inappropriate in the sole discretion of the ESFF Committee (e.g., submissions which contain excessive nudity, violence or vulgarity).
4. Films that have been previously submitted to the Elgin Short Film Festival are NOT eligible for competition.
5. Films must be submitted either electronically through the FilmFreeway website at https://filmfreeway.com/festival/ElginShortFilmFestival or on three (3) identical DVD’s (NTSC) delivered to The Hemmens Cultural Center. The production’s title and entrant’s name must be on each case and DVD.
6. All entries must be a complete film. Submitted works that are deemed by the ESFF Committee to be a “work in progress,” “rough cut,” or a portion of a larger work will not be accepted.
7. Entrant confirms and warrants that he/she has the required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry.
8. Submitted works must not have been commercially exhibited in the U.S. or publicly broadcast.
9. Selected films may be promoted through all media types and outlets for promotional purposes by the Hemmens Cultural Center and the City of Elgin. In addition, ESFF reserves the right to re-screen selected projects at events and promotional showcases featuring festival highlights.
10. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older. Underage filmmakers must have their film submitted by a parent or guardian over the age of 18.