The Experimental Film Fest features Avant-Garde and Experimental films in any sub-genre. We want the unusual, the macabre, the offbeat, the beautiful, the ugly, and the truly experimental film. We want you to explore the medium in ways that are not only unconventional but entertaining.

Student films are judged with all of the other films for awards but are also judged separately for Best Student Film. This award is meant to encourage young filmmakers to participate in film festivals and to bring new talent to the screen for audiences.

The Festival date: TBA for 2022
Bank of the Arts 317 Middle St, New Bern, NC 28560

2021 Awards:

Festival Winner - Swimming Upstream - Caren Messing - United States

Critic's Choice - Meet Me at the Station - Roderick Coover - United States

Audience Favorite - Us Against Them - Ronnel Parham - United States

Five Finalists:

(crude) Oil - Lisa Danielle Buch - United States
Bass Rally - Barsik - Poland
Gas - Gilnaz Arzpeyma - Canada
Fleeting: Here & There - Bailey Maätita - United States
I Try to Dream - Braddon Mendelson - United States

Best Student Film: Candy - Xilin Hong - Qatar

Honorable Mention:

The Flight of a Bird Does Not Scar the Sky - Robin Starbuck - United States
The Colonel Cries for the Red-Haired Woman - Gergő V. Nagy - Hungary
Woken From A Dream - Taj Kokayi - United States
Nothing is Here - Kaiyun Yang - Taiwan
Us Against Them - Ronnel Ricardo Parham - United States

Films must be downloadable via FilmFreeway. If your film is password protected, please send the password to the festival director.

Selection for the festival does not guarantee screening during the festival. We may contact you for permission to include your film in special film event nights as festival selections.

This year there is a 15-minute time limit for films.

Overall Rating
  • Caren Messing

    Experimental Film Fest is a wonderful festival. Great communication, professional and thoughtfully curated. I wish I could have attended in person and most certainly will submit to this blossoming festival in the future.

    September 2021
  • Hing Tsang

    Ken did an excellent job organising the festival and maintaining excellent communication at all times. The festival has a clear identity and is run with enthusiasm

    September 2021
  • Jason Biehner

    Although I was not able to attend this year in person, the whole experience working with Ken and this festival was great. Excellent and timely communication and what looked to be an excellent line up! Thanks for including my work!

    September 2021
  • Terrific festival. Ken put together an amazing event for filmmakers. Everyone was very welcoming and supportive of each other. Very very glad we submitted our work and will continue to submit and support this festival.

    September 2021
  • DT Kofoed

    The double-whammy of pandemic & protests kept me from attending, but I applaud the festival for persevering. There are far too few with such curated taste, and the director's podcast invitation was a delightful bonus.

    September 2020