This is an ONLINE ONLY Festival. We do not host a Live Event.

2023 Continues...

The art of making film is one of the greatest challenges a person can do. The sheer will and determination to pick up a camera and make a film and the courage to share that work with the world is more than just a profession. Its a passion. It doesn't matter the skill level. It doesn't matter the talent level. It doesn't matter the resource level. Every film made has something to celebrate.

No film ever made was perfect. Even Casablanca had flaws. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something. Anybody who looks at any film critically enough can find its flaws. But we like to Focus on the positives.

Every film does something right. That is what we Focus on.

Every film submitted to our festival will be granted Official Selection. Every film will be reviewed and studied for its positive achievements.

In most competitions, there is one winner and everyone else is a nominee or not selected. But we believe that when promoting your independent film an award win looks better than a nomination, which is why we developed the tier award system. Each award given is granted 7 tiers. Since most of the time the margin between the winner and the nominees is so small and subtle, its regrettable.

With the tier format, the top 7 projects in any category are granted award wins. This allows for greater possibilities and also more reflects the filmmaker's talents. We are excited to be going to the tiered award system.

The only thing we ask from submitters is to keep things positive. We have an issue with abusive, derogatory, defamatory or hostile behavior or language. If a submitter or anyone involved with a submission behaves in this manner, the submission selection and any awards granted may be revoked. But as long as you keep it positive, its all good.

The Focus International Film Festival is an IMDb RECOGNIZED EVENT celebrating the best in independent cinema. Film makers from around the world are invited to submit their English language or English subtitled films and trailers.

All genres are welcome except snuff or porn. However, the MAXIMUM RUNNING TIME for trailers is 3 minutes or less, short films is 45 minutes or less and feature films from 45:01- 2 hours INCLUDING OPENING AND CLOSING CREDITS.

Any film or trailer that does not meet these requirements, or others listed in the Rules and Terms section will be disqualified with no refund given. No exceptions.

We offer all valid entries who achieve at least Official Selection status the opportunity to order a 10" trophy. Contact the festival at to inquire.

Trophies can only be shipped to the continental United States. No exceptions.

All valid entries will be granted OFFICIAL SELECTION status and receive an official selection laurel for their poster.

All submissions will receive OFFICIAL SELECTION and receive Official Selection laurels for their poster.

All awards listed below will include an Award Laurel Certificate which will be emailed to the film maker of record.

All award winners are invited to send their award information to IMDb for inclusion on their project's profile at the conclusion of the festival. This must be done by the filmmaker or award recipient. The festival does not do this on their behalf.

In addition, any Official Selection or Award Winner or anyone involved with a project that is, may order a 10" trophy at any time. Contact the festival at for ordering instructions.

For all projects, the festival will review all films that are submitted to the festival and awards will be issued based on the determination of the greatest strengths of the material. Each award will be layered into 7 tiers. Not every award may be issued to 7 projects, but no more than 7 projects.


1. By submitting to the festival you confirm that you own the rights to the film or trailer and agree to allow your project to be shown by the festival through its website and/or social media. If your film is not available for public viewing you will state so but provide the festival judges the ability to view your film through secure online screener. You also agree that your name and project information may be used for festival promotion. We do not pay screening fees. If this is an issue, please do not submit.

2. FIFF only accepts online submission through FilmFreeway with a link to your film or trailer. If a password is required please provide it and let us know if your film is unavailable for public viewing. We do not accept mailed submissions. Projects previously submitted to a Focus International Film Festival event are eligible to be resubmitted to a future event as long as the project was not previously Officially Selected. Previously officially selected projects are disqualified from future events.

3. All fees are nonrefundable. No fee waivers will be granted. No exceptions!

4. Film makers may submit as many films and trailers as they like, but a separate entry must be made for each. Projects may have distribution.

5. Films and trailers selected to compete may be asked for promotional materials.

6. Official selection and festival award voting is final. No feedback will be provided.

7. Festival awards will feature up to but not more than 7 winners of the tiers listed above and will be at the sole discretion of the festival.

8. Any film not in English must have English dubbing or subtitles. Any film in a language other than English without English dubbing or subtitles will be disqualified.

9. Festival laurels will be provided to "Official Selections" only. Award laurel email certificates will be issued to award winners.

10. FIFF reserves the right to change the event dates should reasonable circumstances warrant. FIFF will do all possible to maintain the published schedule.

11. Awards and Prizes - No cash awards will be made. For details on awards see the awards section.

12. Indemnity:
By submitting to the festival, entrants release and hold harmless the Focus International Film Festival, representatives, volunteers, staff and assignees and any other entities associated with the event from and against any and all loss, damage, rights, actions and claims arising in whole or in part from the contest or their participation therein, whether directly or indirectly, including but not limited to use or misuse of the selection process, judging, award nominations or winners, without limitation including ISP issues, award delivery or promotion, and also including personal injury, damage to persons or property or death as well as claims on property rights, defamation, privacy or force majeure. The festival will take appropriate and reasonable steps in the event awards to the film makers are delayed, to resend award certificates in whatever form they are represented within 30 days of the announcement of the winners.
The film makers involved retain all rights to their projects, and the festival is only granted a limited, non exclusive right to promote the project for purposes of declaring award winners for the festival period.

By submitting to the festival, the festival, its employees and assignees and anyone else entrusted with carrying out the festival's duties, are hereby held harmless against claims of any kind, including but not limited to financial or any other reason, and film maker agrees that all judging to be the final decision of the festival and holds the festival and anyone associated with it harmless against suit for defamation, slander or any other reason. Film makers agree not to hold the festival responsible for losses of any kind including financial relating to their entering into the festival.

Force Majeure. Nonperformance of any party shall be excused to the extent that performance is rendered impossible by strike, fire, flood, earthquakes, war, governmental acts, alien invasions or orders or restrictions, or any other reason where failure to perform is beyond the reasonable control, and not caused by the negligence of, the nonperforming party.

For any dispute not subject to arbitration entrant agrees to personal jurisdiction by the federal and state courts located in Dallas, Texas , United States of America , and waives any jurisdictional, venue, or inconvenient forum objections to such courts.

Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby irrevocably waives all rights to claim damages of any kind outside of claimants entry fees into the festival including punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, or any other damages, including attorneys' fees.

Personal information submitted in connection with the festival will be kept confidential although some basic information about the film or trailer may be shared with the public.

Overall Rating
  • Kayser Foyz

    Great festival. Will submit again.

    August 2023
  • Now this is how festivals should work! "MOON STUDENTS" was honored to participate and win at such an outstanding event! Thanks Focus International!

    June 2023
  • Gerardo Tellez

    Es increíble ya espero el 2024 listo para mandar más proyectos 😀

    June 2023
  • An exceptional festival and it was an honor to participate. I am happy to have received the award, it is certainly among the best events on cinema. It was very nice to bring the Italian heart into your culture.

    March 2023
  • Very encouraging film festival, appreciate our film THE LIGHT as official selection, prompt communication.

    Thanks for appreciation...

    February 2023