The Footcandle Film Festival is designed to bring unique, interesting, challenging and entertaining films to Western North Carolina. The festival is held by the founders and members of the Footcandle Film Society, a 600 member group dedicated to screening and discussing films on a monthly basis. The festival will be held at the Drendel Auditorium on the SALT Block in Hickory, North Carolina between September 28th and 30th, 2018. The festival will include an opening reception, filmmaker Q&A sessions, and a closing reception with awards.

Feature-length (running time greater than 40 minutes) and short films (running time less than 40 minutes) will be screened at the festival covering a variety of subjects.

Submissions will be categorized in one of three categories: Short Film, Narrative Feature or Documentary Feature. At the festival closing ceremonies awards will be given for Best Narrative Feature, Best Narrative Short Film , Best Documentary Feature, and Best Documentary Short Film as selected by a jury, and two awards selected by festival attendees - Audience Favorite Feature & Audience Favorite Short.

A screening committee will evaluate and select films to be presented at the Footcandle Film Festival with entrants being notified of their status during the month of July 2018. An estimated 30 films (combination of feature-length and short films) will be selected for invitation to screen during the festival weekend.

In the weeks leading up to the festival weekend, a jury will view and select the Festival winners (in the categories of Best Narrative Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Feature & Best Documentary Short). The awards will be announced at the end of the festival on Sunday night. The Audience Favorite Feature & Audience Favorite Short awards will be decided by audience voting throughout the festival weekend and also announced at the closing reception.

Criteria for Submission:
• All entries must be postmarked no later than June 11th, 2018 for submission.
• All submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2016.
• All films must be in English or have English subtitles. Non-subtitled or dubbed foreign language films will not be considered.
• All clearances must be obtained for exhibition.
• Entries should be submitted through FilmFreeway (online submission). If any reason prohibits a filmmaker from using the online service, a DVD can be mailed to the Film Society with a label indicating the title and running time.
• Only the Producer, Director, Screenwriter or someone closely connected to the film may complete the application. Schools may submit films on behalf of student filmmakers.

Filmmakers whose films are accepted for competition will be notified by email by approximately July 16th, 2018.

Overall Rating
  • Unfortunately I was unable to attend, but Footcandle Film Festival were incredibly supportive and excelled at communication through the entire process. Thanks Footcandle!

    February 2018
  • Diana Newton

    Footcandle is very well-organized, curated, and the Film Society that that the festival organizers have run in town for years makes for an audience that is thoughtful, well-versed in cinema, and capable of great questions. The festival takes really good care of its filmmakers, providing hotel, travel stipend, and great food. A great experience during my festival run!

    October 2017
  • Raymond Wallace

    This was by far and away one of the best festival experiences I have ever had. The organizers truly put on a festival that was inclusive and more than hospitable to filmmakers and audiences. The theater was large and regularly packed with a full audience that eagerly participated in Q&As. The festival provided food, snacks, and even travel expenses for the filmmakers. This truly is a fantastic festival worth submitting to and attending.

    October 2017
  • chip white

    This was our third year and third film in the Footcandle Film Festival. Each year the audience is amazing, and filled true film watchers. They'll engage you in questions and talk to you about your film and some of their favorites. Each year gets better, the hospitality is wonderful and cannot recommend Footcandle FF enough. If you have a quality film (Feature, short or doc) I highly suggest you give Footcandle a shot.

    October 2017
  • Chris White

    Footcandle is one of the very best filmmaker-focused, audience-forward festivals in the U.S. Many smaller, regional festivals tend to be crass chamber of commerce type events—films and filmmakers a complete afterthought to what is essentially a local community event. Or... a tiny clique of local cineastes putting on poorly attended screenings for their friends. Footcandle combines the support of a devoted, 600+ member local cinema club with expert curation and an emphasis on hospitality for filmmakers. It really is one of the very best festival experiences we've ever had. Screenings were full and Q&As were smart. Hospitality was just enough—not too much, not too little.

    October 2017