Join the 3rd Annual Fort Smith International Film Festival on August 25-26, 2023. All genres accepted and no date limits on production. This years theme is [re]Focused.

The 2023 Fort Smith International Film Festival celebrates the moviemaking warriors and survivors who pushed through. The global pandemic delayed, derailed, and devastated film productions across the world. As the international creative economy recovers, stalled projects were revived, new ideas emerged from the ruins, and artists have become [re]Focused.

[re]Focused filmmakers are on the leading edge of a storytelling renaissance. Their lens are capturing experiences from different angles and apertures are being opened bringing blurry situations into the light. With a new focus, people and groups who were on the margins or left out of narratives are entering the picture with a sharpness that reveals the details of their lives at a higher resolution. The 3rd Annual Fort Smith International Film Festival invites these [re]Focused moviemaking warriors from across the globe to tell us your stories.

Categories include People of Color, Indigenous, Music Video, Animation, High School & College Student Short Film, Documentary, Short & Feature length Films. Submissions can be submitted via FilmFreeway from February 3 through May 25, 2023. All are welcome to submit.

Cash Prizes and Scholarships!
Awards will include University of Arkansas Scholarships, Cash Prizes, and Trophies.

The management of the Fort Smith International Film Festival and parent company: River Valley Film Society, Inc. reserves the right to decide all questions regarding the rules and regulations. Submission of a film constitutes that the filmmaker accepts the rules and regulations set forth herein.


- Works can be submitted regardless of when they were completed – no date limits.
- Submissions do not have to be premieres to be selected for exhibition
- Films that have had a limited commercial theatrical run or other distribution are allowed to submit.
- There is no limit on the number of works submitted, but each entry must be separate and accompanied by the required fee.
- People of Color, Indigenous, and Student Filmmakers are encouraged to enter their films into a secondary category. All others please specify only ONE MAIN CATEGORY for your film to be in.
- Only completed films will be accepted – no works in progress.
- All films must be available to screen immediately.
- All entries must be either in English or subtitled in English. Dialogue lists are not accepted.
- Submission fee payments are made through an online submission portal. Checks may be made payable to River Valley Film Society.
- Entry Fees are non-refundable.
-In order to qualify for the student rate please be sure to upload a copy of your valid student ID in your "files and attachments" section of your project page. Or email a copy of your ID to
- Submitted screeners and press materials will not be returned.
- The Fort Smith International Film Festival is not responsible for lost or damaged materials.
- To qualify for student entry fee rates, entrant must include proof of student status at the time of production (e.g., copy of student ID, transcript, etc.) Proof of student status should be sent to upon submission.


Submission Media Format: NTSC Format Only
Theatrical Format: QT H264.MOV and MP4 files.
Short Film screeners must be made available online via Secure Online Screener.
Feature films must be submitted (Preferably) Online via Secure Online Screener or on 2 DVDs (Blu-Ray Preferred) with labels indicating:
FilmFreeway tracking number (FF# _ _ _ _ )
The title
Director's name
Running time
Contact phone number
Email address
Applicable website URL
Only complete entries (including fee payment and screener) will be considered.

Films are selected for Festival presentation by the Fort Smith International Film Festival programming committee. If a film is selected, the Festival office will contact the entrant by phone or email.

Submission of film indicates applicant's full intention to exhibit at the Fort Smith International Film Festival if selected for programming. As such, filmmaker waives the right to withdraw their film from the Fort Smith International Film Festival at any time for any reason.

Filmmakers who submit via Secure Online Screener should be prepared to send the Festival a copy of their film if it is accepted. Blu-ray disc is the Festival's exhibition format but standard definition DVD is an acceptable alternative. Backup discs are highly recommended, especially for standard definition DVDs. Subject to prior notification sent to the Festival, filmmakers may also send a .mov or .mp4 data file via storage device or electronic file transfer.

Each filmmaker is responsible for providing a working copy of any accepted film by the deadlines provided. Failure to do so means the Festival cannot include the film in its lineup, so the film’s status changes to “Not Accepted.” Films are considered “Accepted” only after a copy of the film has been received and successfully tested. Discs damaged during shipping, file shares that fail to download or that encounter frame rate or other technical problems, and discs that are lost in the mail all are examples of films that can miss the deadline. For these and other reasons, the Festival advises filmmakers to burn and test their own Blu-ray discs, securely package them inside boxes and/or inside secure disc cases, then ship them well before the deadline via courier with a tracking number.

To facilitate the promotion of selected films, the Festival requests that submissions include an electronic press kit via Dropbox or other FTP sites or through FilmFreeway’s website. The EPK should not come on a disc. The EPK should include the following:
- 5 JPEG formatted images. 300 Dpi and no greater than 500kb
- 1 Poster image. Hi-Res. No greater than 2 Gb
- 1 WORD document with 3 synopses: a short 50-100 words, medium 100 – 250 words, and a long 250 – 500 words.
- 1 WORD document with 1-2 Press Releases. One short press release describing the film, a second more in-depth press release.
- 1 WORD document listing all URL and social media links

1. The Festival disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any failure to contact the Applicant using the contact information provided in FilmFreeway. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to ensure that the contact information provided in FilmFreeway is correct through the end of the Festival period.
2. The Festival will attempt, but is under no obligation, to view a submission that arrives after the designated deadline without refund of the submission fee.
3. The Festival reserves the right to disqualify any film for non-payment of the submission fee. The Festival will attempt to contact the applicant with the information on the application form to resolve the non-payment status but is under no obligation to do so.
4. The Festival is under no obligation to, and does not, provide comments or feedback regarding the submitted Film to the Applicant or any other representative of the submitted Film. The Festival will not be held responsible or liable for the contents of any internal comments or feedback regarding any submitted Film obtained by the Applicant or any other representative of the submitted film or any third party.
5. It is the sole responsibility of the Applicant to secure clearance from the copyright holders of any copyrighted materials included within the submitted Film. The Fort Smith International Film Fest will not be held responsible for the unauthorized inclusion of any copyrighted materials within or relating to the submitted Film. The festival reserves the right to disqualify, without refund of any or all submission fees previously collected from the Applicant, any Film with any unauthorized inclusion of copyrighted materials.
6. Filmmakers accepted and attending the Festival are responsible for travel, lodging, and all other expenses. However, the festival may provide discount rates for lodging if possible.
7. All jury decisions are final.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS for filmmakers submitting to Fort Smith International Film Festival

1. I, the representative of the film being submitted (the "Film"), acknowledge and agree as follows in connection with the film submitted for consideration for The Fort Smith International Film Festival (the "Festival")
2. I hereby represent and warrant to the Festival that (a) I am duly authorized, on my own behalf and on behalf of all other persons or entities who have any ownership rights in the Film, to exhibit this Film at the Festival, (b) this exhibition will not violate any law or any right or consent of any person or entity and (c) the Film is not subject to litigation nor is it threatened by any litigation.
3. I further represent and warrant that, to the best of my knowledge, the exhibition of the Film at the Festival will not violate or infringe any copyright, patent, privacy right, publicity right, trademark, service mark or any other personal or property right of any person or entity and that my Film does not constitute a defamation of any person or entity. I have paid and will pay in full all license fees, clearance fees, and other obligations, of any kind, arising from the exhibition of the Film in connection with the Festival.
4. If accepted, I acknowledge that the exploitation of the Film does not create any confidential or fiduciary relationship between the Festival and I. I understand that I will not receive any compensation for such exploitation, although some prizes at the Festival may include cash awards. I acknowledge that no obligation of any kind is assumed by or may be implied against the Festival because of the Festival's selection of the Film. I understand and acknowledge that the selection of my Film by the Festival does not in any way constitute an express or implied endorsement or approval by the Festival or any opinion expressed therein.
5. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Festival with any affiliate, subsidiary and parent entities and the officers, directors, employees, attorneys, creative advisors and agents of each of the foregoing from and against any and all claims, losses, or liabilities (including reasonable attorneys' fees) that may be asserted against any of the foregoing or incurred by any of the foregoing at any time in connection with the Film or the Festival's use thereof, and/or arising from any breach or alleged breach of any representation made by me to the Fort Smith International Film Festival
6. I represent that I am 18 years of age or older, or that if I am younger than the legal age to enter into contracts in my state, I have provided a written consent from my parent or legal guardian.
7. If accepted, I hereby grant without reservations to the Festival, (a) the right to use footage, stills and/or titles of the film and information from the Film for promotional, public prescreening, and or postscreening purposes without recourse to the owner, producer, director, or any other party asserting ownership rights of the submitted film and (b) the right to issue and authorize publicity concerning the filmmakers and the Film and to use all associated names, likenesses and biographical information (c) accepted Films will also be used by the festival to promote future festivals as well as any Festival presentations, programs, and/or related events.

By clicking "I Agree" below, I constitute my full and complete acceptance of the terms hereof. I acknowledge that no oral representations of any kind have been made by the Festival.

The Festival reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to postpone any event due to severe weather, power outage or any other circumstance beyond the Festival's control. In such rare circumstances, tickets to alternate events are offered and/or the show is rescheduled. Ticket refunds are offered only if the Festival does not offer an alternate screening date. Submission fees are non-refundable for any films not accepted. Submission fees are also non-refundable for accepted films unless the entire festival is cancelled and no Program Guide is published, a highly unlikely set of circumstances.

The Festival reserves the right to change, adjust or cancel awards announcement ad campaigns without prior notice. Free, online streaming of any film accepted by the Festival is prohibited until after the event is over unless the work is password protected. Failure to abide by this rule can result in removal of the film from the Festival at the Festival's sole discretion.

Projects produced and/or directed by Festival organizers, sponsors and members are ineligible for screening as Official Selections and special events. Films that include Festival organizers, sponsors and members as hired actors are subject to the same restrictive policy.

Overall Rating
  • A warm thank you from Mumbai, India to the Fort Smith International Film Festival. We are overjoyed with our contribution "Guthlee Ladoo" and to emerge as a winner for the Best Overall Film & Best Narrative Feature Film. It's a real honor for us, the crew, and all involved with the film. My gratitude to the Jury and I would recommend Fort Smith International Film Festival to all filmmakers. It was all the more beautiful that we got such a nice recognition with our work. For us it is important to develop our own language and message in our work together with the bands. A language that touches people through music and image.

    This year it was my first time of cooperating with this festival as Festival Agent with this film. We submitted 3 projects of which 1 was not selected, one selected and 3rd a winner. I am happy the attention the film got and in the end it emerged a winner. We picked this festival to enter because we liked it's quick pace and they communicated everything in a timely and easy to understand manner. We really enjoyed the experience! I would like to add that this festival does really care of a good presentation of each film! I am looking forward to working with this festival in future and bring more projects to Fort Smith in the future! Cheers!!

    October 2022
  • Jiabao Peng

    It’s an honor to be included by this fest!!

    September 2022
  • Ryker Sixkiller

    My family and I had such a great time at the Fort Smith International Film Festival! We hope to have a film in next year's festival!

    September 2022
  • Fort Smith is a fresh and very cute film festival! Excellent communication and great film selection! Recommended!

    September 2022
  • Los Glosters

    Un honor ser seleccionado en este magnifico Festival. Gracias por hacer sonar nuestra música. Enhorabuena a los Ganadores y al equipo del Festival!

    September 2022