What makes Freedom Festival International a one-of-a-kind festival is, not only do we highlight underrepresented groups, have additional awards for Best Fight/Stunt Choreography and Best Score/Original Composition, but we are centrally located in the heart of the city surrounded by amazing amenities and great social networking opportunities for independent filmmakers from around the world. We kick off the festival with an amazing music concert followed by a torch lighting ceremony the next morning before the first screenings. There will be seminars throughout the festival such as scoring/music composition, SFX makeup, writing, and the only hosted fight/stunt choreography seminar at a film festival in the world. In addition to this, there will be panel discussions with leading industry professionals and awesome after party mixers at the end of each day the festival concludes.

This international festival's Official Selections will be screened and compete for the "Torch Awards" at Spotlight Cinemas in the international corridor of Columbia, South Carolina. With over two dozen categories, these prestigious awards are just the tip of the iceberg. We will also be giving cash prizes, software, critique and feedback, streaming opportunities, and entry for competition into the Rising Star Academy Awards for the winner of the Best of the Fest Torch Award. In addition to this, representatives from PMG Studios, an exclusive distribution studio for independent film, will be in attendance selecting film(s) for possible theatrical distribution opportunities in select theaters.

Freedom Festival International is a festival dedicated to showcasing, promoting, and networking independent filmmakers and the great films they've made from around the world. With the additional highlighting of women and veteran filmmakers, we will honor an influential woman and veteran with the coveted Woman Torchbearer of the Year and Veteran of Freedom Torch Award. This is fitting in conjunction with the month of August celebrating the holidays of Purple Heart Day and Women's Equality Day right after the festival concludes.

We are seeking films and screenplays that coincide with the categories listed such as Action, Drama, Comedy, Horror, Music Video, Documentary, Student, and Unproduced Screenplays. With all of the Official Selections that will be screened at the festival, we will provide two VIP passes for each selected film so that they can attend the entire festival and see firsthand how everyone responds to their beautiful work, which will give a great opportunity for the filmmakers to network with other filmmakers, fans, and potential investors and distributors.

Our coveted "Torch Award" trophies will be awarded for:
Best Feature
Best Short
Best Producer
Best Director
Best Cinematographer
Best Fight/Stunt Choreography
Best Score/Original Composition
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best SFX
Best Unproduced Screenplay
Best Documentary
Best Student Film
Best Music Video
Best Action
Best Drama
Best Horror
Best Comedy
Best South Carolina (Feature)
Best South Carolina (Short)
Audience Choice Award
Best Veteran (Feature)
Best Veteran (Short)
Boss Female (Feature)
Boss Female (Short)
Best of the Fest

We welcome films that have been produced after January 1, 2018. We will be accepting film from all countries in the world. If a film becomes an Official Selection, then we will need both a DCP and downloadable mp4 format of the film for exhibition at the festival. Specifics will be corresponded through email upon acceptance. If the film is not in English, then it will be required for the film to display English subtitles.

Films will be judged by a panel of industry professionals in addition to the festival Directors. Films selected will be notified via email correspondence and their exhibition copy will have to be delivered and received no later than July 1, 2021. Upon retrieval of exhibition copy, additional promotional material will be corresponded via email as well. Each selected film will be given two VIP All Access Passes to the festival upon arrival. Additional passes can be purchased in advance or at the door when tickets go on sale. It will also be required for selected filmmakers to provide a trailer of their respective films for promotional use of the festival after receiving notification of acceptance.

Freedom Festival International for August of 2021 will be held at Spotlight Cinemas in the International Corridor of Columbia, SC. Follow the website and all social media for updates. All other questions and inquiries can be directed to the festival organizers.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • george wingard

    My first time at your festival (We Came A long Way By Faith) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. While there were low crowds due to the pandemic the camaraderie among the other filmmakers was really special. The festival was well run and the staff was pleasant, helpful, and polite. I hope to see you all at a future festival.

    November 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Your words are beyond admirable, and it was an honor to have you with us. That’s exactly what we strive to do. No matter the size of the crowd, we want everyone attending to feel like they’re a part of the community. Thank you so much for your support.

  • Samantha Hallenus

    Due to COVID 19 - it limited the networking opportunities. With the online format, there were things going on live that were not broadcast and there was no communication in believe each section. COVID definitely presented challenges for the festival but they did the best they could on short notice.

    September 2020
  • Cheryl Crim

    The Freedom Festival works to highlight underrepresented groups, women and veterans. What a great festival! We were honored to have our film, Resisterhood, included. Our only regret is that it is 2020 and due to the pandemic we could not travel to Columbia to participate in person.

    September 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for your support! Everyone absolutely adored your film! It was a true honor to screen it and share your powerful message. We can only hope to spread more awareness for films like this on a continuous basis.

  • Erica Bock

    Very friendly staff. Felt very warm and organized!

    August 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for your support! We’ll continue to build on the experience, and we’d be honored to have you continuously attend our festival as we grow.

  • Thank you for choosing. Exciting whether or not the audience enjoyed it.

    August 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for your support! We’re forever grateful to our many filmmakers, screenwriters, and guests that attend our festival.