The Fresh Coast Film Festival is the first of its kind: a documentary film festival celebrating the outdoor lifestyle, water-rich environment and resilient spirit of the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest. The festival gathers the best in environmental and cultural filmmaking from around the world while creating a venue for, and building a culture of, Great Lakes storytelling.

Fresh Coast is held annually in October during the height of fall color season in the Lake Superior harbor town of Marquette, Michigan. Here the waves of an inland sea crash on the bedrock remains of the ancient Huron Mountains. A red lighthouse winks across the water at thousand-foot freighters slipping through the fog. Singletrack trails link a historic downtown with world class mountain biking, trail running and waterfalls. After a day of play, a vibrant brewing and dining scene reward hard work with ingredients and inspiration drawn from the crisp clean waters of the world’s largest body of fresh water, Lake Superior. We think you’ll like it here.

--Winner of the 2019 City of Marquette Annual Art Awards - Outstanding Community Arts Impact Award--

For filmmakers and students, Fresh Coast means an opportunity to interact with environmental thinkers, outdoors athletes and media professionals working in the outdoors industry. Who you know is as important as what you know, and Fresh Coast will be the best place in the Midwest to connect.

A key component of the Fresh Coast experience is the guided outdoor activities to introduce visitors to the outdoor playground of the Marquette area. Activities such as rock climbing, fly fishing, paddling, fall color tours, waterfall hikes, night sky photography and mountain bike rides will be offered as part of the Fresh Coast weekend.

Please join us for a weekend of storytelling, learning and outdoor recreation like no other in the Great Lakes region. Let's go #freshcoasting.

Fresh Coast Film Festival provides a limited amount of lodging to filmmakers. All attending filmmakers receive a complementary Weekend Pass and an invite to Friday night's Filmmaker Party.

Rules & Terms
-We prefer that films have been completed within two calendar years of current festival. Example: 2019 Festival will accept films from 2017, 2018 and 2019. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

-Online screeners from secure sources are mandatory. Vimeo is our preferred platform but others accepted as well. Include screener link and password in your submission and please be sure download is turned on.

-Press kit is optional but recommended - electronic only, please

-All films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English for festival presentation.

-The festival will consider work-in-progress, films with temporary soundtracks etc--if in doubt, send it. We screen everything and will work with you.


Fresh Coast Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The individual or corporation submitting the film shall indemnify and hold harmless Fresh Coast Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

By submitting your film to the Fresh Coast Film Festival, you are also giving permission (if your film should be accepted) for the Fresh Coast Film Festival to keep a copy of the film for our festival library and archival purposes. Accepted films additionally provide permission to possibly be used for future screenings after that year's event.

Overall Rating
  • Kate Houle

    Fresh Coast is a great film festival in one of my favorite towns! I highly reccommend it both as a filmmaker and a patron. This was my third year at Fresh Coast as an audience member and my first year as a filmmmaker. Fresh Coast just keeps getting better! The volunteers are all very nice and helpful. This should be a bucket-list film festival for documentary filmmakers.

    October 2019
  • Patrick Noyes

    I love this event. The town loves the filmmakers and they take great care of us.

    May 2019