The Frozen River Film Festival offers programs that engage, educate and activate viewers to become involved in the world. These programs provide a unique perspective on environmental issues, sustainable communities, adventure travel and sports, and diverse cultures while showcasing the art of documentary film. Our films often explore issues, concerns, and life’s successes that are usually not covered in the local media.

We are always looking for children's films and family-friendly films as well.

We connect our viewers with people at the heart of current events, organizations at the forefront of social change, and distinct cultures in an increasingly global community.

Best of Fest - Feature Length ($1500)
Best of Fest - Midlength ($750)
Best of Fest - Short ($500)

Special Jury - Feature ($1000)
Special Jury - Midlength ($500)
Special Jury - Short ($350)

MN Doc Award (across all categories; doc made by a Minnesota filmmaker) ($500)

People's Choice Award ($250)

People's Choice - Local (filmmaker with an address within 60 miles of Winona) ($100)

All winners also receive a trophy in addition to the cash prize.

General Rules:

Submissions Rules

Frozen River Film Festival accepts no responsibility for loss or damage of entries during shipment to or from Frozen River Film Festival.

Requirements to come.

The cost of shipping an entry to the festival must be paid by the entrant. Collect or C.O.D. shipment will not be accepted. All international entries must be sent "free domicile" to the Festival office with all transportation charges, duties, and taxes prepaid by the shipper. Any brokerage fees charged to the Frozen River Film Festival will be billed back to the shipper. Be sure to include all the proper customs documentation required by the shipping company.

Terms and Conditions:
Frozen River Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film and related materials submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. The individual or corporation submitting the film and related materials hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film and materials for screening and use in publications, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Frozen River 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.

Terms for the KSMQ Public Television award:
I hereby grant, assign, and transfer to KSMQ Public Service Media, Inc. the rights for five (5) years from the date of first broadcast, including all literary and property rights to publish, promote or dispose of media titled ___________________.

I warrant that all materials I furnish and use are my own original materials, or are materials that I have full authority to use for such purposes. Additionally, I authorize KSMQ Public Service Media, Inc. to use these materials for publicizing/promoting such broadcasts.

KSMQ Public Media Services, Inc. will honor a filmmaker’s request to delay first broadcast for up to, but no more than six months from the date of the award given at the Frozen River Film Festival in order to allow said filmmaker the opportunity to enter his/her work in additional festivals. KSMQ Public Media Services, Inc. will provide no financial remuneration to the filmmaker for the broadcast of the winning entry. By entering the Frozen River Film Festival, entrants agree to the terms if selected as the winner of the KSMQ award.

Films selected for this award will be just under 30 minutes, 60 minutes or 90 minutes to fit into television scheduling restraints.

Overall Rating
  • Xelîl Sehragerd

    It was a great experience with your amazing Film Festival. Thank you very much for your Festival and Retaw Film Company.

    February 2024
  • Guillaume Couche

    We had a great time in Winona meeting other filmmakers and watching great stuff (the selection of movies was rather excellent). The organisation was top notch and all the staff and volunteers did a brilliant job. Thanks again, I hope we'll be back at some point (although it is a bit of a long way from London!).

    February 2024
  • A wonderful festival and highly recommend. Very organized and just a lovely festival to attend. !

    February 2024
  • Harriet Marin Jones

    What an honor and a delight to have won the Special Jury Award for my feature documentary in this wonderful festival! A special thanks to Daniel Munson and all the staff for their great work and their passion for films.

    February 2024
  • Deacon Warner

    I had a wonderful time at FRFF! Visiting filmmakers are treated so well--lots of great events and networking opportunities. And a great opportunity to watch lots of engaging docs!

    February 2024