CELEBRATING MICROBUDGET FILMMAKERS!

Watch our announcement video here: https://youtu.be/fCjMTc6gruw

The First Annual Gila Valley Film Festival is a three-day event in partnership with Arizona Fan Fest and the Safford Spring Festival in Downtown Safford, Arizona. All screenings will take place at the newly refurbished Safford Theater on historic Main Street.

Gila Valley Film Festival is accepting documentary and narrative submissions for feature films, short films, and student short films (it's free for students to submit!).

Our festival celebrates the talent and ingenuity of filmmakers working with low and microbudgets. Feature submissions (documentary and narrative) should have had a production budget below $100,000 and short and student short submissions (documentary and narrative) should have had a production budget below $20,000. We also give special consideration to films produced in Arizona.

Gila Valley Film Festival is a family-friendly event. As such, film submissions should be appropriate for a family-friendly audience--think a PG13 equivalent or lower (e.g., moderate violence and profanity are acceptable. No sex or nudity will be accepted. Some themes may be deemed too mature regardless of violence, profanity, or nudity).

While you attend the festival, consider attending our partner events--Arizona Fan Fest and Safford Spring Festival. Arizona Fan Fest features "the finest comic creators and self-publishers, collectible retailers, and master crafters of everything from jewelry and clothing to unique and wild items for home and work". The highlight of the event is the Cosplay contest (See more at https://gilavalleycentral.net/arizona-fan-fest/). Safford Spring Festival is a "wine tasting, art and history event in front of Safford's City Hall."

Awards will be given for the following categories:

OVERALL
-Best of Festival

FEATURE FILMS
-Best Documentary Feature Film
-Best Direction in a Documentary Feature Film
-Best Narrative Feature Film
-Best Direction in a Narrative Feature Film
-Best Acting in a Narrative Feature Film
-Audience Award for Best Feature Film

*All feature films (narrative and documentary) selected to screen during the festival will be awarded a meeting with Burning Bulb Publishing (a feature film distributor specializing in microbudget films).

SHORT FILMS
-Best Documentary Short Film
-Best Direction in a Documentary Short Film
-Best Narrative Short Film
-Best Direction in a Narrative Short Film
-Best Acting in a Narrative Short Film
-Audience Award for Best Short Film

STUDENT SHORT FILMS
-Best Student Documentary Short Film
-Best Direction in a Student Documentary Short Film
-Best Student Narrative Short Film
-Best Direction in a Student Narrative Short Film
-Best Acting in a Student Narrative Short Film
-Audience Award for Best Student Film

CONTENT
Gila Valley Film Festival is a family-friendly event. As such, submissions should be appropriate for a family-friendly audience--think a PG13 equivalent or lower (e.g., moderate violence and profanity are acceptable. No graphic nudity will be accepted. Some themes may be deemed too mature regardless of violence, profanity, or nudity).

LANGUAGE
Your film does not have to be in English, but foreign-language films should include English subtitles baked into the film.

LENGTH AND BUDGET GUIDELINES
Feature Films (Documentary and Narrative) should be longer than 50 minutes long. Production budgets for feature films should be no greater than $100,000. All feature films (narrative and documentary) selected to screen during the festival will be awarded a meeting with Burning Bulb Productions (a feature film distributor specializing in microbudget films).

Short Films (Documentary and Narrative) should be shorter than 30 minutes long. Production budgets for short films should be no greater than $20,000.

Student Short Films (Documentary and Narrative) should be shorter than 30 minutes long. Production budgets for student short films should be no greater than $20,000.

COPYRIGHT
Filmmakers should have secured all rights to copyrighted material prior to submission (e.g., video, audio, etc.). The festival is not responsible for securing these rights.

VIDEO SUBMISSIONS
Submissions are accepted through online links uploaded to FilmFreeway, YouTube Private Link, Vimeo Private Link, etc. Filmmakers should be prepared to provide the festival with a high-quality copy or link to their film (digital file, BlueRay, etc.).

PANELS
If you are selected to present your film, you or a representative from your film may be invited to participate in a Q&A panel or workshop during the festival.

SELECTION
It is anticipated that we will select approximately 9 total feature films (including documentary and narrative features), 20 short films (including documentary and narrative shorts), and 10 student films (including documentary and narrative student shorts).

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Ryan Stock

    I really enjoyed working with the team of the Gila Valley Film Festival. Our film was fortunate to be named Best Documentary Feature in the first year of the festival, and we greatly appreciate the honor. We all look forward to watching the festival grow in the upcoming years, and being a part of the Gila Valley Film Festival with any project we complete,

    May 2022
  • Thank you so much for selecting “We Know You’re There” to be in your lineup. I appreciated the concept behind this film festival and the guys behind the scenes of Gila really seemed to understand the millions of filmmakers out here who continue to make films and tell stories even if the don’t have funding. We find a way. My only regret is that I couldn’t attend the festival in person due to work responsibilities. Thank you for this opportunity.

    May 2022
  • Ross Taylor

    Great communication and quick to respond.

    April 2022
  • Very thankful to have our short film "Father's Day" Selected to be a part of the First Gila Valley Film Festival! Jacob and Joseph are good people and they did a wonderful job making this happen. Getting a Festival off the ground is very challenging.
    But they made it a very nice event for the filmmakers and audience. When the theater is complete, it will be a showpiece! We look forward to submitting next year and hopefully getting the chance to see how much the Festival grows. Great experience.

    April 2022
  • It isn't often you get to not only meet, but have a chance to talk with the people who worked hard putting the festival together and are there for each and every screening. Such was the case with the Gila Valley Film Festival. I am grateful that Horse Heroes was selected to be shown here along with some extremely talented filmmakers and their works. Very much worth the time and fees!

    April 2022