The Grand Rapids Comic-Con Film Festival exists to support independent filmmakers, particularly those who have made short films for audiences who love science fiction, fantasy, action, comedy, animation, superheroes, and other nerd-oriented genres.

The Film Festival is one of many events at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con, which takes place annually in beautiful Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Con is a family-friendly event, which emphasizes the culture of nerds, geeks, and comic book enthusiasts. Our film festival is open to all independent filmmakers, but we give preference to films that play to our specific audience.

Each award-winning film will receive a plaque and a monetary prize.
Best Live Action Short: $300 (US)
Best Animated Short: $300 (US)
Best Grindhouse Short: $300 (US)
Audience Choice Award: $100 (US)

General Rules:
1. The eighth annual Grand Rapids Comic-Con takes place November 12-14, 2021. The Film Festival will take place on Saturday, November 13, 2021. Filmmakers whose films are accepted into the festivals will receive two complementary passes for the day of the festival screening.
2. Online screeners are required for qualification. Films that are selected for screening will need to submit a high definition digital exhibition copy in either MP4 or MOV format.
3. In the Live Action and Animation categories, content must be appropriate for a family audience. We will accept submissions meriting the equivalent of a G, PG, or PG-13 rating. Films with excessive or strong profanity (including any use of the f-word), graphic violence, or graphic sexual content will not be considered for these categories. Films that contain more adult content meriting the equivalent of an R rating may be submitted to our Grindhouse category.
4. Submitted films may be in any genre, but preference will be given to films that appeal to the comic con audience, such as science fiction, fantasy, action, comedy, and animation.
5. For the Live Action and Animation categories, films must not exceed 25 minutes in length, including all titles and credits. For the Grindhouse category, films must not exceed 30 minutes.
6. Films' dialogue must be in English or must contain English subtitles.
7. Films finished before January 2017 are not eligible.
8. Judges may reassign categories based on content at their discretion. Submitters are encouraged email the festival with any questions regarding categories and/or content.
9. All selection and prize decisions are final.
10. Regarding COVID-19: Should the Festivals be delayed or postponed due to the pandemic, your entry will be carried over for consideration during the next available show.

Terms & Conditions:
By submitting your film to the Grand Rapids Comic-Con Film Festival:
1. The submitter attests that all information all information submitted is true and accurate to the best of the submitter's knowledge.
2. The submitter licenses the submitted film for public exhibition at the Grand Rapids Comic-Con and in related promotional materials.
3. The film submitted adheres to the general rules of the Grand Rapids Comic-Con Film Festival, which is a family-oriented event.

Overall Rating
  • Steve Leeper

    I was really looking forward to screening our film at GR Comicon. Michigan doesnt have enough venues for independent short films.
    The communication was good upfront and the selection was better than average.

    That said I was dissapointed with the screening venue. There was no promotion of the festival within the Comicon so the turn-out was sparse. No q&a after the screening and little chance to network with filmmakers.

    November 2019
    Gr comic con logo for wab
    Response from festival:

    Hi Steve,
    Thank you for your feedback regarding last year's festivals. As preparations for the film fest of 2020 begin, we're discussing new changes involving better promotion and a Q&A. Thanks for taking the time to let us know!

  • Nice venue for the festival and email communication was on par with other festivals.

    Upon arriving at the festival though, I was disheartened to find the schedule printed in the program was not followed and the film festival awards were held at a different time with no announcement over the PA or email. Volunteers with the convention were not informed or knowledgeable about the events in the rooms they were covering, any question was met with a response to check the schedule printed by the volunteers chair, very unhelpful.

    I've contacted the festival about my frustrations and they have been understanding and open to listening. I hope to see this festival and convention grow over the years.

    November 2018
    Gr comic con logo for wab
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Ethan for the review, we really appreciate it. I would agree with you on this and we will do a better job on this in future years. Thanks for taking the time to let us know!

  • Russell Emanuel

    Thank you so very much for having us! We really appreciated it!

    November 2018
  • I was unable to attend but the pre-festival communication was excellent. Thanks for including Squee! in the festival.

    October 2017