Use Code GLFFDSC2020 for 30% Discount

Always striving to be one of the most progressive and creative Festivals in the world, the Great Lakes International Film Festival is now officially accepting films of all genres and lengths from around the world and across the United States for our 2020 Festival.

Considered among the most popular film festivals in the world, the 19th annual Great Lakes International Film Festival genre categories for feature-length and short length films are Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, Religious/Spiritual, Animation, Comedy, Horror, with Horror sub-genres that include Supernatural, Thrillers, Wicken, Magical, Slashers, Science Fiction, Suspense, Horror Documentary, Horror Animation and all genres of Music Videos and GLBT films for the 2020 festival.

If there is anything as universal as the ageless storytelling of motion pictures, it’s the music that makes up life’s soundtrack.

The 2020 Great Lakes International Film Festival shall accept Music Videos from around the world of cross-continent and cross-genre productions. We shall accept Music Videos of all genres from Pop, Punk, Rock, Alt-Country, Country-Western, Folk, Reggae, Hip-Hop to Electronica, Jazz, Blues, Zydeco, Industrial, Metal, Hardcore, Gothic, Karaoke, Avant-Garde, World Music, and Experimental, and all other genres that may not be listed here.

The 2020 Great Lakes International Film Festival will accept all forms of Religious, Christian, and Spiritual films including African, African-American, GLBT, Black, Hispanic, Islamic, Latino, Native/Aboriginal and student films from the United States and around the world.

The passion and commitment that each filmmaker and writer puts into his or her work is both noble and unique, to say the least, and deserves to be acknowledged. As not only the cornerstone of our Mission, but as the foundation of our belief system and morals, we seek out, acknowledge and award the innumerable talented independent Filmmakers who may not get the recognition they richly deserve.

The Great Lakes International Film Festival strives to serve the interests and needs of Independent Filmmakers world-wide by connecting artists with audiences, exhibiting and promoting new films and filmmaking talent, as well as nurturing a creative independent film community world-wide.

Since our inception, the Great Lakes International Film Festival has showcased more than 3,000 films, and has played host to countless celebrities and actors, and has amassed a formidable catalogue of exceptionally high caliber Independent Films and career launches, with countless films that have gone on to be screened on the Sundance Channel, IFC, PBS and HBO along with so many more filmmakers who have received distribution deals after screening in our festival.

While the success of the GLIFF has not come from an excess of big names celebrities crowding its red carpet, we feel that it instead is rooted in the much more important attention to detail that we offer, and most significantly, the very personal way in which we interact with each and every Filmmaker who has allowed us the honor of presenting their films over the past 18 years, doing our best to make each Filmmaker a part of our Festival family with ties that bind far beyond only one festival season.

Though we have never focused on the big-name Hollywood celebrities, still our Festival has played host to numerous special guests that include, writer, producer Bill Hinzman of Flesheaters and Night of the Living Dead; director Lloyd Kaufman of the Toxic Avenger films, Pot Zombies, and President of Troma Films; actor Gunnar Hansen of Texas Chainsaw Massacre; actor and director Mark Borchardt of American Movie and Coven; Erick Rodgers (Writer of NYPD Blue); best-selling mystery author Jamian Snow (Shrouded Insanity); John Hancock (“Hill Street Blues”, “The Twilight Zone”, & California Dreaming); actress and “Scream Queen” Debbie Rochon (Blood Relic, Vampyre Tales, & Lord of the Undead); Bobby Logan (Meatballs 4 & Repossessed), along with so many more.

As one of the premier film festivals worldwide, the Great Lakes International Film Festival held its inaugural festival in the fall of 2002, welcoming internationally acclaimed celebrities like Dirk Benedict, best known for his work on Battlestar Galactica and A-Team, along with Hollywood script guru Harri James who worked as script supervisor for blockbuster films and TV Shows as ER, Alias, Tremors II: Aftershocks, and Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, to name only a few.

In that same year, B.J. and the Bear & Up in Smoke producer, Otto Felix visited the festival along with the renowned Keith Carradine being presented with a lifetime achievement award for his dedication and contributions to indie film.

Since that time, the Great Lakes International Film Festival has had many films go on to greatness like “The Derby Stallion” that was released through Echo Bridge Home Entertainment, a subsidiary of Disney, and Director Joel Miller’s film “The Still Life” that received distribution through Warner Home Video after having been screened at the festival.

In 2004, the Great Lakes International Film Festival had the proud pleasure to present the North East United States Premiere of “SAW”, Lions Gate Films’ gripping psychological thriller starring Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter, and Leigh Whannel.

The legendary Terry Moore was our special guest of honor and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her amazing accomplishments in film over the past 60 years, while international recording superstar Dizzy Reed of Guns ‘N Roses performed before a capacity crowd at our Film Festival.

Without sacrificing our level of excellence, and striving to give as many Filmmakers the greatest level of exposure, our 2019 Official Selections included more than 300 of the best independently produced films of all lengths and genres from around the globe that screened over the course of our 10-day event.

We would also like to highlight the fact that with such a large number of high caliber films on our Official Selection list, our Festival holds the record for the most films selected and screened in any festival world-wide to date. Our entire Festival team is very honored and proud to not only have achieved such a monumental statistical benchmark, but to have done so with such a remarkable number of extraordinarily high caliber and diverse films as we screened last season.

In addition to being one of the most dynamic festivals, one of the most popular attractions that the Great Lakes International Film Festival offers to Filmmakers is our home, Erie Pennsylvania. As one of the most unique communities, Erie proffers an amazing landscape that is as diverse as the people that make up its City.

Seated on the shores of Lake Erie, the beautiful Presque Isle State Park, is a peninsula with amazing beaches and trails that curves around Presque Isle Bay. This 3,112-acre park boasts 13 miles of roads, 21 miles of recreational trails, 13 beaches for swimming, a myriad of wildlife along with a lovely marina.

Nearby, Waldameer Amusement Park & Water World has roller coasters and waterslides. The Erie Maritime Museum traces the history of Lake Erie and is the home port of the US Brig Niagara, a historic 19th-century ship. Nearby, the Erie Art Museum features a very impressive collection of 20th-century works, while a number of local playhouses deliver off-Broadway style stage plays regularly.

Erie Pa also features a cornucopia of stunning historic architecture throughout, including the very impressive West Sixth Street Historic District, otherwise known as Millionaire's Row. Consisting of 117 beautiful buildings originally constructed in the Victorian era by lumber, banking, and Manufacturing barons such as Peter Herdic as their homes, Millionaire's Row now stands as a remarkable testament to an age long past.

In addition to the usual theatrical and virtual film presentations that our Festival offers, and in cooperation with one of Erie's finest dining establishments that is centrally located in the heart of our City, two years ago we added a new and exciting segment to our Festival's annual film presentations entitled "Dinner & A Movie" as a new and distinctive staple screening platform of our event which thus far has been a huge success with both Filmmakers and our Festival attendees alike.

In addition to awarding outstanding Filmmakers with Best of Genre, our Festival offers an Audience Choice Award to the Filmmaker whose film is the most popular with our attendees, and that receives the most attendee votes.

Showcasing the best films of the 2020 season, the Great Lakes International Film Festival will be held LIVE in the great city of Erie, Pennsylvania starting on September 24th, 2020, with our virtual screenings continuing through October 10th, 2020.

From the feature narrative genre to documentary to animation; experimental, horror and Spiritual films, the Great Lakes International Film Festival celebrates the film arts in dynamic transition. As emerging technologies continue to redefine the form, filmmakers from the Great Lakes region, across the country and around the world express the common and the diverse through the age-old tradition. — The art of the story.

Best of Genre Awards and an Audience Award

All entries must be received no later than the appropriate entry deadline they were submitted under. Additional entry fees will be required if not received by the appropriate deadline. Entries received with incomplete information and/or missing Fee Payments will not be considered.

Films submitted in the incorrect Category and/or submitted as a Short Length Film but having a total runtime that is equal to that of a Feature Length Film, will be disqualified from consideration.

ABSOLUTELY NO INTERNATIONAL CHECKS, INTERNATIONAL POSTAL MONEY ORDERS, PERSONAL CHECKS, WIRE TRANSFERS, OR MONEY GRAMS WILL BE ACCEPTED. For all entries submitted, we will only accept payment for submission fees in the form of CREDIT CARDS and/or ETF TRANSFERS.

Absolutely NO REFUNDS will be made for submission fees.

Category Summary:

Narrative Feature = 50+ minutes
Narrative Short = 49 or less minutes
Comedy Feature = 50+ Minutes
Comedy Short = 49 or less minutes
Animation Feature = 50+ Minutes
Animation Short = 49 or less minutes
Documentary Feature = 50+ minutes
Documentary Short = 49 or less minutes
Experimental Feature = 50+ Minutes
Experimental Short = 49 or less
Horror Feature = 50+ minutes
Horror Short = 49 or less minutes
GLBT Feature = 50+ Minutes
GLBT Short = 49 or less
Religious/Spiritual Feature = 50+ Minutes
Religious/Spiritual Short = 49 or less
Music Video =15 minutes or less

PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW ALL BELOW INSTRUCTIONS

Only one title per entry form. Productions from 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 may be submitted. Do not submit works in progress.

All films must be submitted in Digital .MP4 Film File Format (NTSC system only) for consideration. All films submitted must be available on DVD for presentation.

No YouTube Videos will be Accepted

To ensure that your entry is properly processed, you must fill out the form completely and include proper payment.

Along with the film (Digital .MP4 Film File), press kits must include a black and white or color still of the film that is 1920x1080pxls or 1280x720pxls, a complete cast and crew list and a 250-word synopsis of the project.

We will notify you by email when your entry has been received.

Films submitted must be no more violent and have no more adult content as that which would be considered as a NC-17 rated motion picture. NC-17 does not mean “obscene” or “pornographic” in the common or legal meaning of those words and should not be construed as a negative judgment in any sense. The rating simply signals that the content is appropriate only for an adult audience. A NC-17 rating can be based on violence, sex, aberrational behavior, drug abuse or any other element that most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children. If your film meets with this requirement, then we welcome it.

Exhibition entries should be submitted as a .MP4 File format, unless a DVD is requested. No DVDs will be returned.
Participation in the Great Lakes International Film Festival implies understanding and acceptance of all terms included in this application.

All entries must be received no later than the appropriate entry deadline they were submitted under. Additional entry fees will be required if not received by the appropriate deadline. Entries received with incomplete information and/or missing Fee Payments will not be considered.

Films submitted in the incorrect Category and/or submitted as a Short Length Film but having a total runtime that is equal to that of a Feature Length Film, will be disqualified from consideration.

All films accepted into the 2020 Great Lakes International Film Festival will be screened online through our Virtual Theatre system.

Our festival reaches a global echelon interactively online allowing filmmakers and fans worldwide to not only enjoy the films but communicate with each other in real time as though they were together in the same room via online chat and webcams, when available.

Our festival is presented in a video on demand system that will allow users to watch the films while remaining completely safe from download or reproduction.
Films in this festival cannot be downloaded, the films HAVE NO EMBEDDING CODE and our HTML code if copied and pasted, the films will not play, and therefore they CANNOT be placed on other websites. The only time and place they can be viewed is in our festival. In short, we have gone to great lengths to set this system up to protect the safety and security of each filmmaker’s film always keeping the filmmaker in mind. Basically, it is just as secure as a brick and mortar theater screening, only much better.

You hear so much about the environment and global warming it got us thinking. When you realize how much power is used during the film fest – electricity for the building, natural gas for heat and the gasoline the people use to get to the fest it left one hell of a carbon footprint. By doing the whole festival online it actually helps cut down on greenhouse gases.

PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW ALL BELOW INSTRUCTIONS

Not following the guidelines, rules, regulations, or eligibility may be cause for disqualification.

General. By entering this Contest, entrants agree to abide by the terms of these Official Rules, which are final and binding on all matters pertaining to this Contest. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. All taxes (including, without limitation, federal, state, and local taxes) on or connected with any prize (including, without limitation, prizes that are opportunities to make donations to a charitable organization), and the reporting consequences thereof, are the sole and exclusive responsibility of respective winners. Each Winner must, if so requested by Promoter, complete Promoter’s winner verification process and/or execute and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and a Liability/Publicity Release within a period of time required by Promoter. All prizes awarded in connection with the Contest are nontransferable and nonendorseable. No substitution of prizes is permitted. The Promoter or Host’s employees or agents or representatives may view all Concepts in the interest of providing technical assistance to Contestants. Technical questions may be referred to Host for assistance at Promoter’s discretion. Dates of official announcements are subject to change. Release, Waiver and Indemnification. BY ENTERING THE CONTEST, ENTRANTS RELEASE AND HOLD THE PROMOTER AND HOST AND ALL OTHER CONTEST ENTITIES HARMLESS FROM AND AGAINST ANY AND ALL LOSSES, DAMAGES, RIGHTS, CLAIMS, AND ACTIONS OF ANY KIND ARISING IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, FROM THE CONTEST OR PARTICIPATION IN ANY CONTEST-RELATED ACTIVITY (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE REMOVAL FROM THE SITE OF, OR DISCONTINUATION OF ACCESS TO, ANY SUBMISSION OR OTHER MATERIAL), OR RESULTING DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY FROM ACCEPTANCE, POSSESSION, USE, OR MISUSE OF ANY PRIZE AWARDED IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONTEST, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION PERSONAL INJURY, DEATH, AND/OR PROPERTY DAMAGE, AS WELL AS CLAIMS BASED ON PUBLICITY RIGHTS, DEFAMATION, AND/OR INVASION OF PRIVACY.
Entrant agrees to convey, transfer, and give promoter, host, contest, its parent corporation and subsidiaries, all rights to submitted materials for the purposes of but not limited to screening and fundraising activities and such screening and fundraising activities shall be at the complete and total discretion, consideration, and full and complete authority of the promoter, host, contest, its parent corporation and subsidiaries in perpetuity. You grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual, and irrevocable right to copy, transmit, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display any information, data, Work, or any other information associated with your Work (collectively the “Submitted Materials”) you submit to us via the Services in any media or format. Your use of the Services does not grant us ownership of your Work. As between you and us, you retain ownership of your Work.
If selected, entrants agree and understand, that their film shall screen in either or both, our live festival event and/or our online festival event that utilizes our virtual theater platform. Entrants also understand that through the virtual theater platform films cannot be copied, downloaded, or reproduced by any virtual theater attendee, nor can the html code of any film be used in or on any other site, and that each and every film is completely secure and safe from theft due to the technology of the virtual theater that is unique to our system and is unlike any other utilized by any online festival throughout the world.
THE PROMOTER, THE HOST AND CONTEST ENTITIES DO NOT NOW AND SHALL NOT HAVE IN THE FUTURE ANY DUTY OR LIABILITY, DIRECT OR INDIRECT, VICARIOUS, CONTRIBUTORY, OR OTHERWISE, WITH RESPECT TO THE INFRINGEMENT OR PROTECTION OF AN ENTRANT’S INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, IF ANY, RESPECT TO ANY SUBMISSION OR CONCEPT, REVIEWS, MATERIAL, VIDEO AND/OR OTHER MATERIALS PROVIDED IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONTEST. BY ENTERING THE CONTEST, ENTRANTS RELEASE, WAIVE ANY CLAIMS WITH REGARD TO, AND HOLD HARMLESS THE PROMOTER, THE HOST AND THE CONTEST ENTITIES FROM AND AGAINST ANY AND ALL CLAIMS OF ANY KIND THAT ARE OR COULD BE ASSERTED WITH RESPECT TO ANY MATTER RELATING TO THE CONTEST. ENTRANTS FURTHER AGREE TO INDEMNIFY. DEFEND AND HOLD THE PROMOTER, HOST AND ALL OTHER CONTEST ENTITIES HARMLESS FROM ANY AND ALL DAMAGES, LIABILITIES, FEES AND COST INCURRED IN DEFENDING AGAINST ANY THIRD PARTY CLAIMS OR THREATS OF CLAIMS ASSERTED AGAINST PROMOTER, HOST AND/OR OTHER CONTEST ENTITIES ARISING FROM ANY ENTRANT’S PARTICIPATION IN OR CONDUCT ASSOCIATED WITH THE CONTEST. Entrant agrees to convey, transfer, and give promoter, host, and contest all rights to submitted materials for the purposes of but not limited to fundraising activities and such fundraising activities shall be at the complete and total discretion, consideration, and full and complete authority of the promoter, host, and contest in perpetuity.
Force Majeure. Nonperformance of any party shall be excused to the extent that performance is rendered impossible by strike, fire, flood, earthquakes, war, governmental acts or orders or restrictions, or any other reason where failure to perform is beyond the reasonable control, and not caused by the negligence of, the nonperforming party. Governing Law and Waiver of Damages. The Contest and these Official Rules are governed by and shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States of America, without regards to its principles of conflicts of law. For any dispute not subject to arbitration according to Section 4(g) above, entrant agrees to personal jurisdiction by the federal and state courts located in Erie, Pennsylvania, United States of America, and waives any jurisdictional, venue, or inconvenient forum objections to such courts. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby irrevocably waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, or any other damages, including attorneys’ fees, other than participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with participating in the Contest), and entrant further irrevocably waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased. Privacy. Information submitted in connection with the Contest will be treated in accordance with these Official Rules and the Site’s Privacy Policy, provided that in the event of any conflict between these Official Rules and such Privacy Policy, the terms and conditions of these Official Rules shall prevail. All Contestants and Team Members hereby acknowledge and agree that Promoter will have access to some or all of their personally identifiable information, including but not limited to registration information collected by the Host.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • mani shankar iyer

    One of the true film recognizer and wonderful communication from start to end. We feel so proud and honored being a part of the festival. Keep it up Team GLIFF

    November 2019
  • Jenna Cornell

    Loved this film festival! I’m very honored to have been a part of it. Communication was always timely, upfront, and detailed. The convenience of online showings meant I could go in and watch any film when it fit my schedule. Voting for films was also online which made it easy to do. All around great festival. Thank you.

    November 2019
  • Hemant Shirsat

    Thank you 2019 Great Lakes International Film Festival for Selecting my Shortfilm "Lat" in your Film Festival.
    I am Deeply Honored.

    October 2019
  • WARNING! PLS READ! SHARE! REPORT! WE NEED TO GET RID OF THIS CON WHICH APPEARS TO BE THE SAME THIEVES AT IT AGAIN WITH CUTTING EDGE FF.
    I believe these are false reviews as since none of you other reviewers think there is anything wrong with a festival you pay to enter that then does not allow you to check out your own film and info page in their virtual festival WITHOUT PAYING TO DO SO!! WTF? Then there's a hard sell in slew of emails for 2 weeks telling me how close my film was to winning some award but that I needed a 'few more votes' and that i should go and vote for it, ask my cast and crew to - but yep - we'd all need to PAY to vote. I refused to do either. I never checked my films quality or saw its page. This is a total bs set up clearly trading off the rep of a former incarnation and real world gliff but this has to be different people and so misleading in itself. I believed it was a real world festival because it was historically and that they had added the other component but no. Total scam. I have just been selected for Cutting Edge too and can tell from the email that it is the same people doing the same thing and running that one too. We need to weed these guys out and get rid of them. EVERY FILMMAKER SHOULD BE ABLE TO CHECK HOW THEIR FILM PLAYS, THE TECH SPECS, HOW IT IS BEING PRESENTED AND HOW (OR IF!) THE PUBLIC VIEW IT IN ANY TYPE OF FESTIVAL SCREENING IT IS SELECTED FOR HAVING PAID TO SUBMIT IT. TO ASK FOR EVEN A DOLLAR MORE TO DO THIS AND BE UNABLEBLE TO SEE ANY COMMENTS IR EVEN OF IT WAS VIEWED AT ALL IS OUTRAGEOUS! I AM CERTAIN ALL THE EMAILS ABOUT BEING CKISE TO AN AWARD WERE EQUALLY FEAYDYLENT. Shameful pactises. This is no festival it's a total scam by thieves, who are using fil. Freeway and the world of film and festivals to prey on and STEAL from people/, most of whom have already poured money body and soul into their projects .AVOID GLIFF AND CUTTING EDGE.
    zero stars.

    October 2019
  • The festival communication was exceptional. I was honored to have my project "Prologue" nominated for Best Experimental Short and all the films that I viewed were thoughtful and engaging. I regret that I couldn't attend the events in-person because of previous responsibilities, but I certainly hope to attend future iterations. A top-notch festival.

    October 2019