Garden Route International Film Festival 2023 - Open Call for Entries
Unfortunately NO WAIVERS
FPB form must be completed (Film Publication Board South Africa) which is protection of children rating. Please indicate your films rating.
Geo-blocking is available and must be stipulated via a direct request to director@gardenrouteinternationalfilmfestival.com

Your submission must include:
- Link to MP4, Mov or Avi download link (Or FilmFreeway link) to film (You will also be sent a direct upload link if accepted to the festival)
- Link to Trailer Download
- Poster
- Synopsis 20 words or more
- Thumbnail Picture
- Any PR material you may have can be emailed to marketing@gardenrouteinternationalfilmfestival.com

If accepted into festival you will be provided an upload link also to our platform.

An Independent International Film Festival offering quality films across a number of genres offering pure entertainment for film-goers, which will be a permanent feature on the Garden Route South Africa events calendar for visiting professionals, amateurs, local, national and international film enthusiasts and makers.

Networking, events and activities around the festival are all industry driven to maximise your exposure at the Physical Festival and on the Virtual Platform
International Judges, including members of the Emmy's.

With over 12 awards up for grabs in Feature Length and Short Categories GRIFF is a must enter festival Judged by International Judges.
Best Film Director Short Film
Best Short Film
Best Actor Short Film
Best Actress Short Film
Best Editor Short Film
Best Student Film (SA)
Best Film Director Feature Length
Best Documentary Film
Best Actor Feature Length
Best Actress Feature Length
Best Editor Feature Length
Best Film Feature Length



* Do not submit a film if charging screening fees.
* Films without Trailer, Director Bio, Synopsis, Poster and link to film will not be considered.

Submission of a project constitutes acceptance of these Entry Rules & Regulations (by you and your agents).

Entry Fee Note: Entry fees are in U.S. Dollars, are per project and are non-refundable. The Festival reserves the right to disqualify a submission, without refund of any kind, if eligibility requirements are not met including if eligibility status changes post-submission.

Submission must be made online at https://filmfreeway.com – please refer to entry DEADLINES on our page.

Film Publication Board rating certificate may be required. Please submit the equivalent for your country.

a) Submission must not be available online if a feature film prior to the festival.
b) Due to Covid Feature Films commercially distributed after 1st January 2019 will be considered.
c) Any broadcast, digital broadcast, distribution or public screening in South Africa before January 1st 2018 will be ineligible. Limited broadcast outside of South Africa will be considered for eligibility. DVD of limited distribution outside South Africa after 1st January 2018 will be eligible.
e) Submissions may be fiction, documentary, animation, non-fiction and short films.
f) You must fully comply with these Entry Rules & Regulations, including all deadlines, project length, entry material, and other requirements.
g) Non-English language projects must have English subtitles at the time submitted. Dialogue lists will not be accepted.
h) Submission must have story telling element, no commercial spots will be considered.
i) Submission must be a standalone in line with minimum/maximum minute requirements per category.
j) Festival - Exhibition held outside of South Africa as part of a film festival and on/after 1st January, 2019 will be eligible.
k) Only 1 version of a film can be submitted. The Festival will not view further versions.

Feature and Short Films:

Eligible projects include feature films (runtime ≥ 40 minutes) and short films (runtime < 40 minutes but greater than 15min); including documentaries, narratives and experimental films. For a full list of genres refer to FilmFreeway submission platform listing for the Garden Route International Film Festival

Links and Downloads:
Submissions must be via password protected links. Links must be downloadable links Note as some links expire please ensure links stay active till the start date of the festival. Should a link become inaccessible you will be sent a notification to rectify within 48hrs after which your submission will be deemed ineligible.

Out of Competition:

The festival reserves the right to screen films out of competition after consolation with the filmmaker.

Multiple Entries

Each project must be individually submitted and accompanied by its own completed online entry form; please do not send links to multiple project entries in your online entry form, as any or all of them may be disqualified.

Entry format

i) If selected then delivery must as a downloadable file. Both the film and trailer Other formats will be accepted once reviewed based on equipment available in each cinema. Downloads also acceptable in HD format.
ii) Foreign language films or dialogue in languages other than English must be subtitled in English.
iii) Feature Narrative Films and Feature Documentaries (60 minutes and longer), (1920 X 1080p/Full HD/FHD), 16.9 ratio.
iv) Short Films and Documentaries shorter than 60 minutes: H264 (at best quality
constant bit rate 44.1 audio KhZ).
v) Our platform converts file to a size compatible with our system. File size of your upload should not be more than 1.5Gig where possible.

i) Awards are at the sole discretion of the Awards panel selected by the Festival Director. The Festival reserves the right to change the awards at its discretion.
ii) Awards will be decided by a Jury Panel.
iii) Awards will be announced on social media and couriered to recipients.
iv) Awards will be delivered within 3 calendar months unless otherwise agreed with the recipient in writing.

b) Awards are listed in Awards & Prizes area on FilmFreeway.

Prizes to be as combination of Cash, Benefits, Trophies and Sponsored value prizes as our partnership agreements are confirmed.

Award eligibility is subject to any restrictions or conditions imposed by applicable laws and regulations (international, National or otherwise), and the award recipient is responsible for all applicable taxes, customs, tariffs, insurance and similar charges or costs (if any).

Selection / Notification and Delivery of Screening Copies

i) Submissions are reviewed by a Submission Review Panel selected by the Festival Director. The final decision is at the sole discretion of the Festival Director.
ii) Notification of submissions selected for both in and out of competition will be made as per the deadlines listed on FilmFreeway.
iii) Successful submissions must be sent timorously.
iv) International selected submissions when posted must indicate “Preview Copy for Cultural purposes and festival consideration and will be returned to its country of origin and has no commercial value”
v) A tracking number must be supplied to the festival. Please send to info@gardenrouteinternationalfilmfestival.com
vi) Insurance, all risk of loss or damage are the sole responsibility of the filmmaker and the festival cannot be held liable in any way whatsoever including if the material supplied fails to screen.

Applicant must:

(a) complete the registration process at FilmFreeway and pay the required fee.
(b) provide a Vimeo online screener via FilmFreeway for review or Dropbox, Wetransfer copy less than 1Gig.
(b) Submitted films must be in one version only, in the original language of production, with English subtitles if the original language is not English.

Must include:

(1) Film title
(2) Film length in hours, minutes and seconds
(3) Country of origin
(4) Production Company
(5) Sender’s Name, Phone Number Physical Address and Email Address
(6) Director’s Name, and
(7) FilmFreeway Tracking Number.
(8) PG guide (Film Publication Board) Parental Control

Must be supplied with

(1) A trailer
(2) Two film posters in the following sizes: Poster 1. A6 300dpi or 1240 pixels by 1748 pixels RGB 72dpi and, Std Poster Size A1 or A3
(3) Film synopsis (250 words or less), and (4) Director's Biography (100 words or less).
(4) Headshot of the Director High Resolution
(5) Film Poster can be supplied as Digital file High Resolution.

If at any point following its initial consideration, the Festival determines that a submission no longer meets all of the eligibility criteria described above, such submission will be deemed ineligible. The Festival reserves the right to disqualify any submission, without refund of any kind, if it is not completed in accordance with these Entry Rules and Regulations.

Should you not receive confirmation of receipt of your submission within 72hrs please email: submissions@gardenrouteinternationalfilmfestival.com

Any deviation of any of the above-mentioned Rules and Regulations shall be decided on a case by case basis by the Festival Board who has the power to change these Rules and regulations at its discretion.

Invited Projects

The Festival may invite projects to screen. Filmmakers will be approached directly in this regard. The Film Festival does not pay screening fees.

Intellectual Property, Legal Claims & Indemnities
1. By submitting the film to GRIFF Film Festival, the Applicant and Film Owners (the “Submitting Parties”) hereby warrant and represent that: (i) the Film is wholly original and is not copied from and does not include any other work that is the subject of copyright or other protection, unless such work is in the public domain or the Submitting Parties have obtained any and all consents, releases, licenses, and other authorisations or waivers of any kind necessary for the inclusion or reproduction of any person, character, location, thing, trade-mark, sound recording, musical composition or other work in the film; (ii) the Film does not defame any person or violate the common law or statutory rights, including, without limitation, the rights of privacy and publicity or any other right of any person; (iii) the Film is not the subject of litigation; (iv) there are no agreements, nor will there be any agreements made subsequent to the date of this Film submission that would or could have the effect of impairing the Submitting Parties’ ability to provide the Film as contemplated herein, or otherwise conflict with any provision of these Terms; and (v) the Submitting Parties have the full right, power and authority to submit the Film to GRIFF Film Festival for Festival consideration, and to grant all of the rights granted hereunder and in the FilmFreeway registration form, and there is no obligation or disability which would in any way impair, restrict or impede the Submitting Parties from fully performing all obligations pursuant to the submission and these Terms.
2. (2) The Submitting Parties agree to indemnify and hold harmless GRIFF Film Festival, its licensees, successors and assigns, and its and their members, officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, associates and affiliates (each, a “Releasee”), from any claim, suit, action or other proceeding brought against a Releasee and from any losses, costs, or damages, including the Releasee’s full legal fees and costs, which it may have suffered or incurred or may suffer or incur, directly or indirectly based on, in connection with, or arising from the use and exhibition of the Film submitted by the Applicant or the breach or alleged breach of any representation, warranty or other agreement made by the Applicant in these Terms, or in the Applicant’s FilmFreeway registration form.
3. (3) GRIFF Film Festival takes all reasonable anti-piracy precautions. While in GRIFF Film Festival’s possession, all Films are securely stored and regularly inventoried. Access to Films is limited to GRIFF Film Festival staff who require access in order to screen and consider submissions. No duplication and loaning of Films is permitted. By submitting a Film to GRIFF Film Festival, the Submitting Parties hereby release the Releasees from any and all liability in the event of theft, unauthorised access or copying, or any breach of copyright of the submitted Film while it is in GRIFF Film Festival’s possession.
4. (4) By submitting the film to GRIFF Film Festival, the submitting parties agree to the screening of the submitted film at any edition of GRIFF Film Festival that could take place anywhere in the world within two years of the original edition of the festival for which the film was entered.

Overall Rating
  • Jasmine Duthie

    The Garden Route International Film Festival continues to be a fantastic festival with engaging and insightful industry events throughout. We look forward to attending next year's edition.

    September 2023
  • Sal Ardongde

    The film festival team, especially coordinator Marga, is very responsive and pay attention to close details.

    They also are understanding of our needs. For example, they set up geo-fencing for my film to only allow online streaming within S. Africa (as I was concerned that my film hasn't had its US premiere at that time yet).

    I also appreciate their hospitability and can-do attitude to set up a video conference so that I and my film's lead actor can interact with the audience and moderator (Marga) remotely from US.

    As I wasn't able to travel to S. Africa to attend GRIFF in-person, I don't feel I should submit scores other than the categories above. But, it is evident from the photo livestreams and comments by attendees that the Value and Networking must have been 5-star too.

    Congrats to Marga and the GRIFF team for another well-run festival this year!!

    August 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your review, Sal! It was a pleasure to have you!

  • A wonderful festival! Enormously hospitable, high standards and great value all round. I felt well supported with any technical issues, thank you guys!
    This film festival is a great contribution to the Cape, to South Africa, and to the film industry, particularly independent filmmakers! Proud to have been part of the GRIFF 2022 festival with all 3 of my short films; ‘Lonely Lights’, ‘Just a car’ & ‘Back to Work’.
    Hope to be back with more!
    Congratulations to Patrick Walton and his team on a great success.
    Congratulations to all the talented filmmakers who were selected.
    Thanks to all.

    July 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Marlisa, really appreciate your feedback and we hope to up the anty next year 2nd -6th August 2023

  • Simone Marcelli

    Great festival!!! Wonderful organization lovely place. Thank you

    July 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your feedback which i will pass onto the team.

  • Their communication stood out for me.
    Constant updates

    July 2022
    Response from festival:

    Much appreciated Peter we will strive for a fifth star for our next edition