IMFF2020 is an International Mobile Film Festival based in San Diego. Our film festival is exclusive to films shot with mobile phones. No other device qualifies. Only mobile phones. 10% of total footage may be aerial footage shot with drones (Max. 10% of total film).
Hashtag: #MFF2020SanDiego

Our 9th annual International Mobil Film Festival™ in San Diego takes place the last weekend of April 25 & April 26, 2020.

####NOTICE: IMFF 2020 will still take place virtually. Due to the global COVID-19 situation we are not able to hold the event as planned in a live venue setting. However, we are still planning to give all the filmmakers and participants the recognition we feel they deserve to the best of our ability. Stay tuned on our website www.inernationalmobilefilmfestival or our social media profiles listed on our website. ####

International Mobile Film Festival is an IMDb qualifying film festival. We launched in 2009 as a film festival for only films shot with only mobile phones with a live venue screening of all accepted films. We created a respectable traditional film festival for only mobile films.

You need to know the rules before you submit your film.

New for IMFF 2020: No limit submissions. Beginning in 2020 we will lift the limit of one film per filmmaker to no limit. *Paid submissions only. Note that only ONE film from each filmmaker or entity will be selected. Due to high demand we are accepting more than one submission from you. Many of you tell us you would like to submit more than one film to have a better chance at getting one of your films selected. More entries, does increase your odds. We accept that. But remember that there is no guarantee your film, no matter how many you submit, will be selected or qualify. Awards and recognition for one filmmaker or company only.

Raising the bar for smartphone filmmakers
MFF2017 added a new competition to our festival, which we announced in 2016. The feature film competition continues moving forward. IMFF will select a total of 3 mobile "feature" length films each year. One winner will be awarded with a trophy for the Best Mobile Feature film award at the international mobile film festival in San Diego. All films must be shot with a mobile phone as the camera. Same rules as our traditional festivals apply (see below). The main difference is filmmakers must be present during screening and the length of the films must be no less than 40 minutes and no more than 90 minutes.

SEE CATEGORY: ***Feature Mobile Films Competition
Deadline 10/19/19 Visit our website: for details. RULES ON WEBSITE are clear and easier to read than rules here. Read all rules before submitting. No Refunds.

****SEPARATE SHORT FILM COMPETITION: Deadline 11/19/19 (1-5min.)
***All films must be shot with mobile phones to qualify for all competitions in our film festival.***

*A Scholarship is available for our SHORT FILM COMPETITION only! Email us for instructions how to apply, to waive submission fee for short film competition only.

Every film, once selected to the festival, MUST fill out separate legal form authorizing your film to be a part of the festival and filmmaker statement (you must request via email) or it will not be screened or be an official part of the festival.


*The format of the text on our website is easier to read and clear.

Only films we are able to download full 1080HD before selection deadline will be selected. Horizontal full screen only.

Filmmakers who attend our event in San Diego will receive special recognition and unique attention during our festival running dates (April 28 & 29, 2018). Filmmakers will be part of Q&A Panel, walk red carpet, interviewed and much more.

All the information is clearly defined on our website.

*By submitting media to this contest, you acknowledge that you have read and understand the terms and conditions of this contest.
**Affiliates, employees, interns, contractors, & subsidiaries are ineligible to participate.

We have beautiful trophies for the winners who ATTEND and a red carpet award ceremony every year in San Diego on the final day of the film festival.
"The red carpet is in your pocket!"

Prizes for IMFF 2020 include laurels, certificate, promotions and more! Updates to information are on our website.

Selected winning films in MFF2020 may be nominated to the Global Mobile Film Awards™ at no cost to filmmakers. *GMFA is the "Oscars" of the mobile film industry. A nomination by a member film festival is a prestigious award.

Please READ RULES before submitting. No refunds.

*Only films we are able to download full 1080HD before selection deadline will be selected. Horizontal full screen only. English embedded captions/subtitles for all foreign, non-English spoken films required.

May now accept more than one film (full paid submissions only) | ALL FILMS MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD IN HIGH QUALITY
English embedded captions/subtitles for all foreign, non-English spoken films required.
• PARTICIPANTS – You must be human beings. That is all we ask for. We don't limit artists/entrants/participants because of their age, income level, disabilities, race or ethnicity, sex or anything! If you are a human being you qualify as a filmmaker if you enter a qualifying film. We encourage anyone who believes they may not qualify even though they are human to give it a shot. Submitting is easy! We only accept submissions through FilmFreeway and we must download the films, once selected, from FilmFreeway.

• EQUIPMENT – In case we weren’t clear: FILMS MUST BE SHOT BY MOBILE PHONE VIDEO CAMERAS ONLY. All other production equipment, lights, cranes, dollies, etc. are allowed. Since mobile filmmaking has become an industry, you can find customized equipment online and stores if you need it. No apps or filmmaking accessories are required to qualify.

• ONE (1) ENTRY per person and/or entity will be selected regardless of the number of entries submitted. One prize per film regardless of the number of people credited. If you are an organization, please contact us. We can promote your entity or an individual within your organization per your specific request.

• LENGTH – Short Film Competition - 00:60 seconds (1 minute) to 05:00 minutes including credits. Feature Mobile Film Competition - 40 minutes to 90 minutes total including intro and end credits.

• FORMAT – We prefer (.mp4) (.mov) files. (FULL QUALITY (1080HD) video in widescreen format – adjust settings if you need to) Questions? Contact us!

• APPS – Automatic editing apps which make editing decisions for you are not allowed. The only apps you may use are video editing software such as iMovie, Final Cut Pro, etc. on your phone or computer/laptop/notebook. Using apps may degrade the end quality of your footage. We advise you to consider this when selecting apps. Also consider not using filters during your production as opposed to post-production, as they also tend to degrade the quality of your video. Cropping video may also degrade the quality of your footage in post-production, but that is not always the case.

• COPYRIGHTS - We cannot accept any THIRD-PARTY music, images & photos or graphics in your video. We apologize, however, we are keeping your cost to produce your video down and increasing your creativity! If you can verify your right to use them through our strict legal process you may contact us. This also limits your risks. Licensing for music is tricky depending on how the music is used in your film. One license may not work for all the ways you use music in your film, such as driving your video, background, transitions, etc.

• DRONES - In 2017, a decision was made to allow films submitted to our film festival to include no more than 10% Aerial footage/video captured with a drone camera. We announced it during the festival in 2018. In order to qualify, the entire rest of your film must be shot with only mobile phones. Not One Second More than 10% of the film may include aerial video or aerial footage recorded with a drone. This is the only exception to another camera or device allowed. You must do your own math, however, an example for a *Short film of five minutes: 10% of (5 minutes) = 30 seconds.

*Short film competition must be between 1 & 5 minutes and Not One Second Shorter or Longer including intro and end credits and/or video black at beginning or end.

You must enter the name, brand and the model of the drone and smartphone you used to film/capture your footage and certify the information with your signature in a separate form if your film is selected *even if you did not use drones in your film.

You MUST include the time code where drone footage begins and drone footage ends and you must also include several time codes if 10% of your drone footage is spread throughout your film in different areas. It's a bit of a pain so unless you really feel your film needs aerial footage, it's simpler without it.

*If you have questions or need help contact us. We will allow a couple shots from another mobile device or traditional cameras only by individual basis after a conversation which determines you need it to tell your story and cannot recreate it on your phone in time for the festival. This is usually historical footage that cannot be recreated, and again, limited to one or two shots not lasting more 3 or 4 seconds.

Submissions for Short Mobile Film competition OPEN June 19, 2019 - CLOSE November 19, 2019
The Mobile Shorts competition must be between 1-5 minutes total length including intro and end credits. See RULES above for more details. Same rules apply.

Vulgar, offensive, porn, nudity or extreme violence are not allowed. Respect other artists by not using media of any kind without proper licenses, permissions and clearance.

We have created a scholarship program for the mobile short film competition ONLY in order to keep providing this opportunity to ALL human beings around the world regardless of income.

Contact us to apply for our scholarship program with your request. No automated scholarship requests will be accepted or responded to. Only one film submission/one entry, per filmmaker. Unlimited submissions are for fully paid submissions only.

Submissions for the Feature Mobile Film competition Open June 19, 2019 CLOSE October 19, 2019

We will select, not more than three (3) mobile feature films to compete for an exclusive mobile feature film award. Filmmaker must be present at the festival. The films will screen in San Diego.

Films must be cinematic in nature. Good quality and full 1080HD. Films must be shot with smartphones only, High Definition and look good on a big screen. Any media not owned by the filmmaker must be fully licensed for distribution.

Feature films must be no shorter than 40 minutes and no longer than 90 minutes (1hr. 30min.), including intro and end credits. *May need to mail a USB drive with your film, per request at your own cost.

Qualifying for submission does not guarantee selection to the competition. Only three (3) feature films will be selected and only one film will be awarded Best Mobile Feature Film Award by International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego.

Vulgar, offensive, porn, nudity or extreme violence are not allowed. Respect other artists by not using media of any kind without proper licenses, permissions and clearance.

The rules are otherwise the same as for the short film competition. Do not send experimental, music videos or documentaries as they will *most likely not qualify. We don't want you to submit a film, which does not qualify, as submission fees are non-refundable. Qualification does not ensure selection. No reason will be given as to why your qualifying film was not selected as is customary in all competitions. Best of luck!

If you need some guidance, some ideas or some inspiration, you can use the following categories to enter your film. We encourage creativity for you to succeed with your project and we do not require you to enter particular categories in order to be a part of IMFF and compete. We believe some of the categories are ideal for mobile phone filmmaking. If your film does not fall in a category it’s okay. Submit it. Remember vulgar, offensive, porn, nudity or extreme violence is not allowed.

There are rules to adhere to. Don't forget to read the forms you fill out and submit as well. We sincerely wish you the best of luck!

• Main Category
This is where all films go if you have not picked a category. Please note that this includes children. We will not assign categories to our films for filmmakers. If you don't pick a category, your film will go into our general category. The judges will not judge your film based on the categories below. Your film will be judged among all films in the category that show creativity and other general film criteria such as the look of a Hollywood film for any genre.

• Ultimate Mobile Category
This category is especially for you if you are also editing your film on your cell phone. Although we don't recommend any particular apps, you may use editing apps on your phone or computer, which do not make the edit decisions for you. This category is about doing it all only on the phone including audio. Make sure apps export in full resolution and in wide format for a large screen or theater.

• Cosplay Film
NEW! Cosplay Film category is for films featuring cosplayers of all ages. We are looking for superheroes, steampunk, comic book and cartoon cosplayer films for this category. If you are a cosplayer round up your friends and your team! Shoot your film with your smartphone and read the rules, because the rules apply to all categories. Make it fun. You can make your film in any genre, music, documentary, dark or comedy, drama; it's your call. And speaking of call, this is your CALL TO ACTION! You got the costumes, you got the camera on your phone and you got stories so we are looking forward to your films to screen them during IMFF in San Diego...and yes, you can dress in your cosplay outfits for the red carpet!

• Community Stories
Our community stories category is perfect for youth, kids and documentarians as well as just about anyone. Are you a teacher who can create a documentary with your class about a community event or news story? Are you a family going through a tough situation? Or are you simply a business owner who is working on improving the community where your customers live? Maybe you are a fan of a local band and want to feature them in a documentary or a child with a friend who needs help from the community.

• This is not just a category. Community Stories is also open year-round as a program to encourage members of a community or culture to share their stories with the world through their mobile phone.

• In order to screen your Community Story during IMFF in San Diego, submit your film for the short competition following the rules. Each year, we try to select one film from the shorts competition to feature as a Community Story. Contact us and tell us why your film should be selected and featured.

• *There are many examples of topics you can choose to enter the Community Stories category or take advantage of the program without submitting a film for competition. Tell your own story instead of waiting for the media to tell it for you.

• Cinematic Film
A film that has cinematic qualities in both story-telling and aesthetic qualities. We hope to inspire you to create films that look like the films you see at the movie theaters with all the elements of a cinematic film including audio, effects and more. Films must all be filmed using a mobile phone and should be full High Definition (HD) quality. The same rules that apply to the other categories apply to this category.

• Journalism & Current Events
We hope to encourage journalists to use their cell phones to tell their stories. Sharing stories instantly and without a huge intrusion in the lives of others has its benefits when the content and the action is taking place and it is dire to capture the action that does not wait for camera setups. The less intrusive mobile phone and the quickness of its setup, for either quick recording on the fly or planned productions, is beneficial and truly an innovation to the industry of journalism. If you are a freelance journalist or documentarian of current news, this is for you. If you are a blogger or if you are experimenting you qualify. Must abide to journalism ethics and policies. This is the ideal opportunity for MOJOs to be a part of our International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego!

• Geographic & Wildlife
We feel that the mobility and size of a mobile phone should produce some eccentric and access nature in it's natural state. If your film is about animals and species or natural wildlife environment around the world or in your backyard, this category is sure to be a creative challenge for mobile filmmaking. All rules apply.

• Business & Entrepreneurship
High quality creative business films shot with smartphones in horizontal format. All rules apply. These include promotional videos and event videos, branding and more. If your video is selected your video producer can attend the film festival representing your company and promote, network and use the red carpet film festival experience in your company's promotional and marketing campaigns.

*Please make an effort to be in attendance to receive free engraved trophy with your name if you win in feature or short film competitions. Festival will not cover shipping of trophies.

Please respond to email requests in order to qualify even after films are selected. We also require permission to download films from FilmFreeway and will not "stream" them from Vimeo or YouTube during the film festival.

Entering #MFF2020SanDiego with a mobile film is easy with FilmFreeway!
IMFF 2020 takes place in San Diego April 25 & 26, 2020. Mark your calendar.

Open Call for Films for IMFF 2020:
Features Competition: 6/19/19 thru 10/19/19
Shorts Competition: 6/19/19 thru 11/19/19 at 11:59PM (PST)

Overall Rating
  • Un gran festival con un trato inmejorable, una comunicación con los cineastas muy profesional. Para mi uno de los mejores festivales en los que he participado. Gran trabajo de Susy Botello en toda la organización. Enhorabuena!!!

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Gracias, Rafael!

  • I absolutely loved this festival! Susy Botello does an incredible job hosting and making the festival much more than a film showing. It was inspiring to meet the other filmmakers, presenters, and sponsors and to share in our love for making mobile films.

    May 2019
  • John G

    I wasn't able to attend this year, but I was thrilled with the ease of communication and celebratory spirit that came through emails and on social media. I hate to have missed out because everything I experienced and heard sounds like this is a can't-miss event.

    May 2019
  • Brian Hennings

    Amazing film festival. Excellent communication in the lead-up. If you're lucky enough to attend, organizer Susy Botello will go out of her way to make sure you have the best film festival experience you could ever expect. Features include great workshops, taking part in filmmaker Q&As, and ample networking opportunities. Susy is a true champion of the smartphone filmmaking community. Don't hesitate to enter!

    May 2018
  • Vilma Kartalska

    It was great being part of it! Thank you very much, hope to participate again!

    May 2018