Welcome Filmmakers!

Jacksonville Film Festival (Jax Film Fest) is returning again in the beautiful city of Jacksonville, Florida!

Jacksonville Film Festival is an annual film festival that showcases in-competition and out-of-competition American and international independent films.

We aim to rejuvenate the film industry in Jacksonville by creating an atmosphere that immerses the filmmakers with their audience and community. The festival is an opportunity for filmmakers to be recognized for their cinematic achievements while creating an event to reward the best work submitted to the festival.

The 2023 Jax Film Festival will present three days of feature and short films, panels, and guest speakers all in the charm of the country’s largest small city. The community will have a chance to enjoy several different genres of film including animation, documentary, student films, macabre, and more. The event also offers filmmakers networking opportunities.

The festival celebrates Jacksonville’s glorious movie-making past by serving as a destination for the independent film community and encouraging a new generation of filmmakers to utilize the city as their canvas. We are bringing this highly anticipated event back to a city that deserves a reputable film and arts festival.

Jacksonville Film Festival is under the umbrella of Jacksonville Film Events, Inc. A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization.

2023 Festival overview:


Learn about Jacksonville’s rich history of moviemaking: https://jacksonvillefilmfestival.com/film-history-in-jacksonville/

View the past festival Archives:

Thank You!

Jacksonville Film Festival

Tortuga Verde - Best of Fest
Best Feature Narrative
Best Feature Documentary
Best Short Narrative (includes Animation, Faith-Based, MENA, & Utterly Macabre)
Best Short Documentary
Best Student Film (includes Narrative & Documentary)
Best Florida Film Award
Special Jury Award

Online screeners are preferred until notification of acceptance, at which time a DCP Exhibition version will be requested.

• All general and student film submissions must have been completed after June 15, 2021. Best of Jax films must have been completed after January 01, 2022. More information on Best of Jax films is below.
• All films must be in English or have English subtitles. Non-subtitled foreign language films will not be considered.
• All clearances must be obtained for exhibition.
• Only the Producer, Director, Screenwriter, or someone closely connected to the film may complete the application. Schools may submit films on behalf of student filmmakers in the Student Category.
• Only completed entries will be accepted. This includes the non-refundable entry fee paid to the order of JFF, a signed and completed entry form, and an online screener. Filmmakers may apply electronically via FilmFreeway.
• Films submitted in previous years will not be accepted for submission.
• The programmers at JFF actively pursue the best in American independent and world cinema for the annual festival. Films that have been released on video or DVD, have been widely screened on television or cable, or have been released theatrically preclude the festival from accepting those films for competition. Feature narrative entries that appear in their entirety on YouTube or Vimeo or other video exhibition programs will not be accepted. Exceptions are sometimes made for such films to be programmed at the festival out of competition but are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Film Categories for Competition:

• Feature-length films (narrative or documentary) must be 45 minutes or longer.
• Short films (narrative, documentary, web, animated) must be 44 minutes or less.
• Student film submissions must have proof of enrollment. Student films may not exceed 30 minutes.
• Please only submit to one category. Festival staff will make sure your film is in the correct category.

Although JFF is a competitive festival, some films may be included in the program in a non-competition section.

Selected filmmakers may expect the following:

• Filmmakers whose films are accepted for competition will be notified by email by approximately September 15, 2022.
• All filmmakers with a film in competition will receive two filmmaker passes, giving all access to all events and screenings (subject to availability) at the festival. These passes are non-transferable and must be worn at all times in clear view. Passes are not sent by mail but must be picked up in person at the designated festival site. Any films with more than two filmmakers in attendance are asked to contact the festival.
• JFF promotes the schedule of screenings via media including newspapers, emails, television, and radio. JFF encourages filmmakers to help promote their films by promoting their screening(s) to industry professionals, distributors, the press, and the general public. (Please contact The Festival for more info)
• For entries selected to the 2023 Film Festival, an exhibition version of the film in proper format (DCP) must be received by JFF no later than November 21, 2022. JFF is partnering with Simple DCP to help streamline the process. Filmmakers will be notified of the steps to take. Failure to comply with technical specifications may result in the removal of the film from the festival competition.
• Filmmakers may not install banners or posters at the theaters without the official authorization of JFF.
• The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The individual or corporation submitting this film additionally grants the Jacksonville Film Festival the right to one or more public screenings of the entry during the dates of February 3-5, 2023. Entries that are not completed or available for screening must pull their entry prior to July 1, 20212, or the film will be screened as entered.

Local/Jacksonville Filmmakers

• If you are looking to submit a film for the in-competition portion of the festival, the film must be a Jacksonville premiere and cannot have been in another Jacksonville festival or played in a local theater. Films that have premiered outside of Jacksonville will still be considered.
• Films submitted to “Best of Jacksonville Award” do not have to be premiered but must be completed after January 1, 2022.
• Jacksonville filmmakers are also asked to contact the Jacksonville Film Festival (info@jacksonvillefilmfestival.com) before submitting.
• Filmmakers in this category will also be notified September 15, 2022.
• If selected, they will also receive the two filmmaker, all-access passes.

Final Notes:

Please include a synopsis or description alone on one page, (one paragraph, appropriate for quick reading) with the film submission. You should also include a cast and crew list on two pages maximum, (if possible). Include contact information.

There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit. A separate entry and entry fee must accompany each work.

The Jacksonville Film Festival reserves the right not to choose a winner from any of the following categories: Animation, Student, Feature, Documentary, Short, and Best of Jacksonville.

The management of the Jacksonville Film Festival reserves the right to decide all questions regarding rules and regulations. Submission of a film constitutes that the filmmaker accepts the rules and regulations set forth herein.

Questions: Please visit the website at www.jacksonvillefilmfestival.com or email: info@jacksonvillefilmfestival.com.

Good Luck!

JFF can provide comments about specific films after the festival event wraps.

By your submission of a program to the Jacksonville Film Festival, you authorize us to use your program in all promotions for the festival. This would include encore presentations after the festival to which accepted.

Overall Rating
  • What a great festival, with such gracious hosts. Great weekend and networking opportunities.

    May 2022
  • Hometown Film Festival.

    My experience with the Jacksonville Film Festival was cool. It's not a flashy festival loaded with ego and pretentious people, which I liked.

    I flew in from Los Angeles to be there since I grew up in Jacksonville. The location was very nice. The team were kind people. But if I had one note it will most likely be the conflict of interest. The film director and team were very young, which I found to be a fresh of breath air. However, this nice team of peers and friends were also filmmakers in the festival. I simply thought this was unfair because favoritism or bias can cloud judgement. These friends, filmmakers, and team members worked panels, Q&A's and more. And if you're wondering if any of the "friends" placed, yes, they did.

    Another note is the lack of audience award. Most filmmakers did not attend, so it’s always nice for the people who did show up have an extended opportunity to be engaged by voting.

    The team provided several functions to attend like the brunch and meet and greet. Greeted us with a nice filmmaker goodie-bag and t-shirt, which was very nice. All in all, a good experience.

    Though my film, 7 SHARP, didn't win an award, two of my producers flew in, a lot of my family showed up and my good friends were also there in support which trumps any award. So I'm thnkful that the festival brought such a nice memory that I'll never forget.

    February 2022
  • I hereby express my gratitude to the Jacksonville Film Festival, all the festival team especially the festival director, for selecting and screening my latest short film, "The Recess" - a short film on one of the most human rights issues in Iran. Thanks for the opportunity for our cause to be heard, watched, and felt. I recommend Jacksonville Film Festival for all my fellow filmmakers worldwide.

    February 2022
  • I HIGHLY recommend that my fellow filmmakers submit to (and hopefully attend) the JAX Film Fest. Here's why: we we warmly welcomed (despite the cold weather) on day one with a sparkly gift complete with t-shirts, a bag of aromatic local coffee beans, credentials, a glossy program with thumbnails and synopsis of every film, and a personally signed card from our hosts with the most: Niki, Tim, Monica, and Brian. The party on Saturday night had excellent food, a live DJ, dancing and lots of laughter and great conversation. The San Marco theatre is a charming venue with a vibrant kitchen so you can eat and watch to your heart's content--speaking of which, the Sunday filmmaker brunch was delicious! My film screened during a short doc program that was very thoughtfully programmed with multiple Vimeo Staff picks. Five stars!

    February 2022
  • John D. Marshall

    JFF was fantastic. The organzizers were all great, organized, and passionate. The location is really nice and all of the events were easy to reach and a lot of fun. This is one of those hidden gem festivals; I highly recommend it.

    February 2022