The LFF annually will salute the creative spirit of independent film. The festival will serve as a cinematic immersion of the celebration of independent film. LFF will serve a dual purpose, introducing new voices in cinema as well as providing a space for existing filmmakers to explore new stories.

The LFF will award several Grand Jury prizes, including Outstanding Narrative Feature, Outstanding Documentary, and Outstanding Short film. In addition, we will also feature a couple of Audience Awards, which include Outstanding Web-Series, and Outstanding Audience Film.

SUBMISSION RULES

SUBMISSION CATEGORIES
We strongly encourage you to review these rules carefully prior to submitting your film. The submission of your project acknowledges that you have read and agreed to all of the following rules and terms. Once projects have been submitted by our final deadline and adhere to the following terms they will be considered for inclusion in the Lakefront Film Festival.

Filmmakers acknowledge that they have read and accepted the Rules and Terms of the Lakefront Film Festival. They also certify that they hold all rights for the presentation of their film and that all rights and permission have been made. All films accepted into the Lakefront Film Festival are not subject to nor are threatened by any litigation. Upon accepting these conditions, filmmakers transfer the right to use excerpts of submitted films, stills and trailers, for the purpose of publicity and marketing of the film on the various social networks, on the website of the festival, as well as other non-commercial purposes related to the promotional of the event to the Lakefront Film Festival. Filmmakers hereby agree to indemnify The Lakefront Film Festival, in the event that said rights have been not properly administered.

If you have any further questions, please visit our FAQ page: http://www.lakefrontfilmfestival.com/submission-faq/

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS
Beginning on October 2, 2017, The Lakefront Film Festival will accept entries with a completion date after June 30, 2015. Film submissions to the Lakefront Film Festival must not be scheduled for theatrical release or television broadcast prior to April 27, 2018. No submissions should have publically screened in Columbia.

In order for a film to be under consideration for the festival, each submission must be accompanied by a submission fee both paid in full and featuring a working screening link. In addition, all films submitted must be free from any legal disputes and third-party claims. All rights for music and public exhibition should also be cleared by submitting filmmakers. Only when all necessary materials have been received will the submission be officially “In Consideration.”

The filmmaker is responsible to ensure that all submission requirements are met, which includes contacting the Lakefront Film Festival after seven (7) days to discuss next steps to move their film into the “In Consideration” category if it hasn’t posted within a week.

If the film has not been listed “In Consideration” within 7 business days of submission, it is the submitting’s party responsibility to contact the Lakefront Film Festival to find out the next steps to move the film into the consideration category. On April 27, 2018, filmmakers will be notified if their film has been accepted into the Lakefront Film Festival.

Filmmakers are not required to send press kits and cover letters but they are appreciated. We DO NOT accept hard copies but if you wish to submit either, please attach it to your submission.

SCREENERS
The festival STRONGLY prefers filmmakers to submit online screeners, via either a password-protected Vimeo link or by uploading directly to FilmFreeway. Filmmakers are responsible for ensuring that their screener link and password remain active through March 16, 2018. If a password or URL changes after submission, filmmakers are encouraged to email the festival immediately. The festival will attempt to contact filmmakers for an update if we discover an error with the screener submission.

Filmmakers who fail to respond by the final submission deadline will automatically be disqualified, without refund of submission fees. All online submission screeners MUST be available to stream. The festival does not accept any submissions that must either be downloaded or have watermarks for public presentation.

SUBTITLES
All foreign-language films submissions must be submitted with English subtitles. Any submission that does not provide working subtitles will be automatically disqualified without refund of submission fees.

PREMIERE STATUS
*All narrative features or documentaries films must be theatrical premieres in the state of Maryland.*

Short films are exempt from this requirement, but a Maryland premiere is strongly preferred. The festival will program some short films online on a case-by-case basis, prioritizing feature film submissions that have NOT been released online, on VOD, or DVD to the public in the state of Maryland.

In the event that a submitter’s film is selected for another Maryland festive, it is the submitter’s responsibility to notify the Lakefront Film Fest of any updates as they occur in the premiere status.

*On rare occasions, exceptions to this rule may be made solely at the discretion of the festival programming staff. Feature films that are not Maryland premieres will NOT be eligible for competition. In addition, any films that have acquired US distribution of any kind prior to selection at the Lakefront Film Festival will not be eligible for competition.

DEADLINES
It is the filmmaker’s responsibility to closely keep track of deadlines as they consider submitting their project within a certain window. All deadlines are set for 11:59 pm EST.
Any submissions with an unpaid balance after a deadline will be required to pay the following deadline’s submission fee. Failure to pay the appropriate fee may result in disqualification without a refund.

ACCEPTED FILMS
The deadline for all works that are selected for inclusion into the festival is April 1, 2018.
If your film is accepted into the Lakefront Film Festival, filmmakers will grant the Festival the right to utilize an excerpt from said film submitted for exhibition for promotional purposes.

All accepted films will screen at least once during the festival, with the option of an encore screening for select films/shorts blocks that win festival jury awards. All scheduling is purely at the discretion of the Lakefront Film Festival staff.

The festival will only return submission flash drives upon request and local filmmakers are encouraged to pick up their drives. International submissions sent on flash drive will not returned to the festival highly recommends filmmakers submit their work online. All flash drives that are in possession of the festival after a year will be destroyed.

SCREENING FEES
The Lakefront Film Festival DOES NOT PAY SCREENING FEES. Filmmakers who submit their films acknowledge that the festival will not pay to present their work. **NO FEE WAIVERS**

COPYRIGHT & LEGAL TERMS
Filmmakers acknowledge that by entering their film for consideration to the Lakefront Film Festival, they authorize that their work is cleared for festival exhibition. They also accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property contained therein.

Filmmakers associated with the project shall indemnify and hold harmless the Lakefront Film Festival, FAAAF, and any representative or affiliates from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

REFUNDS & DISQUALIFICATION
Once a project is listed “In Consideration” on FilmFreeway, the festival is unable to offer refunds for any reason, including (but not limited to):

- Submission to the wrong category
- Change in premiere status or distribution
- Duplicate submissions
- Failure to pay the full submission fee by the final deadline
- Failure to provide a working screener by the final deadline
- Project’s failure to comply with submission Rules & Terms
- Rejection from the festival
- Withdrawing your submission for any reason (including changes of heart)

The Lakefront Film Festival reserves the right to disqualify any submission without refund of submission fees.

DATES & DEADLINES
Opening Submission Date | October 2, 2017
Early Submission Deadline | November 5, 2017
Official Submission Deadline | January 7, 2018
Late Submission Deadline | March 16, 2018
Notification Date | April 27, 2018