A free-to-attend festival that highlights the best of independent film in a place that strives to tell the stories that connect us all—this is Longleaf. Our weekend festival screens films that demonstrate a Tar Heel State connection, through the people involved in making them, their filming location, or through their subject.

The North Carolina Museum of History serves as home base for Longleaf Film Festival. Movies have been made in the Tar Heel state for more than 100 years and the museum speaks to that intersection of historic traditions that continue today, making connections. The film community in the state, as well as those who train and film here, continue to create stories that engage and expand our conversation.

It’s lovely to have been back in-person for 2022 and 2023. As we enter our tenth anniversary year for 2024, we look forward to growing festival attendance and embracing new members of our filmmaker and film fan community, while also looking back to the people and films that have contributed to Longleaf’s development over time. We are grateful to all as we strive to promote the art and craft of filmmaking and the passion of film to viewers in Raleigh, the Triangle, and beyond.

So, what’s next?

We launch Longleaf 2024 with a continued commitment to sharing impactful stories, including those about race and community. We strongly believe that the art and craft of filmmaking help connect us and offer avenues for insight, as well as entertainment. We want to share your stories—all of your stories: animated, documentary and narrative films, music videos, spoken word productions, and web series. And again, we will recognize the best films made by historically underrepresented filmmakers with support from caring people.

Longleaf Film Festival 2024 will be held Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11. With your help and support, we plan to help keep Longleaf THE capital city’s film festival. As a free-to-attend event, sponsorships help make Longleaf happen and can also work to make everyone feel welcome in this community—where we recognize that making films is making history.

All narrative festival submissions are eligible for a $750 Judges’ Choice/Narrative Film award; all documentary festival submissions are eligible for a $750 Judges’ Choice/Documentary Film award. All films entered in the Middle and High School Student Film category are eligible for a $300 Best Student Film award. Additionally, prizes are awarded for creative works of filmmakers from historically underrepresented communities: a $500 American Indian Heritage Celebration Prize for the best film by an Indigenous filmmaker, a $500 African American Cultural Celebration Prize for the best film by a Black filmmaker, and a $500 Latin American Communities Prize for the best film by a Latino filmmaker.

Other prizes may be awarded in the categories listed below. All winners receive a unique, hand-crafted (in North Carolina, to celebrate the state’s heritage of pottery making) tile. Tiles are accompanied with plaques that denote the film’s title and winning category. Only enough Award Tiles are crafted for each winner to take one home!

Animated Film
One prize may be awarded in the following subcategory: Best Overall

Documentary Feature
One prize may be awarded in the following subcategory: Best Overall

Documentary Short
One prize may be awarded in the following subcategory: Best Overall

History+ Film
One prize may be awarded for each of the following subcategories: Best Narrative and
Best Documentary

Middle and High School Student Film
One prize may be awarded for each of the following subcategories: Best Narrative and
Best Documentary

Music Video
One prize may be awarded in the following subcategory: Best Overall

Narrative Feature
One prize may be awarded for each of the following subcategories:
Best Comedy
Best Drama
Best Horror
Best Sci-Fi

Narrative Short
One prize may be awarded for each of the following subcategories:
Best Comedy
Best Drama
Best Horror
Best Sci-Fi

Spoken Word Production
One prize may be awarded for each of the following subcategories: Best Overall

Web Series
One prize may be awarded for each of the following subcategories:
Best Web Series
Best Web Pilot

Eligibility to enter Longleaf!
To be eligible for selection and awards for Longleaf 2024, filmmakers and/or films must have a North Carolina connection and/or be a former Official Selection filmmaker. Connections include:
--film was made in North Carolina and/or;
--filmmaker or key production member (screenwriter, cinematographer, producer, documentary subject or lead actor) lives here now and/or grew up in the state and/or attended college or university here and/or;
--the submitting filmmaker is a former Longleaf Official Selection filmmaker and/or;
--the story or topic is a North Carolina subject.

Note that visiting friends and family or regularly vacationing in North Carolina is NOT a sufficient connection to qualify for entry. We do encourage entries from out of state and around the world; however, submissions must demonstrate at least one of the North Carolina connections listed above.

• Longleaf Film Festival reserves the right to refuse films depicting excessive nudity and/or gore.
• Longleaf Film Festival holds no responsibility for lost films.
• Longleaf Film Festival does not pay screening fees.
• We accept films that have screened at other festivals and venues, however we encourage premieres!
• Because we want to promote your film as a part of Longleaf Film Festival, we ask that Official Selections NOT be screened within 60 miles of Raleigh during the month between notification that you are an Official Selection and the weekend of Longleaf Film Festival.
• And, of course, we expect your film to be available for screening during the festival dates of May 10 and 11, 2024.
• Longleaf Film Festival and its jurists do not research authenticity of submissions which must be original works of the applicant.
• You must include a valid surface-mail address on your FilmFreeway entry.
• Except for middle and high school student films (see that category), films submitted for Longleaf 2024 must have been made between January 1, 2021, and March 1, 2024.
• Longleaf Film Festival reserves the right to not award a prize in any category.
• Longleaf Film Festival reserves the right to award prizes outside of the category of entry.
• All submissions to Longleaf 2024 will be handled through FilmFreeway. No manual submissions will be processed.
• Once a submission is accepted as an Official Selection, a digital screening version of the film must be provided to Longleaf Film Festival.

GENERAL TERMS and CONDITIONS
I (the entrant) have read and agree to all Longleaf Film Festival rules and procedures. Further, I warrant that I am the owner of the submission; I have not infringed upon or violated any copyright, privacy rights, or publicity or similar rights; I have obtained all rights, licenses, or necessary permissions thereto; I will indemnify the Longleaf Film Festival against any claims related to this submission; I will hold the Longleaf Film Festival harmless for any damages, costs, liabilities, and expenses related to the submission, screening, and use of this entry; I limit and liquidate all claims to no more than the cost of the entry fee; and I expressly grant the Longleaf Film Festival permission to use, broadcast, or publicly display clips of the submission (or its film or sound components) for publicity, teaching, and other related purposes.

Submission of film indicates Acknowledgment of these terms.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • An amazing North Carolina festival with plenty of networking opportunities from the reception to workshops and wrap party.

    Sally is an amazing and warm host who ran the festival seamlessly. Highly recommended for when they come back!

    May 2024
  • Ed Foster

    This was my second film to appear at the Longleaf FF. Sally and the crew are fantastic! This festival is one of my favorites.

    May 2024
  • David Weintraub

    I've had several films featured at LFF before but was never able to attend in the past. This time I was able to attend some of it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I saw some good films, had a chance to network with other filmmakers and I had an enthusiastic audience for my film.

    Raleigh is also a cool walkable community and I enjoyed the small town ambience. I hope the festival finds a way to continue after construction because its a real gem!

    May 2024
  • Longleaf Film Festival had excellent communication and did so much to promote the festival and the films. While I couldn't attend, another representative from our team was there for our block of films; she said it went well, with good Q & A and attendance. There were also scheduled workshops and events that sounded great. Wish we could've been there!

    May 2024
  • Vanessa Neff

    Excellent festival all the way around! Clear communication, great venue, interesting and worthwhile workshops, lovely filmmaker reception, well run, with no delays or mishaps and knowledgeable staff. My film did not win any awards, but simply being selected was an honor. There were so many wonderful films in this festival, I often wished I could have been in two theaters at once! Well Done!!

    May 2024