We are the west coast premier destination festival for films such as fest favorites like Damsel starring Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska, to world premiere new discoveries like Netflix favorite Abducted in Plain Sight and many more.

We are dedicated to discovering and supporting the next generation of filmmakers. There’s a reason MovieMaker magazine has named Mammoth Lakes Film Festival as one of the “Top 50 Film Festival’s Worth Your Entry Fee” for the last five years in a row¬: We put our filmmakers first!

Last year even during the pandemic we held our festival virtually and we still involved top-level press in the festival to get maximum exposure for our filmmakers. 2020 involved press and industry professionals included Variety, The Wrap, Indiewire, MovieMaker Magazine and more.

The 7th annual Mammoth Lakes Film Festival will screen features and shorts for five days over Memorial Day weekend May. 26-30.

MLFF captures the imagination of audiences and contributes to the vitality of film culture by providing emerging filmmakers with an opportunity to show their latest work in a vibrant and nurturing atmosphere. Visitors are drawn to the area to experience exciting new films by both new and established independent artists, and for the opportunity to mingle with them at fun and friendly daily events. The festival is also a forum for filmmakers to have their work seen by industry professionals who have the potential to provide mentorship and propel their careers.

We are committed to promoting film as an art form by focusing on personal, innovative, imaginative films by writers and directors with a unique style and point of view. We present these films in the beautiful natural setting of Mammoth Lakes—a perfect backdrop for an independent film festival and a premier tourist destination in its own right. Because we are a destination resort, just a 4 to 5-hour drive or a quick flight from Los Angeles, we have strong allies within the entertainment industry. Our jury members are acclaimed artists and professionals from the world of independent film. We give out multiple awards in the categories of Narrative Features, Documentary Features, and Short Films. In 2020 even during the pandemic we held our festival virtually and awarded cash and prizes valued at more than $40,000.00. We provide travel stipends, housing, and festival passes for our filmmakers. Our juries have included Andrew Lazar (Producer of AMERICAN SNIPER), Allison Amon (Producer of THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES), Rachel Winter (Academy Award winning producer DALLAS BUYERS CLUB),and John Feidler (Producer of SERIAL MOM and PECKER). 2019 sponsors included Panavision, Light Iron, VER, Blue Moon, among many others.

The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, a DBA and a pending 501(c)3, is committed to showcasing the talent and imagination of emerging filmmakers and nurturing their efforts to follow their dreams.


The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Screenplay Competition is dedicated to discovering and supporting emerging, innovative screenwriters. We welcome screenplays in every genre, on any topic, from anywhere in the world. We are looking for stories from writers that have a unique voice and a specific point of view. Every submission will receive 3-5 lines of feedback. You can request detailed feedback of 4-5 pages of feedback for an additional fee. MLFF will present the Grand Prize for the best screenplay at the 2021 Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, May 30th, 2021

We look forward to reading your work!


The Grand Prize winner will receive $1,000 in cash and an opportunity to pitch their screenplay to Ari Costa SVP of Production at AGBO Films..

The top 10 screenplays will be offered passes, housing and travel stipends to attend the festival and network with attending press, industry, distributors and filmmakers.

Cash prizes from $500.00 to $1,000.00 will be awarded. We will also provide travel stipends, housing, and festival passes for our filmmakers and the top 10 screenplays. Camera packages and more to our winners. Over $40,000.00 in cash and prizes were awarded in 2020. Screenplay competition also gets the opportunity to pitch their screenplay to Ari Costa SVP of Production at AGBO Films.

Films must have been completed after Jan. 1, 2019.

Films may have screened in other festivals but we do not accept films with past theatrical distribution or that have been broadcast (televised) anywhere in the U.S. before May 31st, 2021.

Films must be submitted via FilmFreeway online screener.

No Fee Waivers are available.

Entry fees are non refundable.

No commercials.

If you choose to send us a DVD screener it must be labeled with the title, running time, your email address, and your phone number. Please place your FilmFreeway# on the Screener.

We do consider works in progress but your film needs to be close to completion and if selected it must be completed before April 15, 2021.

Do not send a press kit until your film has been selected.

All non-English language films must have legible English subtitles.

All multiple submissions must have separate forms and appropriate fees.

The selection committee's decisions are final.

If your film is selected, your screening print and one backup must arrive by May 1, 2021.

If your film is selected, you must provide two high-resolution screen shots, a secure online link for press by April 25, 2021. You will also be asked to provide press materials and a trailer for the website.

All filmmakers under the age of 18 must have a legal guardian submit on their behalf.

Filmmakers must be authorized to submit their films to the 2021 Mammoth Lakes Film Festival (MLFF) and are responsible for the accuracy of all information provided on the application form.

The MLFF may use images, sounds and excerpts from the films for promotional purposes in all media including the MLFF website and may present accepted films at the 2021 MLFF.

You indicate that you have read and understand the MLFF entry guidelines and rules and regulations and that you agree to the MLFF Terms and Conditions. Furthermore, you indicate that you shall indemnify and hold harmless the MLFF 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.


By entering Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Screenplay Competition, you agree to follow its rules and guidelines.


- Scripts submitted to the competition must NOT have been previously optioned, purchased or produced at the time of entry.
- If a submitted screenplay is optioned or purchased between the time of submission and the end of the judging period, the applicant must notify us and that screenplay will no longer be eligible for an award.
- Screenwriters that are members of the DGA and are professional writers are ineligible.
- If your screenplay is an adaptation you must provide the MLFF with the rights to the original work that you are adapting, unless it is in the public domain.


- All scripts must be in PDF format.
- Screenplays must be in English, formatted according to current industry standards in 12-point courier font.
- Screenplays must have a clean cover page. This means the title only on the cover, no author’s name/contact information.

- If the script is based on a true story, that should be noted on the title page.
- No substituted pages or other revisions will be accepted once you have submitted your script. New versions of scripts can be resubmitted by filling out a new entry form and paying a new entry fee. All entries must be uploaded by the appropriate deadline.
- No refunds.


- All notifications will be sent by the notification date on FilmFreeway.
- If the screenplay has multiple writers, all writers are hosted at the festival but the grand prize of $1,000.00 would be split amongst the writers
- If your script doesn’t make it into the quarterfinals, it will not advance to further stages of the competition.
- Feedback will include 3-5 lines unless screenwriter has opted for the more extensive coverage package for the additional fee.
- All decisions are final.


MLFF is not responsible in any way for your script or concept and we strongly suggest you register your work with the Writers Guild of America, West (www.wga.org or call 323.782.4500) and the US Copyright Office (http://www.copyright.gov).


All submitted screenplays will receive a short paragraph of coverage that will let you know what we think the strengths and weaknesses of the script are. This is only a baseline to help you know what is generally missing to help you with moving forward with rewrites. It is not the full coverage that is included in the extensive coverage package which is available for an additional charge. This feedback will be sent on the notification date.


The extensive coverage package will be sent one month after the notification date and will be 4-5 pages.


Our readers are industry professionals and all have a combination of the following qualifications: professional coverage background, production and development background, and/or are professional writers, or journalists. All decisions are final.

Overall Rating
  • Alisi Telengut

    Thank you so much Mammoth Lakes Film Festival for giving me the Best Animation Award for my short film "The Fourfold". It's an incredible recognition for a young artist in the independent animation filmmaking scene.
    I also really appreciate that the entire festival team has been making lots of efforts for months to make this year's edition shifted online under the difficult Covid circumstances.
    The communication from the festival has been excellent! I was very well informed about all the festival updates since the moment my film got selected.
    I hope to visit the festival in person in the near future and will definitely submit my future works!

    September 2020
  • From the moment Paul Sbrizzi called me(!)-yes that's right, he called me- to announce me the selection of our movie to the festival, up until the closing ceremony, I never lost sight of the festival.
    The communication from the part of the festival was awesome!
    Even though it went digital this year, it was so well organized that it felt as it was physical.
    Paul,Lesley, Shira, i feel like i know you..)
    If i will be able to fulfil my next movie, i will send it to' bow' in front of you because i think very highly of you all.

    Thank you very much,

    September 2020
  • Yesel Manrique

    This was a great time! Everyone was so nice and the festival was a blast!

    September 2020
  • Andreas Resch

    This was one of the best festival experiences we have ever had. The festival was virtual this year due to COVID-19 reasons, but Shira, Paul, Lesley and the rest of the team gave us such a warm welcome that the slight disappointment of not being able to travel to Mammoth Lakes was quickly overturned by the joy of watching a great mix of films from different genres and countries, attend interesting Q&As, well-crafted panel discussions and enjoyable Zoom parties.
    Our film MARLENE was treated with the greatest respect - it is just amazing how much love for independent film you encounter at Mammoth Lakes. The communication with the whole festival team was always warm and to the point and gave us a feeling of really being included in the festival.
    We spent four wonderful days in virtual Mammoth Lakes - which left us inspired and grateful for an experience that we will never forget.

    September 2020
  • Star Rosencrans

    Such an incredible team! We felt a lot of support and enthusiasm for our film from the first day we were notified of our acceptance. It's been a crazy year for festivals, and the work that Shira and Paul and Lesley-Anne and the rest of the team put into the fest to still make the virtual version feel vital and warm and welcoming and ALIVE is really something. Can't wait to get there in person for the next one - as a filmmaker and a film viewer.

    September 2020