Named Top 50 Film Festivals Worth The Entry Fee by MovieMaker magazine for the last two years, the 4th annual Mammoth Lakes Film Festival will screen features and shorts for five days in the spectacular setting of Mammoth Lakes—California’s premier mountain resort, high in the Eastern Sierra. It will take place on the Wednesday through Sunday leading up to Memorial Day 2018.

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 2017 we awarded cash and prizes valued at more than $60,000.00. We also 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), and John Feidler (Producer of SERIAL MOM and PECKER). 2017 sponsors included Honda, RED Digital Cinema, Panavision, and Blue Moon, among many others.

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

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. Camera packages and more to our winners. Over $60,000.00 in cash and prizes were awarded in 2017.

Films must have been completed after Jan. 1, 2017.

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, 2018.

Films must be submitted via FilmFreeway online screener or DVD / Blu-Ray.

Screeners will not be returned. Do not send us masters.

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 March 15, 2018.

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, 2018.

If your film is selected, you must provide two high-resolution screen shots, two DVDs and a secure online link for press by April 30, 2018. 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 2018 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 2018 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.

Overall Rating
  • Izzy Fonseca

    A very overdue review for MLFF 2017... such a fantastic festival. We have been telling anyone who'll listen that they should submit and go to Mammoth lakes. Really well-organised, incredibly warm and welcoming people and a great selection of films. Am trying to make something else quick enough to have an excuse to come back!

    November 2017
    Response from festival:

    Please do Izzy, we would love to have you and your work back in Mammoth Lakes! And thanks for the wonderful review!

  • Summre Garber

    Mammoth Lakes was an amazing festival to attend as a filmmaker. The location is stunningly beautiful, the locals are welcoming and friendly, the festival staff are warm and knowledgeable. All of the filmmakers attending were great and the parties were so much fun. The film programming was all really interesting, it was evident with every film I saw that they were very carefully selected. The late night hot springs trips are a memory I'll treasure forever!

    June 2017
    Response from festival:

    So sad you had to leave early but it was so much fun while you were here! Next year stay till the bitter end!!!

  • Amanda Bonaiuto

    I wasn't able to attend last minute, but everyone involved with this festival is amazingly well organized and thoughtful. Thanks so much!!

    June 2017
    Response from festival:

    Next year you must come!

  • Stephanie O'Neill

    An excellent time at an excellent festival! The programming was thoughtful and nuanced, incorporating a delightful and surprising group of films backed by equally talented filmmakers. The staff was organized and supportive, not only providing lodging and travel reimbursements, but also creating an engaging agenda of programs and festivities for filmmakers to connect. A young festival but clearly a genuine, experienced group at the helm.

    June 2017
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Stephanie for coming to the fest and bringing us your awesome film!

  • Xstine Cook

    What a fantastic festival! The organizers are supportive, welcoming, and very organized. The event is cozy, well run, and attended by enthusiastic folk. It's in a small resort town, that is curious, supportive, and interested in independent film. They throw a great party, with substantial prizes, and numerous attendees from the industry in Los Angeles. Thank you for screening our work, it was a fantastic experience.

    June 2017
    Response from festival:

    So glad you guys could make it all the way from Calgary! It was so great having you at the festival.