We are the West Coast’s premier festival dedicated to showcasing fresh and innovative filmmaking, screening everything from festival favorites like Damsel (starring Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska), to world premieres like Netflix favorite Abducted in Plain Sight.

Out of a commitment to our filmmakers, we made the decision to hold our 2021 and 2022 festivals live and in person, using best practices for COVID safety at all indoor events and screenings. Both festivals were highly successful.

We are committed to discovering and supporting emerging 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 seven years in a row: We put our filmmakers first! And now we are one of the "Top 25 Coolest Festivals in the World" named by MovieMaker Magazine — a true testament to the experience you will have with us.

We always secure top-level press to attend the festival in order to get exposure for our filmmakers. Attending press and industry professionals have included Variety, The Wrap, Indiewire, MovieMaker Magazine, Hollywood Reporter and more.

The 9th annual Mammoth Lakes Film Festival takes place on the five days leading up to Memorial Day weekend, May 24-28, 2023.

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 2021, during the pandemic, we were able to hold our festival in person, incorporating a virtual element for our international filmmakers to still engage with us. We award 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 of DALLAS BUYERS CLUB), and John Fiedler (Producer of SERIAL MOM and PECKER).

The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival is a DBA of the Eastern Sierra Arts Alliance and is a 501(c)3.

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 2023 Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, May 28th, 2023.

We look forward to reading your work!

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. We award camera packages and more to our winners. Over $44,000.00 in cash and prizes are awarded.

Awards & Prizes for the Screenplay Competition
The Grand Prize winner will receive a cash award $1,000.

Films must have been completed after Jan. 1, 2022.

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 28th, 2023.

Films must be submitted via FilmFreeway online screener.

No Fee Waivers are available.

Entry fees are non refundable.

No commercials.

We do consider works in progress but your film needs to be close to completion and if selected it must be completed before March 31, 2022.

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, 2023.

If your film is selected, you must provide two high-resolution screen shots, a secure online link for press by April 20, 2023. 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 2023 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 2023 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

- 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

Overall Rating
  • Daisy Weaver

    My staff has a great time. Thank you so much Mammonth!

    July 2022
  • Mammoth Lakes Film Festival was a great experience. They created such a warm and inviting environment for filmmakers!

    June 2022
  • Vanessa Valliere

    MLFF were terrific hosts for our week in the bucolic hills of Mammoth Lakes. They gave Gut Feeling a fantastic screening and we could not have been happier with their care and attention.

    June 2022
    Response from festival:

    We were so happy you came all the way out from Chicago! We are so glad you had a great time and can't wait to see what you do next!!!

  • Desireé Nash

    This festival was so fun! They really take care of the filmmakers (and screenwriters.) Great combination of films + events to keep one entertained, inspired, and connected. I hope to attend again!

    June 2022
    Response from festival:

    We are so glad you came and please come back anytime. We love our Alumni!

  • Amos Holzman

    I was honored to be part of the festival and my biggest regret of 2022 is not being able to attend. I vow to return

    June 2022
    Response from festival:

    We will hold you to it! We missed you at the festival. There is always next year!