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 we focused on bringing top-level press to the festival to get maximum exposure for our filmmakers. 2019 attending press and industry professionals included Variety, Hollywood Reporter, The LA Times, A24, MovieMaker Magazine and more.

The 6th 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 which usually is held over Memorial Day weekend will move to Sept.16-20. Our hearts go out to all of those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 2018 we awarded cash and prizes valued at more than $40,000.00. 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), 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 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 2020 Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, Sept 20th, 2020

We look forward to reading your work!


The Grand Prize winner will receive $1,000 in cash and the opportunity to pitch their script to the Russo Brothers’ production company, 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. Top screenplay receives the opportunity to pitch their script to the Russo Brothers Production Company - AGBO Films. Over $40,000.00 in cash and prizes were awarded in 2019.

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, two DVDs and 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
  • Mark Hosack

    Wow what a great festival. We were honored to have been selected and had a great experience. Mammoth Lakes is a "filmmakers" film festival - a festival on a beautiful mountain makes for a great opportunity to meet other filmmakers and appreciate their work. And the programming was stellar. Highly recommended!

    September 2019
    Response from festival:

    Mark, so glad you were able to work out staying the entire time. We loved having you and your film. People in town are still talking about it and congrats on it playing in so many other festivals!

  • Simon Werdmüller von Elgg

    Mammoth Lakes has been my favorite festival to date. The organizers were very welcoming and accommodating to our team, and the town of Mammoth itself was a joy to visit. There were lots of well-planned networking events during which we connected with many talented filmmakers. Shoutout to Paul and Lesley! Hope to see you all next year :)

    July 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for coming and letting us screen Lemons. Such a crazy and eerie film that is a true piece of art!

  • The communication with Mammoth Lakes was brilliant. There was an issue with one of our files and the festival let us know promptly. We're thrilled to have 3 clients screen at this fantastic film festival. We hope to one day attend.

    July 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for submitting to us and... yes, you must come next year. Let's figure out how we can get you here, you will definitely have a blast!

  • John Charter

    I attended this year and the festival topped all of my expectations. Excellent films, panels, and parties with a stunning picturesque backdrop. The festival has an intimate feel where you can get to know and hang out with the other filmmakers. There are a number of top independent film industry folks that come from LA.

    June 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for bringing your wild piece of art to the Eastern Sierra. It was truly and honor and so glad you guys came and enjoyed yourselves.

  • They are just a warm lovely group of people that put this festival together and they do an amazing job.

    June 2019
    Response from festival:

    So glad you were able to make it with you beautifully award winning Doc. We are so proud that you chose to screen with us. Such an honor for us!