“Fernando Mico is a force. Nobody is more in command of an event from concept to planning to execution than he is. He is perfectly organized and stages events on a grand scale that support artists at all stages of their careers. It’s that humanitarianism coupled with his experience and know-how that gets the job done every time efficiently, on budget and schedule, and with a dramatic impact.”

-Michael Uslan, Executive Producer of the Modern Batman Film Franchise (November 2022)


“Mr. Mico is a "can do" machine. If his vast experience in this industry isn't statement enough, he is a truly genuine, thoughtful human being, who is totally committed to excellence.”

-Russell Williams II, Legendary, First, 2-Time, Back-to-Back, African American Oscar Winner for Sound in the films Glory and Dances with Wolves (November 2022)


Great expansion has come to The Northern Virginia International Film & Music Festival (The NOVA Fest) in its ninth season! After hosting several hundred films from over 30 countries, and celebrating industry leaders like Eduardo Sanchez of The Blaire Witch Project, Michael Uslan, the executive producer of JOKER and all modern BATMAN films and Russell Williams II, the first African-American to win back to back Academy Awards for his work on Glory and Dances With Wolves, we are also continuing our highly successful film market!

The CAPITAL FILM MARKET works in conjunction with The NOVA Fest and the Virginia Film Office to bring sales agents, domestic & international film offices and buyers from around the globe, searching for and buying new content. In the age of new media CAPITAL fully embraces and offers an environment to sell content to platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, Google play and on and on.

Seminars, panels, receptions and party after party, lead up to an elaborate Oscar-style Awards Ceremony held at the Mosaic in Fairfax, Virginia, home of the beautiful Angelika Film Center! Welcome to the biggest festival and market of its kind in the United States of America!

*Unprecedented times require unprecedented action. Just like on set, we're having to improvise when forces beyond our control impose themselves. 2023 and the immediate future will be a continuous course correction.

**** Please read our DCP Policy before submitting. ***

GO-NOVA Film Festivals – Live & Virtual Screening Policy

As we resurface back into Live events, new screening policies have been instituted in terms of content delivery and platform presentation. Going forward, The NOVA and GO Independent Film Festivals will screen both Live and Virtually. Live screenings will take place in the best venues. We have selected the Angelika Film Centers and the Silverspot Cinemas. Both theaters require film content to be in DCP format.

In concert with both format upgrade and returning to accepted cultural norms (travel, attendance, etc.), the following are our policies for screening both Virtual and Live, Accepted film content going forward.

1. We require a .mp4 or .mov file, saved as an h.264.

1. We require a DCP File of your content.
2. DCP File produced by us from your submitted h.264 file for a fee. Fees cover encoding, quality check, and film transfer to our venues.
a. Fee (under 25 minutes): $150
b. Fee (over 25 minutes): $300
3. We handle all Quality Checks and Communication with the venues.
4. The DCP file is yours to keep, after the festival.
5. If you have submitted, and are accepted to more than one of our festivals, only the One (1) DCP file, which we produced, is required.
6. A minimum of 3, separate, DCP submissions are required per festival screening block. If the minimum requirement is not met, your DCP fee will be refunded. In other words, the film submitters are only responsible for any DCP fees, if their content screens Live, in our venue.
7. DCP files are OPTIONAL for those wishing to screen in theaters.
8. DCP orders are NOT required to be selected, nominated, or eligible to win awards at our festivals. Judgements are solely based on the quality of your submission(s).

Frequently Asked QUESTION.
Why is DCP so expensive?

Answer: Standard DCP encoding rates range from $125 -$30K, depending on its length and quality. (Please Google it).

Furthermore, DCP files are both massive AND can only be Quality Checked on site and on the venues systems. Currently the technology to check DCP content anywhere else is unavailable, unlike an .mp4 file. Both producing and sending multiple, and extremely large files to and for the venues is laborious at best, daunting at worst. A transfer system has already been established with our theater partners.

Please understand that policies and protocols will adapt in accordance with factors within and beyond our control. We will do our best to share, with as much notice as possible, any changes in schedule, venue, or protocol.

Please stay tuned for any updates. We will do our best to maintain as much stability, as we have control over. Thank you for your patience and understanding. As always, we will make every decision based on what is best for our artists.

Please be well during these incredibly provocative times!

**Ask about our FAME FACTOR TICKET!**

We are producing a full on, live film festival and awards ceremony. HOWEVER, we are susceptible to country, state and local laws, which enforce specific, gathering guidelines. To that end, circumstances beyond our control include venue policy and protocol, and insurance limitations.

For the year 2023 and for the foreseeable future, we will be producing both a virtual and live event. Please understand, before submitting, that with little to no notification, we may have to change presentation formats.

Award winners receive Oscar-Caliber trophies at our Red Carpet Awards Ceremony.
Harold L. Brown Award for Excellence - First Time Screenwriter - $200
Russell Williams II Award for Best Soundscape - $100

We are accepting submissions for feature and short Narrative, Documentary, Screenplays, Teleplays, Music Videos and Art & Design. Shorts will play prior to a feature or in a shorts program. All genres are welcome. The festival programming staff will place your film in the appropriate category.

All entries will be judged on content, creativity, imagery, story and skill of the filmmaker or screenwriter. Productions produced from January 2015 to January 2023 may be submitted. Works in progress will be accepted. All films must be submitted on DVD (Region 1) or available online via FilmFreeway for consideration by the Selection Committee.

All disc entries must be sent to the Northern Virginia International Film & Music Festival. Videos and DVDs submitted will not be returned unless accompanied by SASE. Films selected for the NOVA Fest will be announced no later than March 04, 2023.

All presentation materials for the Northern Virginia International Film & Music Festival must arrive in Virginia no later than February 13, 2023 (post marked by February 13, 2023). Please notify us by mail, fax or email of any address changes.

The Northern Virginia International Film & Music Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize footage and promotional materials supplied by the submitting agent from any film submitted, film accepted, video, or project for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. All accepted filmmakers agree that the Northern Virginia International Film & Music Festival and F.A.M.E related entities may use content (film, trailers, art, marketing collateral) from their projects in order to promote the festival, their film or the NOVA Fest Event via print, web and broadcast television. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The submitters shall indemnify and hold harmless the Northern Virginia International Film & Music Festival and F.A.M.E. related entities, it's vendors, sponsors and supporters 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.

If 'Nominated', presence at the Awards Ceremony is NOT required to Win. However, presence at the Awards Ceremony IS required to receive your complimentary trophy. Trophies are available for order, if won and unable to attend in person or via representative. Representative(s) can only be eligible for an individual award for YOUR submission OR their own. In other words, representatives can only receive complimentary award trophies for their own nominations, should they win, OR another parties. Our policy dictates acceptance is either one or the other with priority to their own.

Overall Rating
  • Organizers were extremely professional and appreciated the virtual option for the event.

    October 2022
  • The NOVA Fest exceeded my expectations in experiencing the Indy world virtually. But I will be truly excited to one day see the city, feel the selected films and finally meet Fernando Mico. What a wonderful director and enormously charasmatic man he appears to be!

    May 2022
  • Ben Myers

    NOVA fest is a great opportunity to connect with other filmmakers and center the conversation. around the business side of filmmaking. I was disappointed when the festival pivoted to entirely virtual, but once i figure out the filmocracy platform it was a great way to connect. I would have like more structured events- it was up to the filmmakers to schedule anything. Many thanks to Fernando for making the most of the experience despite the pandemic switch over.

    April 2022
  • Sabrina Yum-Shuster

    This festival was amazing! It was my first festival as a director and they treated my team and me so well. The communication was quick and helpful and they go above and beyond to make sure you can have the best possible experience. Though the festival was online the year I went, I still learned so much and was able to go to many virtual events. The whole virtual set up is really impressive and easy to navigate. Fernando was especially awesome and always finds a way to make the events engaging and fun, and also personally responds to questions and finds ways to make aspects of festival convenient for you specifically! It's all-round a high quality festival and a great environment to make connections. I highly recommend submitting to the NOVA Fest!

    April 2022
  • Troy Harvey Graham

    Great fest. Great people. Virtual experience was strong. Looking forward to attending in person someday.

    April 2022