A coalition of Columbus cultural institutions will join forces to host the new National Veterans Film Festival, September 10-12, 2021. The three-day event seeks to connect Americans through veterans’ voices and stories by celebrating the contributions and resiliency of our nation’s veterans.

*Just announced: the NVFF partners have come together to host "Re-story: Transforming Veteran Stories into Art," a new Columbus College of Art & Design and Veterans Arts Initiative film exploring veterans’ stories of healing through art. The public is invited to attend the free virtual film screening and a virtual panel discussion on Nov. 13, 2020.*

Partners include Gateway Film Center, the VA Central Ohio Health Care System, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, WOSU Public Media, and the Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise at The Ohio State University.

Despite our best efforts and highest hopes, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 edition of the festival. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is no safe and effective way to bring our community together in celebration of your films, stories, and artistry. Refunds have been processed for all submissions.

We plan to launch the festival on the same weekend next year, Friday September 10th through Sunday September 12th, 2021, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. We hope you will submit your films for next year's festival when submissions open in early 2021.

Best Narrative Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Short
Best Veteran Actor
Best Veteran Director

The feature and short films, including narrative films and documentaries, that will be screened as part of this festival will be gathered through an open submissions process and selected by an impartial jury of partner organizations and Veterans. Films can be any style and from any genre, but should be made by, feature, and/or be about Veterans, military service, military families, or a related subject. Films made by Veterans need not focus on Veteran-specific issues.


Feature Length Film: A narrative, animated, or experimental film 20+ minutes in length.
Feature Short Film: A narrative, animated, or experimental film less than 20 minutes in length.
Documentary Feature Film: A documentary film 20+ minutes in length.
Documentary Short Film: A documentary film less than 20 minutes in length.


If your film is selected to participate in the National Veterans Film Festival, it must be available for screening in DCP or 35mm. In the case of short films only, digital files are acceptable.

Foreign Language Films:
Foreign language films must be made available with the original language soundtrack and English subtitles.


• All films must be submitted as a secure online screener (i.e. Vimeo).
• Once a submission link has been accepted, we cannot guarantee that subsequent updates will be viewed.

Accompanying Materials:
The following materials must be submitted via FilmFreeway.com and will not be returned. Incomplete entries will not be considered.
• Official online entry form through FilmFreeway.com with all required information.
• Non-refundable entry fee (payable via Visa, Mastercard, or American Express):

Preliminary dates:
Early submission: February 3 – February 29 - $15 short, $25 feature
Regular submission: March 1 – May 31 - $25 short, $40 feature
Late submission: June 1 – June 30 - $35 short, $50 feature

Opt in:
By submitting your film, you agree to be added to our mailing list in order to notify you of your entry’s status as well as news about the festival.

Films selected to be screened as part of the National Veterans Film Festival will be notified on or before August 17, 2021.