New Hope Film Festival is especially interested in discovering and nurturing new and overlooked filmmakers and writing talent from around the globe.

The New Hope Film Festival is sponsored by Comcast Corporation, Times Publishing Newspapers, Inc., The Intelligencer, Bucks County Courier Times and the Greater New Hope Chamber of Commerce. The 9th annual festival will take place from July 20 - 29, 2018.

About the Festival
Touted as the "emerging 'Sundance East'" in a Huffington Post article, this internationally respected indie fest was founded by D. F. Whipple, an author screenwriter and long-time resident of the New Hope, Bucks County area. Whipple formed New Hope Film Festival with a group of artists who shared his passion for discovering and nurturing independent artists, especially those who’ve been overlooked by established festivals. This includes international films, which the Festival is eager to attract.

What Makes the Festival Different
Every film submitted is watched with a keen perspective on quality and artistic expression. Artistic standards are extremely high, but neither budget nor prior notoriety is a determining factor—the art must shine through. This approach brings significant prestige, satisfaction and credibility to the filmmakers whose works are accepted.

With a strong publicity and marketing program that includes an annual awards announcement in Variety as well as press coverage in mainstream outlets such as NBC, ABC, The Huffington Post, The Times of India and more, this cutting-edge and growing festival is a powerful bridge between indie obscurity and the mainstream.

The Location
Over the years, New Hope has attracted and been home to many talented producers, screenwriters, actors, playwrights, and performance art enthusiasts. Home of the Bucks County Playhouse, where actors such as John Travolta, George C. Scott, Robert Redford, Helen Hayes, Andrea McArdle and Colleen Dewhurst have graced the stage, the village is centrally located less than an hour from Philadelphia and an hour and a half from New York.

An annual Variety.com banner ad campaign links to the Festival's award winner and nominee list. Many acrylic trophies are presented at the final awards ceremony gala, which is free for two (2) representatives of each film and script.

The Best Script winner annually receives a consultation with Academy of Motion Pictures member and longtime Hollywood screenwriter Mark Rosenthal, who has served as a Festival advisor throughout the Festival's history. This offer is revocable at the Festival's sole discretion and is subject to Rosenthal's availability.


By submitting a film, the undersigner (“Filmmaker”) hereby irrevocably offers to New Hope Film Festival (“Festival”) the right to screen the film, TV pilot, music video or webisode submitted herewith (“Film”) at the Festival at times to be determined by the Festival in its sole discretion. Filmmaker understands and agrees that once Festival accepts Filmmaker’s offer by selecting the Film for the Festival, Filmmaker shall have no right to remove the Film from the Festival, but Filmmaker shall not be barred from submitting or screening the Film at any other film festival or event outside a 10 mile radius of New Hope. If Festival selects the Film for the Festival, Festival shall have the irrevocable right, but not the obligation, to screen the film at the 2018 New Hope Film Festival, in Festival’s sole discretion.

Scripts accepted as Official Selections are listed in the Festival's official Program Guide by Title, Name of Writer and Synopsis and listings are worded in a manner acceptable to the Festival. If a Film is accepted by the Festival, two (2) Blu-ray or DVD disks must be provided to the Festival on or prior to the stated deadline, which will be a minimum of four (4) weeks from the date of notification. Additionally, Filmmaker must agree to these Rules & Terms via email in order to secure a place in the Festival. If the Film is revised or re-edited between the date of submission and the date of screening, Festival shall have the right to choose which version of the Film to screen, in Festival’s sole discretion.

All scripts accepted are considered Official Selections of the New Hope Film Festival in the same manner in which a film is named an Official Selection. Screenwriters are not considered finalists. The distinction means scripts accepted may use the Festival's official laurel for marketing purposes and screenwriters are equal to filmmakers in terms of Festival passes and access to all Festival events. Official Selections, including scripts, are not guaranteed a nomination or mention at the awards ceremony gala, but they are guaranteed a listing in the Program Guide, subject to abiding by the Festival's terms and conditions.

Festival reserves the right to revoke selection of the Film for screening if Festival determines, in its sole discretion, it has good cause to do so; one example of good cause as used herein is unprofessional behavior by Filmmaker or Filmmaker’s representative(s). Even if Festival revokes selection of the Film for cause, the terms of this Agreement shall remain binding and in force.

Filmmaker irrevocably grants Festival the right to use, for promotional purposes, an excerpt from the Film if it is selected for screening at the Festival. The Festival reserves the right to change, delay or cancel the annual awards announcement ad campaign without prior notice.

The undersigned individual or corporation submitting the Film (referred to as “Filmmaker” herein) hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening and to accept the terms of this Agreement as Filmmaker or Filmmaker’s authorized representative; that it understands and accepts the terms of this Agreement; and that all information it has provided on the FilmFreeway submission form is accurate and may be used by Festival for promotional purposes.

Filmmaker shall indemnify and hold New Hope Film Festival harmless 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 in connection with the Film involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and/or loss of or damage to the screening videos submitted. In particular, Filmmaker expressly warrants it has obtained all necessary copyright clearances for original works of authorship used in the Film.

If the Film is selected as an official film of the Festival and is not removed from the Festival for cause, Filmmaker shall have the right to promote the Film as an Official Selection of the New Hope Film Festival in perpetuity. Any award and nomination granted to Filmmaker may be promoted in perpetuity. Festival will pay Filmmaker no additional compensation nor be liable to Filmmaker under any circumstances.

Filmmakers who submit via Secure Online Screener should be prepared to send the Festival two (2) exhibition disks for any film accepted by the Festival. Blu-ray is preferred and encouraged, but standard definition DVD is an acceptable alternative. The Festival will provide two deadlines for the disks. A work-in-progress version comparable to the submitted work is acceptable for the first deadline, which confirms the work's place in the schedule. The second, optional deadline, is several weeks before the Festival and it applies to any final cut version the filmmaker wishes to exhibit at the screening. If the Film is substantially edited between the date of submission and the date of the screening, the Festival shall have the right to choose which version of the Film to screen in the Festival’s sole discretion.

The Festival does not offer invitations to become an Official Selection and/or any other form of preferential treatment that Festival directors feel would be out of step with the Festival's mission of giving all filmmakers an equal chance during the judging process. Filmmakers seeking a waiver because the required fee is beyond their current budget are advised to wait until the next Early Submissions period, find a sponsor and/or earn the fee through an additional source of income. The Festival's organizers do not respond to pitches for individual projects, and filmmakers writing the Festival with requests or demands for other forms of preferential treatment will typically not receive a response. Submission fees are non-refundable. Advance ticket purchases for all Festival events are subject to the following Event Refund and Cancellation Policy:

The Festival reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel any event due to storm, power outage, flood, war, civil unrest, fire, earthquake or any other circumstance deemed beyond the Festival's control. If an event is cancelled and the Festival is unable to re-schedule it, advance tickets are refunded. If the event can be re-scheduled, the Festival will offer replacement tickets to that event and, if the advance ticket holder is unable to attend at the new date and time, a refund of the face value of the ticket will be given.

Our policy is to suspend all movie screenings during severe storms and power outages until electrical power is stable and restored in order to protect projection and audio equipment from potentially permanent damage. If an event is suspended during a show, the Festival will, at its sole discretion, resume the show after a delay, cancel the event, or re-schedule it. If the show resumes after a delay, no refunds are given. If the event is re-scheduled, replacement tickets will be offered to the audience and, if a ticket holder is unable to attend the replacement event, a refund will be given electronically or by check. If the event is cancelled entirely, each audience member is entitled to a refund. In the event of a cash ticket purchase at the door, the ticket holder must have left his or her name with a Festival organizer at the event as proof of purchase.

The Festival reserves the right to change, adjust or cancel awards announcement ad campaigns without prior notice. The Festival does not accept submissions via streaming links. Free, online streaming of any film accepted by the Festival is prohibited until after the event is over unless the work is password protected. Failure to abide by this rule can result in removal of the film from the Festival at the Festival's sole discretion.

A 10% courtesy discount is available on submission fees for alumni filmmakers. To request the discount code, alumni should email their name and the title of the previous Official Selection to the Festival.

Overall Rating
  • Marty Krzywonos

    Way before the festival even started it was incredibly well-organized. I could tell by the smiles on the faces of all the volunteers that this was an event that they were truly passionate about. Aside from being honored by having my film selected to be screened at the festival, I was in very good company with a huge selection of very well produced films. Film blocks were well scheduled according to various themes connecting the films. Because the film festival lasted 10 days really gave one the chance to partake in watching a large variety of films with flexibility. DF Whipple and the entire staff of the film festival really know how to put together an event with artistic style. I look forward to seeing next year's event.

    August 2017
  • A really terrific festival, well planned and organized. Hats off to Doug Whipple and his professional staff.
    Guy Quigley
    Winner of Best Supernatural Thriller "APPARITION"

    August 2016
  • Hoyt Richards

    This is a festival you don't want to miss. First of all, you'll want to see the town of New Hope. But more importantly, they have created an outstanding reputation for putting together a fantastic program of very high quality films. It's a true honor just to be selected. Doug and Thom really cater to and encourage filmmakers. I really met some great folks. I would love to return to this festival. Thanks guys for a wonderful experience.

    August 2016
  • Jaime Longhi

    This still growing festival is the real deal. from the moment I submitted my documentary the organizers kept in touch with me ....encouraged me.
    They had over 500 submissions, and screened close to a hundred; producing a good-looking and well distributed pamphlet. The quality of the films shown were high and there were informal gatherings which made it easy to meet other filmmakers. I came out of the experience richer for it. My thanks to Doug and Tom and best wishes for the next year's festival.

    August 2016