New Hope Film Festival is especially interested in discovering and nurturing talented but underappreciated filmmakers from around the globe.

The 15th Edition New Hope Film Festival will take place from August 15-24, 2025. A hybrid festival with a combination of physical and virtual events, the New Hope Film Festival offers currently rare opportunities for in-person networking and audience interaction. The Festival owns and uses first class audio-video components for screenings, with 4K laser projection, reference-level surround sound processing and other high quality, carefully-selected components. If offered, virtual screenings employ state-of-the-art security, including DRM Encryption, a 7-day limitation for viewing and optional geo-blocking. Virtual screenings do not include live streaming events.

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, entrepreneur and long-time resident of the New Hope area. A former child actor who once had the lead role in The Big Yellow Fellow, one of the highest grossing educational films in American history, Whipple formed the 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 all-inclusive approach brings significant prestige, variety and unpredictability to the festival's annual lineup.

The organization's strong publicity and marketing program included an annual awards announcement in Variety until the dailies went out of print, as well as press coverage in mainstream outlets such as NBC, ABC, The Huffington Post, The Times of India and more. Mainstream and alternative news media press continues to be an area of focus, making this cutting-edge and growing festival a powerful bridge between indie obscurity and wider recognition.

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.

Awards are announced during the awards ceremony. Award certificates are mailed to filmmakers when filmmakers claim them by providing a current mailing address. Filmmakers receive two (2) passes per Official Selection for entry to physical, in-person screening events.


By submitting a project ("Film"), the submitter (“Filmmaker”) hereby irrevocably offers to New Hope Film Festival (“Festival”) the right to screen the Film at the New Hope Film 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 20 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 2025 New Hope Film Festival, in Festival’s sole discretion. Filmmaker irrevocably grants Festival the right to use, for promotional purposes, a trailer from the Film if the Film is selected for screening at the Festival. Films accepted should not be offered for free online streaming until after the Festival's screening date.

If a Film is accepted by the Festival, an exhibition copy of the film 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. By submitting a film, the Filmmaker agrees to and abides by the Festival's Rules & Terms as communicated to the submitter by 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 the Festival’s sole discretion. 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; examples of good cause as used herein would include unprofessional or derogatory 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.

The Festival reserves the right to change, delay or cancel the annual awards announcement ad campaign at its sole discretion and without prior notice. Typically, an incomplete list of award winners and nominees is included in post-Festival press releases, with references to the official blog for the full list.

The 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 unless revoked by the Festival for cause. Festival will pay Filmmaker no additional compensation, for example screening fees or travel expense reimbursement, nor be liable to Filmmaker under any circumstances.

The Festival shall not be responsible for cancellation, postponement, change of format (e.g., an online-only event), or any other failure in performance resulting from causes beyond its reasonable control, including, but not limited to: acts of God, strikes or other labor disturbances, equipment failures, power outages, delays in transportation, inability to obtain resources needed to produce an event, war, acts of terrorism or other violence, riots, epidemics, floods, fires, unusually severe weather conditions, accidents, life-threatening illnesses, or other contingencies the non-occurrence of which was a basic assumption on which the Filmmaker submitted a film.

Filmmakers who submit via Secure Online Screener should be prepared to send the Festival a copy of their film if it is accepted. Blu-ray disc is the Festival's exhibition format due to its combination of copyright protection technology, platform stability, reliability and audio-video quality. Backup discs are recommended but not required. The Festival also accepts .mp4 or .mov files via storage device or electronic file transfers and/or at its sole discretion .mp4 or .mov uploads to our streaming platform.

The Festival provides two (2) exhibition copy deadlines: 1) a work-in-progress version comparable to the submitted work is acceptable for the first deadline, which reserves the film's place in the Festival and 2) an optional final cut version is accepted by a deadline closer to the Festival’s opening night. If the Film is edited between the date of submission and the date of the screening, the Festival reserves the right at its sole discretion to choose which version of the film to screen or, in extremely rare cases, the Festival may rescind its invitation due to material changes to the submitted version.

Each filmmaker is responsible for providing a working copy of any accepted film by the deadlines provided. Failure to do so means the Festival cannot include the film in its lineup, so the film’s status changes to “Not Accepted.” Films are considered “Accepted” only after a copy of the film has been received and successfully tested. Discs damaged during shipping, file shares that fail to download or that encounter frame rate or other technical problems during the Festival's disc burning process, and discs that are lost in the mail all are examples of films that can miss the deadline. For these and other reasons, the Festival advises filmmakers to burn and test their own Blu-ray discs, securely package them inside boxes and/or inside secure disc cases, then ship them well before the deadline via courier with a tracking number.

The Festival does not offer pre-selected invitations to become an Official Selection and/or any other form of preferential treatment, including fee waivers, that Festival organizers consider out of step with our mission of giving all filmmakers equal treatment during the judging process. The sole exception to the no-waiver policy is a one (1) time only re-submission waiver for films that were accepted but removed from the Festival after the filmmaker(s) missed the exhibition copy deadline. The Festival's organizers do not respond to pitches for film projects. All marketing and press kits should be presented via the film project's FilmFreeway listing.

Filmmakers and/or submitters should be a minimum of 16 years of age by the date of the Festival's opening night.

If due to a pandemic or any other reason the Festival cannot proceed as initially planned in a physical venue, the Festival's current policy is to move the entire event online instead of postpone, reschedule or cancel. Filmmakers submitting films are accepting these terms in keeping with the realities and uncertainties that currently affect live events. The Festival nevertheless reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to postpone, cancel or take online any event due to severe weather, power outage or any other circumstance beyond the Festival's control. In such rare circumstances, tickets to alternate events are offered if possible. Ticket refunds are offered only if the Festival does not offer an alternate screening. Submission fees are non-refundable for any films not accepted. Submission fees are also non-refundable for accepted films unless the entire festival is cancelled and no Program Guide and other online forms of film announcements are published, a highly unlikely set of circumstances.

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

Projects produced and/or directed by Festival organizers, sponsors and members are ineligible for screening as Official Selections and special events. Films that include Festival organizers, sponsors and members as hired actors are subject to the same restrictive policy. Film projects that have been previously submitted are eligible for re-submission, but filmmakers are advised that the rate of acceptance is significantly lower than the rate for first-time submissions.

Overall Rating
  • Beautifully curated festival in a great venue and town. Thanks to Doug, Thom and all the folks who made it happen.

    May 2024
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your kind words. We were delighted and honored to have your meaningful film in our lineup.

  • It was such a joy to have been a part of this festival! Wonderful and helpful communication from day one, and the films in our film block were excellent - moving, inspiring and impactful. It was a privilege to have screened alongside them, and the whole festival is a tribute to filmmakers and the love of filmmaking. I cannot recommend this festival enough!

    May 2024
    Nhff logofinal
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for attending! We were delighted to have you and your meaningful story in our festival. It was an impactful film block. The audience left glowing comments on their ballots. Best wishes for your continued success!

  • A really nice festival with a block of excellent films. There was an excellent turnout at the screening. Very happy to have been part of the festival!

    April 2024
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you for being an energetic part of a great opening weekend! Your film block and Q&A were fun for everyone involved.

  • I was unable to attend this amazing festival however I cannot say enough about their great communication and organization. It was a delight for BY MY SIDE to be featured in the New Hope blog. Thank you New Hope Film Festival team!

    April 2024
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    Response from festival:

    You are very welcome and we appreciate your glowing words about our festival! We are so glad you found delight and value in our blog. Best wishes for your continued success with the film and your team's deeply worthwhile cause!

  • Julann Warren

    Amazing festival. Highly recommend. Doug and team run a great festival in a beautiful town along the Delaware.

    April 2024
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your review and warm words about our town. Best wishes for your continued success!