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

The New Hope Film Festival is sponsored by the Greater New Hope Chamber of Commerce. The 12th Annual New Hope Film Festival will take place from July 23-August 1, 2021.

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.

Acrylic trophies are presented at the final awards ceremony gala. Admission to this catered event is free for two (2) representatives of each film and script.

The Festival has called attention to its top award winners and nominees via Variety print and/or digital ads throughout the Festival's history. The Festival plans to continue its Variety ad campaign indefinitely, but at its sole discretion and it reserves the right to delay, modify or cancel any ad campaign, including the annual awards announcement, without prior notice.


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 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 2020 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, unprotected online streaming until after the Festival's screening date.

If a Film is accepted by the Festival, a 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; 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.

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.

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 or script.

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 but standard definition DVD is an acceptable alternative. Backup discs are highly recommended, especially for standard definition DVDs. Subject to prior notification sent to the Festival, filmmakers may also send a BDMV, .mov or .mp4 data file via storage device or electronic file transfer.

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.

The Festival reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to postpone 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 and/or the show is rescheduled. Ticket refunds are offered only if the Festival does not offer an alternate screening date. 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 is published, a highly unlikely set of circumstances.

The Festival reserves the right to change, adjust or cancel awards announcement ad campaigns without prior notice. 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 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.

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.

Overall Rating
  • Our USA - China co-produced short documentary, AGAINST THE WALL, was chosen for the 10th annual New Hope Film Festival (NHFF) in the eclectic, bohemian town of New Hope, PA. Surrounded by history (you can walk across the bridge into New Jersey and take a short driving tour from New Hope along the Delaware River to where George Washington made his famous crossing many Christmases ago) and the arts, the NHFF sits right in the middle of it all.

    The span of films chosen is diverse and believe it or not, the co-founder, Doug Whipple, actually answers every email (at least everyone I've sent him) he receives in lightening time. That, in and of itself, already gives you an idea of what the NHFF will be like if your film is fortunate to be selected.

    The festival is in a building that is a character in itself, the theater being upstairs from an art gallery. It's also within walking distance of many hotels, restaurants and shops. For the festival, the New Hope Arts Center IS the center of activity where filmmakers gather to talk shop, see each other's films and gather at the end for the awards ceremony, which was filled with an enthusiastic crowd.

    At this event, held on Sunday, July 28th, our film walked away with the New Hope award for Most Inspirational Film, and that seemed to be fitting, given that the producing team heard from many audience members about their hopes and dreams and being inspired to go after them regardless of what others may say or think.

    New Hope and the Festival is such a fun atmosphere that we look forward to returning in the near future with other films.

    Thank you New Hope, NHFF, and everyone else we met for hosting us during our time there. You made us feel welcomed.

    August 2019
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    Response from festival:

    It was an honor to have you with us this year Kevin, not only because your film is so inspiring and your story is amazing, but also because you were a pleasure to have in our community. We wish you continued momentum and success.

  • P. Patrick Hogan

    What a great festival. Especially their communication. A great selection of films and a friendly staff that loves films. Filmmakers are treated very well and good audiences that really appreciate independent cinema. And the town of New Hope is a beautiful little town that makes a great location for a film festival. Highly recommend.

    August 2019
  • Unfortunately we couldn't make it to the festival but all contacts with the team have been easy and very pleasing. Thank you again for screening our movie and for all the organisation.

    August 2019
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    Response from festival:

    You've very welcome! The audience had great things to say about your film--you had a very successful screening.

  • J Wayne Patterson Jr

    Wonderfully run festival and incredibly supportive, interested and accommodating festival leadership. We saw some great films- outstanding curated collection.

    August 2019
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    Response from festival:

    We're so glad you had an outstanding experience!

  • The Tarab team had an amazing time at the New Hope Film Festival! The entire festival team, including founders Doug, Danny, and Thom, was super helpful, organized, and all communication was lightning fast! Our film looked amazing and the sound quality was stellar. They really put the filmmaker first! PLUS the charming, historical town of New Hope has much to offer. Definitely worth submitting. Thanks NHFF!

    August 2019
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    Response from festival:

    We're thrilled that you had such a wonderful time with us! We're also delighted by your feedback about our equipment, which has been a significant area of focus for us over the past few years. Congratulations on your award and best wishes for your continued success!