OUTSOUTH Queer Film Festival, formerly The North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (NCGLFF), has consistently been ranked among the largest Queer film festivals in the United States, attracting thousands of patrons yearly.

In 2021, Moviemaker Magazine named OUTSOUTH QUEER FILM FESTIVAL as one of "20 Fantastic LGBTQ+ Film Festivals Around the Globe."

Since its beginning in 1995, the Festival has featured a diverse array of shorts, documentaries and feature films. The Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau named OUTSOUTH as a Signature Event for Durham, the highest honor bestowed on a cultural event or attraction by the organization. The Carolina Theatre of Durham, NC, curates and produces the festival.

OUTSOUTH celebrates a worldwide glimpse of today’s queer, gay, lesbian and transgender life, with a goal of helping to bring the community together and featuring entertaining and sophisticated films and filmmaking.

OUTSOUTH Queer Film Festival seeks submissions in many categories. Please extensively review the categories BEFORE submitting your film. We are especially seeking submissions that include Black, Asian or Latinx characters and themes. We include animated short films.

In 2021, OUTSOUTH has been confirmed to be an all-virtual festival.


Best Narrative Feature Film
Best Foreign Language Narrative Feature Film
Best Narrative Short Film
Best Foreign Language Narrative Short Film
Best Long-Form Narrative Short Film
Best Animated Short Film
Best Documentary Short Film
Best Documentary Feature Film

Note: If OUTSOUTH Queer Film Festival deems there are not enough worthy entries in any given category, the festival reserves the right to not present an award for that category.

The Deadline to submit SHORTS in ALL categories is May 14th.

OUTSOUTH does NOT pay rental or screening fees for films.

All films in the festival screen on digital format via the Eventive Platform. The maximum file size permitted by the platform is 10GB. 1080p resolution recommended. .mov, .mp4 accepted.

All films on the Eventive platform will have digital rights management for your protection. The festival will be geoblocked to the following states in the US: North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, DC, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, and Florida. Anyone not in these states will be unable to view your film.

OUTSOUTH is seeking new narrative and documentary feature films that have NOT yet been released (or planned to be released) on Netflix, DVD/Blu-ray, or other pay services prior to August 20th, the first day after the end of festival. (If your feature film is ONLY available for purchase on your website but NOT on any other service such as Amazon, etc., it is indeed eligible.)

Short films that are available on YouTube, Vimeo or other media services are indeed eligible, although stronger consideration will be given to those shorts which are not.

OUTSOUTH Queer Film Festival does NOT accept music videos or similar.

OUTSOUTH Queer Film Festival does NOT pay for artist travel such as per diems, airfare, train, hotel, etc. We also do not coordinate travel arrangements with International Cultural Agencies. If your film is accepted, all transportation and lodging is 100% the responsibility of the artist, including all travel arrangements.

Feel Free to contact Committee members about your submission questions.
We encourage submissions of films with or without distribution.

Overall Rating
  • Michael Penny

    I really can't say enough about how beautiful the experience was of having my film JUNK screened at this stellar festival...and at its splendid venue. This is a first rate festival and if you are lucky enough to have your film selected...attend! Eager intelligent audiences...great vibe...and in the heart of a wonderful city.

    January 2020
  • This festival was such a blast! I met so, so many amazing people and left feeling so wildly inspired. Can't wait to come back with my next project!!

    August 2019
    Response from festival:

    Glad your experience was positive. We are always grateful when filmmakers share their work and can represent the film! Make more films and tell your friends about us.

  • Mat Hayes

    Although I wasn't able to be there in person, I kept tabs through friends of how great it was going. Jim was VERY communicative throughout the entire process. GREAT venue as well! Thank you NCGLFF!

    August 2019
    Response from festival:

    Glad you made the film and thought to submit it to us. We really do wish the film the best as it makes its way through the festival circuit.

  • Best fest I’ve been to so far - and I’ve been to about 10 in some capacity. This festival (now OUT SOUTH) and its team of volunteers made an incredible impression on me and really helped create an environment of openness between filmmakers, from day one. I met more filmmakers from New York in Durham than I have in a year in New York! Between the beautiful screening locations (with 3 concurrent programs running at most times - a huge feat) and the kind and encouraging hospitality team, you must submit to this festival. My short film screened mid-afternoon on a Saturday in the medium-sized (200 seater) auditorium. The engaged audience was at 65% capacity, which, as 1/3 of the programs to enjoy was amazing. Basically, if you’re a filmmaker and want to truly feel a part of a community that cares about your work, submit to this festival and attend! It’s worth it. I walked away with a ton of networking contacts and high esteem. Thanks, Jim, Ken, Chuck, Bill, and everyone else who so kindly introduced themselves to me over the weekend! Highly recommended.

    August 2019
  • Deborah Craig

    Thanks so much for screening my short documentary "A Great Ride." Unfortunately I couldn't attend (hopefully next time!), but I really appreciated all the support and easy communication. Keep up your great work!

    August 2019