The 3rd Annual Off the Reel Film Festival (OTRFF) is set for July 20, 2024, in Lancaster, PA!

OTRFF is an International Shorts Festival. We're a movement led by a passionate team of young, diverse creators striving to make a lasting impact on Pennsylvania's cultural landscape and beyond. Being filmmakers ourselves, our stage is set for storytellers from every corner of the world.

This Year's Theme is CHANGE THE GAME. Change the Game is an invitation to break boundaries, embrace diversity, and celebrate the transformative power of storytelling. Inspired by classics like The Sandlot and A League of Their Own, we’re rallying filmmakers and audiences to join us in a celebration of creativity, community and cinema.

Beyond exhibition, we push for education and community building. This year, we're excited to introduce a filmmaker workshop for young artists ages 13-18. In partnership with the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design (PCAD), a top-rated non-profit art college, we will provide an instructional class to inspire the next generation of filmmakers.

PCAD is rated among the top 5% of colleges for art, with a campus surrounded by more than 125 arts and culture organizations. It also ranks in the top 20 design schools according to This workshop reflects our ongoing mission to improve workforce development in the film industry and underscores our belief that festivals should not only entertain, but also empower and educate.

In addition, we host a panel Q&A with hand selected industry-leading professionals that equip attendees with practical knowledge and tangible resources.

It's time to get those projects off your reel and into the material world. Let's make a difference, one short film at a time.

Audience Voting for Each Film (6) Category including:
• Best Short Film
• Best Documentary
• Best Animation
• Audience Favorite (live voting)

Each Winner will awarded a certificate and a specially curated PRIZE package featuring fantastic items from our festival sponsors. These prize packages will be sent via the address provided on their submission form.

In addition, winners will receive custom social media assets featuring festival laurels to help them celebrate and share their success.

OTRFF2023 sponsor prize packages included: photo film cameras, film books, customized jewelry, festival shirts, and more.

2024 OTRFF Submission Guidelines:

𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐦.


① Films are limited to 20 minutes or less.

② Multiple submissions are allowed. However, each submission must be accompanied by the USD entry fee, determined by Festival Organizers.

③ Films must be completed on or after JANUARY 1, 2022. A rough cut may be considered, provided that if selected, a final cut of the film is made available a week before scheduled programming.

④ Foreign language films must be subtitled and/or captioned in English.

⑤ Original or royalty free music/ scores are required; short films featuring copyrighted music will be disqualified.

⑥ A completed entry form must accompany films. All forms, fees, and films must be received by the submission deadline. Only completed entries will be processed.

⑦ Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the festival and to use all music, images, and content within the entry.

⑧ Entrant permits usage of video clips and production stills (photos) from the film submission for promotional use online, on television and radio, in print, and at events.


1 – All Submissions will be through FilmFreeway.


1 – All entrants will be notified by email or FilmFreeway when their film has been received.

2 – For publication purposes, entries selected will be required to supply three high-resolution stills from the film and at least one high-resolution photograph of the film’s director. Publicity and press materials will not be returned and become the property of the film festival. Off The Reel Film Festival has permission to use excerpts from any accepted film for promotional purposes.

3 – If accepted, entrants will be notified by email on or before May 24, 2023. Within 24-48 hours of notification, entrants will need to provide relevant film information and a downloadable .mov or mp4 via Dropbox, Google Drive, FilmFreeway, or Vimeo to screen.

4 – If a film is not accepted, the festival does not offer technical or critical feedback.


1 – The submission Fee for the Early Bird deadline is $5 (USD) per entry.

2 – The submission Fee for the Regular Deadline is $10 (USD) per entry.

2 – The submission Fee for the Late Deadline is $15 (USD) per entry.

3 – All funds go to festival and production expenses.


1 – Any physical submissions of materials will not be returned.


1 – Off The Reel Film Festival reserves the right and has the discretion to change the submission category for an entry.

2 – The Festival strives to recognize independent creatives and their achievements within this field. There will be no jury based selection process for this event, however there will be an audience favorite selected film at the end of the screenings.


1– Screening Date: Saturday, July 20, 2024

2 – Film Programming Start & Run Times: TBD and subject to change.

3 – Location: Zoetropolis Cinema Stillhouse

4 – Price: $15

5 – Parking: TBD


1 – If you're interested in sponsoring, feel free to send us an email. All sponsors will be verbally thanked prior to screenings and placed in the festival program, as well as on festival posters, postcards, websites, video promos, and social media platforms.


Overall Rating
  • Alex Djordjevic

    Great festival! I really enjoyed the films selected and the panel discussion.

    July 2023
  • Maya Rosenthal

    A super nice and helpful team of people who clearly care a lot about their filmmakers. I am definitely submitting and attending again if given the chance.

    July 2023
  • I-Bing Fu

    Thank you so much for selecting our screen to film at this year’s event! The communication and energy used by the staff in all areas was fabulous and it was very exciting to see such excitement building up to the festival. We are thrilled to have be chosen to be among the films screened this year and would definitely submit to this festival again for our next project. Thanks!!

    June 2023
  • Incredible experience. The team of Off the Reel really cares about their filmmakers. A truly one-of-a-kind festival ! ✨

    June 2023
  • Seth Gerlach

    Great festival - Thank you for having us! It was a great time. See you next year

    June 2023