One of MovieMaker Magazine’s 2019 & 2020 “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.”

The Omaha Film Festival celebrates the artistic, educational, and historical importance of motion pictures. It gives independent film artists a platform for sharing their work and creating a dialogue with the community. It promotes the discussion and study of filmmaking.

Over the last 15 years, the OFF has made great strides toward becoming one of the most accomplished teaching festivals in the Central United States, offering opportunities for filmmakers, students, and those who value the artistry of film to learn more about the craft of filmmaking through panels, lectures, and workshops taught by seasoned professionals at our annual OFF Academy.

The Omaha Film Festival includes a film competition and a screenplay competition. Time is provided after each film screening for filmmakers to participate in a Q&A session. All in-competition films are eligible for an Audience Choice Award. All screenplay finalists are eligible to participate in our annual Writers Theatre where local actors perform staged readings of their scripts.

Our intent is to have a live screening event at the Sixteenth Annual Omaha Film Festival and we will make every effort to do so. In the event that theatrical screenings and large public events are still not possible due to COVID-19 limitations, the possibility of moving toward an online streaming event will be considered giving all accepted films the opportunity to participate. Entry fees are nonrefundable.

A small selection of films that have previously screened at OFF include:
Military Wives (directed by Peter Cattaneo, starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Sharon Horgan, Emma Lowndes)
The Short History of the Long Road (directed by Ani Simon-Kennedy, starring Maggie Siff, Danny Trejo, Sabrina Carpenter, Steven Ogg)
Resistance (directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, starring Ed Harris, Jesse Eisenberg, Edgar Ramírez, Clémence Poésy)
Dream Horse (directed by Euros Lyn, starring Toni Collette, Damian Lewis, Joanna Page)
Hotel Mumbai (directed by Anthony Mara, starring Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi)
The Tomorrow Man (directed by Noble Jones, starring John Lithgow, Blythe Danner)
Borg vs. McEnroe (directed by Janus Metz, starring Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård)
Beirut (directed by Brad Anderson, starring Rosamund Pike, Jon Hamm)
The Lost City of Z (directed by James Gray, starring Tom Holland, Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller)
Personal Shopper (directed by, Olivier Assayas, starring Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz)
The Last Word (directed by Mark Pellington, starring Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried, Anne Heche)
The Invitation (directed by Karyn Kusama, starring Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman)
The Lobster (directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jacqueline Abrahams, John C. Reilly)

TBD for 2021, typically software and other filmmaking equipment from our sponsors. Last year over $30,000 in prizes were given to winning filmmakers and screenwriters.

Jury Prizes:
Best Narrative Feature Film
Best Documentary Film
Best Short Film
Best Animated Short Film
Best Nebraska Short Film
Best Feature Length Screenplay
Best Teleplay
Best Short Screenplay
Best Nebraska Screenplay

Audience Choice Prizes:
Best Narrative Feature Film
Best Documentary Film
Best Short Film

-To be eligible the film cannot have a public screening in Nebraska prior to the film festival (with the exception of collegiate screenings and touring Academy screenings).
-Your film cannot be view-able in its entirety online on sites like YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook before the festival screening to be accepted into OFF. Trailers or clips from the film are acceptable.
-Nebraska Short Films: To be eligible for this category you must be a resident of Nebraska or the film has to have been shot primarily in Nebraska. Please include your Nebraska connection in your cover letter.
-Acceptable formats for submission: DVD or password protected online screener.
-All films that are not in English must have English language subtitles.
-Each entry must be a separate submission which includes form and payment for each submission.
-Entry Fees must be payable to "Omaha Film Festival" by check or money order. Fees from outside the US must be payable in US funds. No cash is allowed.
-Only submissions with completed entry forms and entry fee will be accepted.
-All Short Films must be no longer than 25 minutes in length.
-Enclosed with an entry for the Student Short fee must be a copy of a current student ID.
-Releases for music and talent must be obtained by the filmmaker. The Omaha Film Festival is not liable for copyright infringement or unauthorized use.
-If your film is accepted the screening format will be DCP. Exhibition DCP's must be sent to the Omaha Film Festival prepaid, and return requests must include prepaid packaging.
-If your film has been selected to be screened at the festival we will request you send a press kit to include: stills, posters, postcards, a digital file of the trailer, and other publicity materials to maximize exposure for your film. These materials will not be returned.
-The Omaha Film Festival does not assume any liability for damage to films, videos, or publicity materials.
-Film must have been completed after May 1, 2019.
-Filmmakers will be notified of festival acceptance by early February 2021.

-Contact info must be included on title page.
-Screenplay submissions must not have been produced or optioned.
-Screenplays that are currently optioned or have negotiations and/or are sold before March 2, 2021 are not eligible for competition.
-Applicants must notify OFF of any changes in status following submission.
-Scripts that have reached the semifinalist level or above in previous years within the OFF Screenplay Competition are not eligible for resubmission.
-Teleplay submissions are acceptable for new/original works as well as spec scripts for programs currently airing during this year’s call for entries period.
-Short screenplay length is fewer than 30 pages.
-Feature screenplay length is between 31 and 130 pages.

We are participating in the Seed & Spark 2020 Film Festival Survival Pledge in support of the independent film community affected by the COVID-19 outbreak by pledging to:

ONLINE ELIGIBILITY: Temporarily revise policies prohibiting screening of films that were once available online to now make any films that screen online in an official ticketed festival capacity screening and competition-eligible.

PREMIERE STATUS: Uphold the intended film premiere status for a festival, in the event that festival moves their program online.

GEOBLOCKING WAIVER: If a film screens online for a preceding, non-geographically competing festival in an official ticketed festival capacity (when granular geoblocking technology, smaller than at the country level, is unavailable), temporarily waive policies requiring geographically-based premiere.

PRODUCTION TIMELINE: When accepting submissions for the 2020-2021 festival cycle, temporarily waive policies limiting screening and competition eligibility of films produced within a specific timeframe to include films that were eligible in the previous festival cycle.

COMMITMENT TIMELINE: Uphold these commitments for the duration of 2020. For festivals occurring in 2021, the Production Timeline clause will stand up to the date of your festival in order to protect 2020 films.

DISTRIBUTOR CLAUSE: A distributor can further strengthen this pledge by committing to recognize that by screening online in a fixed-term, pay-wall enforced, official festival capacity (that is geoblocked to a particular area), a film is not earning revenue or being sold to consumers in a traditional VOD market and, therefore, remains viable for future sales opportunities.

Overall Rating
  • Loved the experience. Very grateful for the opportunity. All the best.

    May 2020
  • Mindy Bledsoe

    This festival cares about indie films and the filmmakers. They are there to championed you and your film. I highly recommend. Good Networking too.

    April 2020
  • Alec Mouhibian

    Wonderful, heartfelt festival with a deeply engaged audience and a sophisticated eye for special films. Had a great time. Jeremy and his team are very conscientious of how to do the most for the films and filmmakers they invite. The festival's value to the community is also plainly visible. Expect this festival to keep growing.

    April 2020
  • This is a great festival run by a wonderful team dedicated to making the filmmaker and audience experience the best it can be. Excellent communication with filmmakers, Midwest hospitality, and wonderful venues. The organizers are always looking out for what can be done even better - will definitely be back!

    March 2020
  • Evan Falbaum

    Our first time in Omaha. Had a great screening, excellent projection, enthusiastic audience. It's a well-oiled machine that ran very smoothly. Wish we could have stayed for the whole festival. Enjoyed participating in the OFF Academy and talking with local students about filmmaking!

    March 2020