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 19 years 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.

A small selection of films that have previously screened at OFF include:
If Anything Happens I Love You (directed by Will McCormac & Michael Govier) – Oscar winning animated short film that world premiered at OFF’20
Collective (directed by Alexander Nanau) – 2021 Oscar nominated film that screened at OFF’20
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 2025, typically software and other filmmaking equipment from our sponsors as well as cash prizes for all winners. OFF'24 prizes over $20k.

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 viewable 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: 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 (including credits).
-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 August 1, 2023.
-Filmmakers will be notified of festival acceptance by early February 2025.
-Refunded entry fees will not be given to films that aren’t selected for screening.

-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 11, 2025 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.

Overall Rating
  • Hudson Phillips

    Wow wow wow what an amazing weekend! I watched so many amazing movies and made so many amazing friends. Omaha Film Fest is the gold standard for how a festival should treat their filmmakers. They take such a human-first approach that is so rare. They even took the time with each filmmaker to ask how they can do things better in the future. All thanks to the incomparable Marc, Liz, and their team of graceful volunteers, we felt like kings and queens. Omaha will be at the top of our list for future films and the first one I recommend to other filmmakers.

    May 2024
  • This is definitely a wonderful festival to be part of. I can´t thank enough the programming team behind it for giving me the opportunity to bring this story to Nebraska. I strongly recommend it!

    March 2024
  • Cecilia DeJesus

    I had only the best experience with the Omaha Film Festival! The organizers at OFF were friendly, quick to respond, and made the entire process of screening at their festival very smooth and stress-free. My animated short "Back to Normal" had the honor to be part of OFF 2024 and receive the juried award of Best Animation. We are so grateful to OFF for having us and making us feel so welcome.

    If you've screened at other festivals, you know it can sometimes be a hassle creating a DCP or getting your materials to the organizers, but this is not the case for OFF. They really did a wonderful job of organizing. Thanks again, OFF!! I would highly recommend submitting to this festival.

    March 2024
  • I can't say enough about the Omaha Film Festival. This is a top-tier, high-quality, well-organized festival that caters to filmmakers and film enthusiasts alike. It's a must-attend festival with nearly 100 shorts and features spanning all genres. Many of the filmmakers were in attendance, giving me the opportunity to ask questions about their filmmaking process or simply make new connections with filmmakers.

    Marc Longbrake and his team of volunteers work enthusiastically, making the festival experience most memorable.

    I look forward to next year's festival and the years to come.

    March 2024
  • Omaha FF is one of the smoothest festivals to work with. Their communication is clear, concise, and snappy -- something that can't be said for all film festivals. On top of that, their programming is top notch!

    March 2024