Bold. Fresh. Exciting.

Open Gate International Film Festival (OGIFF) is devoted to exhibiting the best of both short films and feature films from across New England and around the globe. We believe in the concept of assisting and nurturing the "up and coming filmmakers" who proffer the essence of bold and diverse filmmaking. Our goal is to display the multitude of artfully crafted works in front of a live audience with the sole passion for filmmaking in the heart of Boston.

We strive for our multiple categories to bring together different experiences, cultures, and talents to emphasize the shared passion for film. Included with being an Official Selection at the Open Gate International Film Festival are in-depth panels with both locally and internationally recognized filmmakers, actors, and crew members from across the New England area. Additionally, we will be holding filmmaker Q&As and an award show with the intention of supporting the best of up-and-coming filmmakers from around the globe.

Our festival will run from November 5-7th, 2021, but due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, our capacity will be reduced until further notice.


We are currently accepting both short and feature film scripts for our first annual Open Gate Screenwriting Competition. The Open Gate Screenwriting Competition empowers both creative and visionary writers with a plethora of opportunities to link with professional filmmakers, writers, actors, and producers who share a common passion for film.

The best of both categories (Best Short Script & Best Feature Script) will be announced at our LIVE awards show during the festival. The winning scripts (if filmed) are guaranteed to screen at the 2022 Open Gate Film Festival (Dates TBA).

Best Picture
Best Drama
Best Comedy
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Student Film
Best Animation
Best Music Video
Best Ensemble
Rising Star (Student Film Award) - Presented by Final Draft

Best Screenplay (Short) - Presented by Final Draft
Best Screenplay (Feature) - Presented by Final Draft

*Although these are set awards, additional category awards will be added depending on submissions.

We reserve the right to alter/delete/amend these rules as we see necessary and to allow exceptions when & where we deem it appropriate, without penalty to any qualifying work previously submitted.

We reserve the right to add or remove judging categories at no penalty to qualifying works previously submitted.

We reserve the right to move selections from one category to another as we see fit.

Please don't ask for fee waivers.

DUE TO COVID19 RESTRICTIONS seating may be limited. We are only able to offer a complimentary pass to a filmmaker whose work we have selected for screening, and we're going to have to ask filmmakers to RSVP any sessions they would like to attend.

LOOK FOR UPDATES! These things are changing all the time.

All films will be judged in regards to the genre they were submitted.

Prize amounts reflect total value and may or may not include cash, gifts or trophies.

Online screeners are permitted for submissions.

All works selected for inclusion within the festival should be available as something other than DCP files. Not all theaters are equipped to play DCP files, especially the independent venues, so there's a strong possibility that we will never be able to screen them. If you're unsure on what format you should make your film available on, please ask.

Once selections are announced filmmakers must make a screening copy available to the festival within two weeks or it will be re classified as an un-screened selection or disqualified.

NOTE: Online content is particularly problematic if you're not sending us a file. Youtube sometimes makes it difficult to download. (Dropbox, Google Drive or good ol' fashioned snail mailing a USB drive works great)

Content that glorifies or advocate hate or violence will not be permitted. This includes bigotry of all kinds such as racism, homophobia and religious intolerance.

All subjects/genres are welcome except pornography, in which we including NC-17. We do not accept pornography!

We highly recommend that films in something other than the English language be dubbed or be available with subtitles. Subtitles preferred.

BEFORE SUBMITTING, if there is any question about your works qualifications or if you need an exception to any rule (film length, for example), contact us FIRST, before you submit! Otherwise, we will not refund the submission fees for unqualified entries. So, check with us first if there is any doubt. You may be asked to make your work available to us.

Permissible works include features, film narratives, documentaries, animation and internet content and even music videos. Internet content would be any video produced specifically for viewing over the internet.

This would include webisodes, How To videos, Vlogs or short films. Works could be produced at any time. There is no date restriction on works.

Because we accept web content, and to keep things fair, there is no premiere status requirement on any work. It's okay if your work has been publicly displayed.
Anyone is free to submit works for festival screenings without restrictions but, any submission from a member of the festival’s staff will be excluded from consideration for awards. We're more flexible with people who submitted works FIRST, and then were invited to join us as staff.

The number of screenings, days and venues is at the sole discretion of the Festival. Publicized venues are subject to change so check for updates!

Works produced by people under 18 years of age must be submitted by an authorized representative (parent/etc.) 18 years of age or older. Or have permission.
By submitting a film a person is certifying that they have every legal right to the work, that they are either the copyright holder or legally represent the copyright holder of the work and that all content (dialogue, music, etc) is either original to the work or that they have obtained all rights and clearances. The submitter agrees to assume all responsibility for damages resulting from the public display of the work, including but not limited to all legal fees associated with copyright infringement claims or contract disputes.

DO NOT use FedEx, UPS or any carrier other than the postal service to ship entries or other materials to our PO Box. The USPS will not deliver materials from private shipping firms to a Post Office box. DVDs, videos, drives and other materials submitted to the festival become the property of the festival and will not be returned.
Mailed inquires/submissions must include the film representative’s name, the title of the film, any tracking or identification number and all pertinent contact info including physical mailing address. Don't confuse us! The more information you give the less likely we'll be wondering who sent it.

Final selection of films should take place no more than six weeks prior to the festival, assuming you got your entry in before then. If you entered on an extended late deadline then give us another two weeks at least. Once an entry payment has been processed we cannot provide a refund. If a payment is disputed the applicant may be subject to any fees.

AGAIN, if there is any doubt as to whether your work qualifies or if you need an exception, ask FIRST, before you submit! Otherwise, once your entry/payment is processed it will not be refunded. You may have to make your film/video available to us in order to answer your question.

Overall Rating
  • Lawrence DeGala

    Fun gem of a festival. Much appreciation to Festival Coordinator, Screenplay Judges, and Staff for a unique and pleasant experience.

    November 2021
  • John McGuinness

    Great communications! They emailed their entire schedule, which was so convenient for me. And for their awards ceremony on Sunday I just tapped the link they sent out and instantly joined the Zoom event. So convenient. Also I was there on Saturday and, WOW, what a great crowd! It was the single largest audience I have seen in a theater post Covid.

    November 2021
  • Byron Jacomo

    The whole crew were very professional and I will definitely submit another short next year, unless, of course, I hit the big time! lol

    November 2021
  • Marc Powers

    It was a pleasure to have my film, Amaranthine screened at the first annual Open Gate International Film Festival. Overall a great experience and I look forward to attending this festival in the future.

    November 2021
  • Rachel Thomas-Medwid

    Had a wonderful experience with this festival in its first year! The communication was excellent, quality of the films was impressive, the theater a great venue, and was honored to have my film "In the Company of Crows" nominated for Best Picture, Best Drama, and Best Actress. Highly recommend submitting...this festival will be one to watch very soon!

    November 2021