The Outlaw Film Festival challenges creative filmmakers to take the trail less traveled — to explore the lives of the disenfranchised, the broken, and the outcast. When you think of the outlaw, think of the stories that need to be told. The Outlaw Film Festival invites filmmakers to submit completed films that answer the question: What does it mean to be an outlaw? And we’re not just talking about a stand-off in the wild west — tell us stories of any character who goes against the grain. Outlaw films explore the theme of being just outside the boundaries; facing challenges and not just the bad guys. We want the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Outlaw Film Festival accepts short films (35 minutes maximum), music videos & television commercials and takes place each November in historic St. Joseph, Missouri. It is our mission to celebrate film makers from all over the world, while giving our local film makers and residents a place to come together and appreciate the art of making movies. Our Executive Committee is made up of movie critics, film makers, local business owners and educators.

We award trophies in multiple categories.

We accept both narrative and documentary films, under 35 minutes in length. We also have a Music Video category and a Television Commercial category. We have seperate awards for High School filmmakers (and 2017 graduates). We also have a category specifically for local filmmakers (living within a 100 mile radius of St. Joseph, MO)

Overall Rating
  • David Weiss

    This festival continues to get better and better every year. I was honored to be a part of it. Highly recommended.

    February 2018
  • Alec Gutherz

    Although I couldn't be there in person to take part in the festival and accept the award for Best Film, I know that the Outlaw Film Festival is a great festival! Lisa, and the rest of the staff, do a tremendous job communicating with you throughout the process. The care that they showed for my film, and I'm sure all the others, was second to none. I can't thank them enough for this amazing opportunity and the love they showed for the film. Although still young, the Outlaw Film Festival is one to keep an eye on. Thank you and I hope to have the chance to screen there again!

    November 2017
  • Jim Spena

    Had a great time at the Outlaw Film Festival. Lisa did a tremendous job organizing the event, communicated well, and was incredibly thoughtful. My young daughter starred in our film, and Lisa had prepared a special welcome back for her that was full of candy and other fun things that a six year old would find more appealing than the normal bag for filmmakers. The Awards ceremony was lots of fun too!

    November 2017
  • Aaron Landgraf

    My ion, “Richie and the Styles,” filmed at this year’s Outlaw Film Festival, and I am extremely grateful for the energetic, friendly team that organizes the festival. It is not often that a festival makes you feel like a valued participant, but Outlaw’s team provided a great experience, offering the opportunity to participate in a Filmmaker’s Q&A and discounted hotel rates for out-of-town visitors. Lisa was a pleasure to correspond with, and the submission process was very easy. You can really tell that the team truly cares about independent filmmakers and strives to connect them with a large audience. Thank you, Outlaw Film Festival!

    November 2017
  • Malcolm Ellis

    Top marks to Lisa and her team for making this festival such an enjoyable experience. Great films, friendly people and a fun town to visit!

    November 2017