The Proteus Film Festival is part of the Zeiders American Dream Theater's annual Proteus Festival, Virginia Beach's premier creative arts festival. The 2020 Festival runs from September 28th through October 10th. All screenings are held in the The Z's 300-seat Main Stage theater. The year's festival will likely be limited to around 100 seats due to public health concerns. This year's festival will also be limited to films under 45 minutes in length.

The Zeiders American Dream Theater—The Z—is dedicated to presenting new works and emerging artists, and providing unique artistic experiences. Narrative, documentary, and episodic works that fit any of these general criteria are highly encouraged!

All selections receive an "Official Selection" laurel and certificate.

The festival offers both a juried "Winner" award and an "Audience Favorite" award in each category.

Each category's juried winner will receive a $450 cash award.
Each category's audience favorite will receive a $250 cash award.
All entries in any category are eligible to win both of these awards in their category.

Additionally, at least one entry in each category will receive an "Honorable Mention" along with a $150 cash award. An entry winning either the "Winner" or "Audience Favorite" award is ineligible to also receive an "Honorable Mention" award.

By submitting your film, you agree that Zeiders American Dream Theater (The Z) can use parts of your film (including teaser/trailer/film poster) for promotional purposes.

To submit a film you must have created the work yourself OR own the rights/have permission of the content owner to submit the film to us.

Proteus film Festival will review films in their entirety. Films will be watched and reviewed by members of the Selection Committee, comprised of The Z's artistic staff, professional filmmakers, and enthusiasts in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia.

1. Entries in foreign languages must come with English subtitles.

2. All entries must have been completed after 2017.

3. Multiple entries are allowed. Entry fees must be paid for each entry.

4. The Selection Committee makes final choices for exhibition. Submission does not guarantee selection. All Selection Committee decisions are final.

5. Filmmakers will be notified by 18 September of their entry's decision.

6. Submissions are non-refundable, regardless of the Selection Committee's decision.

7. Entrants may not have a personal relationship to any member of The Z’s staff, board, or judges. A personal relationship is broadly defined for the purposes of this contest as any family, blood, or romantic and/or intimate relationship.

8. The Z is unable to support special visas in support of any exhibitions arising from this contest.

9. The Z’s artistic staff may reject any submission deemed derogatory toward any class based on gender, race, color, religion, age, nationality, disability or any other legally protected characteristic. Any rejection on such grounds will be based on the perceived artistic merit of the entry in accordance with The Z’s mission and values. Any Entrant submitting such material may be banned from future contests at The Z.