ReadingFilmFEST created by filmmakers for filmmakers!

SUBMISSIONS for the 2024 season OPEN!

IMPORTANT: Our email address has changed for submission questions.

PLEASE READ Rules & Terms CAREFULLY! Failure to do so may lead to rejection of your submission.

Voted by filmmakers as a 100 Top Reviewed Film Festival, ReadingFilmFEST is the small festival with a big attitude! We are dedicated to bringing filmmakers and film lovers together, creating a filmmaker-centric festival.

For filmmakers ready to make the trip to Reading, we offer:
- complimentary lodging for filmmakers whose films have been accepted
- educational/discussion panels for filmmakers
- wonderful audiences
- live Q&A with audiences

ReadingFilmFEST is committed to gender parity. We are looking for the best films in all genres by Women Filmmakers. The festival also encourages filmmakers of color and Latino filmmakers to submit their work to help us create a truly diverse program.

The festival is juried by a panel of local film enthusiasts, with winners chosen by film professionals in each genre. Each film is viewed by at least 3 jurors, ensuring a fair process and high-quality selections.

The student competition is open to high school and college/university students. Students must be currently enrolled to submit.

Email your Name, Name of School, School Address, Graduation Year, Name of Film, and a copy of your current student ID to If you do not email a copy of your Student ID, your PROJECT WILL BE IGNORED!

Student films must be under 20 minutes. Genres include: Short, Documentary and Animated. Existing or new projects will be accepted. Student films will be juried by the festival’s regular jury of film lovers and experts. (note – films with graphic violence, sex and language may be disqualified)

ANIMATION. Animated shorts must be under 10 minutes in length and must be partly or fully animated. Techniques could include 2D or 3D animation, stop-motion, hand-painted film, a mix of still or video and animation, animated title sequences, or any other technique. (note – films with graphic violence, sex and language may be disqualified). Student films will be juried by the festival’s regular jury of film lovers, plus professional animators.

- Best Narrative Feature
- Best Documentary
- Best Short Film
- Best Animated Film
- Best Made in Reading Film
- Best Film by Female Filmmaker
- Best Actor
- Best Actress
- Best Use of Music
- Best Student Film

PLEASE read these “rules and terms” carefully. Failure to follow submission “rules and terms” may result in automatic rejection of your project! Reading FilmFEST DOES NOT guarantee fee refund for these automatic rejections.


1. STUDENT (College or High School) and FATF rules below.

2. CORRECT EMAIL ADDRESS: Please make sure your email address is correct. We suggest you regularly check this email account for communications from us. If we request additional information and do not hear from you within a reasonable time, we may reject your submission.

3. COMPLETION DATE: Films must have been completed after January 1, 2023.

4. FOREIGN FILMS: We love foreign language films! Films may be submitted in any language with English subtitles. Please ensure English subtitles are accurate, readable, and in sync with the action on the screen.

5. USE OF FILMS FOR PROMOTION: All films selected for screening at the festival grant ReadingFilmFEST the right to use stills and excerpts of up to two minutes for promotional purposes.

6. RFF FILM RESPONSIBILITY: Festival is not responsible for any lost, stolen, or damaged entries.

7. MULTIPLE ENTRIES: Multiple entries are permissible (except FATF countries – see below), but each entry must be accompanied by a separate submission and fee.

8. FILM DURATION: Short films must be no more than 30 minutes long. Feature films should run 60 to 120 minutes. Documentary films must be less than 120 minutes. Student films must have a runtime of no more than 20 minutes

9. CONTENT NOTICE: While ReadingFilmFEST does not restrict or censor the artistic content or style of any submission, the Festival DOES reserve the right to not accept or honor with award a film perceived to promote a careless or malicious culture of hate, violence, or obscenity.

10. FEE WAIVER: None. ReadingFilmFEST DOES NOT grant fee waivers except for filmmakers from FATF countries (see below).

11. FEE REFUNDS: All fees are nonrefundable.

12. STUDENT (College or High School) filmmakers must submit a copy of their student IDs to Email your Name, Name of School, School Location (city, state, or country if applicable), graduation year, Name of Film Project, and a copy of your current student ID. We may require additional documentation of student status. Student films will be reviewed only AFTER proof of matriculation is received—no refunds for films submitted without proper ID.

13. FAFT country filmmakers may request a fee waiver CODE by emailing Include in your email the name of the film, category (short or feature) and the run time of your film. You MUST follow the following.

a. Filmmaker must be from FATF country (see FilmFreeway submission page for list).
b. Fee waiver code can only be used once.
c. Only one submission per filmmaker per year.
d. Filmmaker MUST be the submitter (name must match film credits).
e. Film must have been completed after January 1, 2023.
f. A submission cannot be substituted for a different film.

Failure to follow these requirements will result in rejection of film submission and may lead to submission rejection from future Film Festivals.

There are a limited number of Fee Waivers available, so we encourage early entry.

Online submissions will receive a confirmation email.

RFF has no obligation (other than as stated in these rules or on our website) to disclose any of the following information:
i) identities of readers or judges;
ii) notes, feedback, or information relating to the submitted material; and/or
iii) details regarding the submission review or selection process.

Except as explicitly stated, no representations or guarantees are made regarding the feedback or comments provided, or the quality thereof. The opinions of the readers are their own and do not reflect the opinions of RFF. RFF explicitly disclaims any liability or responsibility for any comments, notes, or opinions expressed about a submission, whether by RFF or by its readers, judges, and sponsors.

Originality and Permissions; INDEMNITY
However, it is not necessary to submit the adaptation or rights agreements to the Festival. Neither the Festival nor its jurists investigate or attest to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you are acknowledging that you have secured all necessary rights.


Overall Rating
  • Reading FilmFest is a wonderful film festival. The team behind the fest is probably one of the most hospitable teams around. The festival provides accommodations for filmmakers and their crew in addition to hosting numerous events to give filmmakers a "VIP experience."

    Amongst my favorite events were the filmmakers and VIP pass holders gala, cocktail hour at both hotels, the wrap party, and the after party at a local distillery. The food was delicious and the volunteers and staff members for the festival were outstanding. I'm happy to say I'm friends with many of the locals.

    Films are screened on the IMAX screens and are always followed up with a Q+A. As a first-time filmmaker, I enjoyed the "red carpet experience" and the opportunity to stand up on the stage and answer questions about my film.

    The festival also hosts workshops and special events. This year, Tom Woodruff Jr. was invited to host two workshops discussing his career in the special effects industry. John Fricke also attended and led a special screening of the "Wizard of Oz." Both events were well-organized and a great addition to my time in Reading.

    The only suggestion I have for the Reading filmFEST team is to improve their communication prior to the festival. If filmmakers receive the schedule of networking events and more specific information on accommodations ahead of time, they may be willing to stay longer or get more involved with the fest. I would also clarify which events are ticketed, so pass holders are aware of any additional purchases they need to make. Despite this, whenever I reached out with any questions I always received a quick response.

    I will definitely return in the future and highly recommend this festival to first-time filmmakers, students, Reading and Pennsylvania locals, and anyone else interested in submitting or attending a film festival.

    Reading FilmFEST may be smaller, but the schedule is jam-packed with events and screenings and provides the experience of a more seasoned, "big name" festival in an area like New York or LA.

    November 2023
  • My first fest, and a great way to start. I was local, so I didn't need to be housed, but the fact that filmmakers could come from far and wide, and be put up in a hotel WITH complementary shuttle service around the festival was just amazing.
    We met several people who had come from Pittsburgh, New York, and further to be there and they had loved their stay.
    On top of that the filmmaker green room kept us fed in between showings, and the quality of films on display was really fantastic.
    Communication was clear and constant, and if you had any questions the volunteers would answer or find someone who could answer.
    I'm excited to visit next year strictly as an audience member. To have such a rich festival be so local to me is a huge stroke of luck, and I'll be supporting it from now on.

    November 2023
  • WOW. This festival has everything. The venue is great (and they did a nice job separating the festival section from the rest movie theater), there were large crowds at every screening, the quality of films was very high, there were a ton of employees at the festival who were all very communicative and accommodating, the Q&A's were great, the after parties and awards ceremony were also fantastic; and this festival even PAYS FOR YOUR HOTEL, and there were free drink tickets and food provided (the quality of food was comparable to Hors D'oeuvres at a very nice wedding).

    I wish that more festivals could provide even 50% of what this festival offered. Overall, I had a fantastic experience at this festival and will definitely be submitting future projects to ReadingFilmFEST.

    November 2023
  • Kurt Manderbach

    My film won best mini documentary in student fest. BOOM

    November 2023
  • Amazing festival, brilliant line up of films, really well promoted and attended screenings. I really enjoyed attending the festival, the audience engagment and turn out was fantastic, a great platform with a passion for independent cinema

    November 2023