Year 5 is underway! We'll see you Nov. 06-14 2021 in Kilgore, Texas.

Reel East Texas Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing independent filmmakers.

Located in the heart of the East Texas Piney Woods, Kilgore is unlike any other town in Texas. Its wildcatter spirit and workman mindset is ideally suited for independent filmmakers, and Kilgore’s signature skyline, authentic downtown and tall pine trees make for a picturesque Texas backdrop. The city’s Main Street and Historic District is home to the iconic Texas landmark Texan Theater, where all films are screened. Beyond downtown, Kilgore offers a cultural and learning experience with the Texas Museum of Radio & Broadcasting, the East Texas Oil Museum and the Rangerette Showcase.

City events, parties, mixers and other custom-tailored activities make the Reel East Texas Film Festival a can’t miss for all filmmakers.

A festival hosted by filmmakers for filmmakers, RETFF loves great films, and bringing together audience, filmmaker and film industry representatives in celebration of artistic and independent spirit.

Best Student Film (high school and college)
Best Actress (feature and short)
Best Actor (feature and short)
Best Contest Screenplay (features and short)
Best Festival Screenplay (feature and short)
Best Cinematography (feature and short)
Best Dance Film (shorts only)
Best Director (documentary and narrative)
Best Animated (feature and short)
Best Comedy (feature and short)
Best Documentary (feature and short)
Best Drama (feature and short)
Best Dramedy (feature and short)
Best Horror (feature and short)
Best Foreign Film (feature and short)
Best Music Video
Best Science Fiction (feature and short)
Best Western (feature and short)
Best Texas Film (feature and short)
Reel People’s Choice Award "audience favorite" (feature and short)
Reel Jury Award "best of festival" (feature and short)

All films must be the original work of the filmmakers and all filmmakers must have the necessary rights. The festival is not liable for any rights issues.

Films of all lengths (short & feature) and all genres (family, animated, comedy, drama, sci-fi, action, horror, documentary, foreign, music video) are welcome to submit.

Screenplays (features and shorts) of all genres are welcome to submit. Screenplays must be non-produced as of the date of the film festival. (November 14, 2019)

Screener films should be submitted on digital file (Mov, Mp4) and a backup DVD or Blu-Ray, US Region 1 is required.

Films in language other than English must include English subtitles.

No feedback on submissions can be given.

The Filmmaker understands and accepts that they do not participate in receiving any funds from the Box-office proceeds which are fully retained by the festival to help cover the overall cost of the festival presentation. It should be noted for the record that box-office proceeds never cover the cost of presentation of the Features and Short Film Programs. The Festival (HIFF) is a non-profit, 501-C-3 Educational/Cultural Organization with Federal, State, County & City Tax-Exemptions.

We're filmmakers, too. It feels great to get an acceptance letter, and it hurts when we don't make the cut. We look forward to sending out this year's good news to select entrants, but we won't be mailing rejection letters: if you don't hear from us this time around, no worries -- keep at it, and start preparing your entry for next year's festival.

From the Lawyers: All participating filmmakers release the festival (RETFF) from any and all liability for damages or destruction of submitted materials (DVDs/BluRays/Flash Drives/etc). Entrants understand the submitted materials will be securely-held by the festival; every effort will be made to protect and control access for viewing. RETFF assumes absolutely no liability for theft, violations of copyright or piracy of submitted content.

Overall Rating
  • Michael Delano

    We attended the festival in person and it was an amazing experience, the hosts were beyond accommodating. The combination of Chip's enthusiasm, the charm of Kilgore and the warm sense of community made this festival a magical experience. Hoping to make it a yearly trip from CA.

    January 2021
  • Paulina Manseau

    I was sad I was not able to attend this year but I want to thank them for their top notch communication and for including my film in this year's line up. Putting on a festival in the time of covid is not easy feat and they did it amazingly. Looking forward to submitting my work to this awesome festival again. Keep up the good work you guys!

    December 2020
  • Grateful to have been chose and wish I could have made it in person to see my film on the big screen!

    December 2020
  • Erik Olson

    It's an odd year to review a festival, seeing as people weren't really showing up in person (understandably). But Chip and the programming team created such an inviting space for filmmakers to safely talk with each other and you can tell they really want Kilgore to be a destination for filmmaking. At one point, my producer and I mentioned a detail for our next project, and Chip walked us a few blocks to a museum that was invaluable to our research. Submit to this festival if you want to work with a team who really cares!

    December 2020
  • Adrian Carey

    Awesome festival run by wonderful people during a difficult time. Really stellar communication!

    November 2020