The Royal Starr Film Festival (RSFF) is an international film festival centered in downtown Royal Oak Michigan at the state of the art Emagine Theater and planned by the non-profit, Royal Starr Arts Institute.

Royal Starr Film Festival will take place September 6 -15, 2019

The Films Royal Starr Film Festival will screen short, feature, and documentary films at the Royal Oak Emagine theater.

The Call for Entries
Royal Starr Film Festival is now accepting entries from Michigan, national, and international filmmakers.

The Event
Royal Starr Film Festival (RSFF) will curate experience packages of unique film watching opportunities with the best of Royal Oak dining and entertainment.

Awards & Prizes
Jury awards are given for the following categories:

Best Narrative Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Best Animated Feature
Best International Feature
Family Friendly Feature
Best Michigan Feature*

Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Short
Best International Short
Best Animated Short
Best Music Video
Best Michigan Short*

Audience Choice Awards are given for the following categories:

Audience - Best Feature
Audience - Best Short

Screenwriting Competitions

Feature Film Screenplay Competition:
1st - $300
2nd -$150

Short Film Screenplay Competition:
1st - $150
2nd - $75

Rules & Terms
We strongly encourage you review the following carefully. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that you have read and agreed to all of the following rules and terms. All projects that have been submitted by our final deadline and that adhere to the following terms will be considered for inclusion in the 2019 Royal Starr Film Festival.


Each submission must be accompanied by a submission fee paid in full and a working screener in order to be considered. Once we have all necessary materials, the submission will be marked “In Consideration”. It is the submitter’s responsibility to make sure that all requirements are met. If your film has not been listed “In Consideration” within 7 business days of submission, please contact us to find out what is needed to move your film into consideration.

Press kits and cover letters are not required but are appreciated. If you wish to submit either, please attach it to your submission. DO NOT send hard copies to our office will NOT be returned.

Film cannot be public on any of the video sharing sites or VOD for free or pay or may be disqualified.

By submitting a film, promotional material or images, the submitter acknowledges that consent has been obtained from any and all owners, creators, writers, producers and/or other authorized representatives and that permission of any copyrighted or trademarked materials or content has been granted.

When submitting to the festival you are agreeing that, if selected and the invitation accepted, to screen the submitted film during the dates of the festival. RSFF will not pay any screening fees for presentation of the film during the festival.


All projects must be submitted via secure online screener - either as a password protected Vimeo link attached to your submission, or uploaded directly to FilmFreeway. The submitter is responsible for ensuring that their screener link and password is active through at least September 16, 2019. In the event of a password or URL change after submitting, email us immediately. If we discover an error with the screener, we will attempt to email the submitter for an update. Failure to respond by the final submission deadline will result in disqualification without refund of submission fees. Online screeners must be available to stream, we do not accept any films that must be downloaded.

We DO NOT accept DVD or Blu-Ray screeners. In addition, we cannot accept screener links via email, they MUST be attached to your submission.


All foreign-language films must be submitted with English subtitles. If we discover a submission is missing subtitles, we will attempt to email the submitter for an update. Failure to provide working subtitles by the final submission deadline will result in disqualification without refund of submission fees.


Works-in-progress are accepted with the following stipulations:
Incomplete projects must be clearly listed as such. Films should be marked as either a “Rough Cut” or “Work In Progress/WIP”. All incomplete materials or changes to be made should be clearly indicated (ex: temporary score, missing VFX, no color-correction) both in your cover letter and the film cut itself (ideally as a title card at the start of the film).
The entrant may update their screener up until the final deadline, as long as the link and password for the submission remains the same. However, RSFF is only responsible for considering the project as it exists at the time of review. We are under no obligation to revisit updated cuts once a screener has been seen. Therefore, you should not submit your project if it is not complete enough to adequately represent the final product.
Updated cuts must be accessible via your FilmFreeway account. We cannot accept updated cuts via email.
No updated cuts will be accepted after the final submission deadline: May 15, 2019.
If selected, the final version of the film must be available by June 30, 2019.


Please review all submission categories carefully before submitting your project. All entrants are required to pay the submission fee of their film’s appropriate category. If you believe you have submitted your film to the wrong category, contact us immediately. While we can typically facilitate a change in category, the entrant will be responsible for any changes in submission fees. We cannot offer partial refunds for categories with a smaller fee. If the new category has a higher fee, the entrant is responsible for paying the difference.

Submission to multiple categories is not encouraged. Please read category descriptions carefully to determine where your submission belongs. If the entrant wishes to submit to multiple categories, a separate submission fee must be paid for each category. RSFF reserves the right to determine eligibility of a submission in each respective category. Refunds will not be offered for submission to an inappropriate category.


The Michigan Film category is for any project that was at least partially filmed in Michigan AND comes from a director who resides in the state of Michigan.

Films programmed from the Michigan Film category will be eligible for the Michigan Film Award as well as any other juried categories that we may deem appropriate. If you submit to this category without meeting the necessary criteria, you will be disqualified from consideration for the festival and will not be issued a refund.

Please note, submitting in this category makes no difference to the chances of being accepted into the festival, as all local films must stand alongside the other films in Royal Starr Film Festival’s programming. The Michigan Film category is intended as a way to support our local filmmaking community by offering a low-cost means of entry (and also makes it easier for us to identify local films within the hundreds of submissions we receive each year).


All projects must have been completed on or after October 1, 2016 to be considered for the 2019 Royal Starr Film Festival.


We do not require a World Premiere in any category, but premiere status is taken into consideration when making final selections.


Please keep track of deadlines closely if you plan on submitting within a certain submission window. All deadlines are set for 11:59pm EST.

Any submissions with an unpaid balance after a deadline will be required to pay the following deadline’s submission fee. Failure to pay the appropriate fee will result in disqualification without a refund.


All works selected must be available by June 15, 2019 for inclusion in the festival.

Should your film be accepted in the 2019 Royal Starr Film Festival, you grant RSFF the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

All accepted films will screen at least once during the festival, with the possibility of an encore screening for select films/shorts blocks when appropriate. All scheduling is purely at the discretion of the RSFF staff.

RSFF Flash drives are NOT recommended and will only be returned upon request, and local drives are pick-up only. So we highly recommended sending online. Flash drives left after 30 days will be recycled.

The Royal Starr Film Festival, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to waive, alter, add, delete or make exceptions to the submissions requirements and eligibility.

Overall Rating
  • Tonya Hawkins

    Honored to have our film Midnight Light, chosen as part of the 2018 festival. This growing festival works hard to create a space for indie filmmakers to showcase their work in the most professional way possible and creates a beautiful collaborative space for filmmakers to connect with each other. Emagine Theaters are far and away the best in the State of MI, so screening your film in that venue alone is worth the price of submission. As the festival grows in scale and notoriety I have no doubt the programmers will have a tougher and tougher time reviewing talent from all over the world, I will submit my films again and again I'm sure.

    February 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Tonya! We appreciate you support as well as your films!

  • We very appreciate, it's a really good event and we advice other filmmakers & companies to participate to it. cheers !

    December 2018
  • Heather Connell

    Great festival! Friends loved seeing the film screen in an actual theater and the communication from the festival was top notch. Highly recommend.

    November 2018
  • John Burr

    This festival was a blast. Not only was the theater state-of-the-art, but the staff and filmmakers were wonderful and the neighborhood was really fun. The local afterparties were also great, and sponsored, which is always a nice treat. I highly recommend submitting.

    October 2018
  • Derek Johnson

    I attended the RSFF for the premiere of my short film. First of all, the Emagine theater is one of the top moviegoer experiences in the state. World class projection and seats, making the theater a BIG reason to show your film there. The staff are the salt of the earth, hardworking, cinema supporters. They are a young festival and with a large volunteer crew. I see them landing as a premier place to show films and I will definitely submit to them again! You should too!

    October 2018