The Royal Starr Film Festival (RSFF) is an international film festival centered in downtown Birmingham, Michigan at the state of the Birmingham 8 and powered by the Emagine Theaters and planned by the non-profit, Royal Starr Arts Institute.

2024 Royal Starr Film Festival will take place September (Dates TBD)

The Films Royal Starr Film Festival will screen short, feature, and documentary films at the Birmingham 8 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 Birmingham dining and entertainment.

Awards will be given away. Including International, National and Michigan Categories.

Rules & Terms
We strongly encourage you to 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 2024 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. Or email it to

Hard copies sent to our office and will NOT be returned.
Films that are publicly available on any of the video sharing sites, VOD for free or pay or may be disqualified from competition but still screened at the discretion of the RSAI staff.
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 31, 2024. 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.


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 (May 30th, 2024) 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 31, 2024
If selected, the final version of the film must be available by June 30, 2024.

Please review all submission categories carefully before submitting your project. Awards will be determined based on which category the project is submitted for. 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/OR made by a filmmaker (Director, Cinematographer, Producer) 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 budget-friendly means of entry (this category also helps us narrow down locally produced projects within the hundreds of submissions received each year).

All projects must have been completed on or after October 1, 2019 to be considered for the 2024 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 30, 2024 for inclusion in the festival.
Should your film be accepted in the 2024 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.
Physical hard drives are NOT recommended and will only be returned with an additional
handling fee. We highly recommended sending it online.

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
  • Honored to have been part of the 2023 line up! Great communication- worth submitting to!

    October 2023
  • Mark Finnell

    Excellent facilities. Very good people who want to see your creative work. Very supportive.

    September 2023
  • I Make things

    I had such a great time here! It was an honor to be screened, and it was a great privilege to see the work other other Michigan filmmakers on the big screen! If your a young artist who wants to get there work out there, put this festival on your radar!

    September 2023
  • The Royal Starr Film Festival was/is an exceptional event, hosted by wonderful and professional staff at an amazing venue. And we were utterly honored, delighted and proud our film ('From Under The Bridge: When Bullies Become Trolls') was not only selected to screen at the festival, but also awarded 'Best Narrative Short Film' by the jury. The organization, hosts and team are clearly dedicated and passionate about filmmaking and the community. All selected films were screened at the sensational Emagine Theater, which included an official step-and-repeat, red carpet and post-screening social event. The communication was in line with the overall professionalism delivered by the organization, and all filmmakers were made to feel valued and appreciated. With many of the producers and supporters residing in the local area, and the writer/director having lived there for many years, this made the festival especially important and memorable for everyone involved. Congratulations to the filmmakers, organizers and Royal Starr team... and thank you for such an amazing festival! We will absolutely look to submit projects to your prestigious event again in the future! Sincerely - Paul James

    October 2022
  • Sriram Papolu

    I am very glad and honored to have two of my films play this year.

    The venue and screening experience at The Emagine Theater was absolutely amazing and it warmed my heart to see my film in its most pristine quality on the big screen. So well done by the programming and technical team.

    I hope this festival continues to grow and hopefully I get to submit more of my future works!

    Thank you for having me as part of the fest!

    September 2022