The Show Me Justice Film Festival strives to raise awareness about social justice. Through the powerful medium of film, our goal is to inspire individuals and communities toward collective action against social injustices such as racism, sexism, poverty, substance abuse and other ills that infiltrate society and suppress democratic movements throughout the world. Filmmakers from around the globe are encouraged to submit short feature films (20 to 60 minute), and short narrative, experimental/animated, and documentary films that put a face on the many shades of social injustice and offer a variety of real experiences by sharing their stories.

We offer up to four cash awards and uniquely designed trophies for films selected by our jury as outstanding films and for audience favorite awards. We also offer a limited number of travel stipends and hotel rooms for visiting filmmakers as well as possible screening fees for short feature films. Each year this varies on the program for the festival and fundraising efforts.

April 3-5 2019
Warrensburg, Missouri
on the campus of the University of Central Missouri

Submission is exclusively through

All questions should be directed to:

September 1 – Show Me Justice Film Festival opens for submissions
December 1 Regular deadline

Following categories are:

Short Feature Documentary 
– Films over 20 minutes but under 60 minutes. Documentary films should address the theme of social justice, though that theme can be interpreted broadly and imaginatively. Elements of films that are represented as documentary films should have a direct connection to actual events, people, and/or places. Any straying from truthful depictions should be clearly noted. Generally speaking, we expect the standards of journalistic integrity from films entered under the documentary category. By submitting a film in this category, filmmakers take full responsibility for the assertions in their films.

Short Feature Narrative 
– Films over 20 minutes but under 60 minutes. Fictionally-based narrative films should address the theme of social justice in some way, though that theme can be interpreted broadly and imaginatively.

Narrative Shorts
– Short (less than 20 minutes) films that have a clearly defined narrative flow and follow the conventions of fictional filmmaking (whether the story is based on actual events or not) that address a social justice theme.

Documentary Shorts
– Documentary Shorts (under 20 minutes) include films that are based on actual events, persons, locations, etc. that address a social justice theme (see short feature documentary above for more detailed description of documentary).

Experimental Shorts & Animated Shorts
– Experimental Shorts (under 20 minutes) encompasses any films that may not fall under the description of documentary or narrative, including music videos or Animated Shorts (under 20 minutes) that may encompass any genre that address a social justice theme.

Missouri High School Students with a social justice theme. This is part of the Missouri
High School workshop day at the festival. This is open to all Missouri High School Students. Students will be required to show proof of current high school registration.

International High School Competition. Any High School student may submit a social justice themed film in this category. This is open to any High School Student in the world. Students will be required to show proof of current high school registration.

The films selected for screening will compete for prizes (trophy sculptures created by a local artist for our festival and a cash award of $100 to $300, pending funding) based on their artistic competence, creativity, and exploration of the festival theme as judged by the Show Me Justice Film Festival screeners.

The filmmaker must secure all rights, licenses, clearances and releases necessary for exhibition.

All categories require online screeners for judging (if password protected, please also provide the password). The festival reserves the right to place short film entries in alternative categories than those originally submitted as the judges deem appropriate for the form, content, and programming of the festival.

All films should be submitted online digitally through

Films must be available for screening during the Show Me Justice Film Festival, April 7-8, 2016. Selection for screening will be determined no later than one month prior to the festival, though we anticipate notifying films selected to screen at the Show Me Justice Film Festival in late January.

Once an entry payment has been processed we cannot provide a refund. If a payment is disputed, the account holder may be subject to any fees.

If your film is accepted for screening at Show Me Justice Film Festival, you agree and understand the following:

FORMAT: The filmmaker agrees to provide the festival a copy of the film for festival screening as an h.264 .mov data file. If Blue-Ray is available for short features, we will attempt to make accommodations to screen in it in that format, but a back up .mov file is still required.

SHIPPING: The filmmaker is responsible for the arrangements and cost of shipping the screening copy to the Show Me Justice Film Festival along with press kit materials.

PUBLICITY: Upon request, the filmmaker will supply the festival with stills and other press materials in digital file format. In addition, the filmmaker should be available for interviews prior to and during the festival.

LOSS & DAMAGE: Every precaution will be taken to safeguard films, and publicity materials while they are in the possession of the festival. However, if loss or damage occurs, the festival cannot accept or assume responsibility.

Overall Rating
  • Irene Blei

    Un hermoso festival, cálido y convocante, enriquecido con la frescura del ámbito universitario. Me siento muy feliz y agradecida de haber formado parte de la edición 2018.

    April 2018
  • Anike Tourse

    This is a darling festival. The festival producers went way out of their way to outreach to and support the filmmakers and provide an experience where social justice filmmaking is valued for the creators and our audiences. If your film is selected be sure to ask that it be screened in the University's state of the art screening room. It houses a smaller audience but you'll never forget the exceptional quality of seeing your film there. I found the students impressive and engaged, I enjoyed meeting the fellow filmmakers and I was deeply moved by their work. On a lighter note I loved the Gelbach Manor (the bed and breakfast where the fest organizer's put us up) and true to the MO reputation I may have eaten the best barbecue of my life. I highly recommend the Show me Justice Film Festival and hope to go back with another film!

    April 2018
  • Martha Gorzycki

    A very warm and welcoming festival. Great community outreach and support for filmmakers in attendance. Shannon did an excellent job organizing this festival and connecting filmmakers; lots of creative discussions! Insightful, content driven films; one of the best human rights festivals I have attended. Many thanks to the hard working Show Me Justice Team!!

    May 2017
  • Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen

    The festival was a great experience. Warm, friendly and inspiring. Workshops were fruitful and the films gave food for thought for a long time. "Show me Justice" gave a lot of hope for the development of democracy and human rights. A heartfelt Thank You to the organizers.

    April 2017
  • Savannah Rodgers

    Everyone at the Show Me Justice Film Festival treated me wonderfully. I met great filmmakers, the dedicated organizers, and had the opportunity to see movies about social justice in rural Missouri. The festival's importance cannot be overstated; I'm happy it exists. I enjoyed myself immensely at the festival and hope to screen there again in the future!

    April 2017