Welcome to Soo Film Festival 2023!

We are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year and invite you to celebrate with us! The films we've shared and people we've met have been amazing and we would like you to be a part of that.

Our mission is to emphasize and showcase films and filmmakers from the Great Lakes region but entry is open to filmmakers worldwide. Students are especially encouraged to submit.

Screenings will be in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan September 13-17, at the historic Soo Theatre and Bayliss Public Library, a Superior District Library. We will be monitoring ongoing health conditions and as such festival dates and venues are subject to change.

Submissions begin March 6 and all genres of storytelling in feature and short categories will be accepted. Early-bird entry has no fee and a deadline of April 2. The regular deadline is May 14 with a $20 entry fee. Late entries must be submitted by June 5 with an entry fee of $25. The selected films will be announced at the week of July 21.

Show us your movie!

Thank you,
Jason Markstrom
Festival President

Audience Awards: Best in Category laurels (depending on submissions)

April 2: Early bird deadline - *** FREE ENTRY ***
May 14: Regular deadline - $20 entry fee
June 5: Late deadline - $25 entry fee
July 21: Filmmaker notification of acceptance
August 21: Exhibition copies must be in the office
September 13-17: Festival Dates (subject to change)


Completion Date: No restriction.

Prior Screenings: No restriction.

Exhibition Formats: If your film is accepted your final exhibition copy must be digital; MP4 or ProRes format ONLY. Delivery is to be by download via FilmFreeway or other service such as Vimeo, Dropbox, WeTransfer, etc. If we have not received your exhibition copy by the August 21 deadline, a screening copy will be used. PLEASE, do not make us rip your film from YouTube; you worked too hard for that.


Copyrighted Material: It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to secure prior authorization for any copyrighted material that may be used in the film.

Screenings: All accepted films may be screened more than once, and are scheduled at the discretion of the Soo Film Festival staff.

Not all films will be selected for screenings during the 2023 Soo Film Festival, but all submitted films will be considered.


Deadline: You must submit your film online through FilmFreeway.com by the dates outlined herein.

Notification: Films selected for screening will be notified by email the week of July 21, 2023.


You may enter your film in ONE category only.

If the Festival determines that work has been entered in the wrong category, it will be reassigned and the entrant notified.

Soo Film Festival will include selected films in any category deemed appropriate.

In all categories, preference will be given to films that are connected to the Great Lakes in some way. Examples: film personnel (director, actors, writers, musicians, etc.) are from the Great Lakes area, or the film is shot on location in the Great Lakes area, or the film is about the Great Lakes area. The Great Lakes area includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; and the province of Ontario.

The categories are:
-- Narrative Feature - Narrative works of fiction that are 40 minutes or longer.
-- Narrative Short - Fiction films that are shorter than 40 minutes.
-- Documentary Feature - Non-fiction films that are between 40 and 90 minutes long. If your documentary is longer than 90 minutes, please consider submitting a shortened version in the appropriate category.
-- Documentary Short - Non-fiction films that are shorter than 40 minutes.
-- Animation - Films shorter than 40 minutes, animated by any means
-- Music video – Music videos shorter than 15 minutes.


1. Completed submission through FilmFreeway.
2. A short summary of your film (25-35 words). Additional press and publicity materials are appreciated but not required.
3. A description of the connection for your film to the Great Lakes, if any.

Please note: Because we give preference to films that are connected to the Great Lakes in some way, it is very important that your entry describe the connection. In FilmFreeway this is accomplished by your entry in a custom field.


Audience Awards: Best in Category laurels (depending on submissions).


By signing and submitting this form or by submitting your film through FilmFreeway.com you are stating that you have read, understood, and agree to the following:


Festival: Soo Film Festival Inc. (SFF); This includes SFF’s agents, successors, assignees, licensees, as well as volunteers and independent contractors.

Film: Film of any length submitted to Festival

Filmmaker: The person(s) submitting the entry

Rights: The rights granted to SFF in clauses 1 and 2 of these Terms and Conditions.

T & C: These Terms and Conditions of Entry



By submitting your film to the Festival, you grant SFF a non-exclusive, nontransferable, and irrevocable license, for two (2) years from the date of the 2023 Festival: (a) to publicly perform your film at the Festival, at SFF organized events, and online as part of SFF programming; (b) to use and publicly perform and display any extract, excerpt, clip, still image and/or sound recording of your film for promotional purposes related to SFF and the Festival; and (c) to reproduce your film to the extent necessary for the purposes granted under this license. SFF may not distribute your film to any third party. Receipt of copies of your film by SFF does not grant SFF ownership or title in the copies or your film itself.

You acknowledge and agree that the selection, programming, and scheduling of your film at the Festival will be at the sole discretion of SFF.


The Filmmaker grants SFF permission to use their name, photo, biography, and any other information submitted to the Festival for the purpose of promoting and marketing the Festival.

“Promotion and Marketing” may include, but is not limited to:
The production of trailers for the Festival.
Festival programming and advertising.
Radio and television interviews.
Uploading and screening extracts of the film on the Festival website.
Promotion in the Festival Program.

The Filmmaker grants SFF permission to share the film screener with Festival speakers, judges, sponsors and the media for the purposes of preview and review.

All participants acknowledge the Festival is a public event that is open to the media. As such, all participants are subject to media coverage and scrutiny and may have their likenesses published in print, electronically, or via broadcast of any kind. SFF is not now, nor will it be in the future, responsible or liable for such media coverage or actions of the press or other publicity agents during any events or functions associated with the Festival.


The Filmmaker will submit the Film to SFF in any format the Festival requests and will ensure it has undergone all appropriate technical and quality checking prior to submission.

SFF will retain all physical materials, including the copy of the Film that the Filmmaker submits, unless the Filmmaker provides SFF with instructions to return the material and a return address. SFF will request this information upon the film’s acceptance into the festival. SFF will pay postage costs for the return of materials. Postage costs for the delivery of materials to the festival are the responsibility of the Filmmaker. All physical materials must be marked with the name of the film and filmmaker.

Any Film submitted to SFF is done so at the Filmmaker’s own risk.

The Filmmaker is solely responsible for the content of the Film and agrees that the Film does not contain any content that may be construed as: libellous; defamatory; obscene; sexually, racially or ethnically offensive; intimidating; threatening; hateful; discriminatory; or abusive.

If a film is selected, the Filmmaker agrees that they will be solely responsible for the delivery of their film to the SFF Festival Office no later than August 21, 2023.

Once a submission has been made, and the entry fee, if applicable, has been paid, there are no refunds.


The Filmmaker gives the following warranties:

The Filmmaker has legal authority to enter into this agreement and grant the Rights.

There are no legal actions, claims, demands or proceedings against the Film or the Filmmaker in respect of the Film.

The Filmmaker will not make any claim against the Festival in respect of the exercise of the Rights.

The Filmmaker has obtained any necessary licenses, royalties, release forms, clearances and permits giving broadcast rights permission in regards to all audio and video elements including any non-original aspects of this production.

All performers in the Film have unconditionally consented in writing to the use of their performances in the Film.

Exercise of the Rights will not infringe any rights of any third party (including copyright); and to the extent that it does, the Filmmaker has obtained written consent from each of such third parties.

The Filmmaker will provide copies of any or all of the Consents listed in this clause at any time if requested to do so by the Festival.


The Filmmaker indemnifies, will keep indemnified, and hold harmless SFF against any claims, including but not limited to: liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, other intellectual property or personal right, loss of or damage to the screening materials entered, or any claim made against SFF in connection with the Film and associated rights.


By submitting their film, the Filmmaker agrees that these T & C form the entire agreement in relation to the Film submitted by the Filmmaker to SFF.

The submitter agrees that all information provided to SFF (including, without limitation, the information set out in the entry form) is correct and not misleading.

This agreement will be governed by the laws of the United States of America and the State of Michigan.

Overall Rating
  • Ellison Winterstein

    The staff at Soo were very nice and accommodating. Got to meet a lot of great people.

    October 2021
  • Rich Brauer

    What a dedicated group of people that make the Soo Festival what it is!!

    October 2021
  • Michael Pieper

    All in all, I definitely enjoyed stopping in at the festival! I wish there was more network possibility, but it was a pretty small draw, which I’m guessing is because of the pandemic.

    Everyone was nice though, and this is one of the ONLY small festivals in Michigan that actually has the volume set correctly for showings 😂 Most have the volume all messed up, but whoever was running the showings here did great!

    I’ll be back!

    October 2021
  • Trial&Error Acting

    It was amazing to be part of this Film Festival and Such a great honour for my Short Film.
    Festival Team coordination & Communication with participants was excellent.
    Kudos to Festival Team 🙂

    October 2021
  • Michael Dotson

    Very accommodating and kept the venue safe with Covid precautions, which was amazing given the current climate. The festival gets better every year with each filmmaker that displays their work of art for all to see on the big screen.

    September 2021