We, the co-creators of the Southwest Film Expo, want to celebrate the best in Arizona film-making while advancing increased diversity and impact of minorities on the present and future of Arizona film. The Western Cinema Excellence Award will be awarded at this first ever Southwest Film Expo and will feature speakers and panelists leading the industry.

April 6th, 2023 - Peoria Center for the Performing Arts - Peoria, AZ

This event will highlight the Arizona's new Film & TV Tax Credits Bill becoming law, which incentivizes Arizona's film, production, economic development, cultural, and community opportunities through film.

Thank you again for your interest in becoming a participant for the 1st annual 'Southwest Film Expo' - Arizona Film Community & Capacity building event.

Southwest Film Expo (SFE) Awards will be given to the winners of the four categories: Short Film, Music, Indigenous, and Series episode.
Prominently featured in the Southwest Film Expo media marketing and be a part of the Arizona producers list of winning submissions.

Southwest Film Expo does not waive entry fees. SFE believes waiving entry fees hurts the integrity of the competition. The same rules and entry fees should apply to all applicants so no one film is favored over another. In a similar respect, SFE does not invite films to be in competition. Only films that are submitted will be considered for competition.

Submissions must be accompanied by the applicable submission fee PER ENTRY and a completed online entry form. All films must be in English or have English subtitles at the time submitted.
Submissions must be submitted as an online streaming video via a participating submission platform (FilmFreeway), or a password-protected streaming URL. DVD submissions are no longer accepted.
In the event of a password change or link change after submitting, you must email the Festival at hq@usenergy.org immediately with that change so we may update your record. If the Festival is not notified of the change and the link is found to be inactive or the password to be incorrect, the submission may be deemed ineligible.
SFE screens films as digital files during the Festival and does NOT screen films on Blu-Ray, HD-CAM, or DCP. If you are unable or unwilling to provide us your film as a digital file for exhibition, DO NOT SUBMIT your film.
Films must have been completed after January 1, 2022. Films must be available for screening during the SFE, April 6, 2023.
Films with US distribution (obtained prior to being selected for SFE screening) or films produced, financed or initiated by a major film studio or television network are ineligible for competition, but may be considered for a special screening. Selection for screening will be determined no later than one month prior to the festival. Films that have screened on US network or cable television or distributed to theaters prior to the festival dates are also ineligible for competition.
Short Films that have played in Phoenix in a theatrical setting to a public audience prior to April 1, 2023 are eligible to compete at Southwest Film Festival. This includes online screenings through festivals based in Phoenix. A short may play as part of a class screening for an accredited university’s film program. We prefer those shorts be Arizona premieres.
We prefer that shorts not be publicly available online. Online, private screenings through a festival’s online program do not count as publicly available online.
Feature films must be at least a Phoenix premiere. If a film is screened online as part of a festival’s program that will count as a local premiere. SFE reserves the right in its sole discretion to reject or disqualify any ineligible entries, without a refund.
Films that are selected to screen at the Expo may not necessarily be selected to be “in competition” for awards purposes. Notifications regarding potential selection for competition status possibly may occur subsequent to notifications of acceptance for exhibition.
Films must be the original work of the applicants. If a film is based upon another person’s life or upon a book or other underlying work, applicant(s) must secure any necessary rights to make such adaptations. However, it is not necessary to submit the adaptation rights agreements to the expo. Neither the Festival nor its jurists investigates or attests to the authenticity of an applicant’s statement of authorship or rights secured. By entering the competition, you represent that you have secured all necessary rights.
Applicants are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions for third-party materials included in their films, including but not limited to music, trademarks, logos, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights. SFE expressly disclaims all liability or responsibility for any violations of the foregoing.
Films that have not received a full color edit, or sound edit are eligible for submission. Should the film be accepted, the filmmaker will have the opportunity to supply the expo with their most recent version.
Southwest Film Expo (SFE) reserves the right to switch the entry category or otherwise assign a category to fit programming needs and interests, and films will not be penalized for the original submission selection.
Once an entry payment has been received, we cannot provide a refund. If a payment is disputed by an entrant for any reason, the entrant may be subject to any transaction fees or similar amounts incurred by SFE in connection with the dispute.
You MUST include your physical address either in your entry or in your cover letter. Please do not submit a film without giving us your address, which we need for our records.
Payments made with a check are subject to our Bounced Check Policy: If we receive a returned check from our bank for a payment you made, you will be invoiced for the original amount of the check plus a $50 bounced check fee. The payment of the invoiced amount will be due within 30 days of invoice date. We will not re-submit the original check, nor will we accept another check for repayment. Repayment must be made by money order or cashier’s check.
Please include in your cover letter if your film was SHOT IN ARIZONA (include locations) or made by ARIZONA FILMMAKERS. We don’t want to miss your film.