Spark Micro-Short Film Festival (formerly MicroMania Film Fest) builds cultural awareness by showcasing amazing micro-short films by diverse creators. Since 2021 our annual festival opens with the distinct Haudenosaunee Micro-Short Film program, co-developed with curator/host, Haudenosaunee filmmaker Terry Jones.

Films that screen during Spark Micro-Short Film Fest events introduce social themes in creative connecting hearts and communities while celebrating the art and skill of films 5 min and under.

Our audiences are diverse, our events are free and we locate them at venues accessible to all our community members. Many of our events are located in communities impacted by the traumas of social, racial and economic justice. We keep this in mind when films are selected for our live events.

Films are selected based on impact first and production quality second.
Perfection is not necessary. We're grassroots and It's our goal to spark new voices to self-represent via film and video.

We have a multi-round selection with deadlines in late September, late December, Late March and mid April. Our final, late deadline is May 19th. Filmmakers are notified of selection status within a month of the deadline under which they submitted. Filmmakers are notified of finalist status on or before June 17th, 2022.

*** IMPORTANT - we send notifications through FilmFreeway and provide further instructions by posting notes to your filmfreeway project page. Please make sure that FilmFreeway.com is in your contact list or you may miss our notification. Failure to respond to acceptance notifications may result in an incomplete status and/or eventual disqualification.

*2023 SMSFF Officially Selected films:

1. Advance to our juried finalist round in June to determine which films will screen during our 2023 festival events as well as award winners.
2. Are invited to stream their film *MicroMania Channel that has topped 1.4M views since it's launch in 2020. We've discovered that micro-short films attract more views together than alone.
3. Sometimes get referrals to other festivals and invitations: to have their films, join panel discussions, be guest bloggers, be interviewed and have options to screen during Spark year-round events - some that may even pay a screening fee.

Only finalist films - screen and compete for awards during our 2023 festival event.

**If your film is over 5 minutes due to credits - enter your runtime as 5 min.

SELECTION PROCESS, JUDGES AND SPONSORS

Filmmakers are notified of official selection and invited to stream on our channel on a rolling basis. Official selection does not guarantee participation in Spark Micro-Short Film Festival 2023 events.

Officially selected films advance to our finalist round in July 2023 which determines which films will screen and compete during our 2023 festival event.

Check out former MicroMania Film Fest 2019-2022 Officially Selected films at micromaniafilms.com

IRANIAN FILMMAKERS - HOW TO REQUEST AND OBTAIN A CODE
1. Scan evidence of nationality (photo id - passport or driver's license) showing your name and address 2. Scan a postmarked and dated bill or another official document that shows your current place of residence 3. Send both via email to micromania@sparkfilmmakers.org 4. Once we confirm that you are eligible, we will send you a code. 5. Once you have received your unique code from us you may submit via this category and you must upload your documents to the docs section of your application. I request per submitter per year.

EVALUATION

Submissions are evaluated on a combined basis of impact, uniqueness of vision and production quality with a weight placed on impact.

Films are also evaluated in comparison to other recently submitted films as well as previous season official selections and award winners.

MicroMania Channel offers a good basis to acquaint you with the kinds of films that have been accepted previously. www.micromaniafilms.com

AWARD JUDGING

Officially selected films receive a laurel, the option to join the MicroMania® channel and advance to our finalist round which determines what films will screen during our annual festival event series.

Our judging panel reflects all members of a society so brilliant work isn't passed over due to unconscious prejudice or bias.

Films are juried by artists, industry professionals, film lovers, media academics, and previous year MicroMania award winners. Films are rated on a scale from 1-10 based on impact first and production quality second.

Festival Finalist films screen live during our festival and compete for prizes. Finalist notification date TBD but no later than July 30, 2023.

2023 Judges TBD

2022 Judges:
Ayana Harper - Director, Winner MMFF 2021 Best Micro-Comedy
Molly Smith - Filmmaker, Winner MMFF 2021 Best Micro-Freestyle
Colm Scully- Director-Winner Best Micro Animation 2021
Lukia Costello - Filmmaker, Executive Director, Spark Filmmakers Collaborative
Shayna Strype - Filmmaker/Director, Winner MMFF 2020 Best Micro-Experimental
Ada Defriez- Filmmaker/Director, Winner MMFF 2020 Best Micro-Experimental
John Massier Curator/Director, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center)
Meg Knowles Documentary Filmmaker and Associate Professor of Media Production

2021 JUDGES:

Adam Gaudreault- Director, Winner MMFF 2020 Best Micro-Horror
Debbie Rudman - Community TV Programming Director & Producer
Lukia Costello - Filmmaker, Executive Director, Spark Filmmakers Collaborative
Kathy Spillman - Director, Community Outreach, Journey's End Refugee Services
Christopher Gallant - Filmmaker and Professor of Communications
Roxana Walker-Canton - Filmmaker and University Professor
Seaton Kay-Smith - Writer/Actor/Producer - 2020 Comedy in Micro filmmaker panelist
Paul Longley - Writer, Actor & Filmmaker
Jo Lane - Writer/Director
Tammy Mcgovern - Artist
Danielle Thomas - Critic
Léwuga Benson - Critic
Danielle Thomas - Critic

2020 JUDGES:

Carl Lee (Professor of Media Studies)
Nick Bigtower (Bigtower Pictures)
Killer Horror Critic
MJ Micheaux Film Club
Christa Avampato (blogger - Curating a Creative Life)
Black Girls Film Club
Tweed (Artistic Director Native Spirit Film Festival)
Richard Smith (Unexplained Podcast)
Kazuya Ashizawa (Filmmaker, MMFF 2019 Best Micro-Documentary winner)
Nick Brannigan (Real World Films)
MiMi Q. Atkins (Mystic Road Films)
Tilke Hill (Actor, Producer/Director and Festival Director - Buffalo International Film Festival 2017-2019)
Joanna White-Oldham (Writer/Director/Owner JWO Media)
Aaron Leventman (Actor, Playwright, Instructor)
Ed Cardoni (Director, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center)
John Massier (Curator, Director, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center)
Neil Weschler(Playwright/ Filmmaker/ Mixed Media Artist)
Tweed (Native Spirit Film Festival)

SPONSORS

Money isn't everything. MicroMania® takes care to only select sponsors and partners with a track record of inclusion and a sensitivity to undue financial barriers that impede diverse perspectives.

2022 Sponsors: Buffalo City Council North District, Native Spirit Film Festival UK, Torn Jersey Media (Haudenosaunee Micro-Short Film Program), Native Spirit Film Festival, Micro Budget Indie Filmmakers Podcast, CaraMax Studio, Buffalo Music Club, Spark Filmmakers Collaborative, Rezultz Marketing, Solar Ingram, Amy's Place Restaurant and the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Arts Services Inc.

MMFF22 was supported by a New York State Regrant and the office of the Governor of the State of New York as administered by Arts Services Inc. Additional support was provided by Buffalo Common Council Ellicott and Niagara District.

2021 Sponsors: Buffalo City Council North District, Native Spirit Film Festival UK, Torn Jersey Media (Haudenosaunee Micro-Short Film Program), Micro Budget Indie Filmmakers Podcast, Argle Bargle, CaraMax Studio, Buffalo Music Club and Spark Filmmakers Collaborative

2020 Sponsors: The New Hotness Media Institute, IndieVice, FREE AGENT, Argle Bargle: The Game Where you Insult Your Friends, Black Girl Film Club, CaraMax Studio, Mystic Road Films and Alycia Ripley.

MicroMania Film Fest 2023 Finalists compete for the following titles and a minimum of $50 USD cash award.

AWARDS

Best Micro 2023
Best Mini-Micro 2023
Best Micro-Narrative 2023
Micro-Documentary 2023
Best Micro-Freestyle 2023
Best Micro-Experimental 2023

Rules & Terms
MicroMania Film Festival is open to micro-short content up to 5min long (before credits) from all countries.

Mini-Micro - a film with a runtime of 2 minutes prior to credits.
Micro - a film with a runtime of 5 minutes prior to credits

All non-English language films must be subtitled in English.
We also ask that English language films include a caption file so that everyone can enjoy your film.

The use of copyright protected music unless you can produce written permission or proof of a usage agreement. We ask.

No pornography and NO HATE.

MicroMania Film Festival reserves the right to remove any category for which a minimum of 8 films have not been selected due to low submissions or low acceptance. Accepted films within a category that has been eliminated will be shifted to 'Micro-Freestyle' or the closest thematic category related to the content.

We're happy to furnish a detailed accounting before or after the event, upon request.

RESPONSIVENESS

Accepted filmmakers are expected to respond fully to requests for assets (film files, still images, descriptive text and contact information) by stated deadlines. All assets must be delivered by method requested however, we will work with you if you have accessibility issues.

We do understand that life happens. We don't mind following up - to a point.
Lack of responsiveness after 2 attempts will result in disqualification.

ENTRY FEE

Entry fees pay for operational costs (website, marketing, venue, promotional costs), filmmaker cash awards and stipends for filmmaker panelists (if a surplus remains and/or we are able to find sponsors to cover them).
.
Entry fees are non-refundable and required for each distinct category submission.

One fee per entry. If a film is duplicated in more than one category, and is accepted, the duplicate will be disqualified.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

All entrants agree with the terms and conditions below to be featured as 'Officially Selected' and to qualify as a finalist/winner.

Delivery of 'Officially Selected' films will be accepted by digital means only via WeTransfer. We will make accommodation if technical difficulties exist.

All films must be delivered in HD with credits to specifications requested in acceptance email notification. Filmmakers will also be required to send promotional stills and may be asked for descriptive text in aid of our promotional efforts.

Accepted filmmakers must ad our festival email to their safe list and respond in a timely manner. We understand that times are crazy and that we have no idea what anyone is facing at any given moment. We will do our best to work with you.

MicroMania Film Festival reserves the right to remove an accepted film from its programming schedule due to low resolution, poor quality, disrespect behavior on the part of the filmmaker or lack of timely response on the part of accepted filmmakers.

PROMOTIONAL RIGHTS

MicroMania Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize still images and submission descriptions, provided by accepted filmmakers for exhibition on the MicroMania channel (opt-in) during MicroMania Film Fest 2021 (mandatory) l and for promotional purposes leading up to the event (mandatory) and any encore events (opt-in).

Filmmakers that opt in to MicroMania Channel inclusion - grant the right for MicroMania Film Fest to stream their films until a request for removal has been sent and acknowledged by MicroMania. We honor your requests and do our best to comply as quickly as possible.

ENTRY LIABILITY
The filmmaker holds the MicroMania Film Festival, its management, juries, subsidiaries, agents, sponsors, affiliates, and etc. harmless from any and all claims of liability resulting from entry. The filmmaker certifies to have full rights. Producer will indemnify the organizers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.

CASH AWARDS:
We are a small organization with limited funds but, we're growing. At present, even if a film wins multiple awards, we are only able to pay one award per film. If/when we are submissions increase or we obtain sponsors this will change.

Category award winners will be notified by September 30th, 2023.

Winners must respond by October 15th 2023 to claim their award. We will work with awardees to deliver their prize but prefer digital delivery via Paypal or check.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Asher Anantham

    A great festival where they evaluate you not on your age or experience, but purely on your submission. This is a great platform for up and coming (especially youth) documentarians since the micro format gives those with limited time, money and resources an opportunity to compete.

    October 2022
  • important festival with an important cause. filmmakers will realize micro size films are just as important and valid as features. wish for much more success to this wonderful fest. this will always be placed in my heart forever.

    October 2022
  • One of the most filmmaker friendly film festivals I've ever experienced. Communication is excellent, and there's a true love here for micro films. I also sense a desire to help filmmakers grow and build their audience. I've had films in the fest a number of years in a row, and I've always been treated like a king. Highly recommend!

    October 2022
  • Russell Emanuel

    Great film festival that treated us well! Thank you so much!

    October 2022
  • Joey Clift

    Great fest! Very communicative and organized!

    October 2022