The Special Affects Film Festival (SAFF) is dedicated to showcasing the finest films being produced for, by and about the special needs community in the world today. Now more than ever before, the special abilities of people living with intellectual and physical challenges are being highlighted in film and television roles, as well as behind the scenes in every aspect of production from directing and producing to serving as valuable members of the crew.

We are seeking films of all genres and running times where at least one aspect of the production involved the betterment of the special needs community.

The NBBF will take place at the Novato Theater’s Studio46, just steps away from the beautiful downtown Novato restaurants and shops district.

A full schedule of films and events to be released.

We look forward to seeing your films!

The Special Affects Film Festival will take place in Novato, California, from August 18th to August 19th, 2017
The following is an explanation of the Rules and Guidelines governing the submissions of a film to the 2017 Special Affects Film Festival. Compliance with these Rules and Guidelines is necessary in order to participate in the Film Festival. Submission of a film implies unconditional acceptance of the Rules & Guidelines, therefore, please carefully read through the Rules prior to submitting your film. If you have any questions, please contact the Special Affects Film Festival: or 760-470-0520.
1. The Special Affects Film Festival accepts submissions for films in the following categories: Documentary Feature (0ver 50 MInutes), Documentary Short (under 40 minutes) Experimental, International, Narrative Feature (Over 50 Minutes), Narrative Short (under 40 minutes), Music Video and Student Film.
2. The Entrant/s submitting the film must hold all legal rights for the submission, as well as all necessary clearances for public exhibition.
3. The Filmmaker/s retain/s all submission and intellectual property rights.
4. Films may be submitted electronically via FilmFreeway ( or mail DVDs (2 copies) with the completed submission form and correct entry fee.
Special Affects FF, PO Box 1592, Novato, CA 94948-1592
5. The DVDs should be formatted for NTSC and labelled with Title, Running Time, and Tracking Number (if applicable).
6. To submit film via Log onto the website, set up an account, and submit your film to SAFF. Your fee will also be taken over the internet. After submitting your film through FFW, you may mail 2 copies of your DVD to our office. Please clearly mark your FFW tracking number on both DVDs and the outer packaging.
Special Affects FF, PO Box 1592, Novato, CA 94948-1592
7. The Filmmaker/s is/are responsible for making sure all submission material arrives by the submission deadline indicated. If your film does not arrive by the deadline for which you have registered, you may be required to pay the higher submission fee.
8. The following concerns submission deadlines and submission fees. Note, the deadlines are not the postmark dates, but the dates by which the submission must be in the SAFF office or registered with FilmFreeway. Each submission must be accompanied by the appropriate fee. Submission fees are in are U.S. Dollars per submission and is non-refundable. These fees may be paid by check, cashier’s check, money order, or by Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, or American
Express) made payable to: Special Affects. Cash is not accepted.
9. If a film received 50% or more of it’s funding from sources outside of the United States, the film can only be submitted as an International Film. If a film received 50% or more of it’s funding from sources within the United States, the film can only be submitted as a Domestic Film.
10. All films must be in English or with English subtitles. Non-English language films without subtitles will not be considered.
11. Please test your DVDs prior to submission to make sure they run properly on a standard DVD player and are not damaged.
12. The SAFF is not responsible for any damage to materials that occurred while in transit. If your film arrives damaged, we will contact you to request another copy.
13. Filmmakers are allowed to submit more than one film for the Festival provided that each film is submitted separately and meet SAFF guidelines. Please do not send a compilation DVD composed of films for separate entries.
14. Filmmakers are allowed to resubmit a film that was previously submitted provided significant changes were made and all eligibility requirements are met. When re-submitting the film, include a brief letter detailing the changes made.
15. A student submitting a film must provide a photocopy of a current and valid student ID or a letter from his/her school verifying enrollment.
16. If you would like notification that your submission has been received, please include a self-addressed, stamped postcard, which SAFF will mail back to you once your submission has arrived. Entrants may contact the SAFF to find out if the Festival received the submission: or (760) 470-0520. Filmmakers submitting through FilmFreeway can check their status through the website.
17. Only complete entries (DVD screener, entry form, payment) will be processed.
18. The Filmmaker is responsible for all shipping costs, domestic or International.
19. Materials submitted for the SAFF will not be returned unless requested by the Filmmaker. In such case, the Filmmaker/s will provide a pre-paid return envelope
20. All personal contact information is to remain confidential and not to be shared with any third parties.
21. SAFF reserves the right to use images from films selected in the Festival for marketing purposes.
22. All decisions regarding award winners are considered final and incontestable.

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