The Superman Celebration Film Festival is for films in the comics, superhero, science fiction, and fantasy genres. It is especially geared towards films about superheroes, super-villains, or films that fit in the general superhero archetype, including fan-made films about existing characters in comics and film, as well as superheroes/super-villains of the entrant's own creation. The films must be 20 minutes or less in length and be family-friendly.

The Superman Celebration Film Festival is a family-friendly film festival and contest dedicated to showcasing films that appeal to fans of science fiction, comics, video games, and fantasy, with a special focus on films that fit within the archetypes covered by comic books. Sponsored and hosted by Superman Celebration, the world's largest festival dedicated to Superman, and the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce, the Superman Celebration Film Festival screens films from around the world and celebrates the creativity and ingenuity of filmmakers as they bring to life their favorite characters from comics books, films, television, literature, and other media, as well as those of their own creation.

The festival is open to short, family-friendly fan films of 20 minutes or less. All submissions must fit the genres covered by comics and pop fandom, including science fiction, video games, fantasy, and fan films. (For a definition of what a fan film is, please see the end of the article.) There is no admission charge to attend the festival, and there is a nominal submission fee of $10 USD.

Introduced at the 2015 Festival, the "Super Grab Bag" category is a challenge for filmmakers to create a fan film with three off-the-wall required elements. This year's required elements are a map, an banana, and a private detective.

Films will be screened during Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois, June 9th-12th, 2016. Trophies and prizes will be awarded during a special ceremony. Date, time, and location will be announced on the Superman Celebration website at

The deadline for entry is April 15th, 2016 at 5:00 pm CST. .

Superman Celebration attracts around 40,000 fans from around the world every year. It is sponsored by the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce and the City of Metropolis, Illinois and is held annually during the second weekend in June. The festival features celebrity appearances, comics artists and writers, musical acts, a costume contest, and a wide array of programming for superhero fans of all ages.

DEFINITION OF A FAN FILM: A fan film is a film or video inspired by a film, television program, comic book or a similar source, created by fans rather than by the source's copyright holders or creators.

PLEASE NOTE: If your film is accepted here on the FilmFreeway site, you will be contacted by email to complete the entry and submission process. You must complete the entry and submission process in order to participate in The Superman Celebration Fan Film Festival.

Winners in each of the following categories will receive a trophy and a Superman Celebration Prize Pack. Honorable mentions in each category will receive a Superman Celebration Prize Pack.

You may enter you film in multiple categories. Category descriptions can be found below in the Rules and Terms:

Best Dramatic Film
Best Comedic Film
Best "Super Grab Bag" Film
Best Fan Film
Best Animated Film
Best Amateur Film

Please read the rules carefully, there have been some changes since last year's Festival.

1. Entries
• You may enter your film through any of our associated third-party websites (example: FilmFreeway) or through the Superman Celebration Film Festival site.
• If your film is selected, you must complete the online entry form on our website and send us a link to download your film file. No film will be screened without a completed entry form through our website.
• Each submission that is accepted must have its own entry form completed. You cannot complete one entry form for multiple films entered.
• Those whose films are accepted will be notified on April 29th, 2016.

2. Submission Fees
• There is a $10 per film, per category submission fee.
• If you are submitting through a third-party website, submission fees will be paid through that website. If you are submitting your film directly to us via the Superman Celebration Film Festival website, you will be directed to PayPal to pay your submission fee.
• Submission fees are non-refundable. As our festival covers specific genres, it is your responsibility to make sure that your film qualifies before submitting it.

3. Content and Eligibility
• First and foremost, all entries must be of the comics, superhero, science fiction, video game, and fantasy genres using existing characters from any comics publisher (or other media, such as books, TV, or Film) or original characters of the entrant’s own creation. If your film would be of interest to anyone attending a sci-fi/comics/fantasy convention, then the Superman Celebration Film Festival is an appropriate place to submit your film.
• Films of the Horror genre are not eligible as they do not generally fit within the family-friendly scope of our festival.
• You have a choice of several categories for your entry: Drama, Comedy, "Super Grab Bag"(where a list of required elements are given that must be included in your finished film), Fan Film, Amateur Film, and Animated Film. You may enter your film in more than one category. "Super Grab Bag" films MUST contain all required elements listed in the challenge. For 2016's festival, the three required elements are a map, a banana, and a private detective.
• Your entry must be your own work and no one else's. Anonymous submissions will neither be accepted nor displayed.
• In order to enter a film, you must be a member of the primary creative team responsible for the film's creation. We define the primary creative team as director(s), writer(s), and producer(s). Your name must be listed in the film's credits under at least one of those roles.
• We will allow PG-13 Material, but you must label your films accordingly, so we can preview them to the appropriate audiences and give disclaimers. The PG-13 maximum rating is reserved solely for films with more violent content, as violence is a normal part of the superhero genre of films. We reserve the right to reject films, however, based on content deemed too risqué for the family-friendly atmosphere of Superman Celebration. Such content may include, but is not limited to, profanity, graphic violence, graphic blood and gore, nudity, and sexual content (to include the frank discussion of sexual situations). You are permitted to bleep/censor occasional profanity. We still maintain the right to reject films where bleeping is frequent. Limited use of the words (and variations of) “damn”, “hell”, “bastard”, “bitch”, and “ass” are allowed.
• Entrants whose films are rejected for content are allowed to resubmit a new cut of their film, so long as the updated version is sent to us for review before the April 15, 2016 deadline. We cannot guarantee that a second cut of a film will be accepted after resubmission, so we recommend allowing plenty of time for it to be reviewed.
• Films submitted as entries in previous years' Superman Celebration Film Festival, (formerly known as the Superman Celebration Fan Film Competition), are ineligible for entry. However, if a trailer or teaser for the unfinished film was submitted previously and you are now entering the completed film, we will accept it provided that it meets all entry criteria.
• While amateur entries are especially desirable and strongly encouraged, films by members of the professional film and television production community are still eligible for entry as long as they meet all submission requirements.
• All films must be in English. Non-English entries must be either dubbed into English or have English subtitles. There can be no profanity in the subtitles. Subtitles must be “burned in” to the submitted video file.
• The competition is open to International entries.
• Submissions must consist of at least 85% original visual elements and dialogue created by the entrant. While we appreciate so-called "montage/mash-up" fan films, (films made entirely of pieces of films/media made by professional sources such as movie studios, video game creators, etc.), they are ineligible for this competition as they are comprised primarily of work that is not actually created/originated by the person editing the film. This 85% rule only applies to the visual elements (original footage and visual effects) and dialogue (script/screenplay) of the film. The music score and sound effects may be entirely derived from other sources.

4. Entry Categories and Qualifications
• Best Drama: The film must be dramatic in nature and fit within the genres covered by our festival.
• Best Comedy: The film must be comedic in nature and fit within the genres covered by our festival.
• Best “Super Grab Bag” Film: Films that fit within the genres covered by our festival and contain the three required elements necessary to compete in the category: A map, a banana, and a private detective.
• Best Animated Film: Computer, stop-motion, or hand-drawn films that fit within the genres covered by our festival.
• Best Amateur Film: Films by amateur filmmakers that fit within the genres covered by our festival. To qualify for this category, the film must have a budget of $500 or less and the creative team cannot have any professional credits or film school education. This category is strictly for those who make films strictly as a hobby. PLEASE NOTE: Films by students of film schools are considered professional for this festival.
• Best Fan Film: Films based on characters from existing, established properties from comics, film, television, video games, or literature. Works using original characters, with the exception of minor characters that interact with the established characters, are not permitted to enter this category.

5. Length of Entries
• Submissions cannot exceed 20 minutes in length.
• Any title screens, logos, credits, or introductions before and/or after the actual film will count toward the 20 minute maximum limit.

6. Submission Deadline
• The deadline for all submissions is April 15, 2016, 5:00 PM CST. All entries must be completed and submitted by that time.
• Late entries are ineligible for the festival.

7. Format of Submissions and Submission Methods
• It is recommended that all films submitted be in High Definition format, minimum 720p. We will accept Standard Definition content, but we will no longer convert them to HD in our preproduction process for exhibition to the judging panel and screening at Superman Celebration.
• All films must be submitted as a video file in the MPEG-4 (mp4), MPEG-2 (mpeg, mp2, mpg). (We recommend the use of the H.264, MPEG-4, or MPEG-2 codecs when rendering your film file for entry.) You must submit your film as a video file using the right container. Should you fail to send us a video file one in the requested container formats, it will be solely at our discretion to accept or reject it.
• Subtitles must be “burned in” to the submitted film file.
• You may elect to send us links to your film so that we may download it from websites such as WeTransfer, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. You may also choose to submit films by sending us links to them on YouTube, DailyMotion, or Vimeo. They will be downloaded using third-party software. If you decide to use this method, the videos must be publicly accessible. We cannot download private videos. Please note that we cannot guarantee the final projection quality of files downloaded in this manner. If you choose to use this method, we recommend that you upload HD copies (720p or 1080p) of your film to the online service.
• SUBMIT ONLY THE FINISHED FILM. Do not include trailers, outtakes, behind-the-scenes features, deleted scenes, or any other additional material. You will risk rejection or disqualification by including extras in your film file. If outtakes or behind-scenes-footage is part of the finished film, such as in the closing credits, then it is acceptable. Additional materials will not be presented to the judges. Also, we will not edit them out of your video for you.
• Behind-the-scenes and promotional videos will not be presented to judges.
• Films must be completely edited and in final form. Unfinished films will not be accepted. We will, however, accept trailers or teasers in their completed form.

8. Submission Instructions
• If submitting through the Superman Celebration Film Festival Website, complete the online entry form. You must complete a separate online entry form for each film submitted. Include a link in the space provided on the entry form so that we may download your film.
• You may enter your film through a third-party site such as FilmFreeway. If your film is selected for our festival, we will contact you after the notification date for a link to download your film.
• You will receive an email notice when your entry is received. Make sure your e-mail address on the entry form is correct.

9. Judging
• Judges are pulled from the creative community from across the United States, to include people from the film, television, comics, and creative communities, as well as comics and film aficionados who are fluent in the area of genres of film our festival covers. No one directly associated with Superman Celebration, The Metropolis Chamber of Commerce, or The Superman Celebration Film Festival is allowed to serve as a judge.
• The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony following the presentation of all films selected to be screened at Superman Celebration.
• Judging will be based upon criteria set in place by the judges. The films are judged on a 100-point scale for each of the following categories: Script/Story, Acting/Performance, Cinematography, Costuming, Sound, Editing,, and Originality/Creativity. For each judge, all categorical scores are added together for a cumulative score. The highest and lowest cumulative scores are dropped before adding all judges' scores together for the final combined score. A combined score from these categories will be used to determine not only the winners of the competition, but also what films will be screened in the time frame that is allotted at the 2016 Superman Celebration, however, we do our level best to see that all films submitted are screened at least once during the Festival.
• Judging procedures may be modified to include a first-round judging process if there are a large number of entries.
• IMPORTANT NOTE: Because of our use of judges from across the United States, it is necessary for the judging process to post your video online on streaming media sites such as, but not limited to, YouTube, DailyMotion, etc. All films uploaded to our pages on streaming sites are set as “unlisted” so that they are not easily accessible without a direct link. If you do not wish for your submission(s) to be online, then please refrain from entering them into the Superman Celebration Film Festival. All films must be placed online to be included in the judging process. (Entrants can request that their entries be removed from any of our online streaming pages after the end of Superman Celebration. Please see the section below entitled "Legal Issues".)

10. Prizes
• A trophy and a Superman Celebration Gift Bag will be awarded in the following categories: Best Drama, Best Comedy, Best "Super Grab Bag" Film, Best Amateur Film, Best Animated Film, and Best Fan Film.
• An "Honorable Mention" award of a Superman Celebration Gift Bag will be given for each category.
• Filmmaker’s attendance is not mandatory to win awarded prizes. However, it is encouraged as they are contributing to the overall experience of Superman Celebration attendees.
• Prizes will be presented at an awards ceremony following the presentation of the films. (Date and time to be announced. Please see the Superman Celebration site at for more details.)
• Winners not in attendance will have their prizes mailed to them, or, may elect a proxy to accept their prize on their behalf.
• Prizes will be awarded in the name of one sole entity/individual to be determined on the contestant’s signed entry form.

11. Legal Issues
• By submitting an entry, each contestant agrees that they have read, understood and will comply with these official rules. You also give consent to the use of the entrant's name, likeness and/or biographical data for purposes of advertising and promotion by Superman Celebration and The Metropolis Chamber of Commerce, without further consent, compensation, or approval.
• Submission does not ensure that your film will be selected for The Superman Celebration Film Festival. There are no refunds of submission fees for films not selected.
• We cannot be held responsible for lost or misdirected entries. As long as you list an e-mail address, we will notify you when we receive your submission(s).
• We cannot be held responsible for problems downloading files or any failure on the behalf of any file sharing site. We will contact you if we run into issues, but it is your responsibility to ensure that we can download a copy of your file.
• Do not submit anyone's videos other than your own. By submitting your entry to the Superman Celebration Film Festival, you are agreeing that you are the primary creator or creator(s) of the film entered, and that Superman Celebration, The Metropolis Chamber of Commerce, and associated staff members, volunteers, and sponsors of both organizations will be held harmless in the event that your claim of creation or ownership is challenged by anyone before, during, or after the submission, judging, and screening processes, as well as after the awarding of prizes. Fraudulent entries of known works by other creators will be disqualified, and the rightful owners of said works will be notified. Plagiarism will not be tolerated, and those entering works not of their own creation will be banned from this and subsequent Superman Celebration Fan Film Festivals.
• By submitting your film, you are agreeing that the use of characters, items, vehicles, situations, etc. from existing media (to include comic books, films, television series, books, etc) is solely for personal entertainment purposes and not for any personal gain or profit.
• By submitted films containing original characters, items, vehicles, situations, etc. of your own creation, you agree to allow Superman Celebration and the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce permission to screen your work not only at this year's and/or any future years' Celebration and Fan Film Festivals, but also to screen the submitted work online on streaming and social media sites such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, DailyMotion, etc. and agree to hold Superman Celebration, The Metropolis Chamber of Commerce, and their staff and volunteers harmless against any claims of infringement of copyright or trademark violations related to such display. (Note: Please remember that all films must be placed online for judging. See the section entitled "Judging" above.)
• NOTE: We will honor requests to remove any film or films from social media and streaming websites such as YouTube, DailyMotion, Facebook, Twitter, etc AFTER the end of Superman Celebration. Removal requests must be emailed to Please allow up to six (6) weeks for requests to be honored.
• The filmmaker is responsible for all release and consent by all parties involved in the films, to include actors, directors, editors, and content creators/owners.
• By submitting your film(s), all parties license Superman Celebration and The Metropolis Chamber of Commerce to preview, screen, and otherwise use the film as part of Superman Celebration, to include any advertising or promotional materials for this year's and future years' events. This promotion includes the use of the submitted film(s) on social media and streaming internet sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, DailyMotion, etc, and at future Superman Celebrations.
• Films must have a rating (to the best of your knowledge and judgment) so we can be assured that we do not offend certain audiences. The Festival judges reserve the right to modify your rating after viewing your film.
• Films submitted will not be edited or modified for content in order to make them suitable for screening. Eligibility for screening will depend solely on the cut of the film submitted.
• By submitting your film, you are agreeing that, should another party hold any exclusive rights to your film, you will take any and all necessary steps to see that all appropriate clearances are made for screening at current, upcoming, and future Superman Celebrations, Superman Celebration Film Festivals, and on Superman Celebration's social media and streaming web pages at Facebook, DailyMotion, Twitter, Vimeo, etc. You agree that if proper clearances and licenses are not obtained by you, the entrant, that you will defend and hold harmless Superman Celebration, The Superman Celebration Film Festival, The Metropolis Chamber of Commerce, The City of Metropolis, and all staff and volunteers against any claims of infringement of copyright or trademark violations related to such display.
• We reserve the right to modify these rules at any time without notice.

Overall Rating
  • Tito Guillen

    Unfortunately we were unable to attend. Awards were screened online on their official facebook page which was nice

    July 2016
  • Great Festvial and Great Communication TOP !!!

    July 2016
  • Although I was unable to attend the festival, the folks behind the scenes made me feel very welcome and kept me abreast of all the details, from soliciting an acceptance speech in absentia to streaming the awards and supplying laurels. Admittedly, the bulk of entries are superhero fan-films, but It was a great entry-level experience and I hope they continue to grow and thrive.

    June 2016
  • Richard Strobel

    Even though i could not attend personally, this film fest is a must for fans and filmmakers alike! A+++++++++

    June 2016
  • Excellent film festival. They accepted me for two years in a row now. This year, they took my "Batman vs. Superman Hawaii." Last year they took my "Green Hornet, Robbery in Chinatown." This is a very good film festival and they know what they are doing. I recommend them highly.

    June 2016