“Through a celebration of classic and contemporary Western film, the Go West Film Festival explores social and environmental issues currently impacting the West, enhancing a deeper understanding of the nexus between Western myth and reality.”

Recalling Horace Greeley's injunction to "Go West, young man, go West!" the Go West Film Festival celebrates the genre of Western film annually in Greeley, Colorado. In addition to our flagship screening location, the illustrious Kress Cinema and Lounge, we screen at several venues across Greeley, including local public libraries and the campuses of the University of Northern Colorado and Aims Community College.

GO WEST Short Films Submission Criteria

Minimum running time 2 minutes, maximum 30 minutes

Short films can be in any style; live-action, animated, or mixed media.

Submissions can be made to the Go West Film Festival by FilmFreeway (filmfreeway.com)


Submissions will be selected based on the following criteria: 1) technical quality, including visual elements, sound, and editing; 2) artistic quality, including the aesthetic experience offered to the viewer and, as applicable, the effectiveness of the actors; 3) story and the quality of the script (as applicable); and 4) adherence to the “western” theme (more information below). Films selected for inclusion in the Go West Film Festival are chosen at the sole discretion of the GWFF Board of Directors.

If the short is chosen for exhibition, the filmmaker will be informed via email.

After notification of acceptance, the filmmaker must provide a copy of the film preferably on DCP format or downloadable file. Prior to the festival we would also appreciate as backup a hard copy of the film as Region 0 or Region 1 DVD or Blu-ray.

While Go West Film Festival does not offer filmmakers any monetary awards for the films it considers and accepts, the festival is committed to publicly acknowledging the accomplishments of its contributors. We extend to filmmaker participants the benefits of greater public awareness of their work through festival publicity, festival laurels to add to film credits and publicity, and for in-person attendees the opportunity to meet and make connections with film festival organizers, programmers, film scholars, filmmakers, members of the business community, and other cinephiles.


In honoring both classic and contemporary Western film, the Go West Film Festival encourages a broad and creative interpretation of the “western.” Submissions that address issues of race, gender and the environment are particularly welcome.

TRADITIONAL: A narrative piece taking place in the American West from the mid to late 1800s onward. Traditional Western narratives might typically involve, for example, cowboys, outlaws, frontier life, or other elements of the classic Western genre.

DOCUMENTARY: Documentary work might begin with questions such as the following: What does the West mean to you? What has been your experience traveling or living in the West? Among other approaches, a non-fiction film might capture a day in the life of a rancher, farmer or another person whose identity is tied to the West; consider an issue of public concern in the West; or examine an aspect of western history.

SUB-GENRE: Overlaps between the western and other film genres have resulted in sub-genres. As examples, sub-genres include the road movie, the horror film, and science fiction films which retain an essential connection to the American West. We welcome creative ideas and new directions.

Please email us at: howdy@gowestfilmfest.org

Overall Rating
  • Jared LaCroix

    The Go West Fest was a great time! Our team very much enjoyed the curation of short films, the lovely theater space in which they were screened, the hospitality and good communication of the festival organizers, and the classy awards. Thanks Go West!

    February 2020
  • Chris Heady

    I REALLY enjoyed the level of attention and quality of the Go West Film Festival. While I didn't get to attend in person, the level of communication between filmmakers and the festival was excellent. I also just LOVED the film award trophies. They're metal sheriff's badges. My inner childhood was fully alive in the moment that award came in the mail. If you have a western, be sure to budget for this one!

    May 2019
  • Donna Guthrie

    Glad to be a part of this festival

    November 2018