The Maryland Film Festival is an annual five -day event that takes place in beautiful downtown Baltimore each Spring, presenting top-notch film and video work from all over the world. We are currently planning the 2022 edition of MdFF as an in-person festival with some virtual offerings. If guidelines around COVID-19 necessitate.

Each year the festival screens approximately 30 feature films and 80 short films of all varieties—narrative, documentary, animation, experimental, and hybrid—to tens of thousands of audience members. For every North American feature film screened within the festival, a filmmaker attends the festival to present their work. The festival prides itself on creating a unique, accessible, and competition-free atmosphere. Each year since 2004, the festival has dedicated its opening night to a collection of short films.

The hundreds of filmmakers who have hosted screenings with Maryland Film Festival include such names as John Waters, Barry Levinson, David Simon, Kathryn Bigelow, Elissa Blount Moorhead, Jonathan Demme, Melvin Van Peebles, Alex Gibney, Stanely Nelson, Matt Porterfield, Joe Swanberg, Maori Holmes, Amy Seimetz, Lisandro Alonso, Todd Solondz, Barry Jenkins, Greta Gerwig, Bobcat Goldthwait, Alex Ross Perry, Riley Stearns, Julius Onah, and Lena Dunham.

In addition to a wide range of contemporary North American films, each festival also includes a sampling of cutting-edge international features (including such titles as Dogtooth, Post Tenebras Lux, Caniba, The Human Surge, and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives) and a feature selected and hosted by legendary filmmaker John Waters (whose choices have ranged from Joseph Losey's Boom! to Gaspar Noé's I Stand Alone). Celebrity guest hosts from outside the world of film are also invited to present favorite films, including musicians such as Ian MacKaye, Branford Marsalis, Will Oldham, Jonathan Richman, Marin Alsop, Harry Belafonte, Dan Deacon, Bill Callahan, Abdu Ali, Beach House and members of Animal Collective.

The Maryland Film Festival has been named one of MovieMaker Magazine's "25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World" four times in recent years (2014, 2015, 2017 and 2019), as well as earning repeated praise from national publications such as The New Yorker, and ArtForum.

In the interest of providing a relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere for filmmakers and filmgoers to enjoy and engage with each other and the work, MdFF forgoes prizes and awards.

The 24th annual Maryland Film Festival (April 27-May 1 2022) in Baltimore, Maryland is looking for all types of film and video work of exceptional quality: feature length and shorts; narratives and documentaries; domestic and foreign; genre work and the unclassifiable; and while we are a general-interest festival, we do frequently program animation, experimental, and underground content. Unique voices and viewpoints are always a plus.

We are actively working to increase the number of foreign titles we screen; filmmakers from all over the world are encouraged to submit their work.

We encourage filmmakers that hope to premiere their work at prominent early 2021 festivals such as Sundance and SXSW to submit these films to us; however, please do be aware of and submit by our final deadline of December 15, 2021.

Please note that the Maryland Film Festival programs work from all over the world—we do NOT solely program films made in or about Maryland. That said, we do encourage local filmmakers to enter, and program multiple made-in-Maryland titles each year.

Stronger consideration is given to films that have NOT had significant prior exposure in the Baltimore market; prior screening(s) in the Baltimore area may be grounds for rejection, as may certain forms of television, cable, home-video, internet, and/or VOD availability prior to the festival. This is a particular concern for feature-length work. Stronger consideration is also given to works made in 2020 and after. Works made in 2017 and before are not eligible for the 2022 fest.

If their movie is accepted, North American feature filmmakers agree to attend MdFF (April 27- May 1, 2022) in-person to host their film's screenings (or virtually if the safety of travel due to the corona virus requires it). The Maryland Film Festival will be able to help defray the costs of travel and lodging.

Browse our festival archives at or read more about our festival on Wikipedia to get a better idea of the varieties of films and videos we program.

The Maryland Film Festival is a non-competition festival.

The Maryland Film Festival will not return entries or refund entry fees.

Please do not send us press kits or promotional materials unless requested. When submitting via online screener, please be certain to submit a Vimeo link and password that will remain active and unchanged through April 2022. Failure to submit a link that our screening committee can access throughout our screening process may be grounds for rejection.


By submitting a film the entrant guarantees that they have obtained all appropriate rights and clearances, and that they have legal right to both enter their film and, if selected, screen it publicly within The Maryland Film Festival.

Overall Rating
  • Dylan Boom

    Phenomenal festival! It was the first time that the fest was back in person and we had the honor of being part of the opening night short films, it was truly awesome. Would love to come back!

    May 2022
  • Joe Kraemer

    Terrific festival, totally worth it as a filmmaker. You'll want to go if you get in. Great crowds, great venues, nice after parties and other special events. Filmmakers from all over attend and it's a great networking event. Great for local filmmakers too. All around exceptional!

    May 2022
  • Grace Jung

    This was a really excellent festival to bring my film to. I was really struck by the quality and flow of the shorts programs, and it was a true honor to have my film picked alongside such great movies. It was also a joy to see so many wonderful short films. The staff members were incredibly helpful and friendly. I couldn't have asked for a better way to premiere my film.

    May 2022
  • It was an honor to have my short Horror film, "Pill" screen in this year's MdFF. I'm happy this was the first experience back to in-person festivals. Those running the festival made it a welcoming, fun, valuable, and memorable experience.

    May 2022
  • Cat Dale

    This festival experience was one of the most professional I've seen. The programmers and staff have a contagious passion for art and filmmakers. Thank you for being a light in dark times!

    May 2022