*Please Note: We are an IMDb qualifying event. Also, since June 2018 all nominated films will be provided with soundbite reviews during our announcement period.

The Monkey Bread Tree Film Awards is an awards body dedicated to independent film. With competitions every two months and a changing judge panel of film critics, actors and filmmakers working within the industry, we dedicate ourselves to awarding films based on their originality and creativity, whilst considering their budget restrictions.

We consider production limitations as part of what allows us to judge your creativity and originality. In our opinion, an independent film shot for a shoestring budget should not need to compete with one produced on a larger independent budget for the best prize.
Likewise, we believe that all films competing should have the opportunity to enter just the main competition, or other categories.

Our main competition is divided into budget groupings split across various media forms: short films, feature films, web-series and our scriptwriting competition. Within these three production categories we separate the projects by their budgets: under $5,000, between $5,000-$10,000, and over $10,000.

When submitting your project you automatically enter the ‘Other Categories’ competition. All films in these areas are judged on an equal level regardless of length or budget constraints. For a complete and up-to-date list of our categories, please visit our site.

The script competition for unproduced material is split into three categories: best genre piece, best technique, and best micro budget material.

The Music Video competition for released videos is split into three categories: best cinematography, best editing, and best music video.

The production competition, which focuses on 'greenlighting' super short micro budget films, operates individually from The Monkey Bread Tree Film Awards. For further details regarding how this competition works, please visit our website.

All selected participants within the main competition will be considered for the Jury Prizes. No films will be selected for our competition without a specific nomination.

For an extended review of your film or webseries, please enter Review Project. The reviews average around 300 words each. We are currently unable to provide reviews for unproduced scripts.

For further details regarding our newly launched production competition, the statistics regarding how many filmmakers/writers are competing and the amount of funding the current size of our slate, please visit our Films by TMBT area on our website - http://themonkeybreadtree.com/tmbt-films/

A detailed review of around 150 words in total will be written for the Jury winning film(s) on our website. All films entered into the competition will be considered for this award by the jury.

Laurels will be provided to all winning films of the main competition, as well as a 100 word (approx.) review on our site.

All nominated films, and 'Other Categories' winners, will receive at least a 10-word note about their projects and achievements.

All selected projects are nominated projects. Nomination laurels will be provided for nominated films. All laurels can be accessed on our site.

Only four scripts will be awarded in the script competition. There will be a maximum of five runners-up for this competition.

Please submit the film digitally through FilmFreeway exclusively. We do not accept hard copies due to our changing judging panel.
All selections are final and no correspondence can be entered into. The judging panel is mostly independent of the selection committee, making their voting entirely independent of one another.
There are no public screenings for our film awards, so that we do not affect your other submissions or premiere status.
You may have multiple entries and submit to multiple categories, but each entry and submission must have its own submission fee.

Submissions in a language other than English must have subtitles. Works in progress are accepted.
Press kits are not required for our site. In the instance of errors and/or inconsistencies, this page may be updated without notice - please contact us if there are any issues which you have noticed (contact email can be located on our Filmfreeway listing).
Entry fees are non-refundable. Projects can be from any of the last five years (production having been completed by December 2012). Entry Fees are in $USD.
As of June 2018 we no longer provide interviews for winning Jury films.

Terms and conditions pertaining to our production competition are outlined on our website. http://themonkeybreadtree.com/about-filmsbytmbt/

LAST UPDATED - 9th June 2018 - Revised details of festival. Entries are subject to their festival type dependent upon entry period.

Overall Rating
  • Michele Carter

    Thank you for the wonderful words and inclusion into your Awards.

    January 2020
  • Cole Sims

    Great festival, my first short script was chosen for inclusion!

    January 2020
  • Ayesha Adu

    Good experience! Was nominated for Best Short film over a $10,000 budget! That was special. Thanks, again, MBTFA!

    January 2020
  • Karen Weed

    Great experience, thank you for picking Assam Skies as a nominee in the Autumn 2019 session.

    January 2020
  • In my opinion, this "online festival" is a waste of a filmmaker's hard-earned money. I won Best Short Over $10,000 and was nominated for a cinematography award. The owner of the festival had an almost gleeful compulsion to trash my film in his review. Why give someone a Best Short award for a science fiction film if the only thing you're going to do is insult it for "being too much like a Marvel movie?" He was cruel and obtuse about his (wrong) assumptions. I'm a small-town, independent filmmaker from the American Midwest and trashed me for being, essentially, too Hollywood.

    I've politely emailed him three times to update my status from Selected to Award Winner. He refuses to answer any of my emails. He's never communicated with me, not even to inform me I won an award or got a review.

    He is a filmmaker himself; you'd think he would have some empathy for the festival process. However, I believe he treats us as a source of income and an opportunity to exact revenge on a world he doesn't like.

    If he'd responded to me just once in the last two months I'd never have written this review. However, his silence earned it. Any award from this sad, angry person is a waste of money. This isn't a film festival; it is the pet awards of a lonely person who wants to tell you why he begrudgingly gave you an award and that you're an idiot for not making movies like him.

    December 2019
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Justin,

    Johan here (one of the team members that work at TMBT).

    Firstly, with regards to our review - the festival director, and all judges and reviewers working here at TMBT, are encouraged to be honest in their reviews. Ben has, many times over the years, taken umbrage with the 'glossy' mast and coverage styles, and is known for having favoured European aesthetics with his own work. All the same, please do reread the actual review attached to your win at our festival, where he does say that the film 'deserves' attention and support, as well as the fact that it is 'one hell of an impressive short popcorn flick!' - The win, and these excerpts. are all positive, regardless of his personal taste or highlights of any faults he personally found in your film... which he addresses at the start of his review, attached to your win.

    Our notification emails, which were sent at close of our last season, would have included a note about the fact that we do note write to you again regarding a win or nomination. This has been done to maintain our low costs (your entry cost $14). With regards to your personal emails being ignored, Ben has been busy with finishing a shoot on his own feature film - and his is the direct email line via Filmfreeway. He, I and the rest of the team apologise for this mishap. Sadly, you didn't try to reach us via social media, where our other team members have been actively working and would have picked up on your correspondence and dealt with the Filmfreeway status demand. We again, apologise for this snafu.

    It is sorry for us to hear that you feel our awards body has not been of any use. If you wish for us to rescind the award and nomination, please let us know and we will have it removed from our site. We have just processed a complete refund of your entry via Paypal this afternoon ($14) in lieu of this incident.

    We wish you the best of luck with your project.


    Johan and team