It’s our 5th Anniversary! Taking place at the historic Royal Theater in downtown Benton, AR, the Royal Film Festival features award winning shorts and feature films from around the world. Come celebrate with us this year by submitting your film today!

Each accepted filmmaker will receive 2 complementary tickets to the festival, will be featured in our program and promoted on our Facebook page, and will receive the official Royal Film Festival laurel to feature in advertising for their film. In addition to this, a winner will be selected by the Young Players for the Young Players Best Short Award. Please note that films screened in competition for this award will be pre-selected based off of age appropriateness.


After each block of films, there will be a short Q&A with filmmakers present to discuss their work. A filmmaker Meet & Greet as well as a festival after-party are currently being scheduled. Venues and times for these events will be announced via the Royal Film Festival Facebook page.

Please note that we DO NOT waive submission fees. We feel it is unfair to waive fees to certain filmmakers, no matter the circumstances. Whether your film has played at multiple prestigious festivals or it has never been screened anywhere, all submissions will require a fee. We believe this preserves the integrity of the festival and helps to put everyone on an even playing field. In light of this, we do our best to keep submission fees low compared to other festivals, however, the fees help pay for facilities and promotional materials to allow your films to be seen. Therefore emails requesting submission waivers will not receive a response. Thank you for understanding.

You own the rights to your film. Screening your work at the Royal in no way implies ownership by the festival. All film genres and formats are eligible. If submitting a foreign language film, please make sure it includes subtitles. When submitting your film either via online screener or disc, please make sure your materials work properly and are correctly labeled. If a film is unable to be viewed, it will not be accepted.

If accepted to the festival, you will be contacted with an address for sending your film in one of the following formats: dvd, blu-ray, high resolution download link or high-res file on a flash drive. You will receive a deadline by which to send your materials. If we are unable to receive your film in time, we will not be able to screen it. Please note that mailed materials will not be returned, however, if you are present at the festival, they may be picked up from one of the festival organizers. By submitting your film, you commit to screening your film if selected and authorize its non-exclusive use in any and all promotional materials. The rules and regulations of this festival are subject to change at the discretion of the festival organizers. We will do our best to notify participants of any and all changes.

Overall Rating
  • I wish I could have stayed for more of the festival. I got to meet several other filmmakers and the MC. Everyone was very friendly!

    March 2018
  • Johnnie Brannon

    I love the fact that there is a film festival in Benton, Arkansas, the same location where Sling Blade was filmed. It's been awesome watching the festival grow and get better each year and they serve amazing BBQ sandwiches as well! Can't wait to see what happens in 2018.

    December 2017
  • Kyle Kleinecke

    I had a great time at The Royal Film Festival. The team was very nice and accommodating. I enjoyed watching the films in an old historic theater.

    March 2017
  • Jennifer Gerber

    The Royal Film Festival is full of heart and hospitality. They treat their filmmakers with such care and the audience is very engaged. The festival is well organized, on scheduled and fun. I had a wonderful time and I hope to return in the future!

    March 2017
  • Scott McEntire

    The Royal provides filmmakers with a cool venue in which to screen, solid crowds to view the films, Royal Young Players input, and a few cool people who work extra hard to make it all seem easy. Great job for a local AR festival!

    December 2016