Thomas Edison Film Festival (TEFF) is a touring festival. TEFF has a serious, abiding commitment to the short form as its centerpiece and reason for being, and we celebrate independent short work under 60 minutes. Not a conventional destination film festival – we are a modernly fierce, socially conscious traveling festival, reaching out to diverse audiences with provocative, timely, edgy and compelling new works by both accomplished and emerging filmmakers.

Our annual collection of international indie films is screened to audiences throughout the world. Venues such as the National Gallery of Art, DC; Lewis Center for the Arts – Princeton; Dryden Theater; Roxie Theater – SF; Anthology Film Archives; Pocono Cinema & Cultural Center; Hoboken Historical Museum; Jersey City Theater Center; and numerous universities including: Syracuse, UDelaware, UC Santa Barbara, UArts, Towson, and University of Colorado – Boulder, host our unique programs every year.

Our programs often feature in-person appearances and talks with filmmakers. We offer assurance that your work is brought to a multitude of audiences, rather than a one-time showing (like most festivals). Touring and streaming happens yearly across the US and abroad. Given our extensive annual tour, opportunities for filmmakers to meet and greet audiences are considerable. Note: we do not offer fixed stipends for travel, housing or speaking.

The collection is perpetually available for online screening and your work is included in our annual print and digital booklet - a comprehensive and scholarly publication which lists and describes the selected works and awards.

Prizes and Awards:
Jury's Stellar Award for Animation
Jury's Stellar Award for Documentary
Jury's Stellar Award for Experimental
Jury's Stellar Award for Narrative
Jury's Stellar Award for Screen Dance
Global Insights Stellar Award - Exceptional awareness of global issues
ADA Award for a captioned film - Addressing diversity, equality, inclusion and access as encompassed by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Jury's Choice Award - 1st prize
Jury's Citation Award - 2nd prize
Director's Choice Award - 3rd prize
Honorable Mention - 4th prize

3. All applicants must complete the official festival submission form located on FilmFreeway ( TEFF reserves the right to disqualify any film not submitted through FilmFreeway without refund of any application fees.
4. All applicants MUST include support materials in their FilmFreeway submission including:
• Downloadable link for pre-screening & jury
• Film Stills – hi and lo res
• Film Description
• Filmmaker(s) Bio
• Contact information - Current email, mailing address & phone
• Trailer preferred but not required
4. The applicant holds the sole responsibility of copyright clearance of any copyrighted material in the film. Films including unauthorized copyrighted material are ineligible.
5. Films not in English MUST be subtitled in English.
6. Multiple versions of the same film will not be considered.
7. If the submitted film does not play, TEFF will make an attempt to contact the applicant based on the information supplied. If a replacement is not available, the film will be disqualified without refund.
8. Only completed films may be submitted. No rough cuts or works in-progress.
9. Filmmaker must own all rights to their film and music and/or have secured rights.
10. Inclusion in the festival does not insure a pubic screening; however, the festival collection will be made available on-line, in perpetuity.
11. TEFF does not provide comments, critiques or feedback regarding submitted films.

Overall Rating
  • The Thomas Edison Film Festival was the highlight of my short film "'Love'"'s film festival run thus far! Jane Steuerwald operates an exciting and top-notch festival of extraordinary films you may never see elsewhere. Her communication and thoughtfulness made each and every filmmaker feel special and their ongoing programs led to not just a brief experience but to continued opportunities to watch other unique films and present my own over the course of many months. I was especially honored to be included in a "Meet the Filmmaker" event. Even though the fest had transitioned to online, I never felt lost in the shuffle. If your film is accepted into this prestigious festival, consider yourself very talented!

    January 2022
  • Sophie SHUI

    It was an honor to be part of the Thomas Edison Film Festival. I am so happy to share my short film, A Trip With Mom, at this important and outstanding film festival.They are amazing crew! Especially Jane Steuerwald, I was moved by your kindness, encouragement, and enthusiastic communication.Many thanks for your job and to support the indipendent and good cinema.

    Thank you again for your crisp and timely communications.Huge honour and a big motivation for the entire team and me.Looking forward to participating in the future.

    January 2022
  • jeanne waltz

    very friendly, really great communication. Thanks Jane and all the team!

    January 2022
  • Richard James Allen

    Here, at The Physical TV Company in Sydney, we are delighted that our film DIGITAL AFTERLIVES has won the Jury’s Stellar Award for Screen Dance, for your 2022 touring festival, after previously receiving a Jury’s Citation Award for I WANT TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT WOMEN in 2021. It is an honour to be part of your highly active tradition of supporting independent film. Big thanks to Jane Steuerwald and the team at Thomas Edison Film Festival.

    January 2022
  • Amanda Madden

    I LOVED being part of TEFF and had such a wonderful experience! I was excited to have the opportunity to share my film in multiple collections throughout the year and also to participate in a great Q&A with Jane and another filmmaker. I felt so supported and lifted by the festival and highly recommend participating as either a filmmaker, viewer, or both!

    January 2022
    Response from festival:

    Dear Amanda:
    Thank you so much! Our "Meet the Filmmakers" talk was stellar! Your insight and aesthetic approach brought so much depth to our conversation. I am honored to have had the opportunity to feature your unique and personal film in the TEFF. You lifted me up too and enriched the festival in so many ways. Warmly, JS