Thomas Edison Film Festival (TEFF) is a touring festival with a serious, abiding commitment to the short form. We seek out and celebrate independent short work under 20 minutes, and from 21-45 minutes, with special consideration for short films. 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 University; Anthology Film Archives; Barrymore Film Center; Hoboken Historical Museum; 1st Night Morris; and numerous universities including: Syracuse, Princeton, UDelaware, SCAD, UArts, Towson, Ramapo College and University of Colorado – Boulder, host our unique programs.

TEFF screenings often feature in-person appearances and talks with filmmakers. We offer assurance that your work may be seen at various in-person events and by many viewers through our robust on-line streaming. 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. WE DO NOT provide rental or screening fees.

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
DEAI Award for a 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

1. We accept short films of all genres under 45 minutes. SHORT FILMS UNDER 15 MINUTES RECEIVE FOREMOST CONSIDERATION!
4. 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.
5. All applicants MUST include support materials in their FilmFreeway submission including:
• Downloadable link for pre-screening & jury
• Film Stills – hi and lo res
• Brief Film Description: (25-75 words)
• Filmmaker(s) Bio & Artist(s) Statement
• Contact information - Current email, mailing address & phone
• Trailer preferred but not required
6. The applicant holds the sole responsibility of copyright clearance of any copyrighted material in the film. Films including unauthorized copyrighted material are ineligible.
7. Films not produced in English MUST be subtitled in English.
8. Subtitles are HIGHLY recommended. Please submit an .SRT file and/or a burned in subtitled version of your film if important to content.
9. Multiple versions of the same film will not be considered.
10. 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.
11. Only completed films may be submitted. No rough cuts or works in-progress.
12. Filmmaker must own all rights to their film and music and/or have secured rights.
13. Inclusion in the festival does not insure a pubic screening; however, the festival collection will be made available on-line, in perpetuity. Honorable Mention awarded films are available for viewing on-line, and are only considered for public viewing upon request by a host venue.
14. TEFF does not provide comments, critiques or feedback regarding submitted films.

Overall Rating
  • Christopher Kulikowski

    I had the good pleasure and good fortune of being accepted into the Thomas Edison Film Festival. The staff and communication was terrific and the festival engaging. Thank you for an enjoyable run. :-)

    January 2023
  • Maureen Zent

    This is a super program and it was an honor to have my film in it.

    January 2023
  • Marcelo Lagreze

    It was a great joy and honor to be part of the Thomas Edison Film Festival with my short film "Utopia Of The Outraged". Congratulations for the great work you do, the great predisposition and excellent communication. Hopefully in the following opportunities I will have the opportunity to attend in person. Thanks. Regards.

    January 2023
  • It was a huge honor that our short film “The Black Sheep” got the Honorable Mention Award, this gave us great encouragement, thanks a lot.

    January 2023
  • 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