[ In communication with our venues & partners, we are
[ continuing submissions. Despite the cancellation &
[ delay of most major festivals, ours is many months
[ away. We expect to hold our festival as planned.
[ Until then, stay safe, friends. - DTK

What’s your Genre?

The Threadbare Mitten Film Festival is an eclectic and eccentric celebration of genre cinema, here in the tell-tale heart of Michigan.

We won't push you into a box:

Horror, Sci-Fi, Contemporary Western, Neo-Noir, Absurdist Comedy, Fantasy, Splatterpunk, Magical Realism, Creature Feature, Psychological Thriller, Modern Samurai, ZomRomCom, Exploitation and Grindhouse, Road Trip, Documentary and Mockumentary, Experimental and Non-Narrative... whatever weird quirks spark your camera rolling, genre or inter-genre, we want to give you an exhibition home to exorcise them with an appreciative audience.

(...and if being pushed into a box is your thing, well ok, show us that!)

As the Michigan Film and Digital Media Office said:

"Think of the Threadbare Mitten Film Festival as the anti-genre, but all-genre film festival, if that makes any sense. Truly a grassroots festival if ever there was one."

- June Newsletter 6/12/18

We categorically reject festivals that require filmmakers to sort their submissions by genre. It’s our job to categorize films, not yours! Just submit your work according to duration and we’ll take it from there. We take great pride in our thematic programming, sequencing every film block like the songs on an album. Every year’s festival is guaranteed to be different than what came before, based upon the characteristics of the films we receive. Our Festival Director leads the Judging Team, and personally watches every submission.

FOURTH EDITION: This year we’re about TransFOURmations! We’ve seen a lot of changes here in Michigan’s film community, in Lansing, and in our beloved REO Town, which continues hosting our two-night-and-all-of-a-day festival. We’re keeping our traditions alive in this fourth year, including screenings at our festival's home in the beautiful Robin Theatre and other venues, a Friday night Film.Craft.Beer VIP Party, Filmmaker Q&As, and free Community Screenings. As always, this year’s hand-crafted Jury and Audience Award trophies will be revealed at the Festival.

New to this year, we’ll be putting together a special program for the theme of TransFOURmations, so whether you’ve got body-horror transmogrification or spiritual revelation, show us some kind of transformation for extra consideration.

More details to come as we negotiate with additional venues and partners for this year's festivities!

See our Wall of Fame for past years' Award Winning films: www.threadbarefilmfest.com/awards

ABOUT US: We are passionate filmmakers, dedicated to growing our film community and providing a viewing experience worth the time and effort of everyone involved from ourselves to the filmmakers and the ticket buyer. We respect the film and the filmmaker, the cast and the crew, as does our audience. We support local film, student film, international film, diverse voices, and quality craft regardless of budget or questionable content. We take an expansive view of what a genre festival can be, pushing the boundaries of expectations to include some of the most gripping documentaries we've seen (about the only thing we DON'T want are straight-up 'indie' dramas and serialized content that does not provide its own complete narrative). This is neither a vanity exercise nor a party for ourselves, and we do not screen our own films or just shower our friends with prizes. We strive for quality of image and sound regardless of venue.

OUR HOME: Located just off of Lansing's downtown core, REO Town represents the heart of creative revitalization and the artistic community. Saddleback BBQ, the REO Town Diner, Blue Owl Coffee, Sleepwalker Spirits and Ales, the REO Town Pub, the Rusty Mug, along with an assortment of shops, are right here on Washington Avenue under the Three Stacks. It truly is a small town within the Capital City.

Laurels and unique locally-crafted Trophies, made by a different artist every year, for each of 10 Award Categories:

Juried Category Awards:
Best Short Short
Best Short Film
Best Feature Film
Stranger than Fiction

Audience Awards:
People Pleaser
Michigan Masterpiece

Juried Special Recognition Awards:
A+ Student Filmmaker
Bloody and Brilliant
Subversive Selection
and a mystery Special Jury Award to be announced at the Festival

Exhibition Formats:

Films selected for the Threadbare Mitten Film Festival must provide exhibition copies to the festival coordinators at least 2 weeks prior to the festival dates.

Films selected for screening must provide a digital screener in standard .mp4 format or equivalent. We currently request HD resolution files, not 4K. We prefer not to receive ProRes files, as the various encodings sometimes produce playback errors. Surround sound will be mixed down to stereo for exhibition.

If you are unable to establish an electronic transfer of an exhibition quality file to our staff, we ask you to please mail a flashdrive or SD card containing the file to our submission address. At this point, we do not have venues scheduled for this year's Festival that require physical media for exhibition. Any changes to our exhibition capabilities will be communicated to filmmakers (i.e. ability to project in 4K, Surround Sound, or need for physical media playback).

We reserve the option to reschedule, remove, or replace your film with another selection if there are issues receiving adequate exhibition files or discs.


Filmmaker Feedback:

As filmmakers ourselves, we know how frustrating it can be to spend production dollars on festival submissions and only receive blank form rejections that give no indication of a given film's strengths or weaknesses, or whether it was just poor luck that your hard work simply didn't fit with a given year's programming. In past years, we aimed to provide feedback on our own selection process and reasoning, but as our festival has grown the number of submissions has outpaced our Director’s ability to provide personalized notes to every submission. Let us know when you submit your film if you are interested in hearing from our programmers and we will endeavor to provide feedback as we are able, in case the unfortunate happens and we are unable to find a place for your work in our Festival.



While we will not impose content restrictions for submitted films, please consider the following:

1. We are not interested in purely pornographic material without narrative interest

2. We are not interested in exhibiting actual acts of real life violence or death



1. The Threadbare Mitten Film Festival (the FESTIVAL) will only accept original works. (no fan-films)

a) By submitting your film to the FESTIVAL, you assert that you are authorized to submit the film, and that you own (or have legal permission to use) the copyright to all submitted materials, including the soundtrack, story, and on-screen imagery. The FESTIVAL assumes no liability for any potential claims, damages, judgments, and expenses against any submitted film.

b) By submitting your film, you grant permission to the FESTIVAL to publicly exhibit the film during the festival dates, and to share imagery, copy, and audio/visual clips from the film for promotional purposes, including the promotion of future events.

2. Electronic submissions only. We encourage you to provide any available electronic promotional/publicity materials at the time of submission. Upon notification of selection by the FESTIVAL, the submitter of Short and Feature category films must provide at minimum a film trailer, poster, and synopsis.

3. All submissions must be in English or contain English subtitles.

4. Judging is anonymous and arbitrary. FESTIVAL judge decisions are final.

5. The FESTIVAL does not require any particular Premiere status or completion date; any prior screenings or distribution will be considered as part of the overall submission for all films.

6. Filmmakers whose work is selected will receive 2 VIP passes to the FESTIVAL. Additional guests may be accommodated for the program in which your film is screening.

Overall Rating
  • Alexa Range

    This is a very nice little festival with a wide variety of films. The festival staff programed it quite well and were very friendly and supportive. Definitely worth the time and submission.

    February 2020
  • David Less

    This is a wonderful festival and the quality of the films exceeded my expectations. A really diverse array of work that had me surprised, smiling and engaged after each viewing. Anyone, but especially Midwest filmmakers should submit and attend. Truly eye opening to the excellent work that might normally get overlooked. Dan Kofoed and the festival team were excellent with communication and so friendly when we arrived. We missed the first year one of our films screened and even the 3 plus hour drive from Chicago was well worth it this past year. Thank you Threadbare!

    February 2020
  • Jackson Ezinga

    Dan and his team run a really cool little festival! I didn't know what to expect when I found out my film was screening in a tent behind a bar, but when I showed up there were volunteers busy bringing extra chairs from other bars and restaurants in the area because the screening was PACKED and they ran out of seating. The audience was really receptive and the programming was great! If you submit (which you should), and get accepted, GO. It's a good time.

    February 2020
  • Very glad that my film BOOBER was selected to play at this amazing festival. The festival was very beautiful, warm, and int imitate. I had a lot of fun watching all the awesome films thanks to the GREAT programming and really getting to know the other filmmakers as well as film goers. You really got to chill and really connect with the films and people there. Overall an amazing experience and will definitely submit again. Highly recommend submitting and attending!

    October 2019
  • Michael Austin

    Dan Kofoed was such a wonderful host and put on an amazing experience with his festival. He's very interested in everyone's work and just as supportive of the filmmakers.

    October 2019