Nestled in the heart of farming country in North Central Oklahoma is the small town of Tonkawa. First settled by the Tonkawa tribe in 1884 at a time when numerous tribes from across the country were being sent to what at the time was Indian Territory. Oklahoma later became a state in 1907. In 1921 oil was found in an area just south of Tonkawa later named ‘Three Sands’, making millionaires overnight as it became one of the largest oil fields in the world at the time.

Today, Tonkawa is home to just over 3,000 citizens, as well as Northern Oklahoma College which was established in 1901. With state of the art facilities, it provides the screening experience filmmakers and film lovers deserve.

Our inaugural year was truly a success. We were so honored to have special guests writer/director Alex Smith (Walking Out, The Slaughter Rule) and actress Dana Wheeler-Nicholson (Friday Night Lights, Nashville, Tombstone) in attendance. We also had special videos sent in from actors Matt Bomer (White Collar, The Sinner), Bill Sage (We Are What We Are, American Psycho), Joe Perrino (Power), and Josh Wiggins (Walking Out). Filmmakers from across the country enjoyed free lodging at the Tonkawa Hotel & Casino and were the guests of honor in our one of kind film festival parade through downtown Tonkawa. We are looking forward to doing it all again in 2024.

The Tonkawa Film Commission and the citizens of Tonkawa are excited to welcome filmmakers from around the world to screen their films at the beautiful 200 seat theater in Wilkin Hall located on the Northern Oklahoma College campus.

OKLAHOMA FILMMAKERS: If you are a resident of Oklahoma, email a copy of your license showing Oklahoma residency to and we'll send you a code for $5 OFF your entry fee.

We look forward to meeting you and celebrating you and your films!

Awards in the form of trophies will be given in each category. As well as a Best of Fest award of $500. More cash awards maybe added.

-- Competition is open to entries from around the globe. Please check individual categories for additional requirements.

-- Short films are under 20 minutes in length. Music Videos under 10 minutes in length.

-- Films not in the English language must be subtitled in English.

-- You may submit multiple entries but must fill out a separate entry form and pay an entry fee for each.

-- OKLAHOMA FILMMAKERS: If you are a resident of Oklahoma, email a copy of your license showing Oklahoma residency to and we'll send you a code for $5 OFF your entry fee.

The individual or corporation submitting the film warrants that he/she is authorized to commit the film to screening at any time during the 2024 Tonkawa Film Festival. Selected entries must send festival screening copy in H.264 (.mp4) format.

Every possible care will be taken with entries while in our possession, however, we cannot accept responsibility for loss, damage or additional charges incurred en route, or due to normal wear and tear, or due to equipment failure. Do NOT send original prints or master copies. Additionally, Tonkawa Film Festival and the Tonkawa Film Commission are held harmless from any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity or screening of any film.


-- Entry fee (must be paid online).

--3-Line Synopsis (may be used for Festival Program and website)

--COLLEGE STUDENTS: Include proof of student status at the time of production. (Copy of student ID or transcript.)

--YOUNG FILMMAKERS: Include a copy of your state or student id verifying your age at the time of completion of the film. You may submit a letter from a teacher if you do not have photo ID.

--OKLAHOMA RESIDENTS: Include proof of residence or proof that the entry was shot predominantly in the state of Oklahoma.

--Accepted entries must submit at least one digital, horizontal 300dpi still photo from the film and at least one web-ready still at 72dpi and 560x315 pixels. Also submit film posters in .jpg format if available.

Notification of Festival acceptance status is scheduled to be given to all entrants on or about March 5, 2024.


Trophies accompanied with a certificate will be awarded in each category as well as a Best of Fest Award.

*Additional jury prizes may be given out

Overall Rating
  • From start to finish, James and his crew were amazing. The events, social media, etc for the festival were great. A BIG thank you to everyone at TFF for making us part of this year's festival!

    April 2023
  • The Tonkawa Film Festival is a great film festival. They selected our film, and I was very keen to attend because they really take care of their filmmakers. For example, in 2023, filmmakers were offered free hotel rooms and a shuttle to the event, making it easy to meet other filmmakers. Sadly, we didn't get a grant to travel there (since we are coming from New Zealand), but if I could have made it, I would have loved to attend. Anyway, they have great communication and really take care of their filmmakers. I highly recommend it.

    April 2023
  • The Tonkawa Film Festival is one of the best festivals I've ever been to. In 2023, filmmakers were provided with free hotel rooms and a shuttle was provided to each event, which made meeting other filmmakers and making friends easy. Screenings were well attended by the community with what I think were about 90-120 people in the audience on each night of the festival, and the festival organizers worked really hard to provide entertainment and hospitality to the attending filmmakers. I also thought this was the best curated festival I've ever been to. A lot of festivals seem to prioritize production value over originality, which wasn't the case at Tonkawa. I think the relatively short two night, one venue format allows them to be very selective and maintain a high quality of film. You may not meet any distributors or agents at Tonkawa if that's what you're looking for but if you attend you're pretty much guaranteed to make friends with other filmmakers and/or actors and have your film seen by a fairly sizable audience of non-filmmakers, which is really valuable.

    April 2023
  • Nick Everhart

    I had such an amazing time at this festival. Unlike any other experience I've had. The whole town of Tonkawa is so supportive. They provided hotel rooms and most meals for the filmmakers. They had wonderful events and location tours scheduled for us. And the parade! We got to be in a parade. That alone was worth the plane ticket. The whole weekend was so thoughtfully planned by James and Lance. The communication was impeccable. But most importantly, the selection of films was exceptional. I was impressed by every single one of them. Great town, great people, great films, great fest. Can't wait to come back.

    April 2023
  • Lance Kramer

    What a FANTASTIC festival! This was one of the most unique festivals I've ever been to. The films were all high quality, and the organizers were incredible. Everyone in the small town of Tonkawa was warm and inviting. Don't miss out on this fest! Thanks Tonkawa Film Fest!

    April 2023