The Biggest Small Town Film Festival in Oklahoma! 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 2025.

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 2025 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 10, 2025.


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

*Additional jury prizes may be given out

Overall Rating
  • Cristina Doikos

    Amazing experience for filmmakers. The festival is well curated, organized and wildly supportive of their filmmakers. Felt appreciated and taken care of every step of the way. The audiences were engaged and the festival hosts made everyone feel included.

    June 2024
  • Danielle Windram

    I could not recommend a film festival more! This festival is INCREADIBLY well organized, full of high quality films, and has fantastic events centered around the festival. I was able to attend in person and met so many fantastic film makers. Again I could not recommend this film festival more- fantastic experience!

    May 2024
  • Such an insanely welcoming festival! The entire community of Tonkawa feels like they come out to support the screenings, and I felt like more people were in attendance for my screening than some LA fests I've been to. There's a lot of fun stuff in the schedule that encourages you to spend time with the other filmmakers, all of these experiences/outings are free to filmmakers, too. I felt like I made some wonderful connections while being included in the fest's family and it has made it a top fest to submit to. Definitely worth the trip!!

    May 2024
  • Mattias Olsson

    I was not able to attend the 2024 edition of the festival, but my film Waking Up was part of the official selection and went on to win Best International Film. Naturally I can't say much about the hospitality, lodging etc. But from what I can tell online the festival is really, really well run and every guest seems to have a great time. What I can talk about is communication - which was top notch. Every mail was responded to within 24 hours and everything was clear as day. I really hope I'll be able to attend sometime in the future.

    April 2024
  • Dan Lior

    This is our second time participating in the Tonkawa Film Festival, and it was such a pleasant experience. James and the rest of the team are extremely professional, passionate, and hospitable, and it showed throughout the event.

    April 2024