Nestled in the heart of farming country in North Central Oklahoma is the small town of Tonkawa. First settled by the Tonkawa Indian 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 2022.

The Tonkawa Chamber of Commerce 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.

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

-- Short films are under 20 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 2022 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 Chamber of Commerce is 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, 2022.


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
  • Tyler W

    Great Festival! They are huge supporters of independent voices. One of the best things I did for my film.

    August 2021
  • It was a great experience. Everyone was very professional and our film got a lot of exposure. Thank you so much.

    August 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for leaving us a review. We wish you could have experienced it in person, but there is always next time. We truly enjoyed watching your film on the big screen. We look forward to more.

  • SUCH AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE! Tonkawa Film Festival is a filmmaker's dream event. We were treated with such respect and dignity. Each day was well planned and organized by the festival's director and the town of Tonkawa welcomed us with open arms. The festival paid for my hotel expenses (and meals!), picked us up at the airport, provided transportation to/from venues, took us on tours of the city, AND the town of Tonkawa held a parade in the filmmakers' honor. We paraded through town on covered wagons. I kid you not. I rode through town singing "Oklahoma" at the top of my lungs while onlookers cheered and tossed candy. Fantastic perks aside, Tonkawa excels because of its festival director, James Oxford. He devoted so much energy into spending quality time with the filmmakers and making sure we really connected with audience members during the screenings. This festival is a must for any filmmaker hoping to screen their film at an event where they'll receive individual attention and not just be a name on the roster. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

    June 2021
    Response from festival:

    We hoped for a one of a kind experience and having you as a part of our inaugural year made it truly that. Thank you for allowing to screen such a wonderful comedy and bringing your joy to Tonkawa.

  • Devin Montgomery

    This was my favorite film festival experience I've ever had! Seriously. Would highly recommend this festival to any filmmakers to submit to, and also anyone who wants to attend an amazing festival w/ amazing, caring people who love film! They put on a great atmosphere as well. I'm so happy my film "A Monster Within" was accepted and able to play here. Look forward to making many more trips to Tonkawa for this festival for years to come.

    June 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for not only your amazing film, but being part of our festival as well. You proved that once again, we are meeting some of the best people in filmmaking. We look forward to seeing you and your films again.

  • Jesse Cowan

    I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to James Oxford and the crew at Tonkawa Film Festival. I was really looking forward to visiting Oklahoma, and regret having missed out on that opportunity, due to a certain viral pandemic. Never the less, they kept me in the loop, and were very gracious hosts. Thanks so much for letting me participate in the 2021 Tonkawa Film Festival!

    June 2021
    Response from festival:

    Your film was truly amazing and we can't wait to see more of your work. We hope to see you at a future festival, so that you can truly experience the Tonkawa Film Festival.