The Twin Cities Film Fest (TCFF) is a "hybrid" festival with both online and in-person theater screenings. TCFF is one of the country’s premiere celebrations of independent cinema, serving as both a regional showcase for the year's most accomplished independent films and a prominent stage that puts Midwestern art and artists in the spotlight. Beyond its core October event, TCFF operates as a year-round visual arts education organization, promoting industry talent while providing educational, networking and distribution opportunities that can expand careers and support thought provoking content.

With roots tracing back to 2005, the Twin Cities Film Fest boasts an impressive track record of recruiting, celebrating and showcasing brilliant works of visual art — and then building a supportive network to aid artists in their next creation. In addition to hosting premiere screenings during the festival, TCFF is is known for its socially-conscious sidebar, which spotlights one theme each year, as well as its educational events, professional networking opportunities and its in-depth post-screening Q&As. Apart from its core October event, TCFF also organizes year-round premiere screenings, training sessions, networking expos, filmmaker mixers and script readings. Other festivals housed under the TCFF umbrella include Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival and, Twin Cities OutFest.

Staff Awards: Best Feature Award, Robert Byrd Best Documentary Award, Best Short Film Award

Indie Vision Awards - Performance, Achievement

Audience Awards: Feature Film, Documentary, Short Film

"Fun is Good" Bill Murray Comedy Shorts Award



+Films completed after January 1st, 2019 are eligible for consideration for the 2021 TCFF

+All feature length and short films will be considered regardless of their premiere status. However, TCFF prioritizes films that have not yet had public screenings in the Twin Cities.

+Feature-length and short film submissions must not have been broadcast or televised, or be publicly available in their entirety online prior to their date of exhibition.

+Feature length and short films are eligible to enter in the Minnesota Connected Category if they are filmed in Minnesota, produced or directed by a native Minnesota (residency not required) or feature a native Minnesotan actor in a lead role.

+TCFF reserves the right to determine eligibility of any work submitted.

+TCFF reserves the right to revoke acceptance of a film that cannot be submitted in a required format.


The following submission requirements must be met before a submission can be considered:

1) Completed Submissions Form (online).

2) Submission Fee. Payment is accepted via FilmFreeway. Submissions fees are non-refundable.

3) Waivers will be granted on a case by case basis. Filmmakers should request a waiver prior to submission at

4) Filmmakers may submit more than one project. Each project must be submitted separately.

5) Only online screeners are accepted. Filmmakers can submit via FilmFreeway.


1) Feature Length Films:

+Must be available for exhibition in DCP or Blu-Ray format. (DCP preferred) for theater screenings and downloadable mp4 files for online screenings.

+Three additional screeners and/or a secure online viewing link must be provided for press requests.

+Exhibition copies must be delivered to the TCFF office by September 24th, 2021.

2) Short Films:

+Exhibition copies of short films will be uploaded to a specific dropbox with these guidelines:

- Quicktime, AVI, or MXF file format

- Pro-Res, AVID, XD-CAM or h.264 (HQ) codecs. Uncompressed is also acceptable.

- Display size no smaller than 1920x1080 (please indicate if image is Scope - 2.39:1)

- Keep all videos in project’s native frame rate (23.98, 24fps, 29.97, etc.) Avoid frame rate conversion.

- All Surround Sound submissions MUST have track IDs, either in a text document or written form.

- The deadline for submitting exhibition copies for short films is September 14th, 2020.

3) General:

+An Electronic Press Kit with high-resolution production stills, trailers, official synopsis, filmmaker bios, promotional postcards and posters should be emailed to the TCFF offices for marketing purposes.

+Exhibition Copy Shipment: Feature films must be shipped prepaid, insured, and properly packaged. TCFF does not assume liability for damage to exhibition materials due to improper packaging or other reasons. All films while in our possession will be insured against loss and damage while participating in the event. TCFF may provide return shipping. If requested, TCFF may ship the exhibition material to another festival. This is decided on a case-by-case basis.

+TCFF reserves the right to place accepted works in the appropriate program.

+TCFF reserves the right to remove a film from the festival program for any reason or for no reason and shall not be liable for any refund or claims of any kind arising out of such removal.

+Accepted films may be screened several times during the run of the fest, at the discretion of TCFF.

+Screenings will take place at the official festival venue, including, but not limited to: Showplace ICON Theatre or other screenings throughout the 2021 season. Online screenings will be presented on our TCFF STREAMS platform.

+The Festival reserves the right to use images from selected films for announcement purposes.


The last of the submission notifications will be sent via email on or around September 10th, 2021.

Overall Rating
  • Kathryn Dahlstrom

    WE cannot wait for next year.

    July 2021
  • It was a real joy to be part of TCFF 2020. Communications with the programming staff were always clear and timely. Also, it was so great to experience such a wide array of films and to connect virtually with so many filmmakers. I'm so honored that "Falling Down in Public" was included. Thanks so much, TCFF!

    March 2021
  • Nancy Ghertner

    My comments are related to the uniqueness of this festival in terms of its emphasis and theme. I think in this age of so many festivals to choose from as an independent, that what stands out is interesting categories, awards, and festival themes. i also appreicate the coupons extended to film makers in order to enable networking at workshop events, virtual gatherings and of course viewing other new filmic works. I appreciated the equality with which the programmers and team brought to all the films - major narrative works and smaller regional documentary films. I also felt TCFF used social media and other communications to connect us to daily happenings. Thanks TCFF!

    November 2020
  • This year's digital edition of the Twin Cities Film Fest was a huge success, in my opinion, and I was honored to have my documentary Born Just Now presented in the exceptional Her program! I thought the curation of films was clever and considerate, and Bill Copper helped me navigate my way through the Festival's program. Kudos to all!

    November 2020
  • Ryan Culver

    I really enjoyed the Twin Cities Film Festival...the folks there no what they're doing and did an excellent job of premiering our film and making it a wonderful, professional and exciting experience.

    July 2020