The Universal Film Festival was founded in 2007 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, and has now evolved into an internationally touring event. Our festival is honored to be one of the top 100 Film Festivals. We are proud to have over 230,000 followers and 5,000 publications distributed globally through social media, print, and more.

Universal Film Festival’s core philosophy is to increase the audience of independent filmmakers and encourage their unique cinematic vision and artistry.
Each year we will be presenting our festival in a different country in partnership with a selected local film festival.

We provide filmmakers and directors in all genres with an excellent career-changing opportunity to network and promote their films during our affiliated events and conference.

Our audience supports and encourages the international, independent, imagination promulgated by our filmmakers. A panel of judges made up of a variety of industry professionals select our winners.

The Universal Film Festival's mission is to provide a credible and accessible venue for these talented filmmakers, both with our international audience of all ages and backgrounds and with our partners within the industry.

Ben Bahmani
Founder & CEO

Award in following categories:

01 - Best Actress
02 - Best Actor
03 - Best Director
04 - Best Producer
05 - Best Film / Picture
06 - Best Drama
07 - Best Documentary
08 - Best Comedy
09 - Best Short Film
10 - Best Animated Feature
11 - Best Cinematographer
12 - Best Action
13 - Best Horror
14 - Best Film of the Host Country (Germany 2021)

Rules and Recommendations:


1) Submissions in languages other than English must have English subtitles.
2) Submissions will only be accepted via FilmFreeway. The submitter must have proper rights to submit the film.
3) Production of the film must be within 5 years of festival date. (2016 or later)
4) Exhibition format must be delivered on DCP. This MUST be by the date stipulated in invitation. NO exceptions.
5) Any promotional materials (i.e. DVD, Posters, Etc.) mailed to Universal Film Festival will remain property of Universal Film Festival
6) Films are allowed to have screened prior to submission to the Universal Film Festival, but must not be under current distribution.
7) Films cannot have been released prior to submission to the Universal Film Festival and/or been broadcast on television.

1) Submit trailer along with virtual presskit via FilmFreeway upon initial submission
2) Student discount waiver offered. Student ID must be presented. (contact for more information)

Overall Rating
  • Jeff Schneider

    It was great being part of this festival.

    September 2020
  • Thank you all very much for super well organised festival. I am very happy to be a part your festival!


    August 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your participation in our festival. We are pleased to hear about your great experience.

  • WaterShine Entertainment

    What can I say our film is Winner.. The Moment won the Best Foreign Film. Summary: This Festival is Great A+++++ professional and correct. Recommended.

    August 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for your kind words. Congratulations on your achievement.

  • Paul Check

    The Universal Film Festival has a tremendous amount of heart, and is a great place for filmmakers to find an audience who appreciates their hard work.

    September 2019
    Response from festival:

    Paul, thank you for your kind words. It was a pleasure to have you at our 2019 Universal Film Festival and hope to see you again in the future! Good luck on your next film!

  • Nicole Amelio-Casper

    This festival was absolutely the greatest! As a filmmaker, I was very impressed with the professionalism of the coordinators and producers of this fest - I highly recommend! The only suggestion I would have is to have a few minutes for a Q and A after films! :)Not sure if other films had a Q and A! Thank you so much !!

    September 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for your kind words! We have provided Q and A for filmmakers in the previous years. Unfortunately we had to waive Q and A for 2019 because we had so many incredible films and wanted to screen as many as we can! For Universal Film Festival 2020 we have under consideration on doing a Q and A for our filmmakers! Thank you so much! Good luck on your next project and we hope to see you again next year at Universal Film Festival.