The Universal Film Festival was founded in 2007 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, and has evolved into an internationally touring hybrid festival which includes both a live and a virtual interactive festival hosted by our festival partner Filmocracy.
Each year Universal Film Festival will take place in a different city and country and include both live and virtual interactive festival options and events, in addition to a “Global Village Showcase” experience unique to each host city and country.
Universal Film Festival is in the top 100 Film Festivals with over 300,000 followers and 5,000 publications distributed globally throughout social media, print, and more.
Universal Film Festival’s mission is to increase the audience and prominence of independent filmmakers and provide excellent career-changing opportunities to network and promote their films via our live and virtual festival events, through our social media and festival partners, and within our year-round streaming platform.
Universal Film Festival’s goal is to provide a credible and accessible venue for audiences of all ages and backgrounds to experience and interact with talented independent filmmakers and unique art and cultures from around the world.
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.