The festival was created out of the need to showcase experienced professionals and emerging filmmakers from around the world and give them an even platform where they can strike up conversation and perhaps take something away from one another.


We are looking to award those who consider themselves the NEXT BEST actor, writer, director, cinematographer and editor. We are looking for films that are pushing the boundaries of filmmaking and we will only accept high quality film content.


We will only accept high quality content. Our goal is to bring quality films, web-series and television content of all genres, to a large audience and offer emerging artist a place to showcase their work. UNFF is committed to playing a constituent part in discovering, celebrating and helping independent filmmakers by bringing them to the attention of the film industry.

Awards are given in the following categories:

Best Feature Film
Best Short Film 
Best Web Series 
Best Documentary (Short or Feature)
Best Music Video 
Best LGBT Film (Short or Feature) 
Best Director (Short or Feature)
Best Screenwriter (Short or Feature)
Best Cinematographer (Short or Feature)
Best Editor (Short or Feature)
Best Composer (Short or Feature)
Best Experimental Film
Best Female Performance
Best Male Performance
Georgia Spotlight Award (Georgia Filmmakers Only) 
*** Up Next Emerging Talent Award ***

TERMS AND CONDITIONS (Please read thoroughly before submitting)

All filmmakers submitting a film to the Up Next Film Festival accept and agree to comply with the following Terms and Conditions. Any failure to comply with one or more of Up Next Film Festival’s Rules and Terms will result in disqualification.

COMPLETED FILMS ONLY. NO WORK IN PROGRESS. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. Filmmaker MUST HAVE clearance or rights for film submission. Only directors or producers on the film may may submit and is considered the "you" and/or "your" found in the terms and conditions. Films MUST HAVE an online screener. Films must have been created "AFTER" January 1, 2018.

PREMIERE STATUS IS NOT REQUIRED. Submissions MUST NOT be available for viewing online (YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix, Amazon and VOD) or any other consumer site. Online distribution of the film prior to screening at the festival is PROHIBITED. Projects completed "BEFORE" January 1, 2018 will NOT be accepted.

FEE WAIVERS ARE NOT AVAILABLE. Entry fee is non-refundable. Entry does not guarantee acceptance into the festival. All selection decisions and award decisions are final and at the discretion of the festival. Entry fee is per category. More than one entry may be submitted. Each entry must be accompanied by a separate entry form and entry fee.

Please do not send press kits unless requested. If your film is selected, you will be asked to provide:
- Movie Poster (as jpg)
- Short Synopsis
- Film Trailer as mp4 File for Promo Video
- Final copy of your Film as an MP4 file
(If we DO NOT receive an MP4 file of your film we will not screen at the festival)
- Screen Writer's Name
- Director's Name
- Cinematographer's Name
- Editor's Name
- Composer's name
- Lead Male Actor's Name
- Lead Female Actor's Name


By submitting your film, please take note that:

I hereby enter the above named film/video in the 2022 Up Next Film Festival (UNFF) competition and hold all necessary rights for said production. I understand that UNFF will not be responsible for accidental damage to, or loss of, my entry or any other materials submitted, nor will they be liable for any legal actions, which may arise in connection to this production. I understand that, unless otherwise specified, UNFF provides no financial compensation for any exhibition of my work.

UNFF is here by granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the festival including: (trailers/teasers/film poster) for promotional purposes. Submitter agrees to the terms outlined in the general festival rules for the UNFF. Payment of submission fee does not guarantee inclusion in UNFF. If your film is chosen as an official selection. UNFF does not compensate for travel, accommodations, or appearance fees unless otherwise offered. I understand and am authorized to accept all of the terms listed under the submission guidelines, and I agree to abide by all guidelines.

Overall Rating
  • Myxcellence More

    Great experience! Excellent Communication: App was easy to navigate.

    September 2021
  • Ottie Hemmingway

    The overall communication and support from Keesha the festival organizer was great! Didn’t get to experience the in person networking due to Covid issues but she did pivot quickly to an online format. The process was very professional and I would recommend everyone to submit!

    September 2021
  • In short, apply for this festival; you won’t regret it. The festival director, Keesha Nieda, is a great communicator, offers excellent online promotion and follows through with her commitments.

    Here is my personal story: My team and I submitted our feature-length film, “A Story Worth Living” to this festival early January 2020. We were grateful to have received a selection e-mail. But, we all know how 2020 went. To keep selected filmmakers and attendees safe, Keesha first pushed back the festival from May 2020 to May 2021. Once May 2021 came around and the world started slowly opening back up, Keesha decided to move the festival to September to ensure the attendance safety. Unfortunately due to the rise in Covid cases in late summer 2021, Keesha quickly pivoted and made the decision to make the festival online.

    But I cannot stress enough that she kept her word, kept her commitments and did a wonderful job providing promotion for the virtual festival. I am also thrilled and beyond grateful to share that my film, “A Story Worth Living” won Best Feature at this festival!

    I don’t know how the in-person screenings will be, but I do know the directors and programmers behind this festival are hardworking and committed. So I say, make the submission.

    September 2021
  • Emily Steele

    This was a great festival! I only gave a low-rating on networking because due to COVID concerns, the festival was virtual and networking wasn’t really possible this year. But I will say this festival tried everything possible to do an in person festival too, but in the end they had to put our safety first which was appreciated. But they made up for it with a great virtual event!! It was a honor to be a part of it!

    September 2021
  • clinton phillips

    What a wonderful group of people to host a great festival. Wish you all many years of making magic happen.

    September 2021