The Utah Dance Film Festival is a 501(c)(3), an international dance film festival, an arts education organization and a catalyst for movers and filmmakers to connect, collaborate and create.
We host an annual international film festival - submissions are open from September to December - and we screen accepted films in May at the SCERA Center for the Arts in Orem, Utah. During this weekend, we also offer dance and film workshop programming from local and international dance and film artists. Our awards showcase features the winning films, as well as live performances by Utah dance artists like Junction Dance Company, BYU's Folk Dance Ensemble, Ballet West Academy students and BYU's Contemporary Dance Theater, Viva El Folklore International, Kaladharaa Dance School and Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl de Utah. The annual festival is sponsored in part by the Utah Film Commission.
UDFF also hosts a yearly 24 hour film competition, called MOVE. Participants need not use dance, only showcase the limitless potential of human movement. MOVE films will be screened and adjudicated as part of the main film festival at the SCERA Center for the Arts.
We award outstanding films in our festival for the following categories:
Choreography for a Lens
Original Music Composition
and the Arches Award, for an outstanding film made in Utah or by a Utahn.
New for 2021: The Young Filmmakers Category. Artists aged 17 and under are eligible to submit. Films will be adjudicated, and each award category will feature one outstanding selection by a Young Filmmaker. Projects submitted by Young Filmmakers are eligible to win award categories as well! Films should be directed, produced, choreographed, edited, scored or danced by primarily an under-18 cast and crew.
We will also continue our photography contest, and encourage artists with films in the works to submit screen grabs! This is a great way to gain accolades for unfinished works.
In this category, we ask the photographer to submit both a series of images and a body of text that tells the story behind the images. Judges weight both the text and images equally.
This category encompasses digitally enhanced imagery, which can include night photography, stitched panoramas or other special effects.
This category covers photographs from competitive events, social causes or gatherings, traditions or cultures.
This category includes dance imagery featuring bridges, buildings, cityscapes, historic landmarks, interiors or industrial sites.
This category features photographs showcasing a landscape or landmark in our state.
All films submitted will be reviewed by the festival directors and official selections will be announced on January 31st, 2021.
Films 70 minutes or under, including credits, qualify as Shorts. Films over 71 minutes qualify as Features.
UDFF is a family-friendly festival, so we will be unable to accept films or refund filmmakers if your film relies on nudity, explicit language, violence or discriminatory themes.
UDFF draws audiences of all ages, so we may request that you slightly alter your submission in order to have your work screened. As an example, we have asked filmmakers to edit out explicit words from music. Requested changes will be minor, and while filmmakers are welcome to refuse, UDFF's venue has a strict policy which prohibits UDFF from showing films with nudity or offensive language.
UDFF does not offer distribution, we are a platform that showcases works of screen dance and presents awards for outstanding films.
Upon submitting your film to UDFF, you agree to allow our directors to utilize your work to promote our event, screenings and workshops.