More talent than a room full of Oscars hopefuls.
More lens flare than a JJ Abrams film.
More timeless films than a dusty Blockbusters.
Hyperbole may be funny, but the Utah Film Festival is no joke.
Filmmakers and film enthusiasts gather every year from across the world to see the burgeoning talent spilling out of Utah.
Yes, Utah. See, every good thing in California is moving to Utah. Don’t believe us? Utah, known as the Silicon Slopes (see ya, Silicon Valley) has tech firms sprouting up or uprooting and moving here in droves. Comicon and other festivals are having some of their most successful turnouts in charming Salt Lake City, Utah. It was only a matter of time before film festivals in Utah became dominant, and the Utah Film Festival has become one of the most reputed in the film industry.
From humble beginning in 2011, the Utah Film Festival have risen to become one of Utah’s premiere film festivals and award shows.
While boasting legends in the industry like Oscar Nominee Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water), Sean Astin (Lord Of The Rings), Lauren Lapkus (Jurassic World, Orange is the New Black, Blended) Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, Blades of Glory), the Utah Film Festival have managed to maintain the personal, intimate networking opportunity it has always been. It’s as excellent as it sounds, like biscoff ice cream or an on-set massage therapist.
You decide what you’ll get out of it, when you submit your film and come to the Utah Film Festival
Will you meet your film’s next investor, a distribution company looking for a finished film, a production company looking to option scripts, a casting director looking to hire new talent, producers/directors looking to hire crew, or advertising agencies looking to hire production companies for commercial work?
The opportunity at the Utah Film Festival is, like Batman movie reboots or Red Robin’s fries, endless.
Industry veterans, extraordinary filmmakers, and top-shelf enthusiasts are coming together in such a way that makes it hard to leave…sounds like the right party to be at.
Your film belongs in the Utah Film Festival.
Trophy - The winner in each category will receive a beautifully engraved trophy and a news story about their winning entry on the Utah Film Awards website.
Money - Selected films also receive a percentage of the box office ticket sales. YES! You get paid when people come see your movie at the festival.
Distribution - Our judges are actively looking to acquire shorts, features and series to broadcast all over the world. Your submission could warrant the biggest prize of all, the deal you broke with one of our distributors if your film is selected.
Review - Over 400+ submissions a year receive a written review on our social media pages regardless if they are selected to the festival or not as long as they receive a high score from our screeners.
We're always at your disposal. If you need additional assistance or have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact our customer service (UtahFilmAwards@gmail.com). You can also call us at +1 (801) 472-7702.
Refund Policy: Because entries will have been processed and entered into the system, NO refunds will be granted.
To be eligible for the 2021 competition, entries must have been completed between January 31, 2019 and the festival date for World Premieres.
Projects from all over the world are eligible. Submissions DO NOT need to be made in Utah to qualify unless you are submitting in the MADE IN UTAH category.
Select the category that most closely relates to your submission's type of program. You may enter the same production or program in multiple categories, including cast and crew categories. There is an entry fee for each category you enter. Individual entries are evaluated for their intrinsic merits – without comparing them with others.
Each entry is, in effect, in competition with itself, and is measured by our international award-winning jury of experts using an industry-accepted standard of excellence. The Utah Film Awards reserves the right to expand and reduce the number of finalist in each category including, but not limited to, cancelling categories if there are no submissions that meet our standards of excellence.
A performer/on-air personality may enter multiple achievements in a performing category if the achievements are for different programs.
We reserve the right to change or modify each category as the Utah Film Festival committee deems appropriate.
100% of the Utah Film Festival is programmed by submissions. We do not program any curated content.
Submissions for SCREENPLAY must include a pdf of the screenplay. We accept produced and un-produced screenplays. The work is being judged on the writing rather than the finished film.
The short film category includes one episode of a series.
See Categories listing for definitions and additional explanations.
Fees for Screening Films
We do not pay screening fees on submitted films. By submitting to the Utah Film Festival and Awards you waive any screening fees during the run of the festival to a live theater audience.
Award Announcements & Promotion
Finalists will be announced in March and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Utah in April 2021. The Impact Award will be announced at that time.
Press releases will be sent to international wire services and to the trades. A laureate will be sent to winning contacts following the awards presentation. Utah Film Award® winners may refer in advertising and publicity to the fact that they are a Utah Film Award ® winner and, for one year after the award was bestowed, may use a replica of the Utah Film Award ® award or the Utah Film Award ® logo in such advertising. A ® registration mark must accompany the use of the award.
Background Summary (Required)
In order to better assist the jury, we ask for a synopsis of each entry. This should not exceed 200 words and will be seen by the judges to evaluate your submission.
All submissions also are required to submit the following on FilmFreeway.com
Password (if applicable)
One Promotion Graphic (min)
Credits - Specify in the FilmFreeway credits who is being evaluated with their real name (not character name). Example John Doe - Lead Actor, Jane Doe - Composer, Mike Doe - Editor, Awesome Company - Visual Effects. (Key Cast & Crew are not accepted)
Translation (Required if not in English)
Productions not produced in the English language must have either subtitles or overdubbing in English (preferred), or a detailed synopsis and translation of the first and last ten minutes of the entry in English submitted during the online entry process.
The translation must be submitted digitally either in the translation box provided on the online entry form or as a word document or a pdf. We will not accept translations in any other format.
We anticipate not all winners will be present at the award ceremony to receive their award. Winners that would like their trophy mailed to them are required contact the organizers, provide a current mailing address and pay all shipping fees.
If you are mailing us physical media such as a hard drive, or Blu-ray Disc and would like to have them returned after the festival, please provide the necessary packaging and pre-paid postage so we can slip it into the mail immediately following the conclusion of the festival. The festival will NOT return physical media at the festivals cost.
When submitting your credits, be aware that if your entry is a winner, the name of the category, and title of the entry will appear on the award which is given to each winning entry. We also include the year of the competition. Finalists, when notified, will be given the opportunity to update and correct credits. However, if no corrections are made, credits listed during the entry process will be considered the credits of record.
After a film or screenplay is submitted to the film festival it is screened and scored (films) or read and scored (screenplays). Film that receive top marks from our judges are official selections of the festival. The programming committee then will select a smaller selection of films to screen live at the festival from the official selection. All official selections are eligible to win an award at the award ceremony concluding the festival.
Project Status Definitions
The judges are still reviewing the project.
The project is not selected for this season at the Utah Film Festival and Awards
Finalist are the nominees for the Utah Film Awards but do not have a screening at the festival.
This film will play at the festival.
This project won at the Utah Film Festival and Awards
Removal of Status
We reserve the right to remove any project as a Finalist, Selected or Award Winner for any reason. This may include not having the rights to the film, unprofessionalism, or behavior that would reflect negatively on the film festival or its participants.
All official selections (submitter, 1 per project) will be given 1 complementary ticket to all film screenings. Free tickets to the award ceremony are NOT available. Anyone that would like to attend the award ceremony MUST purchase a ticket. The award ceremony is open to the public so anyone may purchase a ticket to attend the ceremony. . Official selections do NOT receive free tickets to the award ceremony. Official selections may win even if they are not attending the award ceremony.
Virtual acceptance speeches
If a nominee knows they will not be at the Utah Film Festival award ceremony they may send an acceptance speech just in case they win at the festival. Acceptance speeches must be under 60 seconds and delivered as a 1080 p MP4 file to UtahFilmAwards@gmail.com.
If a films is available to the public for free or for purchase during or before the Utah Film Festival it will not be screened at the festival but will still be eligible for an award. Films with World Premiere status are given priority for screenings at the festival.
Forced Cancelation, Postponement, or Online festival migration
In the event that the festival is forced to close due to a government order such as a potential health or safety hazard the festival may be canceled, postponed or held exclusively online. If the festival is held exclusively online, selected filmmakers may opt out of any online screening but will still be eligible for an award. Tickets purchased directly through the festival are eligible for a refund. Tickets purchased from the filmmakers must be requested by the filmmaker. Submission fees are not eligible for a refund.
Disposition of Entry / Errors & Omissions
Promotional materials submitted may be displayed or shown, for educational and/or promotional purposes as Utah Film Festival and Awards deems appropriate. By entering, the entrant agrees to hold Utah Film Festival and Awards and any of its affiliated companies exempt from any costs or expenses of any claim arising out of any such use. Utah Film Festival and Awards will never sell entries nor make entries available for public viewing.
Utah Film Festival and Awards assumes no responsibility for the acts or omissions of those individuals or entities submitting entries pursuant to this notice. All submitting entities and/or individuals are advised to review submissions with respect to correct name credits and other information.
By submitting to the festival you agree to have your film screened during the festival in person or online. If you would like to only have your film screened in person you must email us 1 week prior to the festival to notify us of your choice. Your submission will then only be available for a live screening (if possible) and not screened online.