The 18th annual Vail Film Festival will be held September 23-26, 2021.

All films submitted and screened at the 2021 event must have one woman involved as either director, producer, cinematographer, or screenwriter.

The 2021 festival will screen Feature Films, Shorts, Documentaries, and Student Films. The festival fosters filmmakers through Panel Discussions, a daily Hospitality Lounge, Nightly Parties, and networking opportunities with leading film industry professionals.

Past Vail Film Festival tribute recipients and attendees include Kate Bosworth, Allison Janney, Josh Lucas, Zach Braff, Tate Taylor, Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Zach & Miri, Cop Out), Michael Imperioli, Jane Seymour, Fred Schepisi, Krysten Ritter, Michelle Monaghan (Trucker, Mission Impossible III, Gone Baby Gone), Luke Wilson (Old School, Legally Blonde, The Royal Tenenbaums), Adrian Grenier (HBO's Entourage), Harold Ramis (Stripes, Caddy Shack, Ghostbusters, Groundhod Day, Analyze This), Tricia O'Kelley (The New Adventures of Old Christine), Kaitlin Olson (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Tim Daly (NBC's Private Practice), Olivia Wilde (Turistas, FOX's House, Fix, The Year One, Tron: Legacy), Jeremy Davies (Saving Private Ryan, ABC's Lost), Jesse Eisenberg (The Hunting Party, The Squid and the Whale), Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill, The Hitcher), Hayden Panettiere (Heroes), Kip Pardue ("Remember The Titans", "Driven") and Edward Pressman (Producer; Wall Street, American Psycho, Das Boot, The Cooler, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps).

Past premieres and highlights include "Sun Dogs" directed by Jennifer Morrison and starring Melissa Benoist, Xzibit, Allison Janney, and Ed O'Neill, "Mary Goes Round" starring Aya Cash, "Custody" starring Viola Davis, Hayden Panettiere, Tony Shalhoub, Ellen Burstyn, "Enemy" starring Jake Gyllenhaal, "Locke" starring Tom Hardy, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" starring Jason Siegel, Kristen Bell, "The Guitar", directed by Amy Redford, "In Search of a Midnight Kiss", "Knocked Up", Judd Apatow's follow up to "The 40 Year-Old Virgin", "Snow Cake" starring Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman, the Cannes Award-winning "Red Road", "The Oh in Ohio" (starring Paul Rudd, Parker Posey, Mischa Barton and Danny DeVito), "American Dreamz" (starring Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore), "The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang" (from the filmmakers of "Napoleon Dynamite"), Luke Wilson's "The Wendell Baker Story", Tiffani Thiesen's "Just Pray" and David Duchovny's "House of D".

The Vail Film Festival offers the following awards:
Best Narrative Flm
Best Documentary Feature
Best Short Film
Best Short Documentary
Best Student Film
Audience Award

Award details: Designated Vail Film Festival Press Release to national media announcing the Film Competition Winners, and listing the film as the best film winner in that category for the 2021 Vail Film Festival. Announcement at the Official Awards Ceremony covered by national media. Announcement in festival newsletter and listing on festival website and in Official festival program guide. 2 Filmmaker Passes to the 2022 Vail Film Festival. Award presented at Awards Ceremony .

All films submitted and screened at the 2021 event must have one woman involved as either director, producer, cinematographer, or screenwriter.

Filmmakers must have the rights to their films, and through submitting thereby grant the Vail Film Festival the right to screen their film. All films must be in English or subtitled in English.

Digital submissions only. We don't accept physical submissions. All films must be viewable as online screeners.

All entries will be pre-screened for eligibility by curators and selection committee, however, not all entries will be programmed. The festival will not pay an exhibition fee for any accepted entries initially submitted through our general Call for Entries. The VFF may screen any accepted entries up to three times during the festival dates at any of our exhibition venues.

Films must be submitted with English subtitles if the dialogue is in a language other than English. Films must have been completed after December 2018. Fee waivers will be granted on a case by case basis and almost exclusively to non-profit organizations and international cultural/educational organizations.

All films submitted and screened at the 2021 event must have one woman involved as either director, producer, cinematographer, or screenwriter.

Upon acceptance to the festival, the following is required:

Features: Press Kit containing 100 word synopsis in English, 5 hi-res film stills (300dpi, CMYK and/or RGB color), digital trailer with English subtitles (if film is in any language other than English), online or physical screener of film for press.

Shorts: Press Kit containing 50 word synopsis in English, 3 hi-res film stills (300dpi, CMYK and/or RGB color), digital trailer with English subtitles if available.

For more information please email:

Overall Rating
  • We were so honored to be able to share planet b234 at the Vail Film Festival this year. Though fully online because of COVID, the programmers still worked to keep a festival feel through a digital red carpet and filmmaker Q&As. We will submit again without hesitation, and hopefully be able to attend in person next time. Thank you for your hard work!

    April 2022
  • I was so impressed with the attention to detail. Before the public announcement went out, I received a phone call informing me of the news. I was able to get feedback as to why the film was selected. This information was invaluable to me, especially as a first-time filmmaker.

    This festival itself was held virtually and all programming was well organized and scheduled. I had no issues with anything. Throughout all events with the filmmakers it kept being emphasized that we were all part of the Vail Film Festival family and I truly believe they were genuine.

    Thank you Vail Film Festival!

    April 2022
  • Mary Gentle

    Wonderful Festival - everyone was very supportive of the filmmaker experience!

    October 2021
  • Carolina Rueda

    This was an amazing festival. They put so much energy into making a great virtual festival, which is not easy! Thank you inviting me to the female directors panel!

    October 2021
  • We had a wonderful experience with everyone at Vail and we were honored to win the Audience Award! Though we would have loved to be there to see the beautiful city and meet those involved in person, they did an excellent job making the virtual festival feel personable and meaningful. We will absolutely submit our next project and would highly recommend Vail Film Festival to any independent filmmakers looking to amplify women's voices.

    October 2021