Our festival has a simple mission... to reward good storytellers and showcase their talent to the world regardless of their budget or resume. And we aren't like any other film festival on the planet because we bring the festival to YOU!

Bi-Monthly winners become "official selections" and automatically qualify for the annual "live" event in May. Those films not selected during the current month automatically move on to the following month's competition. Just because your film doesn't win in October doesn't mean it won't win the November slot.

The live festival venue location is decided each year based on where the previous year's "Best Film" winning director calls his California hometown. This makes it easier for the masses to participate in person each year as we bring the festival to YOU.

Not least of all, our trophies are actual pieces of original artwork. No plaques or easily lost certificates for our winners! We reward winning films with a valuable keepsake anyone would proudly display. And the top prize in our festival includes an original painting by a California-based artist.

Live Event Itinerary
Thursday, May 12, 2022
4PM-10PM
Meet and Greet @ Krush Restaurant $ Bar w/Drinks/Eats/Live Music
Film Trailers @ 6:00PM and 8:00PM Intermissions (Pre-Purchased Tickets Include Meals)

Friday, May 13, 2022
4PM-10PM @ The Bakersfield Hall of Fame
Catered Food with Meal Ticket
Day 1 Film Screenings / 4:30pm-10:00pm in 90-min blocks Art Competition displayed in lobby
Silent Art Auction (Artist receives 70%).

Saturday, May 14, 2022
10AM-10PM @ The Bakersfield Hall of Fame
Day 2 Film Screenings/ 10:OO AM-7:30PM in 90-min blocks (Meal Ticket covers lunch and dinner periods)

Film and Art Awards Show @ 8:00-10:00 PM
(Q&A sessions follow each screening block both days)

Film Awards:
(Bi-Monthly winners will receive our film festival's Official Selection laurel.

Festival winners from every category will receive our custom Palm Leaf trophy. Unlike traditional "trophies" or "plaques" this award is a real piece of art.)

The Vanilla Palm Film Festival Award goes to the best film in the festival. Winners from another category are also eligible for this award. This top honor will be chosen by ticket holders to the annual live event. The winning film will receive $500 in cash, our custom Palm Leaf trophy, along with an original piece of artwork from a California-based artist. The painting will be framed to include the winning film's title.

Best Feature Film will be chosen from among all entries. And in a show of support for its further success, the winner of this category will receive prize money equal to the entry fee to any other film festival in the world that the director so chooses to enter.

Best Documentary

Best California Film. The winning film in this category will receive $500 in cash! The winning director of this category will be honored by hosting next year's festival near his California hometown. And in a show of support for its further success, the winner of this category will receive prize money equal to the entry fee to any other film festival in the world that the director so chooses to enter.

Best Short Film

Best Student Film

Best Director will be chosen from among all entries.

Best Actor will be chosen from among all entries.

The Candyce Weir Best Actress award will be chosen from among all entries.

Best Cinematography

Best Editing

Best Screenplay
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ART AWARDS:

The Best Art award is given to the artist whose painting receives the highest percentage above its minimum bid.

All paintings selected for the live event may participate in our silent auction. Artists will receive 70% of the winning bid. Each artist will set his/her own minimum value.

Best California Painting (Any size)

Best Large Painting (Paintings larger than 11x14)

Best Small Painting (Paintings 11x14 and smaller)

Best Digital Art (Any Size)

Best Photograph (Any Size. Any Genre.)

Film Submissions:
All film submissions will be viewed in their entirety and winners will be chosen based on their achievement to tell a good story - nothing more, nothing less. The size of the production budget will not be a consideration in determining our winners.

Bi-Monthly "online" winners will automatically move into our final festival round in May.

All film submissions must have been completed within the last two (2) calendar years.

The film's premiere status and festival circuit are not important to us.

All films must be in English or contain English subtitles.

Categories include all genres, lengths, and topics.

Submissions must be uploaded through FilmFreeway's website portal.

Film artwork/poster must be included.

ART CATEGORIES:
(Bi-monthly winners will receive our film festival Official Selection laurel. Festival winners will receive the Palm Leaf trophy.)

All artwork entries must be submitted as a high-resolution photograph that is in sharp focus. We will accept jpg or png format.

The artist's name and the title of the painting should be included in the name of the uploaded file. Example: (johndoe-womaninbluedress.jpg)

Paintings need only a single "head-on" photo submission but must include the entire painting. Its borders must not be cropped in the photo or out of frame. Lighting should be sufficient to make out details.

All mediums are allowed.

Sculptures or crafts are NOT part of our festival at this time.

Monthly winners and festival selections must be delivered to the festival directors no later than two (2) weeks prior to the live event. Each painting must be mounted for hanging.