Virginia Emerging Filmmakers Festival
presented by The Film Studio at Shenandoah University
in association with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

PLEASE NOTE: This is a student festival. Please read "Rules and Terms" for details.

Join us in the historic Shenandoah Valley for the 5th Annual Virginia Emerging Filmmakers Festival. We will present short films from current high school and college students across the United States and Canada. Films must be 15 minutes in length or less and not previously submitted. We will accept films in the categories of animation, comedy/drama, horror, documentary or music video. Films will be considered by a team of judges from the Shenandoah University faculty and alumni base, the programming team at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, and guest judges. Selected films will screen for a live audience at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Winchester. Acceptance notifications will contain information on discounted hotel rooms at the Comfort Inn & Suites next to the theater.

Films must be created within the last two years by current high school or college students studying in the United States or Canada. The festival will also accept submissions from recent graduates, assuming the student graduated within one calendar year and the film was made while still the filmmaker was still a student.
PLEASE include a cover letter with your current enrollment status. Films must be 15 minutes or less in length, including credits. Filmmakers are responsible for clearance of copyrighted materials such as music, and may be asked to provide documentation of clearance. Films must be completed before submission, so no "work in progress" projects, please. Filmmakers grant the festival permission to use stills or clips in promotional purposes, but the festival does not claim ownership of submitted films. No exclusivity is granted to the festival. Winning submissions will be downloaded by the theater for DCP creation and on-screen projection.

Overall Rating
  • Lucien Anderson

    A true gem. We are not worthy of Steve Nerangis and all that he does for young filmmakers. Anyone would feel at home at Virginia Emerging FF! Thanks for showing Day In The Country so much love : )

    April 2023
    Response from festival:

    Not worthy?!?! Your film was AMAZING! We can't wait to see what you do next. Keep us in the loop!

    - Steve

  • Beqa Kirtava

    Had an excellent experience screening my film at the Virginia Emerging Filmmakers Festival.

    Clear and timely communication, welcoming and supportive organizers, and an overall amazing event giving a platform to up-and-coming artists at a very critical time during their careers.

    April 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Beqa! It was an honor to feature LIVING ON. Just fantastic work from you and your team.

  • Helia Behrooz

    Thank you to VEFF for giving us the opportunity to showcase our short “A Morsel of Love”.
    Long live Virginia Emerging Filmmakers Festival!

    June 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for sharing your film, Helia!

  • Sam Achtermann

    Super friendly and very supportive of young talent. One couldn’t ask for a better starter festival.

    October 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks, Sam!

  • Anna Owenson

    Really pleased to have been able to screen and get recognition at this festival. Although I was unable to attend, the communication was very clear and friendly.

    October 2021