For 20 years, the West Virginia FILMmakers Festival (WVFF) has not only become the singular celebration of West Virginia Filmmakers, but an event characterized by enlightening and diverse films, pressure-free networking opportunities, and live music with great parties.

This year, 2020, we are adjusting our Film Festival in light of the coronavirus epidemic.
WVFF will be a 1-day Film festival held, Saturday, October 3, 2020.

We want to see you at the Elk Theatre! We are preparing the Festival for both Elk Theatre screenings and online Festival presentation. We will determine the presentation format after the submission deadline. FILMmakers will be notified of the Festival presentation status on the FilmFreeway Notification Date.
"We will be there ~ In Theatre or Online"

While the WVFF certainly has a special interest in works made by West Virginia (WV) residents and natives, we also screen cinema from around the world and greatly enjoy providing an opportunity for regional and visiting filmmakers to meet, network, and discuss their films, allowing attendees to experience independent works that reflect the latest trends, techniques, and technology.

The first West Virginia FILMmakers Festival was held in the Spring of 2001 at the Landmark Studio for the Arts in Historic Sutton, West Virginia, founded by Kevin Carpenter and Steve Fesenmaier to showcase West Virginia's best filmmakers.

Films are now shown primarily at the Elk Theatre, a Historic 1930's One Screen Theatre on Main Street in Downtown Sutton. Filmmaking seminars are held at the Landmark Studio for the Arts, with other festival activities and live music in the evening at select venues around town.

At the West Virginia Filmmakers Festival, you're not just around peers…
you're amongst friends!

Narrative Feature
Narrative Short
Documentary Feature
Documentary Short
Animation / Music Video
Student Films

WV Narrative Feature
WV Narrative Short
WV Documentary Feature
WV Documentary Short
WV Animation / WV Music Video
WV Student Films

NOTE: WV FILMmakers - You may submit under a WV category, you do not need to submit twice to be considered for the WV award and the Festival award.

For specific category definitions and qualifications, please check the individual categories at right before submitting.

NOTE for 2020 - "We will be there ~ In Theatre or Online"
If necessary to move the Festival to an online presentation, we will be utilizing your submission platform (Vimeo, etc.). It will be necessary for your screening film to be available without password applied on the Festival online screening date (Sat., 10/3/20). FILMmakers will be notified of the Festival presentation status on the FilmFreeway Notification Date.


A. FILMmakers may submit up to two (2) films per festival.

B. All films must have been completed on or after September 1, 2015.

C. Repeat submissions will not be accepted for consideration without significant changes to the product.

D. For ANY specific award-granting category to run during the festival, there must be a minimum three (3) submissions pertaining to said category accepted/selected to screen in competition for the festival lineup of the submission year.

E. The West Virginia FILMmakers Festival reserves the right to cancel categories that do not receive enough submissions for a given year of the festival. The WVFF also reserves the right to re-categorize selected films – where appropriate, and while still observing the category qualifications – at no additional charge to the filmmaker.

F. For all category qualifications, please refer to the individual category descriptions.

G. All films must be submitted via

H. “WV FILMmaker" categories are for FILMmakers born in West Virginia or attending WV-based schools. Submission to “WVFilmmaker” categories does not prevent the film/filmmaker from consideration for corresponding non-WV Filmmaker categories.

I. Submissions in languages other than English must have Subtitles integrated (burned) into the image.

J. The WVFF reserves the right to curate and schedule films in the festival lineup to screen out of competition.

K. Works that have screened in or out of competition at WVFF during prior years are not eligible for submission into the competition.


1. As the Director/Producer or the Authorized Person to submit the Film, I/We have submitted our Film Work to the West Virginia FILMmakers Festival ("WVFF") as the sole and exclusive owner(s) of all legal right and title thereto and have absolute authority to submit the enclosed material to WVFF.

2. I/We will indemnify and hold harmless WVFF its judges, sponsors, partners, individually and collectively, from and against all claims, demands, losses, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses including legal expenses arising out of, or in connection with, any and all claims, or third party claims based on material submitted to WVFF.

3. I/We understand that the submission of a film or film materials alone does not guarantee that the film will be screened at WVFF. The WVFF has the rights to determine the finalists and the winners. Selected filmmakers will permit the WVFF to screen their film, use the title of their submitted work, log-line, their name, contact information, publicity stills, film footage and likeness, in ancillary screenings and publicity and promotional efforts.

4. I/We understand and agree that once the film is selected for screening, I forfeit my right to remove my film from the schedule.

5. WVFF may transfer the submitted screener to a required media format for screening, if needed, and that media may be used for WVFF promotional purposes.

6. By submitting this work, I/We accept that I/We have in good faith complied with all copyright, trademark, or service mark laws, and have acquired all necessary rights regarding any copyrighted music, images, or other intellectual property present in the submitted film.

Overall Rating
  • Harrison Wade Reishman

    The WV FILMmakers Festival is a gem. I highly recommend it to any filmmaker looking to experience a supportive, close-knit creative community. Located in the heart of West Virginia, the festival celebrated its 20th anniversary this year and embodies Appalachian hospitality. Caitlin Renée Campbell and Kevin Carpenter do a great job honoring the films and making the filmmakers and audiences feel welcome. This is an event worth attending each year!

    December 2019
  • Julia Deak

    Thank you for inviting my film to this precious and cozy festival that has been running for many years. Congratulations to the organizers on the 20th anniversary.

    October 2019
  • Richard Anderson

    A very special film festival, especially for film makers who work in West Virginia. It coincides with the Sutton Fall Festival, so you get to experience that aspect of small town life. The scheduling of the films is especially good since they give you time to actually experience the town, beautiful suuroundings and the fantastic Cafe Cimino. Highly recommended. Kevin Carpenter and Renee Campbell run a great event.

    October 2019
  • Highly recommend this festival for anyone connected to WV in any way. Very close knit, and very welcoming group of talented filmmakers in a very scenic location right in the middle of WV. The Director of the festival was especially gracious, welcoming and communicative. Really hope to get to come back to this next year with our next film!

    October 2019
  • The WV FILMmakers Festival was the first film festival that I was able to attend. The atmosphere was great and the networking with other filmmakers from my home state was definitely valuable. I will do my best to attend the 20th anniversary next year!

    November 2018