Join us in 2024 for the annual West Chester Film Festival. A full weekend of events, parties, pop-ups, workshops and more in scenic West Chester, PA. (Awarded Best Main Street in America 2017) Accepted filmmakers will see their films up on the big screen at the Uptown Theater before walking to restaurants and get togethers throughout the town. We show short films, up to 30 minutes in length, submitted by independent filmmakers from around the world. Submissions are juried by a panel of industry professionals and winners are chosen according to content, innovation and technical execution. We anticipate attendance of over 1,500 film lovers this year.

Custom designed awards are presented in 9 different categories:
Best Drama
Best Comedy
Best Documentary
Best Animation
Best Art/Experimental
Best Student Film
Best Pennsylvania Filmmaker
The H. Paul Fitzpatrick People's Choice Award
Winners of the above categories each receive a hand-blown statuette if present for the Awards Ceremony.

The winner of the Best Female Filmmaker award is selected by the Regional Center for Women in the Arts. There is a cash prize provided by that organization.

2024 West Chester Film Festival Rules and Terms:


1. A screening committee determines which films shall be exhibited; submissions are not guaranteed to be shown. All decisions of the committee are final. Except for the audience award, separate juries select festival winners.

2. The Award Categories are: Best Animation, Best Comedy, Best Documentary, Best Drama, Best Art/Experimental Film, Best Student Film, H. Paul Fitzpatrick Audience Choice Award, Pennsylvania Filmmaker, and Best Film by a Woman Filmmaker. Each award is an original glass statuette, except for the Best Film by a Woman Filmmaker which will be a prize donated by the Regional Center for Woman in the Arts. An awards ceremony will be held at the end of the festival weekend. Statuettes are only presented to filmmakers who are in attendance and will not be shipped.

3. Total running time must be 30 minutes or less, including credits. Do not include a header or countdown on any submissions.

4. Foreign language films must have English subtitles or contain minimal dialog not necessary for understanding the film.

5. Please select only one category in which to submit your work. An entry's category may be changed at the discretion of the West Chester Film Festival.

6. Screening fees are not available.

7. Entry fees are non-refundable.

8. There is no limitation on when or where the short was produced.

9. Films previously submitted to the Festival will not be accepted.

10. All submissions, payments and tracking will be done through the FilmFreeway system.

11. We will not accept films with graphic violence, excessive foul language, or graphically explicit sexual encounters.

12. Do not submit works in progress. Incomplete films submitted with a script and a promise to be completed by the festival date will not be considered under any circumstances.

13. Commercial, industrial, instructional, or promotional films will not be accepted.

14. Student entries must include a copy of the Filmmaker's student ID card. A scan of the ID can be emailed to, or a photocopy snail-mailed to our address. ALWAYS include the name of your film and entry number on all correspondence.

15. To qualify for a Pennsylvania Filmmaker Award, the film entered must have been directed by a Pennsylvania resident. Proof of residency must be submitted with the film (copy of driver’s license). A scan of the license can be emailed to, or a photocopy snail-mailed to our address. ALWAYS include the name of your film and entry number on all correspondence.

16. Travel fees, hotel fees, and food vouchers are not available from the festival. The filmmaker liaison will be in contact regarding possible discounts for local establishments.

17. The number, dates, times, and locations of screenings of accepted films are at the discretion of the West Chester Film Festival.

18. Additional opportunities for screening accepted films may be available outside the scheduled Festival dates and venues without notification.

19. Applicants who do not follow the guidelines will not be accepted.

Overall Rating
  • Sean Foy

    I can't say enough good things about this festival! Their hospitality, screening venues, and social / networking opportunities are outstanding. Lots of filmmakers in attendance too! Thanks for screening our short film KEEP YOU at this year's festival - I'll definitely be back!!

    May 2024
  • Great event, and we're happy to have screened at such an amazing festival!

    May 2024
  • Emma Grosklos

    I can’t say enough positive things about this festival. I decided to attend last minute and I couldn’t be happier I did. The community of westchester really rallies behind their local events, and our screening had a full theater. I had a great time, and I sincerely hope to play again in the future!!

    May 2024
  • Amir Zargara

    Thanks for having us :)

    May 2024
  • Brian McCole

    This was my fifth festival this season, and by far the best organized. The staff was incredibly welcoming, the hospitality was delicious and generous, and the quality of the films we got to see was superb. I certainly hope I can make it back to West Chester next year.

    May 2024