Chesapeake Film Festival:
Journeys Into the Imagination

It is the mission of the Chesapeake Film Festival to enrich, entertain, educate and inspire by bringing the finest in environmental, narrative, documentary and short and student short films to the Chesapeake Bay community and to the world. The Chesapeake Film Festival will continue to shed light on topics that impact the Maryland Eastern Shore and the vast watershed we call the Chesapeake Bay.

Entering its 16th year, the Chesapeake Film Festival plans a two-day LIVE event and speakers at our flagship venues September 30 through October 1. Our venues include the beautiful historic Avalon Theatre and Ebenezer Theater in downtown Easton. A seven-day international Virtual Festival continues the excitement from Monday, October 2 through Sunday, October 8 featuring films from around the world.

Our commitment to collaboration, unity, diversity and the celebration of arts and artists is our emphasis, as we endeavor to present the best cinematic works and speaker events by artists from around the world. Also central to our message this year is to highlight both environmental films and student achievement in independent cinema. We are seeking films that are light-hearted and upbeat with comedic themes. We uniquely feature local artists with a Films Made in Maryland category.

Last year’s films included an exceptional array of wide-ranging subjects, including "Search for the Cooper River: A River in Plain View", that takes us on a six-day expedition along the Cooper River in Camden, NJ as area youth kayak, hike and hack their way through overgrowth in search of the source of the river. Also, as part of our LIVE Festival in 2022 we honored Women's Achievement in Independent Cinema by presenting many films by prominent women including "The Glorias" by Julie Taymor about Gloria Steinem's life as a writer, activist and organizer for women's rights worldwide. We finished the LIVE events with the Hollywood classic film "Roman Holiday" featuring guest speaker Catherine Wyler, the daughter of William Wyler, the director of the film. For both the LIVE and VIRTUAL Festivals in 2022 there were 60 films presented across all genres including work from 9 foreign countries.

Films are selected based on originality, creativity, direction, writing, cinematography, performances, production value, pacing, structure and sound/music.
To see the films selected for CFF 2022, visit and select Festival Program. To see what films and filmmakers received awards, select Award Winners.

Whether you are a filmmaker or an avid film enthusiast, we welcome you to engage and experience the festival, as we embark on an exciting new year for the Chesapeake Film Festival 2023. To register for further information about our ongoing events for the CFF visit

Festival Awards will include Best Environmental Feature and Short, Best International Film, Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Emerging Filmmaker, Best Made in Maryland Film, Best Student Film, Best Animation among other categories. Awards also include Best Performance, Best Director and Jury’s Prize.

The General Rules are as follows:

1) The Chesapeake Film Festival is accepting entries with a completed date after June 1, 2019.
2) All films for consideration must be submitted online through
3) Filmmakers will be notified by approximately June 15, 2023 if their film has been accepted to the Chesapeake Film Festival.
4) Upon acceptance, a contract, additional exhibition copies and press materials will be requested. Contracts for selected films will be due by July 1, 2023. All exhibition materials and media including film links, trailers and promotional stills must be received no later than July 5, 2023. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.
5) Submission fees are non-refundable.


A valuable service that comes with each submission to the Chesapeake Film Festival is critical feedback from an expert and experienced panel of film reviewers. The review panel will provide a summary and feedback to each filmmaker, upon request, whether the film is accepted to the festival or not.

Overall Rating
  • Cheryl Jacobs Crim

    An incredible festival in a gorgeous theater in a quaint town on Maryland's beautiful Eastern Shore - what's not to love? The communication and personal attention were unmatched. VIP night was terrific. I highly recommend this fabulous festival. As an added bonus, we were thrilled to have our film, Resisterhood, win Best Documentary.

    October 2022
  • Andrea Odezynska

    I'm so proud that my film from Ukraine "Return Sasyk to the Sea" was a part of the Chesapeake Film Festival. The staff is warm and welcoming. I met interesting filmmakers at the live events. Genuine, friendly people and the town is gorgeous.

    October 2022
  • Rob Simmons

    This festival was a blast to be a part of... a really great community of filmmakers in beautiful Easton, MD.
    Would also recommend a day trip to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge while you're in the area

    January 2022
  • Michael Streissguth

    Excellent festival. Great communications. Quality presentation. Many thanks, CFF!

    November 2021
  • sheri ratick stroud

    What a festival!!! This was my first in-person festival in over a year and what a way to kick off the return to the movie house. Everything was done with strict COVID regulations in mind. Before entering the theatre, every one was checked for ID and vaccine. People were required to wear masks indoors. The town is very quaint with lots of antique shopping between events. And the personnel was like family. If your submitting funds are limited, this festival should be high on your list. Thank you for the honor of showing our film - HEROES' HONEYMOON in your virtual event. We were thrilled. We will submit again next year with fingers crossed.

    October 2021