Set in the historic Eastern Shore town of Easton and Cambridge, MD the Chesapeake Film Festival is the perfect location for established and aspiring filmmakers to showcase their storytelling artistry to enthusiastic audiences eager to be moved, enlightened and entertained. Entering it’s 12th year, the festival has been an industry favorite, drawing audiences from nearby Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as the very charming surrounding small towns the festival site surrounds.

The beautifully restored Avalon Theater, built as a cinema in 1921 is located in historic downtown Easton, serves as the primary venue for festival films and events.

The Chesapeake Film Festival prides itself in a diverse community of filmmakers, experts and audiences who engage in dynamic panel discussions to enrich our audiences with our programming, panels and film presentations.

In addition to moving audiences with compelling scripted dramas and comedies, the Chesapeake Film Festival aims to shed light on topics that impact the Maryland Eastern Shore community, as well as the nation, especially in the areas of social justice, including the African American experience, mental health and aging, climate change, the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay, and the influence of all of the arts on American life.

In 2018, for example, the Chesapeake Film Festival (CFF) presented first-time director Rudy Valdez’s film, The Sentence, which examines his sister’s mandatory minimum sentence of 15-years, imposed because her boyfriend sold drugs and she knew about it. Documentary subject, Cindy Shank, was present to lead the discussion. In December, the U.S. Senate passed the First Step Act which modifies sentencing laws to provide more equitable punishment for some drug offenses. Several Senators said the film influenced their votes.

The Festival has expanded our shorts programming, added programming for environmental, narrative and documentary features with the highest production value, and expanded student programming and filmmaker panels. We support independent filmmaking by giving emerging talents reduced fees from the large number of submission costs they face in their quest for recognition.

The Chesapeake Film Festival honors leaders in the film industry, from directors and producers to actors, screenwriters, entertainment journalists, personalities and editors by showcasing their work and their individual achievements.

Festival Awards will be given for Best Environmental Feature, Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Narrative Documentary Short, Best Animation, Best Sound Design and Best Editing. Awards for Best Actor and Best Actress and Best Director will also be included. For a list of our 2018 Festival Film Awardees visit

The General Rules are as follows:

1.) The Chesapeake Film Festival is accepting entries with a completed after June 1, 2017.
2).) All films for consideration must be submitted online through
3.) Filmmakers will be notified by approximately June 20, 2019 if their film has been accepted to the Chesapeake Film Festival.
4.) Upon acceptance, additional exhibition copies and press materials will be requested. Exhibition materials and media must be received no later than July 31, 2019. 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.


A valuable service, which comes with each film submitted to the Chesapeake Film Festival for current year acceptance, is critical feedback from an expert and experienced panel of film reviewers.

The Festival board of directors has developed and refined a set of review criteria and guidelines for this process.   The review panel will provide a summary and feedback to each filmmaker, upon request regarding their specific film submission(s) subsequent to review whether the film is accepted to the festival or not. Thank you for submitting your film.

Overall Rating
  • John Becker

    We had a great time at the Chespeake Film Festival. Everyone was friendly, quick to respond, and the quality of the films was impressive. Thanks for including us; we hope to do it again!

    November 2019
  • Jennifer Ting

    Cid Collins Walker, the Artistic Director of the Chesapeake Film Festival was wonderful to work with. She immediately made me and my entourage feel comfortable and welcome. Also the Board Members and Volunteers we met were so kind and helpful. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to screen our film in a historic theatre in the beautiful town of Easton and at a cinema in Cambridge. Thank you for all that you do tohelp give independent filmmakers opportunities to present their work! Your Galas were such fun as well!

    October 2018
  • Theodore Adams

    Hands down one of my favorite festivals. The town of Easton is very charming and the host community is extremely welcoming. I highly recommend this festival. This is one you’ll want to attend even if you are not screening a film.

    October 2018
  • Ohana Films

    The epitome of boutique Festival. They treated the filmmakers with respect and we were thrilled to show our film at the festival. Tank you for a great experience.

    January 2018
  • wayne gibson

    I am forever grateful for The Chesapeake Film Festival for accepting my documentary. They were extremely hospitable and their communications and correspondence left no confusion. I was sorry that I was unable to attend but am a big fan of this organization.

    November 2017