in·no·vate/ Around the Eastern Shore we always wonder what compelled the first human to eat a crab. Really, who was it who said, "yeah, that’s a good idea”? Thank goodness for the spirit of innovation, and for filmmakers with a passion not just to tell new stories but to tell them in new ways.

trans·form/ The best and most memorable storytelling is about the tension between the fear and the hope of change. The best and most memorable film experience is when the evolution onscreen inspires an evolution in the mind and heart of the audience.

sus·tain / Preservation and restoration are not about resistance to change but about the ability to cherish enduring values through diversity and development. New horizons must ultimately illuminate what is deepest and everlasting within us.

Our mission is to entertain, enrich, and inspire by connecting exceptional films and filmmakers from around the world with the unique appeal and diversity of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In addition to these hallmarks we have chosen the words innovate, transform and sustain to embody aspects of our mission and attract films and filmmakers who are producing independent films with these aims. We are especially seeking films this year that address environmental and sustainability subjects and stories about transformation, architecture and the arts. We believe independent films can affect positive change, and through this medium individuals and communities gain a greater understanding of themselves and the world. The narrative, documentary, and short films we will showcase are focused to illuminate both the diversity and the universality of the human condition.

Awards & Prizes

Festival Awards will be given for Best Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Short and Student Short films. Awards will also be given for Best Actor and Best Actress, as well as, Best Director. Other awards categories may further be announced.

Rules & Terms

I agree to the terms outlined in the General Festival Rules for the Chesapeake Film Festival. The General Rules are as follows: 1.) The Chesapeake Film Festival is accepting entries with a completion date for production of June 1, 2015 or later for the 2017 festival. 2).) All films for consideration must be submitted online through 3.) Filmmakers will be notified by approximately August 15,, 2017 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 September 15, 2017. 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. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless the Chesapeake Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

An important feature and 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 application review panel of the festival's board applies this instrument diligently when undertaking its critical review of each film offered for consideration and will provide a summary and feedback to each filmmaker regarding their specific film submission(s) subsequent to review whether the film is accepted to the festival or not.

5 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    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
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    Brad Bennett

    Chesapeake Film Festival was always on our radar for a quality and somewhat local festival, so we were quite pleased to be a part of the program. We were slotted to screen twice during the festival in two beautiful theaters in town. Wish the online presence was a bit more engaging with the community, but overall great festival!

    November 2017
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    Pat Fiske

    Whilst we could not attend the festival we had great feedback and communications with the everyone. Thanks for the Best Environmental Feature Film Award as well.

    November 2017
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    Monda Webb

    I enjoyed this festival immensely. The organizers made the filmmakers feel at home and welcomed, starting with the swag bags. The films were thoughtful further educated me on national and international causes. It was comfortably intimate, and I felt honored to have my film represented there.

    December 2016
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    If you are looking for an exceptional film festival, Chesapeake Film Festival is the one to attend or submit your film! First, the films themselves are above the fray. The films they choose are brilliant, thought provoking, artistically inspiring and will stay in your mind long after you've gone home. And the people who run the festival . . . Joan Leonos, Cid Collins-Walker, Alexis Nichols, Charlene Marcum and volunteers such as Beth . . . all ready to jump in and help you with whatever you need to make you feel right at home. If that wasn't enough they even had an A-List and Academy Award-winning director there, John J. Avildsen. This festival is The Best! Thanks to everyone there for your hospitality and support. Gail Reaben

    November 2016