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 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 and home we call the Chesapeake Bay.

Entering its 14th year, the Chesapeake Film Festival plans a two-day socially distanced LIVE event at our flagship venues, followed by a seven-day Virtual Festival and Speaker Series. The combined events will span from Friday, October 1 and Saturday, October 2 for the LIVE events, and from Sunday, October 3 through Sunday, October 10, for our Virtual events. Our LIVE event venues will include the historic Avalon Theatre and the new outdoor Stolz Pavillion in downtown Easton.

Our commitment to collaboration, unity, diversity, collective synergy and the celebration of arts and artists will be our emphasis this year, as we endeavor to present the best cinematic works and speaker events by artists not only local, but from around the world. Our programming will pair emerging artists and more established artists with a commitment to diversity in the subjects of films and among the filmmakers. We continue to believe that great films can affect positive change, and through this medium, individuals and the larger community can gain a much greater understanding of themselves.

Last year’s awarded films included a beautiful array of wide-ranging topics including “You Don’t Know Nothin’ Bout Groove City” for Best Documentary Feature by the emerging new director Cesar Gonzalez, about the evolution of music from jazz to soul to hip-hop and cultural expropriation, in the neighboring town of Cambridge. Awarded Best Dramatic Feature was a film by emerging director Harold Jackson, III, “Unarmed Man,” a narrative film about civil unrest that erupted after a police officer shot and killed an unarmed black man during a routine traffic stop. This film won the HBO Best Feature Award and was later screened at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival. Awards were further granted to 15 filmmakers in the categories of Best Environmental Feature, Best Comedy, Best Emerging Filmmaker and Jury’s Prize among many other categories. CFF is honored that filmmakers Gonzalez and Jackson have joined the CFF board.

Submitted films will be rated in the following categories: originality, creativity, direction, writing, cinematography, performances, production value, pacing, structure and sound/music. Whether you are a filmmaker or an avid film enthusiast, we welcome you to engage and experience the festival, as we welcome an exciting new year for the Chesapeake Film Festival 2021. To register for further information about ongoing events for the CFF visit

Festival Awards will be given for Best Environmental Feature and Short, Best International Film, Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Emerging Filmmaker, Best Made In Maryland Film, Best Animation, Best Horror/Thriller, Best Sound Design and Best Editing. Awards for Best Performance and Best Director will also be included and finally the Award for The Jury's Prize. For a list of previous Festival Film Awardees visit

The General Rules are as follows:

1.) The Chesapeake Film Festival is accepting entries with a completed after June 1, 2018.
2).) All films for consideration must be submitted online through
3.) Filmmakers will be notified by approximately June 20, 2021 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, 2021. 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
  • Kristin Harris

    I was very pleased to be included in this year's Chesapeake Film Festival. The communication from the Festival was always clear and informative. I especially appreciated that. The films were wonderful, diverse and high quality. I enjoyed watching as much as being included.

    October 2020
  • Juan Ignacio Bello

    Such an amazing experience. I personally want to thank to Cid and the staff for our award and to make all of this possible. Hopefully we will be meeting face to face next year! Thanks from "IMAGINARIUS" Crew and cast.

    October 2020
    Response from festival:

    Dearest Juan, Your film "IMAGINARIUS" is an exquisite work of art and it was an immense honor to work with you and your team to present this great film. Congratulations on receiving the Award for Best International Film this year!

    Cid Collins Walker
    Festival Director
    Chesapeake Film Festival
    127 N. West Street
    Easton, Maryland 21601

  • I truly enjoyed this festival it was honor to be selected!

    February 2020
    Response from festival:

    Arlette, What a unique and inspiring film you brought to the CFF last year with your fine film "The Lonesome Trail". We too felt honored to work with you to bring this film to the Silver Screen. Good luck to you always on your continuing success.

  • 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