Cinema Femme is now taking submissions for our spring 2023 fest!

The 5th edition of the Cinema Femme Short Film Fest is running from 4/28/23 to 5/4/23. The festival emphasizes the importance of supporting emerging female and non-binary filmmakers by connecting them to seasoned industry members through our Breaking Down Walls Mentorship Program. The name of the mentorship program was inspired by our interview with Hannah Beachler in 2019. What we are doing through this mentorship program is breaking down walls in the industry and redesigning the institutions.

Twenty films will be selected. Four filmmakers behind four of the twenty films will be awarded a six-month mentorship with a seasoned filmmaker.

Past mentors have been Christine Swanson, Jennifer Reeder, Lisa Robinson, Annette Davey (2022),Kate Hackett, Cecilia Albertini (2021), Deborah Kampmeier, Haroula Rose, Patricia Vidal Delgado, Laura Moss (2020) Our mentees have gone on to successful projects.

This will be our first year as a hybrid film festival (in-person and virtual). We will be having Q&As with the filmmakers and panels on various topics. We bring in seasoned filmmakers to lead our filmmaker Q&As. In the past we've had filmmakers like Karyn Kusama and Alice Waddington moderate.

For more information about Cinema Femme, please visit For updates, like Cinema Femme on Instagram (@cinemafemmemagazine) or Twitter (@cinema_femme), and join the conversation by using #CinemaFemmeShortFilmFest

Four of the twenty filmmakers behind the selected films will be awarded the Mentorship Recipient Award: a six-month mentorship with seasoned woman or non-binary filmmaker.

Additional Awards:

Halyna Hutchins award - given to a producer who manages their set in the best way for their crew. This award will come from nominations from the selected filmmakers.

Phenomenal Woman in Film Award Award - The filmmaker that most exemplifies our mission at Cinema Femme in their work and in their lives. Our mission is about women and non-binary people supporting women and non-binary people in the industry. The recipient of this award will be chosen by Rebecca Martin, Executive Director of Cinema Femme Short Film Fest and Managing Editor of Cinema Femme magazine, awarded with an interview and featured on

Critics Choice award - Film critic's choice, included with an interview with critic.

Audience Award - Voted the highest by attendees of the festival.

*PLEASE READ OUR GUIDELINES CAREFULLY before submitting your film as we do not issue refunds for entry fees. It is your responsibility to ensure your film meets our criteria and submission guidelines.

** Films accepted to the festival will be played on our online platform for the week of the festival, and then will be taken down**

*You are required to send us a downloadable HD H.264 file of your film. Or allow access to download via FilmFreeway or via Vimeo only. Once you receive an acceptance letter you are required to allow your film to be downloaded for our online platform

*Complete the details required, providing a brief synopsis of the film, credits, production stills, and additional promotional items. Please review to ensure all the information submitted is correct.

*Please provide stills from the film; press materials; headshots and filmography of the director; b&w and/or color and video trailer links from Vimeo and Youtube (if available) and social media handles to help promote your selection. Please submit them with your application.

**Failure to deliver a digital HD screening file within 30 days of Notification Deadline Forfeits accepted invitation**

*All films submitted must be free from any legal disputes and the filmmaker must have cleared all rights for music and exhibition.

*We will accept films that are between 5-30 minutes, and they must fit into the live-action, documentary, or animated short-film category. We accept films created by women or non-binary people with diverse representation onscreen. The more diverse the better, representation is important!

*We are accepting submissions from all over the world, but keep in mind, if you are a winner of our "Best" award, and get matched up with a mentor, it is important that you have ways of communicating (Skype, Zoom, Whatsapp, Email).

*There is no requirement level, or pre-festival experience requirement. We are judging based on quality, not quantity.

I. Certification of Film Entrant: A. I, the undersigned, acknowledge and agree as follows: B. I have read, understand and fully comply with all submission eligibility information, Submission Guidelines, Terms and Conditions of Entry and Entry Eligibility requirements; C. To the best of my knowledge, all of the statements in this document are true; D. The Short, Documentary, or Other Media I am submitting as my entry is not subject to any litigation nor is threatened by any litigation; E. I am duly authorized to submit this Production to the online festival; F. I hold Cinema Femme Film harmless from any damage to the print(s) or tape(s) or media en route or otherwise during the course of the Festival; G. I hold Cinema Femme harmless from any and all claims of liability resulting from my entry; H. I certify that I have full rights to the use of the music in the Production; I. I give permission for Cinema Femme to use excerpts of up to three minutes of the Production for promotional purposes; J. I give permission for Cinema Femme to use stills, titles, copy, and/or information from the Production for promotional purposes; K. I give permission for Cinema Femme to screen the Production on their website during the duration of the online film festival; L. I own or have authorization to all necessary copyrights and licenses; (If requested) will be able to provide model/actor release verification if requested; will be able to provide music, product and other copyright licensing verification if requested. As the Submitter/Producer, I agree to take on all copyright liability in regard to submitted film. M. Entry does not guarantee acceptance into Cinema Femme film festival or other Cinema Femme events

II. Film Submissions A. SUBMISSION FORMAT: All Festival submissions should be sent vie a Web Link. SUBMISSION LENGTH AND GENRE: we accept short form of films in live-action, documentary, or animation genres. All short forms would be deemed within a G, PG, PG-13, R, or NC-17. (1) Short form submissions are those under forty-five (30) minutes. B. Submissions WILL NOT be returned. C. MULTIPLE ENTRIES are allowed, however, a separate entry form and fee shall be submitted for each. D. PRODUCER / FILMMAKER / COPYRIGHTS: Submitter (filmmaker or producer) will be referred to as “Producer or Submitter.” Producer must own all copyrights; must be able to provide music, product and other copyright licensing verification if requested. Producer agrees to take on all copyright liability in regard to submitted film. E. SUBMISSION DEADLINES: Submissions with postmarks prior to and after these will not qualify for entry into the Festival. F. ENTRY FEES: Entry fees are non-refundable. If your entry fee is not received with or prior to your submission, your entry may be deemed disqualified at the discretion of Cinema Femme. G. PREMIERE/DISTRIBUTION STATUS: We accept submissions that have premiered elsewhere; submissions may have distribution agreements already in place. H. LOSS OR DAMAGE: Every precaution will be taken to prevent damage to materials while in the possession of the Festival. I. CINEMA FEMME MARKETING: By submitting, Producer is consenting for use and copying of accepted projects for the purpose of promoting Cinema Femme. Producer is giving Cinema Femme permission to use up to three minutes of submission to promote the Festival. J. CINEMA FEMME EXHIBITION AND SCREENING: By submitting, if chosen as an official selection, Producer is hereby granting permission for Cinema Femme to exhibit Producer’s submission on the Cinema Femme website. III. General Waiver Guidelines A. General. By entering this Contest, entrants agree to abide by the terms of these Official Rules, which are final and binding on all matters pertaining to this Festival. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. B. By entering the online festival, entrants release, waive any claims with regard to, and hold harmless the promoter and the host from and against any and all claims of any kind that are or could be asserted with respect to any matter relating to the festival. Entrants further agree to indemnify, defend and hold the promoter and host harmless from any and all damages, liabilities, fees and cost incurred in defending against any third party claims or threats of claims asserted against promoter and/or host arising from any entrant’s participation in or conduct associated with the online festival.

Overall Rating
  • Cinema Femme was such a rewarding and powerful festival to attend. I am so grateful for all the wonderful filmmakers it connected me to, and I left extremely inspired!

    July 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Giovanna! You inspire us, so excited to follow you and your career :).

  • Tiffany Tenille

    Words fail to capture the sheer magnificence of this festival. It surpasses all expectations with its awe-inspiring experience. The organizers exhibit unparalleled dedication in tending to every filmmaker, ensuring their utmost well-being. My screening was absolutely magical. Thank you, Cinema Femme for shining a light on my film!

    May 2023
    Response from festival:

    You're welcome Tiffany! We are so excited to champion you and your work, thank you!

  • Rachel Rambaldi

    I absolutely loved my experience. Everything about the curation of this festival felt personal and wholesome. I felt incredibly proud to have been a part of such powerful selected work.

    May 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Rachel! We loved having you and your film as part of the fest. Very excited to follow your career :)

  • Sandra Seeling Lipski

    A great festival showcasing important and unique female filmmakers. I proud to have been part of this years event. Great organization, good networking, I can't wait to return.

    May 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Sandra! Your words mean so much. Loved having your film as part of our selection this year - Rebecca :)

  • awesome festival!!!!! beautiful crowd!! and Rebecca is so lovely. thank you so much for having me <3

    May 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Lua! It was a pleasure :). I'm so excited about the films you are putting out there, and I'll continue to champion you and your work :). Very excited to see how things go with you and Melora - Rebecca