The FERRARA FILM FESTIVAL is one of the most popular film festivals in Italy, as well as the fastest growing one since its first edition in 2016. The festival is hosted in the northern Italian City of Ferrara, a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The Ferrara Film Festival is an "IMDB Qualifier Festival" and "World CineX" eligible.

The Ferrara Film Festival, in just 7 editions, had big movie premieres in its competition with some of the major Italian and international movie stars. It's a global film competition that sees more than 10.000 people attending each edition, culminating with the Golden Dragon Awards Ceremony. The event includes movie themed collateral events, entertainment shows and partnerships with many world class Institutions.

At the Ferrara Film Festival all the selected films will be divided in specific categories by our Organization. Our categories reflect the global nature and relevance of our festival. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? When you submit your film, all you have to do is to choose between “Feature Film”, “Short Film” and “Documentary” then, IF YOUR FILM IS SELECTED, we'll independently put your film in the more specific category.

Here below the detailed categories of FERRARA FILM FESTIVAL:

"Premiere Event"
"Premiere Autore"
"Premiere Docu"
"Premiere Unicef"
"Premiere Emilia-Romagna"

"Short Event"
"Short Autore"

Explore our festival on

The awards of the Ferrara Film Festival are called GOLDEN DRAGONS, which recall the legend and mythological figure of the Dragon killed by St. George (the Patron Saint of Ferrara).

For each edition of the Ferrara Film Festival 7 judges will be assigned to choose the award winners in all categories.

NOTE: Special Career Achievement Awards will be dedicated and given to prestigious personalities in the Film Industry.

The “Golden Dragon” awards will be assigned in the following categories:

• Best Premiere Event
• Best Premiere Autore
• Best Premiere Docu
• Best Premiere Unicef
• Best Director in a Feature Film
• Best Lead Actor in a Feature Film
• Best Lead Actress in a Feature Film

• Best Short Film Event
• Best Short Film Autore
• Best Director in a Short Film

• Best Premiere Emilia-Romagna

Further info on

Feature Films (minimum runtime 60 minutes)
Short Films (maximum runtime 30 minutes)
• The Ferrara Film Festival does NOT pay any fees to screen any movies in our program. If you submit your film to us, you agree to this term.
• Films can premiere in some major film festival prior to Ferrara Film Festival (see exceptions below), but must not have a public distribution (theatrical, streaming, online) prior to the current edition.
• Our selected films are allowed premiere only in other film festivals of international relevance before Ferrara Film Festival. A film must be an exclusive Italian premiere. Exceptions only for MAJOR other festivals (Venice, Taormina, Rome etc) ​
• Each film can be any genre and from anywhere in the World.
• Films are accepted if they are completed not earlier than one year before the current festival edition.

If you are a filmmaker from the Italian region Emilia-Romagna you have a 50% discount on your submission fee. For inquiries please write to:

Overall Rating
  • Robert Haufrecht

    Although my film was part of the festival, I just couldn't get there. Sounds like a great location and a great festival. They were very helpful and inviting. Maybe next year!

    September 2022
  • Cinesia Film

    Siamo molto felici di essere stati selezionati ufficialmente a questo prestigioso festival.
    Teniamo a ringraziare i professionisti che vi lavorano, per le comunicazioni sempre precise e tempestive.
    Non vediamo l'ora che arrivi Settembre per poter vivere di persona l'atmosfera dell'evento.

    April 2022
    Response from festival:

    Grazie del feedback! Il piacere è tutto nostro!

  • What a beautiful festival put together by great people. As a filmmaker I felt incredibly cared for, . Thank you so much for an incredible experience!

    April 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you. We're very happy you had a great experience. That's what we're here for!

  • Shawn Harris

    Ferrara Film Festival excels in every way possible. A professionally run and friendly festival, takes place in a beautiful Italian town with helpful people and wonderful food. We had the time of our life attending this gem!

    June 2021
  • Fantastic festival! A truly incredible experience from start to finish, honored and grateful to receive the Golden Dragon award for Best Director in a Short Film 2021 (‘7PM’). The city of Ferrara is stunning, we’ve met incredibly talented filmmakers and forged new and special friendships. The festival staff are truly passionate about cinema and supportive towards independent filmmakers. A truly memorable experience and we would like to thank the great staff of Ferrara Film Festival and congratulate them for being the first film festival in Italy to return to a live theatrical experience following the challenging year and the global pandemic. Grazie Ferrara!
    L’amore vince, sempre!

    June 2021