Now approaching its 41st year, the Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF)—an Academy Award®-qualifying festival—is the southeast’s preeminent celebration of cinema and flagship production of the Atlanta Film Society. One of the largest and longest-running festivals in the country, ATLFF showcases both emerging and established artists’ works. The 40th anniversary festival saw nearly 25,000 film-lovers join 300 attending filmmakers in support of the moving images that push the boundaries of independent cinema.

Every spring, our 10-day festival—recognized as the Best Film Festival by Creative Loafing, Sunday Paper, 10 Best, and Atlanta Magazine—presents local and international works selected from over 4800 submissions representing 37 countries. ATLFF has been named a “Top 50 Festival Worth the Fee” and “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker magazine. Historically, ATLFF’s program is comprised of nearly 80% submissions.

ATLFF actively seeks inclusive films that reflect or feature people of color, LGBTQ (Pink Peach), female (New Mavericks), and/or experimental subjects and themes. Our experimental thread champions films created with conscious, referential use of the medium, rejection of traditional narrative arcs, and opposition to mass media or conventional story-telling practices.

ATLFF’s continued exposure is in part thanks to growing distributor and press outlet attention. Previous attendance includes Participant Media, Cinelicious Pics, Paramount, HBO, Turner, NBC Universal, Comcast, Kickstarter and Seed & Spark. Past media coverage local and national includes Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Filmmaker Magazine, Garden & Gun, Backstage Magazine, Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire, Creative Loafing, WABE, and WSB.

The Georgia Film Award—to be unveiled at the 2017 festival—will honor a Georgia-made film from any filmmaker with a current Georgia address. Those eligible for entry in the Georgia Film category will pay a subsidized $20 submission fee (early, regular and late). Georgia Film submissions will be considered for additional competition categories as applicable.

Cash prizes ranging from $500-$1,000 will accompany the Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, Best Animated Short, and Georgia Film Award distinctions.

Since developing our Screenplay Competition in 2008, ATLFF has worked tirelessly to highlight and foster the works of talented writers. In our competition, we look for innovative and compelling storytelling, for characters that surprise and challenge us, for words that pop off the page, and for narratives that twist and turn like country back roads. This year we’re accepting both feature scripts and pilot scripts, and you’re more than welcome to submit in both categories.

We are pleased to have Pivot as our documentary film sponsor for 2017.

Awards & Prizes

Jury awards are given for the following categories:

Narrative Features ($1,000 prize)
Documentary Features ($1,000 prize)
Narrative Shorts ($500 prize)
Documentary Shorts ($500 prize)
Animated Shorts ($500 prize)
Georgia Film ($1,000 prize)
New Maverick (TBD)
Audience Award- Short Film
Audience Award- Feature Film
Music Videos

Rules & Terms

By submitting your film you have read and agreed to all festival rules and terms and conditions. If you have any further questions, please visit our FAQ page:

1. The Atlanta Film Festival DOES NOT PAY SCREENING FEES. By submitting your film via FilmFreeway you acknowledge that the festival will not pay to present your work.
2. We highly encourage all works being submitted as an online screener (Vimeo preferred), if an online screener is not an option we will also accept submission on DVD (region 1 or 0).
3. Online screeners MUST have working passwords throughout the submission process. It is your responsibility to notify us if any changes are made.
4. If submitting on DVD, entries must be postmarked by the deadline date of the entry period in which a film was submitted. (For example, if you submit a film on the early deadline date, the film must also be postmarked as sent on that date.) Screeners will not be returned. Please do not send self-addressed stamped envelopes.
5. Entries must have been completed on or after November 1, 2015.
6. Feature Films must be theatrical premieres in the state of Georgia. There is no premiere requirement for shorts. We do not discriminate against films that are available to the public online, but that may disqualify you from Academy Award consideration.
7. Works in progress are accepted. While you may submit the final cut up until the late deadline, your original submission should be a fair representation of your final piece. Please include information as to what still needs to be completed (color correction, score, etc.) in your film file or on your cover letter.
8. All works selected must be available by January 24, 2017 for inclusion in the festival.
9. ATLFF does not issue refunds for submissions.


By entering your film for consideration for the 2017 Atlanta Film Festival, you authorize that your work is cleared for festival exhibition and accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. Entry into the festival constitutes permission to exhibit your work at the 2017 Atlanta Film Festival. The Atlanta Film Festival is also hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless the Atlanta 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. The Atlanta Film Festival may opt to withdraw your work from the festival at any time for any reason. The Atlanta Film Festival DOES NOT PAY SCREENING FEES. By submitting your film via FilmFreeway you acknowledge that the festival will not pay to present your work. ATLFF reserves the right to disqualify any submission without refund of submission fees. ATLFF does not issue refunds.

13 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Paulo Cesar Toledo

    ATLFF is a wonderful, welcoming and friendly festival in a fabulous city. The conference debates are very helpful and the audience is also really interested and we had a great Q&A session . Their PR is also very effective (I gave my first interview to NPR thanks to ATLFF!). Really hope to spend more time in Atlanta when (I hope!) I come back in the future.

    April 2017
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    Gerardo González Pérez

    The conferences and screenings were really good, I'd liked to watch other movies that were presented at the same time I was watching other things. It was a good event tho.

    April 2017
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    Denise Meyers

    I was fortunate enough to have been one of three screenwriters selected as winners of the screenplay competition at the Atlanta Film Festival in 2017. What an incredible experience. Instead of giving us an award, or money, they gave us the most valuable reward of all. Meetings with three outstanding mentors; Michael Lucker, who is an accomplished screenwriter and who teaches screenwriting at Emory University and North Georgia State, Diane Drake, a screenwriter who used to work for Sydney Pollack and who teaches screenwriting at UCLA, and Kathryn Dean, a unit production manager for films like Winter's Bone and Hell or High Water. We met with each mentor at Serenbe Community, which hosted each of the three screenwriters, and their mentors for two days of meetings, while the Atlanta Film Festival provided airfare, lodging and meals for the weekend, so all we had to worry about was taking notes on how to improve our screenplays. We also participated in a table read with SAG/AFTRA actors to here the words we had written interpreted by professional actors so we could see what was working and what wasn't. The experience was beyond invaluable. The Creative Conference the following week (which we had complete access to) made it possible to network with some people I would never have met otherwise. If you are thinking about applying to this festival, please, please do. If you win, you will thank me. Ali Coad is the current screenplay competition coordinator and she is amazing. The entire experience was.

    April 2017
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    Eunhye Hong Kim

    The BEST film festival that I ever attended !

    April 2017
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    Pearse Lehane

    Another amazing Atlanta Film Festival; hope to see you all again next year.

    April 2017