Having just completed its fifth year, the Annapolis Film Festival has become a highly anticipated and well-attended event embraced by the City of Annapolis. Nestled on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis is best known for its rich colonial, African-American, and naval history. As a vacation destination, it charms its tourists with many restaurants, museums, and galleries.

The film festival has had an extraordinary first five years screening at
unique venues in the town's historic district. All venues are walkable within the city center and provide filmmakers with a high-quality digital presentation. Attendance last year exceeded over 14,000.

The Annapolis Film Festival is seeking a total of 70 films to be shown
March 22-25, 2018. The festival is known for its quality slate and a
strong line-up of both documentary and narrative films (both short and feature-length) from emerging and established filmmakers. We present a balanced program consisting of films with a common emphasis on storytelling excellence and/or innovative vision and cinematic artistry.

In addition to our commitment to screen the newest acclaimed films and premieres, we are also interested in films with nautical and environmental themes, films highlighting diverse cultures including African American, Latino, Asian and Jewish experiences as well as LGBTQ and women-centric perspectives.

For the first time we will present Jury Awards for our Best Narrative Feature and our Best Documentary Feature. Returning will be the Short Film Juried Competition with awards presented for Best Narrative Short and the Best Documentary Short. All films will be awarded for displaying exceptional creativity, originality, and skill in script, direction, acting and high-quality production values. A select number of films in each category will be nominated and judged by a jury of industry professionals. The Audience Awards in all categories will be presented as well.

The 2018 Annapolis Film Festival will introduce our "Shorts Challenge" with a live pitch competition during a programming block. The winner will receive a camera/sound/post-production package to help get their short film made. For more details on this exciting new opportunity please see our website at annapolisfilmfestival.com.

Beyond the screenings, the festival offers ample networking opportunities with industry and filmmaker guests, as well as top-notch panels which cover current industry topics, a Tech Talk and our popular Coffee Talks all with leading industry professionals. Filmmakers will have an opportunity to participate in these events, as well as numerous parties and receptions that provide a fun and relaxed environment to meet and discuss your work with industry colleagues.

Past season guests have included iconic director, Rob Reiner (LBJ), esteemed documentarian Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter), Waldo Salt award-winning filmmaker Matt Spicer (Ingrid Goes West), Oscar-winning screenwriter David S. Ward (The Sting), actor/director S. Epatha Merkerson (Law and Order & Lincoln), actor Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice), Rory Culkin (Gabriel) and noted speaker/writer/producer Ambassador Shabazz.

As a relatively new and rapidly growing festival, the AFF plans to continue to strengthen the reputation of our festival by bringing top films to this beautiful city and to invite filmmakers to showcase global perspectives and independent thought to a community that truly embraces the art of filmmaking. Visiting filmmakers have been thrilled with the community's response. One filmmaker claimed, "this festival has the smartest audiences and the most community engagement we have seen on the festival circuit".

The mission of the Annapolis Film Festival is to encourage and grant the development of all aspects of the creative arts in and around Annapolis through the cinema experience. With independent films, panels and special showcases that will inspire, enlighten and entertain diverse audiences on a variety of topics, the festival will ensure the promotion of Annapolis as a cultural arts center. It will also define the economic impact on the town as community engagement broadens.

Awards & Prizes

Juried Narrative Feature
Juried Documentary Feature
Juried Narrative Short
Juried Documentary Short
Audience Awards - Narrative Feature
Audience Awards - Documentary Feature
Audience Awards - Narrative Short
Audience Award - Documentary Short
Audience Award - Best Student Film

Rules & Terms

I agree to the Rules & Terms as follows:

1.) The Annapolis Film Festival is accepting entries with a completion date after June 30, 2016. Submissions to the Annapolis Film Festival must not be scheduled for theatrical release or broadcast on television prior to April, 2018. Submissions must not have had prior public screenings in Annapolis.

2.) All films submitted must be free from any legal disputes and third-party claims and filmmaker must have cleared all rights for music and public exhibition.

3.) Please note that for preview purposes the festival accepts secured online screeners or DVD screeners. If submitting DVD screeners, send two (2) copies of your submission in NTSC DVD format or upload an NTSC digital .mov or .mpg file.
DVDs and BluRays must be clearly labeled with title, running time, completion date and contact information. Please include name, address, phone number, email address and tracking number.

4.) Entries should be accompanied by any required materials (e.g. student IDs, fees, pre-paid mailers and press kits).

5.) Submissions must be in English or subtitled in English.

6.) Narrative and documentary feature films must have a run time of a minimum of 40 minutes. Short films must have a run time of under 40 minutes.

7.) Filmmakers will be notified by approximately January 10, 2018, if their film has been accepted to the Annapolis Film Festival.

8.) Upon acceptance, exhibition copies and additional press materials will be requested. Selected films will be screened in the following exhibition formats: Blu-ray, digital files, and DCP (for select venues). Exhibition materials must be received NO LATER THAN 2/10/18. Please notify us in writing about any exceptions to this delivery date, otherwise you may forfeit your place in the program and the Annapolis Film Festival is under no obligation to screen a selected film.

I agree to donate my submitted DVD preview screeners to the Annapolis Film Festival archive, where Annapolis Film Festival staff may continue to review them after the conclusion of the festival. If I wish to opt out of this donation, I will send an email to programming@annapolisfilmfestival.net and provide the festival with a prepaid mailer along with my submission.

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 Annapolis Film Festival, Inc. from and against any and all disputes, arbitration, 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, including but not limited to third party claims involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.