Welcome to a small-town festival that shows big films. Here, at the end of the road, surrounded by majestic Rocky mountains, you’ll experience something different: culturally rich, dynamic, life-changing films shared on the big screen that allow us to connect, feel inspired, and thrive. Yours will be one of 100 films that ignite passion and foster connection and dialogue with our audience.

Films are meant to challenge and delight, and together we celebrate this through your art and story. Be part of an outstanding, provocative lineup of films at a festival where intimate screenings and quality discussions abound.

Crested Butte is known as “America’s last great ski town” - a premier tourist destination. Filmmakers come to town, fall in love with it, and start plotting how they can move here (and some have, we hope it happens to you). Filmmakers are given cruiser bikes to ride around town because that’s how we roll here. The festival is held in the high mountains of Colorado the last weekend of September, just as the aspens are turning: a place where beauty, friendships, and great films come together.

Within its six years of operation, Crested Butte Film Festival has quickly established itself as a “must attend” festival and was recently named by USA Today’s Go Escape Magazine as “one of the top five fall film festivals in North America​.” We are also in the process of becoming an Oscar Qualifying Festival.


Genius. Artistry. Creation. A new way of telling a story. A location we’ve never seen. Something we’ve never thought of or imagined. And humor goes a long long way with us. Simply put, the best in narrative, documentary, short, outdoor adventure and childrens films.


Size: Crested Butte is six-by-ten blocks long
Altitude: We rest at 8,885 feet above sea level
Beauty: It’s the Rocky mountains of Colorado after all
Films: The absolute quality of our programming. The best in narrative, documentary, short, outdoor adventure, and childrens films
The Fun Quotient: Off the charts. Bike rides, the Magic Carpet Party, craft rum, great local beers, 15 mph speed limit
Ancillary: Mountain biking, hiking in aspen forests, great food, spas, fishing, photography


We have a passion for discovering great first films and a desire to nurture a filmmaker's career thereafter. Crested Butte is a place to be seen and discovered. All venues are within easy walking distance and events are designed to foster connection and lasting partnerships among filmmakers.

Best known as a “filmmakers festival,” CBFF creates intimate, well-attended screenings, provocative ​programming, ​panel discussions and an inspiring​ weekend for attendees​. Perhaps one of our award-winning filmmakers said it best:

"Just about everything distinguishes Crested Butte Film Festival from other festivals - from the programmers' joy of cinema, to the warmth of the staff and volunteers, to the genuine enthusiasm of the local community, to its grand, majestic setting. Hands down, Crested Butte is one of the best film festivals I've ever attended. I cannot wait to come back to Crested Butte. CBFF is a treasure, and should be at the very top of any filmmaker's list of festivals to attend."
- Marcelo Mitnik, A​ward-winning Director, In The Clouds (En Las Nubes)


Festival Dates: always "the last weekend of September” - September 28 - October 1, 2017.
Filmmaker Notifications sent: July 1, 2017


Through the transformative power of cinema, Crested Butte Film Festival fosters artistic creativity and inspires connection, cultural awareness and social action.


Films have the power to bring people together which is, which is now, more important than ever. Thank you for submitting your film to Crested Butte Film Festival. We’re excited to see it.

Awards & Prizes


BEST SHORT FILM - Narrative, Documentary and Comedic categories
ACTNOW AWARD (call-to-action, monetary prize awarded to one nonprofit associated with film)


Each and every submitted film is considered for a Jury Award. Selected films are then shortlisted based on their genre and characteristics and sent to our Festival Jury. The Jury then awards films based on merit, innovation, and outstanding qualities.


A sure measure of success for filmmakers is winning the CBFF’s coveted Audience Choice Award. Solely determined by our audience, the Audience Choice Award is open to any screened entry and is determined by a weighted, tabulated-ratings ballot system on our festival app in conjunction with online trending and audience street reviews.


Our social action award - this is a cash award that goes to a nonprofit organization linked to a documentary film. If your film has a call-to-action component to it, and it is designated as an ActNow Film by the Crested Butte Film Festival it will be considered for this award.

2016 Recipient - NEWTOWN
2015 Recipient - RACING EXTINCTION
2014 Recipient - VIRUNGA
2013 Recipient - BLOOD BROTHER
2012 Recipient - BIDDER 70

Rules & Terms

For our 2017 season, we are open for submissions from December 1, 2016 through May 1, 2017.

Before filling out the submission form, please be prepared to provide the following:

Contact information
Full film information including a short synopsis
Entry fee (credit card)
A link to your online screener
Acceptance of Rights and Releases

All submitting filmmakers will be notified on or before July 1, by the email provided with your submission. Please add cbfilmfestival@gmail.com to your email address book to ensure receipt of notification.

For environmental reasons, we request that your submission be sent to us through an online link. Thank you. Your entry can be made via FilmFreeway's Secure Online Screener platform.

Film entries may be of any subject, from any country, and of any length. Submitted films should either be in English or include English subtitles. If the film is selected for the Festival, it is the responsibility of the filmmaker to provide the Crested Butte Film Festival with a file or exhibition copies by July 20, 2017.

Call Michael Brody at 310.463.0707 or email michael@cbfilmfest.org

We really appreciate you sending your work to us and giving us the opportunity to program it for our Festival. Obviously, films are the foundation of our festival, and we appreciate the vision, creativity, time, commitment, and money that went into your work. Thank you.

10 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    David Byars

    This is a filmmaker's paradise. I've screened two films there and each visit was pure joy. It's like bandcamp for film nerds, in the most glorious way possible. You get to spend a TON of time with other filmmakers, and I always leave this festival inspired and with a gaggle of new friends.

    October 2017
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    Erin Brown Thomas


    Submit because the programing is spot on. Because the festival arranges to have press come and review your film (this year it was Movie Maker Magazine). Because the organizers care and watch and review the films and will remember you. I submitted three times before I got into this festival and the programmers remembered all my films were so happy to watch my growth.

    Come because the location is beautiful. Come because the hospitality is off the charts. Come because the programming is top notch which means you will meet incredibly talented people. Come because the town is so quaint and the food is so good. Come because they give you free bikes to ride around town on. Come because the venue is wonderful. Come because the Q&A's and Talkbacks are incredibly thoughtful. Come because you want an artist date with yourself.

    Submit. Come.

    October 2017
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    Scott Simonsen

    Six out of five stars. After having played nearly fifty festivals with two films, we must say that Crested Butte stands alone at the top. The organization, quality of films, kindness of the festival programmers and team, the generosity of the town, all of it equal an unparalleled experience. Free lodging, free town bicycles, great awards, red carpet party, rug party, accomplished panels, and a smile that won't leave your face, are just the tip of the iceberg at this festival. Ask any filmmaker who has attended this festival and they will use words like "family", "magical", "an experience like no other." If you have a quality film that you want to share with an intelligent audience in a beautiful location, submit to this one!!

    October 2017
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    Darian Brunetti

    I wish I could give 10 stars. I couldn't believe the quality of the other films, and the hospitality not only from the festival but from the whole town. Most of all, the quality of the people that I encountered was unique. Describing it kind of makes it sound like some crazy fantasy world where everyone I met and everything I did was cool, but truly that was what it felt like. 100/100.

    October 2017
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    William Bentley Films LLC

    Crested Butte Film Festival has been by far my favorite festival experience whilst having my film on the circuit. It such a tight knit and self aware festival that has it's priorities right.

    The beautiful small town is the perfect place to network in the most relaxed sense. I found myself having great conversations time and time again and bumping into people throughout town. This meant that interactions never felt contrived or short lived. The networking events were all great and everyone was involved and approachable - from the directors of the festival to the public.

    The venues were great and all close together. The local community really gets involved and attendances were always high to all the films I attended. The festival really looks after it's filmmakers... I can't stress that enough.

    I feel honored to be an alumni of the festival will be sure to try and attend again! If you get accepted definitely attend!

    ~ Will

    October 2017