The Focus International Film Festival is a celebration of the best in independent cinema. Film makers from around the world are invited to submit their English language or English subtitled films and trailers.

All genres are welcome except snuff or porn. However, the MAXIMUM RUNNING TIME for trailers is 3 minutes or less, short films is 45 minutes or less and feature films from 45:01- 2 hours INCLUDING OPENING AND CLOSING CREDITS.

Any film or trailer that does not meet these requirements, or others listed in the Rules and Terms section will be disqualified with no refund given. No exceptions.

Short screenplays can be from 1-45 pages. Feature screenplays 46-120 pages. No screenplays allowed over 120 pages. No exceptions!

A celebrity jury panel of industry professionals will grade the official selections for the jury awards. Film makers of officially selected films will be asked for promotional material and credited cast information for actor award nominee consideration.

All official selections will be required to provide a link to their projects in an online off site website such as YouTube or Vimeo. Password protected is fine as long as the password is provided. This information will ONLY be shared with the celebrity jury. In addition, for acting categories the film makers will be allowed to provide acting nominees from their projects as applicable.

Let's meet the celebrity jury panel:

James Kyson - A world traveler & Adrenalin-junkie, James once bungee jumped 8 times in one day in Cairns, Australia, has slid down waterfalls in Queenstown, New Zealand, scuba dived into caves in Maui, Hawaii, and deep water solo'ed at the island of Ko Phi Phi, Thailand - where he back-flipped for the first time 50 feet high off a limestone cliff.

He was also recently voted by TV Guide as “Hollywood’s 25 Hottest”. A native of NYC, James is passionate about music, including jazz, blues, rock and hip-hop.

He was once part of a Boston rap-group called 'School of Thought', is a spoken word artist, has sang at the Ford Amphitheater & in numerous musicals, and has self-taught Guitar & Piano.

An avid runner & athlete, James also plays for the celebrity basketball team The Hollywood Knights, has done two USO tours, played in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, as well as UK's Soccer Aid for UNICEF - a charity game held at Manchester United’s Old Trafford in England.

He recently ran his first half Marathon in Ojai, and plans to run in the LA Marathon in 2016. A passionate activist & philanthropist, James is a member of the I.AM.LIFE project, Global Green eco campaign, and the Creative Coalition. He has also launched a media company called LiveConnect, producing empowering entertainment that inspires people to live their best life.

James has performed improv comedy at Monkey Butler, UCB, IO, & the Groundlings.
He has also guest starred on numerous TV shows, including 'School of Rock', 'Justified', 'Hawaii 5-0', 'CSI', 'Daybreak', ‘Adventure Time’, and many more. James is also known for his 4-year run as Ando on the hit NBC Drama 'Heroes'.

You can see more at:

Charles Baker - Charles Baker left his mark in Hollywood and the homes of fans across the world as ‘Skinny Pete,’ on the hit AMC show Breaking Bad, which has been nominated for 151 awards and has won 48.

Before stepping on Hollywood soil, Baker already had 37 credits to his name and now has moved to Los Angeles permanently with his wife and two children to pursue his craft, which he has been studying for over 20 years.

Notable film projects for Baker include To The Wonder, a Terrence Malick film, opposite Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, and Javier Bardem, Ain't Them Bodies Saints opposite Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck and Ben Foster, and Wild opposite Reese Witherspoon.

On television, Baker has been seen in the NBC series The Blacklist (Fall 2013) opposite James Spader as Spader’s confidante ‘Grey’ and the TNT series Murder in the First (2014) opposite Tom Felton and Taye Diggs.

He currently has 6 films in post-production. Baker is also a classically trained musician who received a vocal scholarship for college. He holds CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) For Children, out of Tarrant County, Texas as an organization that is close to his heart for the work they do in appointing advocates for foster children going through the court system.

Adrienne Wilkinson - Adrienne Wilkinson first gained notice as Xena’s daughter Livia/Eve, the sometimes warrior, sometimes saint, Empress of Rome from the hit series “Xena: Warrior Princess,” the most widely watched show in the world at the the time. She has made many notable television appearances including popular guest starring roles on "About A Boy", Partners, “Charmed,” “Days of Our Lives,” “ER,” and “Angel,” as well as series regular roles on “Venice”, "Pretty", "Club 5150", "Goodnight Burbank", and "As If". Adrienne is currently working on "Star Trek Renegades," a reboot of the franchise, playing Captain Lexxa Singh, descendent of Khan. She has made appearances in fan favorite films including “Raze”, “Alpha Force”, “The American Failure”, "Burning Dog" and “Reflections,” for which she won several awards.

She has voiced more than 50 lead characters in top animation projects and high profile video games including Daughter, the personification of the 'light side' of the Force in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and as the voice, and physical model, for Maris Brood, the female Jedi turned Sith in the “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed” franchise. She has also produced several independent projects. Her diverse career has spanned multiple genre’s in projects that range from mainstream to cult classics with loyal fans in nearly every age group. Adrienne is also known for her charity work, which includes a focus on literacy programs, animal welfare and children.

Patricia Tallman - Patricia is perhaps best known for her work in the 1990 cult classic “Night of The Living Dead” as Barbara, the beleaguered heroine. Some may argue she is best known for her role as Lyta Alexander in the Hugo Award winning series, Babylon 5. Either way, she has been swept into a career that features horror and Science Fiction projects. She is less recognizable, but no less memorable, as the Horror Hag in Evil Dead III, Army of Darkness. Pat was featured in the Los Angeles Sci Fest of Plays 2014, and recently, Criminal Minds.

Fans make a game of spotting her in the over 50 appearances in the Star Trek franchises: ST:TNG, DS9 and Voyager as well as the feature film “Generations”. Zombie fans will enjoy “Dead Air”, and sci fi fans may enjoy Pat’s book “Pleasure Thresholds, Patricia Tallman’s Babylon 5 Memoirs” , currently awaiting it’s second printing!

Pat's other projects include starring in the sci-fi audio thriller series “Anne Manx”, playing the evil badass, Lt. Jean Richmond.

Her favorite role is that of mother to her son, Julian.

Equally important to Patricia is her fund-raising activities for the children of Penny Lane. Through her efforts within the Science Fiction & horror community, Pat and her fans have contributed more than $350,000 to Penny Lane over the past several years. Since 1996, Pat, her friends, family and fans have made a holiday happen for the Penny Lane kids through the Be A Santa program. You can go to to join in the fun!

Fans can connect with Pat on her blog, her Facebook/PatriciaTallmanPage , on Instagram, or on Twitter @patriciatallman.

Awards & Prizes

All awards listed below will include an Award Laurel Certificate which will be emailed to the film maker of record.

For screenplays which make "Official Selection" status, the following jury awards will be issued.


For trailers which make "Official Selection" status, the following jury awards will be issued.


For short films which make "Official Selection" status, the following jury awards will be issued.


For feature films which make "Official Selection" status, the following jury awards will be issued.


Rules & Terms

1. By submitting to the festival you confirm that you own the rights to the film or trailer and agree to allow your project to be shown by the festival through its website and/or social media. If your film is not available for public viewing you will state so but provide the festival judges the ability to view your film through secure online screener. You also agree that your name and project information may be used for festival promotion. We do not pay screening fees. If this is an issue, please do not submit.

2. FIFF only accepts online submission through FilmFreeway with a link to your film or trailer. If a password is required please provide it and let us know if your film is unavailable for public viewing. We do not accept mailed submissions. Projects previously submitted to a Focus International Film Festival event are eligible to be resubmitted to a future event as long as the project was not previously Officially Selected. Previously officially selected projects are disqualified from future events.

3. All fees are nonrefundable. No fee waivers will be granted. No exceptions!

4. Film makers may submit as many films and trailers as they like, but a separate entry must be made for each. Projects may have distribution.

5. Films and trailers selected to compete may be asked for promotional materials. This includes project artwork, promotional poster, a list of credited cast eligible for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories including talent's name and character name in order to be eligible to be nominated in those categories. If the film or trailer is available for public viewing, a link to the media's host site is required. If it's not available for public viewing, a secured link to an online hosted site will be required along with password to be eligible for jury consideration, but not for the "Audience Choice" awards. Failure to provide a link to an external site will result in the jury being unable to view and/or consider the project for award nominations.

6. Official selection and jury award voting is final. No feedback will be provided to films or trailers, whether selected or not to compete.

7. Jury awards will feature up to but not more than 5 nominees per category, depending on the number of applicable entries and at the sole discretion of the selecting jury.

8. Any film not in English must have English dubbing or subtitles. Any film in a language other than English without English dubbing or subtitles will be disqualified.

9. Festival laurels will be provided to "Official Selections" only. Award laurel email certificates will be issued to award winners. Jury decisions on awards are final.

10. FIFF reserves the right to change the event dates should reasonable circumstances warrant. FIFF will do all possible to maintain the published schedule.

11. Awards and Prizes - No cash awards will be made. For details on awards see the awards section.

12. Indemnity:
By submitting to the festival, entrants release and hold harmless the Focus International Film Festival, representatives, volunteers, staff and assignees and any other entities associated with the event from and against any and all loss, damage, rights, actions and claims arising in whole or in part from the contest or their participation therein, whether directly or indirectly, including but not limited to use or misuse of the selection process, judging, award nominations or winners, without limitation including ISP issues, award delivery or promotion, and also including personal injury, damage to persons or property or death as well as claims on property rights, defamation, privacy or force majeure. The festival will take appropriate and reasonable steps in the event awards to the film makers are delayed, to resend award certificates in whatever form they are represented within 30 days of the announcement of the winners.
The film makers involved retain all rights to their projects, and the festival is only granted a limited, non exclusive right to promote the project for purposes of declaring award winners for the festival period.

By submitting to the festival, the festival, its employees and assignees and anyone else entrusted with carrying out the festival's duties, are hereby held harmless against claims of any kind, including but not limited to financial or any other reason, and film maker agrees that all judging to be the final decision of the festival and holds the festival and anyone associated with it harmless against suit for defamation, slander or any other reason. Film makers agree not to hold the festival responsible for losses of any kind including financial relating to their entering into the festival.

Force Majeure. Nonperformance of any party shall be excused to the extent that performance is rendered impossible by strike, fire, flood, earthquakes, war, governmental acts, alien invasions or orders or restrictions, or any other reason where failure to perform is beyond the reasonable control, and not caused by the negligence of, the nonperforming party.

For any dispute not subject to arbitration entrant agrees to personal jurisdiction by the federal and state courts located in Dallas, Texas , United States of America , and waives any jurisdictional, venue, or inconvenient forum objections to such courts.

Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby irrevocably waives all rights to claim damages of any kind outside of claimants entry fees into the festival including punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, or any other damages, including attorneys' fees.

Personal information submitted in connection with the festival will be kept confidential although some basic information about the film or trailer may be shared with the public.

2 Reviews

Overall Rating
  • false
    Alan Amin

    It was great to take part in Focus International film Festival, best wishes for next round of the festival.

    November 2016
  • false
    Iulia Nastase

    I loved the communication they had with us!:)

    November 2016