The George Lindsey UNA Film Festival is hosted each year by the University of North Alabama in Florence, one of the four cities comprising the culturally rich Shoals. The Shoals is an entertainment Mecca with long roots, which reach to the heart of rock and roll, southern rock, and the blues. highlighted in the award winning documentary "Muscle Shoals." It is the birthplace of “America’s First Lady of Courage” (Helen Keller), "The Father of the Blues" (W.C. Handy), and the legendary “Father of Rock and Roll” (Sam Phillips), who first recorded the likes of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the list goes on.

The Shoals area has always been known for its creative spirit and energy. It is now building on its rich musical heritage by devoting many of its resources toward enhancing its emerging film industry. Since 1998, The Lindsey Film Festival has contributed to that effort through the exhibition of independent films from across the world and the appearances of many special guests, including Oscar winners Billy Bob Thornton and Ernest Borgnine; "Sling Blade" co-stars Lucas Black and Natalie Canerday; character actors Rance Howard (“Cool Hand Luke”) and Stephen Root ("O Brother, Where Art Thou?"); renowned film critic and Florence native Jonathan Rosenbaum; makeup-effects artist Robert Hall (“Angel” and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), actors Michael Rooker (“The Walking Dead,” “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), Michael O'Neill ("Transformers", "Dallas Buyers Club") James Tolkan ("Back to the Future" and "Top Gun"), Lee Majors (“The Six Million Dollar Man”), Grant Goodeve ("Eight is Enough") and Cedric Pendleton (“The Shield"); music supervisors Dave Jordan, Julianne Jordan, Thomas Golubic, and Andrea von Foerster; screenwriter and producer Bob Gale; radio personality Mark Thompson (of "Mark & Brian" fame), and many more.

As a competitive film festival, we welcome local, national, and international entries. First place winners in each category receive a substantial prize. A special award, gifted in memory of George Lindsey’s dear childhood friend, Clyde “Sappo” Black, is given to the best film made in Alabama. Past winners have included Shane Acker's Oscar nominated "9," Steve Guttenberg's "P.S. Your Cat is Dead," Robert Hall's "Lightening Bug" and the Kathryn Tucker Windham documentary "Kathryn: A Story of a Teller."

The George Lindsey UNA Film Festival was founded by celebrated entertainer George Lindsey, along with now deceased Communications professor Bobby Hurt and now retired Office of Communications Director Bill Jarnigain, George Lindsey is well known for his role of Goober Pyle on the "Andy Griffith Show" and many other credits in television, including episodes of “Hee Haw,” “The Twilight Zone," "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," "Gunsmoke," "M*A*S*H," and as the host of Turner South's Emmy award-winning "Liars & Legends."

Awards & Prizes

Golden Lion Award for Best Film or Screenplay in each category
Cash Award Value: 500 U.S. Dollar

Best of Fest Award
Cash Award Value: 500 U.S. Dollar
This prize is shared with other categories.

Sweet Home Alabama Award
Given for the best film made at least partially in Alabama.
Sponsor:Clyde “Sappo” Black Family
Cash Award Value: 2,000 U.S. Dollar
This prize is shared with other categories.

Alabama Bicentennial Award (for 2018 and 2019 festivals)
Given for the best film on the subject of Alabama History
Cash Award Value: 200 U.S. Dollar

Special Jury Award
Honors include: Best Story; Best Directing; Best Cinematography; Best Actress; Best Actor; Best Editing; Best Sound Design; Best Score
Sponsor:No Sponsor
This prize is shared with other categories.

Rules & Terms

1. The Sweet Home Alabama Award, (sponsored by the family of Clyde “Sappo” Black) carries a $2,000 cash award. To be eligible, entries must have been shot, at least partially, in Alabama. To be considered for this award (in addition to qualifications in area of entry) a brief explanation of qualification must be provided at the time of submission. If explanation is not provided at the time of submission, the entry may still be judged within the category of entry, but will not qualify for the Sweet Home Alabama Award.

2. A feature film runtime typically exceeds 40 minutes, while a short film runtime does not. Feature films are accepted, but short films are preferred. This does not apply to screenplays, since there is a distinct category of entry for features and shorts.

3. Student film entries are accepted from students enrolled in a degree-granting college or university program during the time of production. A COPY OF THEIR STUDENT ID OR TRANSCRIPT IS REQUIRED UPON SUBMISSION FOR CONFIRMATION. THE FESTIVAL RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DISQUALIFY ENTRIES THAT ARE NOT SUBMITTED WITH CORRECT DOCUMENTATION.

4. The Youth Filmmaker award is for short productions completed by students before entering college or university studies (typically ages 5-18). A COPY OF THEIR STUDENT ID OR TRANSCRIPT IS REQUIRED UPON SUBMISSION FOR CONFIRMATION. THE FESTIVAL RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DISQUALIFY ENTRIES THAT ARE NOT SUBMITTED WITH CORRECT DOCUMENTATION.

5. The Vanguard award is for short films of alternative expression, innovative aesthetic, or original exploration of abstract technique. Examples include: Animation, Music Video, Avant-garde, etc.

6. A Feature Screenplay must exceed 90 pages. For screenplay entry, upload in any two of the following format extensions: “.pdf”; “.fdr”, or “.doc”.

7. A Short Screenplay must not exceed 90 pages. For screenplay entry, upload in any two of the following format extensions: “.pdf”; “.fdr”, or “.doc”.

8. All entries must have been completed after January 1, 2015.

9. No previously screened material of the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival may be submitted for competition again.

10. Multiple entries are accepted, but a complete submission entry will need to be completed for each individual project.

11. Submissions may be in HD, Vimeo, or YouTube format.

12. All films selected for screening grant the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival the rights to use them for promotional purposes.

13. The George Lindsey UNA Film Festival is permitted to retain copies of each film selected as part of our festival library and for media educational use.

14. The earliest arriving promotional materials stand a more reasonable chance of receiving press screenings or highlight within promotions for the festival. This is due simply to our access to these items and does not reflect preference by the festival or judges.

15. Submission of materials for consideration does not guarantee inclusion in festival screenings.

16. The festival reserves the right to disqualify from competition any entry in which categorical qualifications of contributors have been misrepresented. If the eligibility of an entry is questioned the festival is authorized to make determinations.

17. Noncompliance with any rules, terms and conditions may affect entry qualifications.

18. A press kit is required after acceptance, but requested at the time of submission. It should include:

Film Press Kit Requirements
- Synopsis of plot and premise (not to exceed 150 words)
- Bio and filmography information for contributors
- Complete list of film credits
- Digital high resolution images: on set production stills, film screen captures, promotional art (such as postcards, fliers, and posters), press clippings, etc. – 300+ dpi resolution is requested
- Clip (not to exceed one minute in length) to be used for publicity and/or at the awards show ceremony (acceptable extensions: “.avi”; “.mpg”; “.mov”)
- OPTIONAL: Trailer (not to exceed two minutes in length) to be used for publicity and/or at the awards show ceremony

Screenplay Press Kit Requirements
- Synopsis of plot and premise (not to exceed 150 words)
- Bio and filmography information for contributor(s)
- Digital high resolution image of writer(s) – 300+ dpi resolution is requested
- OPTIONAL: Copy of the defining scene that captures the essence of screenplay

9 Reviews

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
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    Constantin Maier

    A wonderful festival. The staff was very friendly and welcoming. Also there was a great opportunity to network and have a good time with the other filmmakers. Thank you very much those awesome three days.

    March 2017
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    John Metzler

    We had a great time and met so many supportive people from festival staff to fellow filmmaker guests, many of whom came from outside the US. The festival staff goes above and beyond in hospitality for filmmakers. About the town of Florence, AL itself, the people there are very friendly and with meeting many film students from UNA, the local university, they became great friends of support and networking. Can't wait to visit again.

    March 2017
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    Radheya Jegatheva

    the most remarkable film festival I have been lucky enough to be part of. The experience was out of this world, and being able to work directly with other filmmakers and the Festival Director on short film while I was there made it even more so. They really take care of their filmmakers!

    March 2017
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    fila20 filmes

    Great festival! It was a very warm experience. We're looking forward to attending it again!

    March 2017
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    Lucy Fazely

    SIMPLY THE BEST film festival experience! The entire experience was exceptional. There is an air of acceptance and friendship I have not seen at other festivals. Thank you to all those responsible for putting on such a wonderful festival.

    March 2017