The Wisconsin Film Festival is presented by the UW-Madison Arts Institute in association with the Department of Communication Arts. Founded in 1999, the Festival presents an average of 150 film screenings over 8 days every spring, making it the largest university-produced film festival in the nation.

Some festivals rely entirely on submissions for their titles, whiles others are completely curated and programmed without a request for submissions. The Wisconsin Film Festival works both ways in its efforts to showcase emerging local talent while presenting the best films available from around the globe.

For more information about The Wisconsin Film Festival, please visit us at wifilmfest.org

The Festival currently accepts submissions exclusively for the Wisconsin’s Own section of the Festival

YOUR SUBMISSION MUST HAVE A WISCONSIN CONNECTION TO BE ELIGIBLE

Eligible films will be shot primarily or significantly (at least one-third) on location in Wisconsin and/or one or more of the film's principal creative personnel - director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, lead actor, etc. - must be one of the following: born in Wisconsin, a current or former Wisconsin resident for one or more years, or an alumnus or current student at a school located in Wisconsin.

Within the above guidelines, we accept narrative, documentary, experimental, or animated work of any length. Your film must have been completed after January 1, 2017.

For additional details, see Rules & Terms below.

Awards & Prizes

The films in the 'Wisconsin's Own' category are reviewed by Festival programmers for inclusion in the Festival, and once the programmers selections have been made, by a jury. The jurors are generally filmmakers, film industry professionals, critics or curators who have a commitment to supporting regional filmmakers and film culture in Wisconsin.

The jurors award prizes called Golden Badgers to films that show significant technical and artistic achievement. Cash prizes are awarded to Golden Badger winners with amounts dependent on the number of awards given. Additionally, our Festival audience votes for their favorite narrative and documentary feature films. Wisconsin’s Own films are eligible for these Steep & Brew Audience Choice Awards.

By submitting your film to the Festival, you agree to the final decisions made by programmers and the jury. Neither the Festival staff nor the jury are able to provide comments about work not selected for the Festival. Any filmmaker who contacts a programmer or juror about the status of a submitted film may be disqualified.

Rules & Terms

* YOUR SUBMISSION MUST HAVE A WISCONSIN CONNECTION TO BE ELIGIBLE *

Eligible films will be shot primarily or significantly (at least one-third) on location in Wisconsin and/or one or more of the film's principal creative personnel - director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, lead actor, etc. - must be one of the following: born in Wisconsin, a current or former Wisconsin resident for one or more years, or an alumnus or current student at a school located in Wisconsin.

Within the above guidelines, we accept narrative, documentary, experimental, or animated work of any length. Your film must have been completed after January 1, 2017.

*** Please review the above paragraphs carefully. Submission fees will not be refunded simply because your film fails to meet the 'Wisconsin's Own' requirements. ***

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The Wisconsin Film Festival does not insist upon premiere status. Films shown in other festivals, in limited noncommercial exhibition, or at cast/crew screenings are eligible. However, programming preference is given to films without significant exposure in Wisconsin theatrical and broadcast markets prior to the Festival.

Rough cuts, temp prints, temp/scratch music, etc. may be submitted. However, substantially incomplete films are harder to evaluate, and you must be confident that your film will be finished in time for inclusion in the Festival. Before submitting a rough cut, please seriously consider how well your current version reflects the final quality of your work.

Since the Festival does not accept films that have been submitted in previous years, sending in a rough cut would count as the film's single eligible submission opportunity. If you don't feel that the current version of the film is sufficient for Festival programmers to make a final decision, wait until the film is complete and submit for next year's Festival. Programming decisions are final. Review your options carefully before submitting an unfinished project. More than one film may be submitted provided each work meets the applicable criteria. Each film must be submitted separately.

The Festival will not consider:

1) Commercials or advertisements. Music videos. Educational, industrial, medical, or institutional films. Video games. Stand-alone trailers. Films with prior substantial theatrical exhibition, commercial TV broadcast or webcast, or commercial video distribution in the Madison, Wisconsin market.
2) Films submitted to the Wisconsin Film Festival in previous years, including work that had been submitted earlier as a rough cut.
3) Films completed before January 1, 2017.
4) Work that will not be completed in time for the Festival. The Festival does not include "works in progress" in its final program.