50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, 2014-2017 - MovieMaker Magazine

"The ultimate indie film festival." - CityArts Magazine - Seattle

"One of the premier festivals in the Northwest." - PostDefiance.com

The Tacoma Film Festival is a celebration of independent film mirroring the diverse and eclectic sensibilities of western Washington’s second largest city. Including selections from the Pacific Northwest and all over the world, TFF prides itself on showcasing the connectedness of local, national, and international film.

The Tacoma Film Festival annually programs Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film.
It's the first-of-its-kind film series for the publication's 25 New Faces of Independent Film issue. We look forward to continuing this special program, as we aim to further support up-and-coming indie filmmakers and their work.

This is our time to celebrate you, the filmmaker, and the invaluable artistic talents that you provide to the film community.

Awards & Prizes

Best Narrative Feature
Cash Award Value: 5000 U.S. Dollar

Best Documentary Feature
Cash Award Value: 5000 U.S. Dollar

Best Narrative Short
Cash Award Value: 1000 U.S. Dollar

Best Regional Film
Awarded to the best Northwest film, as decided by our panel of judges.
Cash Award Value: 1000 U.S. Dollar

Audience Choice Award - Feature
Filmmakers not from the Pacific Northwest are eligible for this award. Winner will be chosen based on audience votes.
Cash Award Value: 1000 U.S. Dollar

Audience Choice Award - Short
Filmmakers not from the Pacific Northwest are eligible for this award. Winner will be chosen based on audience votes.
Cash Award Value: 1000 U.S. Dollar

Local Audience Choice Award - Feature
Puget Sound area/Pacific Northwest filmmakers are eligible for the Local Audience Choice Award. Winner will be chosen based on audience votes.
Cash Award Value: 1000 U.S. Dollar

Local Audience Choice Award - Short
Puget Sound area/Pacific Northwest filmmakers are eligible for the Local Audience Choice Award. Winner will be chosen based on audience votes.
Cash Award Value: 1000 U.S. Dollar

Best Short Documentary
Cash Award Value: 1000 U.S. Dollar

Other Awards for each category include:
Best Director, Best Performances, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay

Films are placed in competition at the sole discretion of the Tacoma Film Festival.

Rules & Terms

1. Submission Deadline Structure
Submissions Open: December 5, 2016
Earlybird Deadline: February 27, 2017
Regular Deadline: April 3, 2017
Late Deadline: May 1, 2017
Extended Deadline: June 26, 2017

2. Submission Format
Films must be submitted via secure online screener (Vimeo or YouTube) or the FilmFreeway online screener only.

3. Submission Eligibility
- All submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2016.

4. Premiere Status
- US Premiere status is preferred, Washington state premiere status required.
- Premiere status for regional films (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia) must have a Pierce County Premiere.

5. Selection of Films
The Tacoma Film Festival will complete the selection process by August 4, 2017 and will contact all submitting parties by email if their film was programmed or not. Accepted films will receive a Filmmaker Welcome Packet via email that will include important information about DCP exhibition, “Host a Filmmaker” lodging program, press and publicity, guest accreditation, festival filmmaker liaison contact information and how to make the most of participation in the festival.
The accepted film must be received by Simple DCP by 9/1/2017 to be played at the Tacoma Film Festival, October 5-13, 2017.
The submitter is responsible for shipping the exhibition copy to Simple DCP. TFF will pay domestic ground shipping only to return exhibition copies. Non-ground or international shipping must be paid by the filmmaker.

6. Festival Screenings and Scheduling
The Tacoma Film Festival screens DCP shorts and has the capability to screen Blu-Ray and 35mm for feature films. The festival aspires to provide the best quality projection possible but will not be held liable for any failure in the technical quality of the projection, nor will fees be refunded in any such case. The Tacoma Film Festival assumes that the submitting party or filmmaker(s) or entrant(s) or print source company has insured for damage and loss of the festival print or tape.
Screenings are scheduled during the festival at the discretion of the Tacoma Film Festival. The Tacoma Film Festival also runs Press & Industry screenings the week leading up to the festival.

7. Festival Promotion
Should your film be programmed, portions of your submitted material may be copied and utilized for the purpose of promoting your film. Upon submission, filmmakers grant the Tacoma Film Festival the right to use clips and press materials from the film for promotional purposes unless the filmmaker requests otherwise in writing.

- Please make a note in your submission if you have any connections to the Pacific Northwest region.
- Returning TFF alumni filmmakers’ entry fees are waived. To request a waiver, please include the film title and year it played in Tacoma and email us at info@tacomafilmfestival.com.
- Works in progress will automatically be disqualified.
- Industrials or promotional videos are not appropriate for submission.
- Entry fees will not be refunded.

No phone inquiries, please. Please email us with questions: info@tacomafilmfestival. Thank you!

By entering the Tacoma Film Festival, entrants release and hold the promoter and host and other contest entities harmless from and against any and all losses, damages, rights, claims and action of any kind arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the festival. The Festival will handle the films with care but cannot be held liable for any damage or loss during the shipping, preview or screening. The Festival is not responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark or royalty infringements related to the work. Applicants are responsible for their own insurance and are not covered by the festival's insurance.

The Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

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 Festival from and against any and all 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 involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

10 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Naomi Sheridan

    From the beginning Laura and the team at Tacoma Film Festival were fantastic to deal with. Communication was great and they were always responsive and helpful. It seemed to be really well organized with a great lineup of films.

    November 2016
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    Andrew Oldbury

    This was the second year running we had a film selected for the Tacoma Film Festival. We've had a wonderful experience with them, Laura and her team have a genuine passion and commitment to supporting filmmakers. I'd thoroughly recommend it to any aspiring filmmakers.

    November 2016
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    Charlo Johnson

    It was a real pleasure to have our documentary Gone Viral play at Tacoma Film Festival at the very beautiful venue that is the Grand Cinema. Everything about this festival is professional - from the program, to the red carpet, photography, and networking opportunities. Most of all, the quality of the films is incredible and this festival is undoubtedly up there with the best. A true independent film festival.... Good luck, and thank you for having us!

    November 2016
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    samuel galloway

    The Tacoma film festival has a kind of no-nonsense attitude towards film and filmmakers which is really refreshing compared to bigger festivals that want you to buy into their hype. While it's a small festival I would urge filmmakers to attend as the people I did meet now feel like lifelong friends, and their remarkable hospitality makes it an afford the trip.

    November 2016
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    Jonathan Napolitano

    An amazing festival and for good reason too! They really look out for the filmmakers and I honestly couldn't be happier with the team behind Tacoma! So professional - such a pleasant group. Certainly worth the entry fee indeed!

    October 2016
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the kind words Jonathan! - Laura