A celebration of film and music, Film Score and the Scruffy City Film & Music Festival features:

- Narrative Features and Shorts
- Feature and Short Documentaries
- Music Videos
- Animated Shorts
- Live music on three stages
- Daily filmmaker mixers
- Panels, Workshops, and Q&As
– Closing Night Awards Ceremony

In 2017, we screened nearly 50 films chosen from submissions from more than 40 countries and featured live music from over two dozen local and regional musical acts. In 2018, we are proud to add several exciting new venues including the Central Cinema, Knoxville’s first truly independent movie theatre, The WDVX Blue Plate Special, and Modern Studio. These great new venues join our existing locations at Scruffy City Hall and the Preservation Pub.

All films submitted to the festival must have a standout soundtrack, score, sound design, or musical narrative to be considered. Each year one outstanding feature film with the Best Score or Soundtrack will be chosen to headline the festival. Also, awards are given for Best Score, Best Music Video, and Best Soundtrack.

All winning short films will receive submission feee waiver codes for Shorts that are Not Pants in Toronto.

All official selections will receive two Filmmaker Passes and attending filmmakers will receive our world famous VIP Gift Bag. Select films will receive complimentary accommodations for visiting filmmakers. Every year several films are reviewed and promoted by the regional media.

If your project has a standout score or soundtrack or you have a stellar music video, please submit your film today!

New in 2018, the Film Score Challenge will showcase films under five minutes long with the best story and score. The winning student and non-student film will be invited to screen at festivals around the US and the world. Film Score Challenge Official Selections will be judged by award winning composers and festival directors.

- Our film jury consists of festival programmers and directors, award winning filmmakers, sales reps, and music composers.

- Best Film
- Best Narrative Short Film
- Best Documentary Feature
- Best Short Documentary
- Best Animated Film
- Best Music Video
- Best Tennessee Music Video
- Best Director
- Best Cinematographer
- Best Screenplay
- Best Music Composer
- Best Soundtrack
- Best Actor
- Best Actress
- Best Student Film
- Audience Award

Film Score is now accepting film submissions in the following categories: Feature Films, Short Films, Music Videos, Feature length and Short Documentaries, Student Films, and Short Animated Films. All films should have a standout soundtrack, score, sounds design, or musical narrative to be considered.

Unfortunately, DVDs are not acceptable for consideration. Our Selection Committee is spread out across the US and Canada so digital submissions are required.

Film Score reserves the right to determine eligibility of any work submitted.

Payment: All entries must be pre-paid by credit card for the full submission fee [please see submission fee schedule in listing]. Multiple submissions require separate payments.

Overall Rating
  • Jordan Lewis

    Film Score 2017 was a fantastic time with an incredible collection of films. Michael and the rest of the team were extraordinarily welcoming, accommodating, and helpful through the whole process. Knoxville was a blast as well. Hope to attend again in the future!

    August 2017
  • barry frechette

    What a great festival. Michael and the team there were fantastic and really supported the filmmakers. The process was great leading up to the festival and lots of great communication. The festival location was really different and allowed for a really intimate experience with the audience. The folks at the Marble Inn, festival organizers, and the people of Knoxville were all great and made our experience a special one. We were also so proud to be awarded Best Feature Doc and Best Score. A wonderful moment for all of us attached to the film. Thanks for a wonderful experience!

    "Paper Lanterns"

    August 2017
  • Manel Gil-Inglada

    A Fantastic Festival! Great organization. A pleasure to be nominated.

    August 2017
  • Daniel Robinette

    An absolutely incredible film festival with an incredible director. Michael Samstag goes above and beyond for this festival, the filmmakers and the composers involved. To add to it, the hospitality and networking opportunities are top notch. Can't recommend this festival enough.

    August 2017
  • Tom Dowler

    Scruffy City is a film festival for filmmakers, by filmmakers. Michael and the whole team at Scruffy City made us feel incredibly welcome and took such great care of us. One of our favorite things about this festival was that we were assigned an "ambassador", in our case a local filmmaker named Josh, who connected with us before the festival to answer any questions and went out of his way to meet us before our screening and make sure we had a great experience. He also introduced our film, Adele and Everything After, and ran the Q&A session and it was clear he'd done a lot of research and asked great questions that we as filmmakers, and the audience, truly appreciated. The festival organizers were pro-active about promoting our screening with local organizations and creating opportunities for us to make connections to help the film. Downtown Knoxville is an awesome place to hang out and explore, and the festival has excellent networking, parties and music to appreciate. Thanks to Michael and the whole team for an awesome time.

    August 2017