Welcome to the 10th Anniversary of the UPIKE Film and Media Arts Festival. The goal of our event is to promote the art of filmmaking in Eastern Kentucky. While we like to highlight films from across our region, we take submissions from anywhere in the world. We like narrative, documentary, animated, experimental, youth films, features, and shorts. We will be hosting our 2 day festival at The Appalachian Center for the Arts in downtown Pikeville on Friday, April 5th and Saturday, April 6th, 2024.

All submissions from Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia can be submitted for free. Additionally, students can submit to the early deadline of all our categories for free. This includes elementary-level students all the way up the grad students in college. For more information on rules and regulations check that section out further down the page. We require paid submissions from all other filmmakers.

We prefer to accept submissions to our festival through this page using the FilmFreeway platform. It's very easy to create a FilmFreeway account, upload a digital copy of your film to FilmFreeway and apply to our festival. Once you've submitted your film to our festival it's easy to use the site to find and submit to additional festivals so we encourage you to take advantage of those opportunities as well.

If you have any additional questions, please email us at fmafest@upike.edu

We will have some cash prizes at our film festival and will be giving out the following award certificates:

Best of Show
Best Narrative Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short
Best Animated Film
Best Experimental Film
Best UPIKE Film
Young Filmmaker Award
School of Social Work Impact Award
Spirit of the Mountains Award

Also, any high school senior who submits a film of high quality will be considered for a Film & Media Arts scholarship to UPIKE.

All filmmakers must pay the required submission fee to enter unless they fall under one of two categories:

1 - Any student (elementary school, middle school, high school, college, or graduate school) can submit their work for free to the early deadline. After that, they must pay to enter the regular and late deadlines.

2 - Filmmakers from or currently living in the states of Kentucky, Virginia, or West Virginia can submit their work for free. If your film was shot in or set in those states you can submit for free as well. There is a special category for these submissions.

All filmmakers that submit to this category are required to clarify their Kentucky, Virginia, or West Virginia connection in an accompanying cover letter or in their film information. Failure to clarify this will result in us marking your submission "Incomplete" until you can clarify your entry's eligibility. We require this because a significant number of films are inappropriately entered into this free category as an attempt to avoid submission fees. If you fail to explain your film's eligibility it will eventually result in your entry being disqualified.

We are accepting works of all lengths (shorts and features) and types (documentary, animation, music video, and traditional narrative).

For purposes of categorization, we are considering feature films to be 40 minutes or longer, and shorts to be 39 minutes or less.

All that being said, if you are making a film specifically for this festival we encourage you to produce short films that are less than 10 minutes. As with any festival we only have so much time to show films, so the shorter your film is then the greater its chances are of being accepted and screened.

All entries need to be original work, and you must have the legal authorization to utilize all the content within your film.

We do not have a premiere requirement, but we do ask that you only submit works that were completed within the last 2 years.

Finally, we reserve the right to disqualify or reject your submission if we believe that it does not adhere to our rules or requirements.

Overall Rating
  • Yndiana Montes

    Although I wasn't able to attend in person, I can. see the importance of this event. Communication and social media in special was great, and I'm grateful to professor Tom Hansell for letting me know about this film festival.

    April 2024
  • I was honored to participate in this year's UPIKE Film & Media Arts Festival with "Mirrorty" short film! - πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

    May 2023
  • Seth Whitt

    Great festival! Had a blast and watched a lot of good films!

    November 2022
  • It was an honor to have our film DAISY chosen for the line up for the UPIKE Film and Media Arts Festival. I hope the audience enjoyed it. We unfortunately couldn't attend, but we were excited that our film DAISY did. Communication was great and I wouldn't hesitate to enter in the future.

    May 2022
  • I wish I could have been there, but it was so nice to be able to participate in the post-screening Q and A via Zoom. There was great communication and it looked like a great event!

    May 2022