*Due to the COVID-19 outbreak we have shifted our festival to an online format this year. The 4-day festival will be Wednesday, April 22nd - Saturday, April 25th 2020. More details will be announced soon on how to access the Livestream of the films.

The goal of the UPIKE Film & Media Arts Festival is to promote the art of filmmaking on both the UPIKE campus in Pikeville, KY and in the surrounding region. We accept films from across the country and across the world from filmmakers of all ages. We like narrative, documentary, animated, experimental, youth films, features, and shorts. In addition to our competitive film screenings, we also hold a screenplay contest.

We accept paid submissions for films and screenplays from across the world, but films from Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia can be submitted for free (screenplays still require an entry fee). These entries can come from professionals, college students, high school students, and middle school students. For more information on rules and regulations check that section out further down the page.

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 at least $1000 in prize money that will be divided up for the following awards:

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
Spirit of the Mountains Award

In addition, we will give the following screenplay awards:
Best Feature Screenplay
Best Short Screenplay
Best UPIKE Screenplay

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

Filmmakers must be present at the festival to win cash prizes.

All filmmakers (international and USA) must pay the required submission fee to enter unless they are from the states of Kentucky, Virginia, or West Virginia or their film was shot in one of those states. For those filmmakers we have a special submission category that is free to enter. All screenplay categories require a submission fee no matter the location of the filmmaker.

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.

Film submissions can come from professionals, college students, high school students and middle school students and 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 less than 40 minutes.

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. For example we will accept music videos, but you must have permission from the owners of the song to use it or we will not screen it.

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

Feature screenplays should be 50 pages or longer, and short screenplays should be 49 pages or less. TV pilots are accepted just submit to the appropriate category based on your page count.

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
  • This is a festival that really cares about those accepted. Great event every year.

    May 2020
  • Grandin Theatre Film Lab

    The festival was excellent at communicating their change of plans in light of the pandemic, and they still found ways to get people connected with each other. We are honored that our students' work was able to be a part of the festivities and look forward to future editions!

    May 2020
  • Conner Keesling

    I want to thank Andrew Reed, Aaron Asbury, David Chapman, Adam Cole, and everyone at UPIKE who was involved for finding a way to make the 2020 festival happen during the Coronavirus pandemic. It was great getting to still show our film One Summer Night at the festival. Many people who knew about our film were able to get a chance to see it for the first time earlier than they would have otherwise.

    May 2020
  • Gregory Picklesimer

    It was good. Despite the situation with the Corona Virus pandemic, they worked around it via Livestream. I had some issues trying to get on Zoom, but other than some minor technical issues U-Pike had been nothing but kind and they took a "life gives you lemons" situation and made the best of it. I recommend U-Pike, love to submit our films next year.

    May 2020
  • John Martins III

    My gratitude to Dr. Andrew Reed for his leadership and outstanding communication during this difficult time for all of us, and, to the UPIKE staff of Aaron Asbury, David Chapman, and Adam Cole for all of their hard work. Thank you very much for honoring "The Fourth Psalm" as a top-3 screenplay finalist in your festival. Greatly appreciated. The very best to all of you in the Bluegrass State. Be well.

    May 2020