The mission of the International Zen Festival (iZen) is to foster hope for humanity by showcasing films that focus on compassion, spiritual well-being, improving humanity, and the resilience of the human spirit.

We take a very broad view of these themes. Any film that shows people real or imagined overcoming odds, going beyond to help others, demonstrating personal growth, exploring the mysteries of the universe, or delivering peace from chaos is appropriate to submit. We are also highly interested to see films that cover so-called “new age” topics and the intersection of science and spirituality. (Think “The Secret,” Deepak Chopra, and the like.)

The festival is open to all film genres, traditional and experimental, including documentary and narrative features, short films, music videos, animated films, unscripted television programs, and a screenplay competition. During the festival, we host best-in-class filmmaker Q&As, panels, parties, and awards.

Although iZen is a new festival, the organizers co-founded a previous film festival involving the biggest brands in entertainment, including Disney, MGM, 20th Century Fox, NBC Universal, Warner Brothers, HBO, and A&E, while helping hundreds of films earn distribution in theaters and on television networks and streaming platforms. Celebrity guests included: Adam Driver, Peter Berg, Gary Sinise, Glenn Close, Robert Duval, Michelle Monaghan, and many others.

iZen will select award winners in the following categories:
• Narrative Feature
• Documentary Feature
• Narrative Short
• Documentary Short
• Short-Short (Film under 10 minutes)
• Music Video
• Female Director
• BIPOC Director
• Emerging Voices Director (under 22 years of age)
• Best Lead Actor
• Best Supporting Actor
• Best Screenplay (screenplay competition)

Rules & Terms
1) All screening submissions must be online submission with some limited exceptions. If given prior permission to submit via DVD, please submit FIVE copies of your film for judging purposes with discs made for region one (1) or region zero (0) encoded and in NTSC format for Windows Media, Quicktime or MPEG files.
2) Online payments for entry fees are highly encouraged. Payments made by check for entry fees must be made out to Zen Matrix LLC.
3) Please be sure to send your screener in as soon as possible, but always before the postmark deadline shown on your entry confirmation. Late submissions received after the postmark deadline will be assessed a late submission fee of $15.00 unless waived by the programming director.
4) All entry fees paid are nonrefundable. Checks returned due to NSF will be assessed a $35.00 return check fee and may be assigned to collections.
5) Please do not send any promotional materials including press releases or postcards. Your film is judged by its quality and your filmmaking abilities, not promotional materials. Press kits are requested only after acceptance.
6) Please be sure to enter under the correct category.
7) There are no restrictions on distribution status. There are no requirements or restrictions for premiere status to submit to the festival. We welcome all films and genres. Films with mature content must indicate such in submission materials. Pornography is not permitted under any circumstance; there is a difference between art and pornography. The festival's management has the final say in what is considered inappropriate material.
8) All submission screeners must go through a screening process to qualify for selection. After completing the screening process notification of acceptance will be sent out by email, post or notified by phone.
9) The festival will accept works in progress but the final screener must be received by the festival 30 days prior to the festival should you be selected.
10) As films are selected they are notified of selection and sent to programming for inclusion into the festival film schedule. Filmmakers are notified in the order of selection and not submission dates. Please be patient as your film goes through our rigorous screening process. We are unable to reply to emails asking if your film has been selected or where it is in the screening process.
11) The official exhibition formats for the festival are digital. Any filmmakers wishing to have their film projected in another format other than stated must provide their own equipment at their expense during their screening, and accept all liability for such use and rental. Filmmaker provided equipment will be removed at the end of their screening and returned to the filmmaker.
12) After a film has been selected and the filmmaker is notified, the film will be listed on the festival web site under official selections. Once you are notified please send us by email a promotional photo in JPEG or PNG format only and a 25-word film synopsis for inclusion on the festival web site, additionally, we will require several synopses of varying lengths. You may also send a web page link to your film web site which will be linked to ours.
13) Filmmakers are responsible for the shipping of all collateral to the festival, and if so desired the return or forward shipping of the collateral after the festival.
14) Remember the promotional picture and synopsis you send us will also be used in the festival’s official program. If you do not supply a 25-word synopsis your program listing will only show your title and promotional picture.
15) All entered films grant iZen nonexclusive agreement to use film titles, trailers, and film posters, director’s and cast and crew information for festival and film promotional use including online, print, or broadcast media and social media to promote the festival within the industry and to the general public. Filmmakers fully retain all rights, title and interest in their films and all intellectual Property.
16) Official selection films must provide their final exhibition copy to the festival programming department 15 days prior to the festival start date.
17) Please direct all questions or requests to the festival staff. Do not contact the venue directly as they are unable to reply to your requests and are not authorized to accept requests or make decisions, or provide venue information in regards to iZen.
18) iZen does not accept films with screening fees attached.
19) iZen is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. It also allows for the films to be used for their screening series or special touring series and workshops.
20) 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.
21) The submitting film shall indemnify and hold harmless the International Zen 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.