Micropolitan Film Festival
Submissions Open August 10 2020 through July 1 2020
Festival Weekend August 15, 2020

mi·cro·pol·i·tan: adjective/
relating to an sub/urban area with a population of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000

Welcome y'all!
We are produced by McDowell Arts Council (MACA) located in the beautiful Micropolis of Marion, NC. The mission of this festival is to showcase the work of Micropolitan folks in our region (and beyond) who are producing film projects that don't quite fit into any niche genre, category, or competition. We welcome submissions from both emerging and experienced filmmakers, emphasizing the artistic passion, vision, and independent spirit of original cinematic storytelling. Artists, we're here for you!

Films can be any genre and we encourage an original take on small-town life experiences or films made by those whose inspiration draws from their small town roots: comfortable, traumatizing, or downright strange (we're keeping this criteria open to YOUR interpretation). Whether your film is a documentary, sci-fi, comedy, animation, romance, art-film, silent, or horror: we want to experience stories through the eyes of both insiders and outsiders of the Micropolitan world. This is a 'Short Film' festival and films must have a running time of 15 minutes or less (including credits).


Earlybird Deadline: March 1, 2020 | $20
Regular Deadline: April 1, 2020 | $25
Late Deadline: May 1, 2020 | $30
Extended Deadline: June 1, 2020 | $35 (you are laaaate, but not too late)

Notification Date: July 1, 2020
Screening Weekend: August 14th and 15th, 2020


For more information, sponsorship, or media inquiries, please contact:
MACA | 828-652-8610 | mcdowellarts@gmail.com | Anna Branam

Awarded an official selection laurel, screened at our Festival and listed under official selections on our site.

Artisan's Award in Directing
Artisan's Award in Cinematography
Artisan's Award in Cinematic Editing
Artisan's Award in Make Up Application / SFX

Storyteller's Award in Writing
Storyteller's Award in Unique Artistry
Storyteller's Award in Humor

Craftsman's Award in Production Quality
Craftsman's Award in Acting (in each category)

Machinist's Award in Special Effects
Machinist's Award in Sound Design
Machinist's Award in Musical Score

Melodist's Award in Original Song Writing
Melodist's Award in Composition
Melodist's Award in Musical Performance

Audience Favorite: Local Filmmakers
Audience Favorite: Regional Filmmakers

Millennial Award: For Best Film Shot on a Mobile Phone


Films will be juried (by local industry professionals and educators) and selected for screening based on the following criteria:

-Unique artistry and creativity
-Engagement and pace
-Technical quality

S U B M I S S I O N R U L E S:

1) Films must be under 15 minutes, including title and credit sequences

2) All genre of film are welcome and multiple entries are allowed

3) Your film must have completed production on or after January 1, 2019

4) Submissions in languages other than English are welcome, but they must be subtitled in English

5) All submissions are final, no refunds will be provided

6) MFF DOES NOT issue waivers for submission fees. We do offer discount codes, student pricing, FF Gold pricing, and other special promotions.

7) Applicants are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions from all parties involved, and giving proper credit for all creative content included in their films: including, but not limited to, music, trademarks, logos, and other intellectual property. MFF disclaims all liability or responsibility for any violations of the foregoing. These rights are granted and accountable by you, the film director and/or producer.



Films that have:
(a) have been posted online publicly
(b) have aired on syndicated television prior to the festival dates
(d) available for purchase online in North America
....are NOT eligible for screening or Awards at MFF.

We won't post your work online either, although MFF reserves the right to use excerpts of your submitted film, stills, and trailers for the purposes of publicity of the film on various social networks, Festival website, and to screen your film in its entirety at subsequent encore screening events.

Overall Rating
  • Julie Whitis-Church

    Great festival. Would definitely submit again!

    July 2021
  • Austin Street

    A smaller festival, but one with great people and selections. Absolutely worth the value, free drinks and alcohol, cheap popcorn, and 8 films that you get to watch alongside local filmmakers. Good amount of awards as well.

    August 2019
  • Tyler Mckenzie

    An wonderful festival that showcases loads of great talent in North Carolina! The audience Q&A portion is the best part of the festival, where everyone gets to know the team behind the films and learn about the process behind them.

    Only thing that should be adjusted is the way they handle the awards, and the audience favorite voting.

    August 2019
  • An absolutely wonderful film festival with a friendly and hospitable staff that really goes the extra mile to make you feel welcome and comfortable. It was an absolute pleasure to screen there, and I will definitely be submitting again and again!

    August 2019
  • Wonderful audience, enthusiastic hosts, sweet little film festival. The name is appropriate, this festival was very small! But also well organized and a fun event to attend. The audience was very warm, receptive and encouraging to even the films that had confusing plot lines and poor production quality. There was a feeling of genuine love of film from all involved.

    I'm excited to see how this festival will grow in the coming years.

    August 2018