The Motion State Dance Films Series, is the only year-long, traveling short dance film festival in New England devoted to showcasing the diversity of contemporary creative voices exploring the medium of choreography for the camera.

By taking the festival "on the road" and into non-traditional film venues, such as art galleries, music halls, performing arts theatres, and university classrooms, Motion State Arts seeks to expose the films and film makers to new audiences.

Every screening is followed by a public Q & A with the curators. All festival artists are invited and encouraged to take part in the conversation, should they find themselves in the area of any given screening.

Examples of past venues have included: Columbus Theatre (RI); Dean College (MA); Jamestown Arts Center (RI); Keene State (NH); Newport Art Museum (RI); School for Contemporary School & Thought, (MA); The Plant, (RI); Townson University (MD) and the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center (MA).

Motion State Arts is a non-profit organization based in Providence, RI. MSA produces the Motion State Dance Film Series, Playing Favorites, Motion State Dance Festival, and Small Moves, Big Picture.

All films will be provided a festival laurel.

Through this open call, Motion State Dance Film Series invites filmmakers to submit short films (maximum duration 15 minutes) in which dance and cinematography play equal creative roles.

Motion State Dance Film Series is excited to explore the ever expanding definitions of "dance" and "choreography," and is open to including films that use adjacent technologies, such as animation, computer graphics, and puppetry.

Compilations and documentation of live dance performances will not be considered.

The individual or entity submitting this film (1) warrants that it holds all necessary rights for submission of this film for exhibition in the Motion State Dance Film Series and for use in related promotional and educational events prior to the festival and up to 24 months thereafter and (2) shall indemnify and hold harmless Motion State Arts from and against any and all claims, costs, suits, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees, and court costs) by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, royalties, publicity and/or screening related to the film.

Final acceptance decisions are made by the Festival Directors. These decisions are final and are not subject to appeal. Submission fees are non-refundable.

Final film format decisions of accepted films are solely decided by the Festival Directors. We will make every effort to show on the best format, with the best resolution and sound quality but there are no guarantees. Exhibition formats and level of screening quality may change based on equipment availability and venue changes.

Motion State Dance Film Series is granted the right to utilize and excerpt from any film or image submitted and accepted for exhibition at the festival, on the Motion State Arts website, and for promotional purposes.

All accepted short films are to be shown on a digital file. Our preferred format is Quicktime: h.264 codec, 1920x1080 frame size at 30fps. Other options may be used but will remain in their native format.

Motion State Dance Film Series does not pay screening fees for submitted and accepted films, both in and out of competition.

Entry fees are not refundable, and only completed entries with paid submission fees will be processed and considered for screening.

Only completed films may be submitted and will be considered.

Overall Rating
  • Susan Mann

    We were thrilled with the quality of the presentations, with the ease of communication with the festival organizers, with the chance to present out work to sizeable audiences; and with the opportunities provided to discuss our work with other creators. Sending our work on an east coast tour without having to set it up ourselves was a real treat. Motion State is one of our favorite dance/film festival experiences!

    April 2022
  • Jessica Stegall

    I had a wonderful experience taking part in this film festival. Ali and Andy were extremely welcoming and kind, and I loved the opportunity to show and talk about my work on multiple occasions. I made valuable connections through this festival and really appreciated the opportunities to get to know the other artists and their work. Thank you for including me!!

    April 2022
  • Marta Renzi

    Who doesn't love the idea of a festival which has more than one date and location? I attended 2, and felt very welcomed by Ali & Andy, the two organizers of the festival. Small-ish attendance, but lively Q&A after.

    June 2020