The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF), marking its 38th year in 2019, is the largest film festival in the Upper Midwest region of the United States. Operated by the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, a non-profit organization, this highly anticipated celebration of international cinema annually debuts more than 250 films to an audience of 45,000+, and welcomes the attendance of more than 150 filmmakers from around the world.

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Please note: For the 2019 festival, submissions to our Nextwave Youth Film Competition for filmmakers ages 18 and under will be accepted on a separate festival page located at filmfreeway.com/nextwavemspiff.

The Festival presents the following awards:

JURIED AWARDS:
Emerging Filmmaker - $2500 Cash Prize
Documentary Feature - $2500 Cash Prize
Spotlight Competition - $2500 Cash Prize
Minnesota Made Narrative Feature - $1250 Cash Prize
Minnesota Made Documentary Feature - $1250 Cash Prize
Narrative Short - $500 Cash Prize
Documentary Short - $500 Cash Prize

Films in competition are selected by the programming committee on an invite only basis.

AUDIENCE AWARDS:
Narrative Feature
Documentary Feature
Minnesota Made Narrative Feature
Minnesota Made Documentary Feature
Narrative Short
Documentary Short

For award descriptions and competition eligibility information see the Guidelines & FAQ document on our website at mspfilm.org/mspiff-submissions

~ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS~

All films:

I. Must have been completed after January 1, 2018.

II. Foreign language (non-English) submissions must be available in their original language and soundtrack with English subtitles.

III. Films that have been submitted for consideration in previous years are eligible for consideration only if they have undergone extensive changes and re-apply as a new submission.

IV. The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul reserves the right to determine eligibility of any work submitted.

Features:

I. Minnesota Premieres are required of all feature submissions.

II. Feature films that have had a public ticketed screening anywhere in Minnesota are not eligible for submission.

III. Feature submissions must not have been broadcast or televised regionally, nor made publicly available in their entirety online prior to their date of exhibition in the festival.

Shorts:

I. Whereas Minnesota Premieres are required of all feature films, they are not required of short films. Additionally, short films may also be available for streaming online prior to its festival screening. However, these factors will be taken into consideration during selection and films that have played in Minnesota or are available online are ineligible for juried competition.

~SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS~

The following requirements must be met before a submission can be considered for inclusion:

I. Completed Submissions Form (via FilmFreeway).

II. Submission Fee*. Payment is accepted via FilmFreeway or money order made out to The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul.

III. Submissions must include an online screener (Vimeo preferred)**. The Festival no longer accepts submissions via DVD.

* In recognition of Minnesota’s filmmaking community, MSPIFF offers one (1) complimentary submission per individual for projects that qualify as “Minnesota Made” and are submitted before the Late Deadline (see above). Eligible “Minnesota Made” films submitted after the Late Deadline may request a 50% discounted entry. To qualify, a film’s director must be a current Minnesota resident OR a combined 50% or more of production and/or post-production must have taken place in Minnesota.

** Please note: Changing the password for a private online screener will make the submission unviewable, and therefore disqualified. The Festival will attempt, but is under no obligation, to contact the applicant for an updated password.

~REQUIREMENTS FOR SELECTED FILMS~

Notifications regarding acceptance and non-acceptance of submissions will be sent by March 1st, 2019.

I. Immediately upon notification of acceptance, submitters or primary contacts will be required to fill out an official Confirmation Form so as to provide festival staff with the most accurate and necessary information. The form includes but is not limited to the following:

a. Online screener link (to be used for competition jury and press requests through the duration of the festival)
b. Cast/Crew information
c. Synopsis
d. High-res film stills
e. Electronic press kit
f. Premiere status
g. Filmmaker attendance

II. All films must be made available in Digital Cinema Package (DCP) format*. .

* Experimental/Avant Garde films may be shown on Super 8 or 16mm film.

III. All exhibition copies, including back-up content, must be delivered to the Festival office by March 22nd, 2019.

IV. Physical exhibition copies must be shipped prepaid, insured, and properly packaged. The Festival does not assume liability for damage to prints due to improper packaging or other reasons. All films while in our possession will be insured against loss and damage while participating in the event. The Festival will provide return shipping. If requested, the Festival may ship the exhibition material to another festival, decided on a case-by-case basis.

V. The Festival reserves the right to place accepted works in the appropriate program.

VI. The Festival reserves the right to remove a film from the festival for any reason or for no reason and shall not be liable for any refund or claims of any kind arising out of such removal.

VII. Accepted films may be screened between 1-4 times, at the discretion of the Festival.

VIII. Screenings will take place at official festival venues, including, but not limited to: St. Anthony Main Theatre, Capri Theater, and Wehrenberg Rochester Galaxy 14 Cinema.

IX. The Festival reserves the right to use images from selected films for Festival marketing purposes.

X. The Festival does not pay screening fees for accepted submissions.

~TERMS AND CONDITIONS~
I, the authorized representative of the project being submitted (hereafter called the “Film”) acknowledge that I am duly authorized, on my own behalf and on behalf of all other persons or entities who have any ownership rights or interests in or relating to the Film (hereafter called the “Film’s Owners”) to submit to the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. I warrant and agree, on behalf of myself and each of the Film’s Owners, that the Film is being submitted voluntarily and without promise or inducement, and that the submission of the Film neither imposes nor creates any obligation or responsibility on the part of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival or The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul (hereafter called The Festival) to accept the Film for inclusion in The Festival, to exhibit the Film at The Festival, to acknowledge the submission of The Film, or to return the submission copy of The Film or associated submission materials to me or others.

I shall indemnify and hold harmless The 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. I have paid and will pay in full all license fees, clearance fees, and other obligations, of any kind, arising from or associated with the exhibition of the Film at or in connection with The Festival.

I understand that The Festival reserves the right to waive or adjust any requirements outlined herein. I understand that I am not entitled to any refund or damage claims of any kind if my film is unable to screen due to technical or operational difficulties or if my film needs to be rescheduled, delayed, or removed from the program for any reason.

By submitting, I warrant that I have read, understood, and accept all aforementioned regulations and requirements pertaining to submission to The Festival.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • I couldn't attend because of visa issues, but the staff is very communicative and friendly. The website is super handy and the interface of it is stunningly beautiful. We loved our film section of the website and the logline they wrote for us way more eloquent than mine. We also still get trailer clicks from the website.
    Thanks MSPIFF for screening our film.

    May 2018
  • Cy Dodson

    This is a great festival that gives filmmakers, especially us local guys and gals a venue to share their work with audiences. There are also plenty of national and international films to take in over the course of three weeks with a nice mix of docs and narratives to go around. I've screened my last two films there and would recommend a submission to MSPIFF.

    May 2018
  • Justin Ayd

    MSPIFF 37 was an absolute delight. Their overall communication between programmer and filmmaker is stellar. One of the worst blizzards in Minnesota history certainly didn't keep film lovers away - including us.

    May 2018
  • ALLISON BEDA

    Absolutely brilliant festival. Wonderful program of films from around the world. I was particularly impressed by the high ratio of work directed by women in the program (a rarity, sadly). Fantastic support staff and communication. I arrived from out of town well past office hours closing and the staff just brought our passes etc to our screening for us- super helpful and gracious. They have a great lounge for filmmakers full of interesting people to talk to and snacks. And there were lots of interesting talks, etc to attend learn and network. Excellent central location, event spaces (and there were many great events and parties) located near the theatre to allow for easy hopping back and forth between movies and networking. And Minneapolis itself is a wonderful city! Besides great food and super friendly people, there have a city bike rental system with bikes right outside the festival venue that allowed us to just jump on a bike anytime we had a free moment and explore the very bike-friendly city! Can't wait to come back!

    May 2017
  • Excellent festival with a large selection of films from across the world. I was honored to have my film selected!

    May 2017