The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, marking its 37th year in 2018, is the largest film festival in the Upper Midwest region of the United States. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, this highly anticipated celebration of international independent 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.

Each year, the festival presents a lineup of World, US, and Regional Premieres from more than 70 countries. This year, filmmakers will be asked to submit their film to one of the festival’s programs which highlight MSPIFF’s emphasis on presenting the diversity of global cinema today.


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, November 15, 2017. Eligible “Minnesota Made” films submitted between November 16 - December 22, 2017 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 email to claim this fee waiver.

The Festival presents the following 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.

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

1) Films completed after January 1, 2017 are eligible for consideration for the 2018 Festival.

2) Minnesota Premieres are required of all feature submissions. Feature films that have had a public, ticketed screening within the state of Minnesota are not eligible for submission.

3) Submissions must not have been broadcast or televised regionally.

4) Feature-length submissions must not be publicly available in their entirety online prior to their date of exhibition in the Festival.

Please note: Minnesota Premieres are not required of shorts films and they may be available online. However, this will be taken into consideration during selection and films that have played in Minnesota or are available online are not eligible for juried competition.

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

6) Films that have been submitted for consideration in previous years are eligible for submission for 2018 Festival consideration only if they have undergone extensive changes and reapply as a new submission.

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

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

1) Completed Submissions Form (online).

2) Submission Fee. Payment is accepted via FilmFreeway or money order made out to The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul. Individuals submitting films made in Minnesota before the Late deadline can claim one (1) fee waiver by emailing

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

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

Festival programmers reserve the right to re-assign films to appropriate submission categories when necessary.

1) Feature Length Films:
i) A secure online screener link must be provided for press requests and internal festival use.
ii) Exhibition materials must be delivered to the Festival office by March 29, 2018.

2) Short Films:
i) Files must be delivered to the Festival immediately upon notification of acceptance. Electronic delivery is preferred, but physical drives will be accepted as well.

3) All Films:
i) Must be available in the DCP format.
Experimental films may exhibit on super 8mm and 16mm. No other exceptions will be made.
ii) Upon acceptance you will be required to fill out an online Confirmation Form which asks for the following: cast/crew information, film synopsis, high-res film stills, electronic press kit, downloadable trailer (if available), 1 - 3 film clips, 2 physical posters (if available), etc.
iii) Exhibition Copy Shipment: The film 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.
iv) The Festival reserves the right to place accepted works in the appropriate program.
v) The Festival reserves the right to remove a film from the festival program 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.
vi) Accepted films may be screened between 1-4 times, at the discretion of the Festival.
vii) Screenings will take place at official festival venues, including, but not limited to: St. Anthony Main Theatre, Uptown Theater, Metropolitan State University, Capri Theater, Wehrenberg Rochester Galaxy 14 Cinema
viii) The Festival reserves the right to use images from selected films for Festival marketing purposes.
ix) The Festival does not pay screening fees for accepted submissions.

Notifications regarding acceptance and non-acceptance of submissions will be sent on or around February 23, 2018.

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 clicking “Submit Now” below I warrant that I have read, understood, and accept all aforementioned regulations and requirements pertaining to submission to The Festival.

Overall Rating
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    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