Year 7 is underway! We'll see you November 09-12 2023 in Kilgore, Texas.

Reel East Texas Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing independent filmmakers.

Located in the heart of the East Texas Piney Woods, Kilgore is unlike any other town in Texas. Its wildcatter spirit and workman mindset is ideally suited for independent filmmakers, and Kilgore’s signature skyline, authentic downtown and tall pine trees make for a picturesque Texas backdrop. The city’s Main Street and Historic District is home to the iconic Texas landmark Texan Theater, where all films are screened. Beyond downtown, Kilgore offers a cultural and learning experience with the Texas Museum of Radio & Broadcasting, the East Texas Oil Museum and the Rangerette Showcase.

City events, parties, mixers and other custom-tailored activities make the Reel East Texas Film Festival a can’t miss for all filmmakers.

A festival hosted by filmmakers for filmmakers, RETFF loves great films, and bringing together audience, filmmaker and film industry representatives in celebration of artistic and independent spirit.

Best Student Film (high school and college)
Best Actress (feature and short)
Best Actor (feature and short)
Best Contest Screenplay (features and short)
Best Festival Screenplay (feature and short)
Best Cinematography (feature and short)
Best Dance Film (shorts only)
Best Director (documentary and narrative)
Best Animated (feature and short)
Best Comedy (feature and short)
Best Documentary (feature and short)
Best Drama (feature and short)
Best Dramedy (feature and short)
Best Horror (feature and short)
Best Foreign Film (feature and short)
Best Music Video
Best Science Fiction (feature and short)
Best Western (feature and short)
Best Texas Film (feature and short)
Reel People’s Choice Award "audience favorite" (feature and short)
Reel Jury Award "best of festival" (feature and short)

All films must be the original work of the filmmakers and all filmmakers must have the necessary rights. The festival is not liable for any rights issues.

Films of all lengths (short & feature) and all genres (family, animated, comedy, drama, sci-fi, action, horror, documentary, foreign, music video) are welcome to submit.

Screenplays (features and shorts) of all genres are welcome to submit. Screenplays must be non-produced as of the date of the film festival. (November 9, 2023)

Screener films should be submitted on digital file (Mov, Mp4). NO DVDs, BluRays or hard drives. Please do not send us any hardware.

Films in language other than English must include English subtitles.

No feedback on submissions can be given.

The Filmmaker understands and accepts that they do not participate in receiving any funds from the Box-office proceeds which are fully retained by the festival to help cover the overall cost of the festival presentation. It should be noted for the record that box-office proceeds never cover the cost of presentation of the Features and Short Film Programs. The Festival (RETFF) is a non-profit, 501-C-3 Educational/Cultural Organization with Federal, State, County & City Tax-Exemptions.

We're filmmakers, too. It feels great to get an acceptance letter, and it hurts when we don't make the cut. We look forward to sending out this year's good news to select entrants, but we won't be mailing rejection letters: if you don't hear from us this time around, no worries -- keep at it, and start preparing your entry for next year's festival.

From the Lawyers: All participating filmmakers release the festival (RETFF) from any and all liability for submissions. Entrants understand the submitted materials will be securely-held by the festival; every effort will be made to protect and control access for viewing. RETFF assumes absolutely no liability for theft, violations of copyright or piracy of submitted content.

Overall Rating
  • Marley Hasselbach

    Wonderful festival with clear communication and a live event. We unfortunately could not attend from Denmark but received our award for Best Foreign Short neatly in the post, shipped by the festival all the way from the US - absolute class. Highly recommended.

    February 2023
  • Hui Tan

    It is my great honor to receive your announcement!
    I deeply appreciate Reel East Texas Film Festival to provide this opportunity for filmmakers to represent their films and share their experiences!
    Tan, Hui

    December 2022
  • Very well organized with great communication. We couldn't attend this time but hoping to do so in the future.

    December 2022
  • I attended the Student Showcase and had a great time! The drive into Kilgore from Dallas is visually stunning and the town is extremely friendly. The people who ran the festival were incredibly kind as well! I would highly recommend Reel East Film Festival!

    November 2022
  • Tiana Stuart

    As a first-time filmmaker, I felt completely seen and heard. Upon their acceptance of my film, Twinsies, I knew I was in good hands.

    The communication was timely and consistent, affordable accommodations were easy to come by, and I knew I could ask any and all questions if needed based on their kind response to my e-mail.

    When we arrived opening night, it was clear that they REALLY care about filmmakers. The hospitality was overflowing and they went above and beyond to make sure we felt at home.

    My film won an award (Best Supporting Actress) and as a first-timer, that meant the WORLD to me. I was absolutely speechless.

    Your film will be in good hands with this festival.

    November 2022