The Rome International Film Festival was created by, and for, filmmakers. The spotlight is on innovation and creativity. We are based in Rome, Georgia, USA (not that other Rome) but we draw film submissions from all over the world.

You'll love being part of our festival. Rome is widely acknowledged as one of the most charming small towns in America, and festival visitors are welcomed warmly by residents. Picture this: Your film will screen in one of two historic theatres on our main street. Lovely accommodations, great restaurants, and shopping are all downtown and easily walkable. This is a great time to be in Rome, with amazing Fall foliage, warm days, and cool evenings. And in between seeing films, talking with other industry pros, and enjoying our after-parties, you could paddle on one of the three rivers that flow through town, or take a hike in our Appalachian Mountains foothills.

The Rome International Film Festival is well-known for showcasing breakthrough artists --from local Georgians to international filmmakers. RIFF also curates legacy films, drawing industry icons who share their knowledge via masterclasses and workshops. Many who first presented their films at the Festival are now well-established in the entertainment industry. Don't miss this gem.

Selected as one of "20 Festivals Worth the Entry fee" by MovieMaker Magazine.

"The Best Festival that I've ever attended. Wow!" ~ Burt Reynolds

RIFF presents awards for all juried categories and audience choice categories, such as Best Short and Best Feature.

Awards include:
Narrative Feature
Narrative Short
Documentary Feature
Horror, Messed Up, After Dark, Schlock, or Something Completely Different
Latin Film

The Shay Bentley Griffin Award for Best Acting Performance

Special Jury Awards

By entering The Rome International Film Festival, you agree to follow its rules and guidelines.


• We consider films in any language, from anywhere in the world. English subtitles are required for non-English language films.
• We will consider work in progress. Please include a title card describing what is unfinished at the beginning of the submission screener.
• We consider films regardless of their premiere status. Even if your film has already premiered at another festival, whether it screened at a physical venue or online, it’s still eligible for consideration. Premieres are always welcome, and we do work to spotlight them.
• Films must have been completed within three years of the submission date. We will allow for older films that stalled and are getting a delayed release.
• Features that are currently online for commercial streaming are not eligible.
• Features previously self-distributed by the filmmakers online are not eligible for consideration in Feature categories.
• Only independently produced episodes completed within three years or later are accepted into the Episodes category.
• There are no requirements for short film submissions other than they are less than 30 minutes in runtime.


• Entrants can update their screener by uploading a new video file, provided your original link URL does not change. The link must stay the same after you have submitted your entry. If it is replaced, programmers will lose access to your screener, and it may not be watched in time.
• All screeners must be uploaded by the appropriate deadline.
• Deadlines close at 11:59 PM EST.
• We will contact entrants if there's anything wrong with the submission. If this occurs, you will need to fix the submission issue by the requested deadline. Otherwise, we cannot guarantee that your film will be reviewed in time.
• We DO NOT provide refunds for festival entries.


• At least two different screeners will watch each film. If you are using Vimeo Pro stats, you can track the watches most of the time. However, we have had many cases in which watches were not recorded correctly, including for some of the accepted films. We prefer the FilmFreeway uploaded screener.
• Programmers determine festival selections.
• Our programmers are not required to read submission cover letters and other supporting materials, but we encourage you to submit them if they want to learn more about you and your film.
• We do not share programming feedback with entrants.


• Accepted filmmakers will be notified via email, phone or text. Filmmakers must confirm their participation by the given deadline. If not, their spot in the line-up may be lost
• Accepted filmmakers must be the authors of their submitted work and be ready to sign an agreement stating that they own all rights to their film and its components ahead of screening at The Rome International Film Festival.
• If accepted, entrants are responsible for delivering their festival exhibition copy, trailer, screener link, press stills, and press kit in a timely fashion.
• If accepted, filmmakers are expected to attend the festival.
• We DO NOT cover travel expenses.
• We DO NOT cover shipping expenses for screening copies and other materials.
• We Do NOT provide screening fees.

Please follow these submission guidelines if you are mailing your items:

Note: We prefer a high-resolution digital copy of the film. (H.264 or .mov) Only send media copy if the digital format is not an option.

A copy of your Blu-Ray or DVD, in NTSC (If needed).

A reproducible photo or electronic image suitable for use in the program.

A synopsis or description alone on one page (one paragraph, appropriate for quick reading)

Be sure to include your name and return address clearly on the package and include the category on the label.

Please include your FilmFreeway tracking number on all physical materials.

Overall Rating
  • Dustin Whitehead

    This festival is amazing. They really think about the experience of the audience and the filmmakers and make it special for all. I have been three years in a row and it just seems to get better and better every time.

    November 2023
  • Carolyn Gentry

    RIFF 2023 was the first film festival my work had ever screened at AND the first festival I had ever attended. Everyone I met -- staff, attendees, guests -- was kind and enthusiastic about film. There were great networking opportunities amidst student filmmakers and industry professionals. Despite being the only student film from Georgia Southern, the students of the local colleges made me feel welcome. They were as enthusiastic about my project as I was about theirs. I definitely plan to submit to RIFF again in the future.

    I gave communication three stars because while the schedule was clearly communicated, there were two issues that arose during my time at the festival. First, my guests and I didn't know the typical procedures of a film festival, so the initial navigation of the box office and tickets in general was a little confusing, however I chalk that up to none of us having attended any festival before. Second, my film had auto-generated subtitles put on the film despite all of the film being in English. While some of my family have thicker southern accents, I have taken a note from my mentor and made the deliberate choice not the create subtitles for those with southern accents. I did not know this was going to happen until I was watching my film be screened. No other films in the shorts block I was a part of had subtitles.

    November 2023
  • Lou Simon

    RIFF 2023 is the single best experience I've had as a filmmaker at a film festival. The staff is incredibly helpful. The filmmakers lounge is unlike any other I've ever seen. Filmmakers, regardless of whether it's a feature or a short, are really treated like V.I.P.'s. Will continue to attend, regardless of whether I have a film in the festial or not.

    November 2023
  • Bernadette Chapman

    We had a wonderful time. Honored to have our film part of this festival. Overall quality of the films was 5 stars! The people made it a beautiful weekend. We will be back!

    November 2023
  • Mark Jones

    Friendly festival staff. Good venues, all located close together.

    November 2023