50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, 2014-2017 - MovieMaker Magazine

"The ultimate indie film festival." - CityArts Magazine - Seattle

"One of the premier festivals in the Northwest." - PostDefiance.com

The Tacoma Film Festival is a celebration of independent film mirroring the diverse and eclectic sensibilities of Western Washington’s second largest city. Including selections from the Pacific Northwest and all over the world, TFF prides itself on showcasing the connectedness of local, national, and international film.

This is our time to celebrate you, the filmmaker, and the invaluable artistic talents that you provide to the film community. It’s a great festival to network because of the friendly and collegial atmosphere throughout. The whole community gets behind the festival and makes it a one-of-a-kind experience. You may have been to other festivals, but not like TFF.


- 150+ world, US, Washington, or even Tacoma/Pierce County premieres. Our lineup included festival favorites straight from top festivals and a lovingly programmed selection of features and shorts.
- It was the 2nd year of our wildly successful filmmaker housing program http://www.tacomafilmfestival.com/host-filmmaker/, where we hand select wonderful residents to host filmmakers.
- The Veldt VR Studio. Cutting edge works from the VR space without time limits
- Our first year of music video submissions
- Industry and filmmaker-oriented panels and classes
- Fun parties and after parties

Best Narrative Feature
Cash Award Value: 1000 U.S. Dollars

Best Documentary Feature
Cash Award Value: 1000 U.S. Dollars

Best Narrative Short
Cash Award Value: 750 U.S. Dollars

Best Regional Film
Awarded to the best Northwest film, as decided by our panel of judges.
Cash Award Value: 1000 U.S. Dollars

Audience Choice Award - Feature
Filmmakers not from the Pacific Northwest are eligible for this award. Winner will be chosen based on audience votes.
Cash Award Value: 1000 U.S. Dollars

Audience Choice Award - Short
Filmmakers not from the Pacific Northwest are eligible for this award. Winner will be chosen based on audience votes.
Cash Award Value: 750 U.S. Dollars

Local Audience Choice Award - Feature
Puget Sound area/Pacific Northwest filmmakers are eligible for the Local Audience Choice Award. Winner will be chosen based on audience votes.
Cash Award Value: 1000 U.S. Dollars

Local Audience Choice Award - Short
Puget Sound area/Pacific Northwest filmmakers are eligible for the Local Audience Choice Award. Winner will be chosen based on audience votes.
Cash Award Value: 750 U.S. Dollars

Best Short Documentary
Cash Award Value: 750 U.S. Dollars

Other awards include:
Best Director, Best Performances, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay

Films are placed in competition at the sole discretion of the Tacoma Film Festival

1. Submission Deadline Structure
Submissions Open: December 4, 2017
Earlybird Deadline: February 26, 2018
Regular Deadline: April 2, 2018
Late Deadline: May 7, 2018
Extended Deadline: June 25, 2018

2. Submission Format
Films must be submitted via secure online screener (Vimeo or YouTube) or the FilmFreeway online screener only.

3. Submission Eligibility
All submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2017.

4. Premiere Status
- US Premiere status is preferred, Washington State premiere status required.
- Premiere status for regional films (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia) must have a Pierce County Premiere.

5. Selection of Films
- The Tacoma Film Festival will complete the selection process by August 6, 2018 and will contact all submitting parties by email with programming status at that time. Accepted films will receive a Filmmaker Welcome Packet via email that will include important information about DCP exhibition, “Host a Filmmaker” lodging program, press and publicity, guest accreditation, festival filmmaker liaison contact information and how to make the most of participation in the festival.
- The accepted film must be received by Simple DCP by 9/1/2018 to be played at the Tacoma Film Festival, October 4-11, 2018.
- The submitter is responsible for shipping the exhibition copy to Simple DCP in Culver City CA. TFF will pay domestic ground shipping only to return exhibition copies (no overnight or express). Non-ground or international shipping must be paid by the filmmaker.

6. Festival Screenings and Scheduling
- The Tacoma Film Festival screens Digital Cinema Package (DCP) shorts and has the capability to screen DCP and Blu-Ray for feature films. However, TFF requires DCP for both features and shorts. This requirement is to ensure the highest quality presentation of your work possible. If you submit to TFF, please be prepared to provide a DCP. If you are unable or unwilling to provide a DCP, please DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR FILM. The festival aspires to provide the best quality projection possible but will not be held liable for any failure in the technical quality of the projection, nor will fees be refunded in any such case. The Tacoma Film Festival assumes that the submitting party or filmmaker(s) or entrant(s) or print source company has insured for damage and loss of the festival print or tape.
- Screenings are scheduled during the festival at the discretion of the Tacoma Film Festival. The Tacoma Film Festival also retains the right to run limited Press & Industry screenings the week leading up to the festival.

7. Festival Promotion
Should your film be programmed, portions of your submitted material may be copied and utilized for the purpose of promoting your film. Upon submission, filmmakers grant the Tacoma Film Festival the right to use clips and press materials from the film for promotional purposes unless the filmmaker requests otherwise in writing.

- Please make a note in your submission if you have any connections to the Pacific Northwest region.
- Returning TFF alumni filmmakers’ entry fees are waived. To request a waiver, please include the film title and year it played in Tacoma and email us at info@tacomafilmfestival.com.
- Works in progress will automatically be disqualified.
- Industrials, promotional, or news report films will not be considered if submitted.
- Entry fees will not be refunded.

No phone inquiries, please. Please email us with questions: info@tacomafilmfestival. Thank you!

By entering the Tacoma Film Festival, entrants release and hold the promoter and host and other contest entities harmless from and against any and all losses, damages, rights, claims and action of any kind arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the festival. The Festival will handle the films with care but cannot be held liable for any damage or loss during the shipping, preview or screening. The Festival is not responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark or royalty infringements related to the work. Applicants are responsible for their own insurance and are not covered by the festival's insurance.

On submission , the filmmaker grants The Festival the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The individual or corporation submitting the film warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The submitting filmmaker shall indemnify, defend, 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, expert witness 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.

Overall Rating
  • false
    Christopher Oliva

    Great festival. The people running the fest are wonderful. They had a wide range of films that celebrate cinema over the course of eight days. The venues are great and the community is all embracing. What a great time and opportunity to network.

    October 2017
    Tff logo teal fill no text
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Chris! We loved having you here! - Laura

  • false
    Mia Ginaé Watkins

    Amazing festival!! This was my first time going and everything was great. The festival team did a fantastic job at making the filmmakers feel at home. The events were so much fun! I had a blast at the Tacoma Film Festival. Thank you so much for screening my film!

    October 2017
    Tff logo teal fill no text
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Mia Ginaé! We loved showing your film and having you at the fest!

  • false
    Naomi Sheridan

    From the beginning Laura and the team at Tacoma Film Festival were fantastic to deal with. Communication was great and they were always responsive and helpful. It seemed to be really well organized with a great lineup of films.

    November 2016
  • false
    Andrew Oldbury

    This was the second year running we had a film selected for the Tacoma Film Festival. We've had a wonderful experience with them, Laura and her team have a genuine passion and commitment to supporting filmmakers. I'd thoroughly recommend it to any aspiring filmmakers.

    November 2016
  • false
    Charlo Johnson

    It was a real pleasure to have our documentary Gone Viral play at Tacoma Film Festival at the very beautiful venue that is the Grand Cinema. Everything about this festival is professional - from the program, to the red carpet, photography, and networking opportunities. Most of all, the quality of the films is incredible and this festival is undoubtedly up there with the best. A true independent film festival.... Good luck, and thank you for having us!

    November 2016