The Film Empire Festival is now more than a film & screenplay competition! We are growing into an awesome film festival! The Film Empire has been active since 2017 in providing networking events, mentorship opportunities, table reads, screenwriting competitions, diversity initiatives and more!

The Film Empire was founded in 2017 by Brandon Waites and Erman Baradi as a way to give independent filmmakers and screenwriters the opportunity to receive industry mentorships and networking opportunities.


The Film Empire will hold an in-person and virtual festival. They will be held at separate times. There is a possibility that some films will be screened in-person and virtually and some will just be screened virtually.

Selected films will screen at Galaxy Theatres in Tucson, AZ.

Films screened virtually will be screened via the secure online platform Bingewave.

Follow us on social media:

#TheFilmEmpire #TFE

Certain winners will receive The Film Empire trophies, mentorships and certificates.

Certain categories will receive certificates only.

Certain winners will receive table-read opportunities.

Certificates will be printed for winners in attendance. For those not in attendance, certificates will be emailed.

Mentors will be assigned after the festival to select winners.


Best Feature Film

Best Short Film

Best Feature Film Director

Best Director fo Short Film

Best Horror Film (Short or Feature)

Best Comedy Film (Short or Feature)

Best Dark Comedy Film (Short or Feature)

Best Action Film (Short or Feature)

Best Drama Film (Short or Feature)

Best Sci-Fi Film (Short or Feature)

Best Thriller Film (Short or Feature)

Best Family Film (Short or Feature)

Best Animation Film (Short or Feature)

Best Foreign Film (Short or Feature)

Best Documentary (Short or Feature)

Best Director for Documentary (Short or Feature)

Best Music Video

Best Director for Music Video

Best Director for Diverse Voices

Best Screenwriter for Diverse Voice

Best Student Film (Short or Feature)

Best Director for Student Film (Short or Feature)

Best Actor (Short or Feature)

Best Actress (Short or Feature)

Best Cinematographer for Feature Film

Best CInematographer for Short Film

Best Composer for Feature Film

Best Composer for Short Film

Best Editor for Feature Film

Best Editor for Short Film

Best VFX (Short or Feature)

Audience Award

Best Mainstream Film

Best First Time Filmmaker

Best Web Series

Best TV Pilot

The Film Empire Honorary Filmmaker Award

Best Short Screenplay

Best Feature Screenplay

The Film Empire Honorary Screenwriter Award

Mentors include (to be listed over time):

1. Ben Davis, cinematographer, "Captain Marvel," "Doctor Strange," "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Eternals," "Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “The King’s Man,” “Cry Macho”

Please read all rules & conditions before submitting.

By submitting, you acknowledge that you give The Film Empire Fest the authorization to utilize any excerpts, images or biographical information of the filmmakers from any film submitted for promotional purposes.

Premieres and attendance are not required but will be considered in the final programming decisions.

Acceptable screening formats for exhibition are:
DCP's: Digital preferred. Hard-drives acceptable.

The Film Empire Fest does NOT pay screening fees.

The Film Empire Fest reserves the rights to disqualify any submission without refund or reason.

The Film Empire Fest does not allow any refunds.

Screenings & awards ceremony will be scheduled by the The Film Empire Fest staff.

Any films not in English must be subtitled.

Screenplays must be in English.

Overall Rating
  • Andrew Pinon

    They give lots of opportunities to meet and network with industry professionals. Friendly and respectful to the writers. Very encouraging group.

    November 2019