Downtown Tyler Film Festival is a celebration of storytelling through film in East Texas. We accept and show short films from all around the world, but have a special fondness for local independent works.

Best of Fest: $1,000
Best Texas Film: $500 + SXSW Film Badge
Best Young Filmmaker: $250
Audience Favorite: $150

This is a short film festival. Only films 15 minutes or shorter will be considered. Films can be narrative or documentary, of any genre, but must have been completed after January 1, 2019, and should be suitable for a general audience (think 12A/PG-13). Films produced, financed or initiated by a major film studio or television network, or which have aired on US network or cable television or distributed to theaters prior to the festival dates, or which have exhibited at previous Downtown Tyler Film Festivals, are ineligible for competition.

Candidate may only submit to one category.

To be considered a Young Filmmaker film, a film must have been produced entirely by filmmakers must be 21 years of age or younger. Contributions (besides equipment, encouragement, food and shelter) by parents, teachers, or other adults should be minimal. Ask if you're unsure.

To be considered a Texas film, a film must have been primarily produced in the state of Texas. While some minimal out-of-area production is okay (e.g. script consultation, sound mastering), the spirit of this category is to celebrate the creativity of filmmakers working in Texas. Ask if you're unsure.

If your film is accepted, you’ll be notified by May 7 , along with instructions for digitally submitting an exhibition copy and attending the festival. Please be prepared to submit an H.264-encoded MOV or MP4 via download link. We can't guarantee your film will show at the festival unless we've received the exhibition copy before May 14.

Send us an email at or a direct message on Facebook @TylerFilmFest

You have all the necessary rights to let us show the film at the festival. If you're wrong about that, it's not our fault. If something in the film is illegal and we get in trouble for showing it, you'll take the legal heat, not us. We can show your film at the festival (obviously) but also in commercials/materials promoting DTFF for the next five years. If you've misrepresented any of this—like your ownership of the film or your status as a young or Texas filmmaker—then we can disqualify you without returning your submission fee.

By submitting your film through FilmFreeway, you are digitally signing the following terms and conditions.

In consideration of being permitted to participate in Downtown Tyler Film Festival activities associated with, but not limited to, the showing of my/our film, I/We and the CITY and Downtown Tyler Film Festival (DTFF) agree as follows:

- I/We have read all of the DTFF terms and conditions. I/We understand and have complied with these provisions.
- As the writer/director/producer/cinematographer of the film or video material that I/we have submitted to DTFF, I/we warrant, as sole and exclusive owner(s) of all legal right and title thereto, that I/we have absolute authority to submit the enclosed material to DTFF.
- I/we hereby agree to indemnify, release, defend, and hold harmless DTFF, Main Street Department and the City of Tyler, Texas, its judges, sponsors and partners, individually and collectively, from and against all claims, demands, losses, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses including legal expenses arising out of or in connection with any and all claims, or third party claims based on material submitted to and presented by DTFF.
- I/We also warrant the submitted material does not defame or invade the rights of any person living or dead and I/we fully indemnify DTFF, Main Street Department and the City of Tyler, Texas against any claim made for such violations of law.
- DTFF finalists and winners shall permit DTFF to use the title of the work submitted and the logline, their name, contact information and/or likeness and publicity stills, and film footage in pre- and post-competition publicity and promotional efforts, for a period of five (5) years from the date of submission.*
- If the submitted material is selected for screening, DTFF may transfer the submitted film to a compilation media format for screening, if needed, and the compilation may be used for DTFF and City of Tyler promotional purposes, for a period of five (5) years from the date of submission.*
- I/We understand that submission of my/our work authorizes DTFF to use the work for exhibition, education, and/or publicity purposes related to DTFF or the City of Tyler, Texas, for a period of five (5) years from the date of submission.*
- I/We understand that failure to adhere to DTFF terms, conditions and rules will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fees.
- By signing this form I/we understand and agree to, and will abide by, all the terms, conditions and rules of submission of materials to this festival.
- The DTFF and the City of Tyler shall not be responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, or royalty infringement related to the submitted film.
- To the best of my/our knowledge, all of the statements herein are true and correct. The terms of this release are contractual and not a mere recital.

* Entrants may opt-out of this extended promotional period by sending a written request to Downtown Tyler Film Festival, Gallery Main Street, 110 W. Erwin St., Tyler, TX 75702. Entrants may not opt-out of DTFF’s use of their entry to promote the current (2021) and next year (2022) DTFFs.

Overall Rating
  • Downtown Tyler film festival is a fantastic fest. They screen in a classic theater that has been renovated and has all the amenities of a modern theater but still has a classic look and feel. The people there were great and the community came out to support the films and the filmmakers. I highly recommend this fest to other filmmakers and it's definitely worth attending.

    December 2018
  • Cynthia Bergen

    Thank you! For Selecting The Weeping Woman. Could not attend the Festival this year, most definitely will submit again. Keep up the good work supporting Indie film. Cynthia Bergen #nosleepfilms

    November 2018
  • Derrick Alexander

    Great festival lots of fun.

    October 2018
  • Terry Aderholt

    Had a great time in Tyler! Very hospitable.

    October 2018
  • Ramon Torres

    We were unable to attend but the festival was incredibly generous with information and keeping us posted on things to do, places to see, and over all organization!

    October 2017