© Edward Ruscha

Submission Guidelines





Early Bird Deadline:   December 6, 2013
Official Deadline:   January 10, 2014

Late Deadlines:
Short films and music videos: February 7, 2014
Feature-length narrative and documentary films: February 14, 2014

WAIVED entry fees for Film Independent Filmmaker Pro Members.
$5.00 discount for all general Film Independent Members.



  • Feature films must have been completed after January 1, 2013.
  • Premiere status will be one of the factors considered when determining a film’s inclusion in the Festival. For feature films, select American and international narrative features making their world, international, North American or US premieres compete in the Festival’s Narrative Competition. Non-premiere titles are considered for other sections of the Festival.
  • Feature films must not have had any public or festival screenings in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura counties.
  • Feature films must not have had any commercial theatrical, television, or internet play in the US.
  • Feature films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English for Festival presentation.
  • Music videos must have a running time of less than 10 minutes. High school shorts must have a running time of less than 20 minutes.
  • Films that have been submitted for consideration in previous years are eligible for re-submission only if significant changes have been made to the film. A detailed list of the changes must be included in the submission packet.
  • For submission purposes, preview DVDs may be works-in-progress, films with temporary soundtracks or digital outputs.
  • Filmmakers must deliver final format (as indicated) for Festival screenings. No exceptions will be permitted.
  • High school shorts must be works shot, directed and produced by high school or secondary (pre-college) students. Adult supervision must be limited to an advisory capacity.



Select narrative features, documentary features and short films participate in the Festival’s three competitive sections, the winners of which are chosen by special juries. In the Short Film Competition, awards are given for Best Animated or Experimental Short, Best Documentary Short and Best Narrative Short.

Most features and shorts are eligible for Audience Awards, which are chosen based on ballots submitted by Festival audiences and are presented in the following categories: Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, International Feature, Short Film and Music Video.

The Los Angeles Film Festival is a qualifying festival in all categories for Film Independent Spirit Awards and is also a qualifying festival for the Narrative Documentary and Animated Short Film categories of the Academy Awards®.



  • Completed submission form, submitted electronically via Withoutabox.com.
  • Preview DVDs (Region 0 or 1 and NTSC preferred) or online digital submission
    For feature-length films (50 min. or more), submit two DVDs. For short films (under 50 min.) or music videos, submit one DVD.
  • Entry fee payment
  • No press kits to be submitted in the submission process.

All submission materials must be delivered together in one package. Do not deliver your submission materials until you have completed your online entry and be sure that your online entry number is printed clearly on all materials. Please note that preview DVDs and all other submission materials will not be returned. All materials will be recycled through a secured facility.



If your film or music video is selected for exhibition, please be advised that the Festival will require:

  • For features: 35mm, DCP (must be DCI compliant) or HDCam (not HDCam SR).
  • For shorts: 35mm, DCP (must be DCI compliant) or HDCam (not HDCam SR).
  • For music videos:  Quicktime Files (Native Resolution, using Pro-Res 422 Codec) on DVD Data Disc or Hard Drive.
  • For high school shorts: Quicktime Files (Native Resolution, using Pro-Res 422 Codec) on DVD Data Disc or Hard Drive.
  • Digital press kits with photo stills (color and black/white).
  • Headshots of Director(s) and Writer(s).
  • Biographies of Director(s) and Writer(s).
  • Trailers, clip reels, posters, postcards, and EPKs, if available, to maximize exposure for your film.



Payment in US dollars may be made by check, money order, American Express, Visa, or Mastercard. Checks or money orders (from a US bank in US Dollars only) should be made payable to “Film Independent”. The film title must be clearly printed on all checks/money orders. Do not send cash.

Early Bird Official Late
Feature Films (50 mins. +) $50.00 $60.00 $70.00
Short Films (Under 50 mins.) $30.00 $40.00 $50.00
Music Videos $15.00 $20.00 $25.00
High School Shorts no charge no charge no charge

$5.00 discount offered on all submission fees to current Film Independent members.



For all submissions, include the English language title and the running time on the DVD itself. Indicate the region-coding of the disc, and if the DVD is in PAL format, print “PAL” on the disc. If submitting a work-in-progress, indicate the elements that are incomplete on the DVD.



You may submit more than one film, but each one must be on a separate DVD and must be accompanied by its own completed submission form and entry fee.



All costs for shipping submission materials to and from Los Angeles are the responsibility of the sender. Ship your DVD in a protective envelope. The Festival recommends bubble-pack envelopes over fiber-pack envelopes as the fiber type can lead to damaged DVDs and DVD players. The Festival is not responsible for damage to submitted materials incurred in shipping.



All entries from outside the US should be sent Air Mail Registered or by a parcel or express service. We cannot accept entries shipped via air-freight if customs and delivery fees have not been paid.