Back to Submit   |   Official Rules & Guidelines

When and where does the festival take place? NFFTY 2019 is October 24 - 27 in Seattle, Washington.

Where is the entry form? Complete the entry form online via FilmFreeway.

Are online links accepted for submissions? Yes! FilmFreeway allows you to submit your film in a number of ways including YouTube or Vimeo links.

What is the final deadline for entry? Entry form and the film must be received by July 26, 2019.

If my film is selected, should I attend the festival? Definitely! You should begin thinking about plans to attend the festival as soon as you submit your film. Over 300 filmmakers attend each year, with additional visiting students, making NFFTY is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, unlike any other youth film festival or student film festival.

Reasons to attend NFFTY:

  • See your film shown in a state-of-the-art theater and grow as a filmmaker by receiving audience feedback following your film’s screening.

  • Meet and learn from Hollywood industry professionals who attend NFFTY and participate in panels and workshops.

  • Meet other young filmmakers from across the US and the world.

  • Have fun! NFFTY is a weekend of parties, music, food, and meeting great people.

  • Join one of the 100 Best Rated Festivals on FilmFreeway and MovieMaker’s “One of the 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.”

Can Elementary and Middle School kids submit a film? Yes! Anyone 24 or under can submit. Our youngest filmmaker to date was 5 years old. We even have special awards for very young filmmakers.

Is there any help with travel and lodging to NFFTY? We offer a limited number of travel stipends to filmmakers in low-income situations. Because NFFTY cannot guarantee assistance, filmmakers should assume they need to arrange for their own airfare and hotel. As the festival gets closer, we will send out information on special rates with hotels in Seattle and we can help match filmmakers to share hotel rooms.

Do you accept commercials, PSAs, news videos, or trailers? No. Our festival’s main focus is on narrative films and documentaries. All films must fit into one of the six screening categories.

Can a rough cut be submitted if this is only what is available by the submission deadline? We strongly do not recommend submitting rough cuts. If you do send in a rough cut, make a title on-screen before the film that says what is rough or temp. Your overall film length may not get any longer with your final cut.

How are the films selected? Who watches them? A team of NFFTY curators around the world watches every film that is submitted. Each film is watched by at least two people and then a NFFTY staff programmer makes the final decision. They rate films on storytelling, filmmaking techniques, and general audience appeal.

Do you give out any awards? NFFTY presents awards during the festival, as well as other special awards and opportunities. These will be announced closer to the festival.

Why do you ask for rights to distribute my film? Our mission is to get your film seen by as many people as possible so it can have the greatest impact and so that you can grow as a filmmaker and get more exposure. NFFTY has relationships with several distribution outlets and participates in local and national events to help promote youth filmmaking. Because we can group lots of short films together, we make it possible for young filmmakers to obtain distribution and exposure they could rarely get by themselves. NFFTY does not own your film. We do this to help our filmmakers and increase the exposure of the festival and youth filmmaking community.

Can there by violence, nudity or swearing in my film? We have no rules against it. However, films that are excessively graphic for no apparent reason will likely not be shown.  A rating system in our festival guide will advise viewers of content maturity levels.

Can my film screen publicly prior to NFFTY? Yes, although we prefer that you don’t hold a public screening in Seattle prior to NFFTY.

Can my film be online prior to NFFTY? Yes, but we recommend you don’t advertise your film online to the NFFTY audience before the festival.

Do I get in free? If your film is accepted, yes. Every film that is accepted gets one (1) complimentary All-Access Filmmaker Pass to NFFTY. Additional Filmmaker Passes will be available for purchase.

If you have additional questions about the rules, submission process or festival, email: