Rules & Regulations

Founded in 1969 as the Sinking Creek Film Celebration, Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) is one of the longest-running film festivals in the country and one of the most acclaimed festivals in the South. Hosted in Music City, USA, NashFilm attracts enthusiastic film lovers from all across the country and has been praised by film-goers and filmmakers alike for its unique combination of big city festival atmosphere and laid back Southern hospitality. With over 270 films from 45 countries, a screenplay competition, episodic competition, innovative industry panels, live music showcases, and parties almost every night, the 2016 festival drew over 44,000 attendees and sold out nearly 50 films and events.

Awards & Prizes

Nashville Film Festival offers nearly $100,000 in cash and prizes for filmmakers and screenwriters with winners selected by industry power players – including studio representatives, producers and filmmakers.

The winning short films in the Narrative, Animated and Documentary Short Film Competitions are eligible for Academy Award® consideration without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

Rules & Terms

— Competition is open to U.S. and International entries. Please check individual categories for additional requirements.

— Feature films are 40 minutes in length or longer. Short films are under 40 minutes in length.

— Films not in English must be subtitled in English.

— Films that have shown theatrically or been broadcast on television in Nashville prior to the Festival or are available on DVD or VOD are not eligible for consideration.

— Entries must not have been publicly shown before January 1, 2015.

— Entries must be submitted for pre-screening on Vimeo or YouTube link. If you use a secured link, you are REQUIRED to keep us updated with passwords or your film may be rejected. You may also send a DVD or BluRay. Should you choose to send a hard copy screener, please send 2 copies for short films or three copies for features.

— If you are burning a consumer disc, write your Project Title, Film ID# and Contact information on the disc in a clear and legible fashion. PLEASE test your consumer-burned DVD on several makes and models of players BEFORE sending it to our offices. Please use recyclable packaging.

— Works in progress are accepted but are not encouraged. We can not promise that we will be able to watch re-edited submissions. Please only submit works in progress if submitting close to final deadline.

— You may submit multiple entries but must fill out a separate entry form and pay an entry fee for each.

The individual or corporation submitting the film warrants that he/she is authorized to commit the film to at least three screenings at any time during the 2017 Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) – April 20-29, 2017. Selected entries must send festival screening copy on DCP. You MUST also send a BluRay backup for exhibition in case something goes wrong with a digital file. Other digital file types may be presentable.

Every possible care will be taken with entries while in our possession, however, we cannot accept responsibility for loss, damage or additional charges incurred en route, or due to normal wear and tear, or due to equipment failure. Do NOT send original prints or master copies. Additionally, NashFilm is held harmless from any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity or screening of any film.

The cost of shipping an entry to the Festival must be paid by the entrant or preceding festival. All international entries must be sent with all transportation charges, duties, and taxes prepaid by the shipper. For films accepted into the Festival, the entrant is responsible for inbound shipping. In most cases, NashFilm will pay the cost of outbound shipping of the print to its next destination. However, the Festival will not be responsible for unnecessary expedited or overnight shipping charges to other destinations.

Entrant agrees to grant NashFilm permission for accepted films and related marketing materials to be reproduced and distributed – in whole or in part – SOLELY for purposes of jurying, education, and promotion of the festival. Please note that due to schedule conflicts, some jurors may view your films on disc or via online screener. If you submitted a rough cut, it is VITAL that you send a copy of the final edition of your film. This final copy will also serve as a back-up, in case your selected method of exhibition does not work.



— Entry fee (must be paid online).

–3-Line Synopsis (may be used for Festival Program and website)

–FEATURE-LENGTH FILMS: 250 Word Synopsis (may be used for Festival Program and website)

–COLLEGE STUDENTS: Include proof of student status at the time of production. (Copy of student ID or transcript.)

–YOUNG FILMMAKERS: Include a copy of your state or student id verifying your age at the time of completion of the film. You may submit a letter from a teacher if you do not have photo ID.

–TENNESSEE RESIDENTS: Include proof of residence or proof that the entry was shot predominantly in the state of Tennessee.

–Accepted entries must submit at least one digital 300dpi still photo from the film and at least one web-ready still at 72dpi and 560×315 pixels.

–Selected films must who submitted a rough cut MUST submit a copy of the final edit of their film on DVD or BluRay upon acceptance.


Notification of Festival acceptance status is scheduled to be given to all entrants on or about February 24, 2017.