Filmmaker FAQs

What dates do I need to know?

The call opened June 1, 2016 and closes on January 6, 2017. Notification deadline is February 24. And the 2017 festival is April 20-29.

How do I submit my film?

We take submissions through and Film Freeway.

How much is it to enter?

Entry fees are staggered and are least expensive if you enter early For details check out Fees & Fineprint.

Does the deadline mean post-marked or received?

Since most people are using digital files these days, that’s kind of an old-timey question. However, if you’re going to use snail mail, the deadline is post-marked.

Do you accept works-in-progress?

We do. Our programming staff and volunteers are accustomed to watching films that have incomplete elements. However, it should be noted that the cut of the film should be as close to final as possible.

Do you accept resubmissions from last year?

We do, however, the film must have undergone some re-edits for us to reconsider. While it’s not necessarily common, films have been selected upon second submission.

Do you require premiere status?

On Feature Film Entries, we require a Tennessee Premiere. However, films that will make their North American or World Premieres with us are given first consideration – and receive a $1,000 bonus in their award, should they win a prize at the festival.


For short films, we are generally not concerned about premiere status.


Films (short or feature) entered in the Tennessee First category (features and shorts) SHOULD be World Premieres, but if you got accepted into Sundance or some other top-tier festival, we won’t hold that against you.

How do you define Premiere status?

For most films, it means that the movie has not yet had a public screening in the region referred to in the premiere status. For instance, a World Premiere means that no paying audience has seen the film. If you’ve shown your film to cast and crew or friends and family, that doesn’t count against you. If you’ve shown it to a paying public audience, whether in a theater or at a festival screening, then that premiere status is gone.


Premiere levels we work with are:

  • World Premiere (we would be the first public screening in the world)
  • North American Premiere (first screening on our continent)
  • US Premiere (first screening in the nation)
  • Southeast US Premiere (The film has not yet shown publicly in the following states: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky and (of course) Tennessee.
  • Tennessee Premiere (not yet screened in the state).


Any film that is available to the general public on disc or VOD will have no premiere status and will be least likely to be considered.

Do you prefer DVD, BluRay or Online screeners?

We will accept all three of those formats. One thing to keep in mind: If accepted, we will need a BluRay or DVD backup of your film, so a hard-copy screener is never a bad thing for us to have.


Online screeners submitted through WAB and links on Vimeo are acceptable for online submissions. If you submit via Vimeo – it is VITAL that you keep us updated on the password until the call has concluded (for entries) and until the festival has concluded (for accepted films).

If I’m sending you a DVD or BluRay, how should I send it to you?

We prefer that films be sent in paper sleeves as opposed to jewel cases, because it cuts down on waste. Also, PLEASE make sure that your entry contains the following information on the disc:

  • Film Titles, WAB tracking number, Director name, and runtime.


For feature films, please send three (3) copies and for short films, please send two (2) copies to the following address:

Nashville Film Festival
Attn: Submissions
161 Rains Ave.
Nashville, TN 37203


Please note: Under no circumstances will we return screeners.

When will you notify me whether I’ve made the festival or not?

Notifications will begin in February of 2017 and will be done on or close to FEbruary 24, 2017.

Thanks for answering all of these questions, but I have one you didn’t address. Who should I contact?

Email and we’ll get you an answer as soon as possible.