2016 Call for Entries for Film and Web Series: June 1st.

The call for entries for the 2015 Nashville Film Festival is now closed. We’ll open the call, again in June.  We offer cash and prizes valued at over $54,000 and qualify Live Action, Animated and Documentary Short Films for Academy Award™ consideration.


Film Competitions

NaFF provides its community with innovative, inspiring, and culturally diverse film programs by celebrating the latest and best works of filmmakers from all over the globe. Competitive programs for feature filmmakers are:

  • Narrative Feature Competition
  • New Directors Competition for narrative features
  • Documentary Competition
  • Gibson Music Films/Music City Competition for documentary features
  • Tennessee Spirit Competition for Tennessee-based filmmakers.

Competitive programs for shorts filmmakers include:

  • Best Narrative (qualifies for Academy Award™ consideration)
  • Best Animated Short Film (qualifies for Academy Award™ consideration)
  • Best Documentary Short  (qualifies for Academy Award™ consideration)
  • Best Experimental Short
  • Best College Student Short
  • Young Filmmakers Competition for filmmakers under the age of 18.
  • Tennessee Narrative Short
  • Tennessee Documentary Short.

Web Series Competition

A celebration of content created for smaller screens, the first Web Series Competition seeks unique, current content and will award the winning series a $1,000.

Enter today.


Recently named one of the “Five Best Film Festivals in America” by the Brooks Institute and voted one of “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” by MovieMaker Magazine, NaFF offers filmmakers outstanding cash and prizes valued at over $54,000. NaFF is unique in our emphasis on music in films. All films compete for several prizes for music composition, supervision, and collaboration. Winners of the Grand Jury Prizes in the Animated, Narrative and Documentary Shorts competitions quality for Academy Award™ consideration, provided they meet all other AMPAS requirements. Other short film categories compete for cash prizes.


Feature Film Awards:

Bridgestone Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature: up to $5,000.
Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary: up to $5,000.
Grand Jury Prize for Best New Directors Competition: $2,500.
Gibson Grand Jury Prize in Music Films / Music City Competition: Gibson Guitar, plus up to $1,000.
Ground Zero Tennessee Spirit Award for Best Tennessee Feature: $10,000 in post-production services.
Grand Jury Prize Graveyard Shift: $1,000.


Additional prizes are offered, including the Southwest Airlines Audience Awards for Best US Narrative Feature, US Documentary Feature, World Narrative Feature and World Documentary Feature.


Short Film Awards:
Grand Jury Prize for Narrative or Live Action Shorts: Academy Award™ qualification + $500.
Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Short: Academy Award™ qualification + $500.
Grand Jury Prize for Animated Short: Academy Award™ qualification + $500.
Grand Jury Prize for Experimental Short: $500.
Grand Jury Prize for College Student Short: $500
Grand Jury Prize for Graveyard Shift Short: $500
Watkins Young Filmmakers Award: $20,000 scholarship
Ground Zero Tennessee Spirit Award for Best Narrative Short: $3,000 in post-production services.
Ground Zero Tennessee Spirit Award for Best Non-fiction Short: $3,000 in post-production services.

Notable Films & Guests

NaFF presents the best films by veteran masters and up-and-coming and first-time filmmakers. Our films have won the highest honors in the film world. NaFF selections include such recent hits as: Ida, Calvary, Manakamana, Mud, The Kings of Summer, The Way, Way Back, The Intouchables, Submarine, Terri, Another Earth, Nowhere Boy, and (500) Days of Summer.


Recent celebrity guests include: Ashley Judd, Seth Green, Ray Liotta, Nicole Kidman, Clare Bowen, Famke Janssen, Beth Grant, Carrie Preston, Paul Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Harmony Korine, Emmylou Harris, Mariane Jean-Baptiste, William Shatner, Hal Holbrook, Al Gore, Vincent D’Onofrio, Craig Brewer, Gale Anne Hurd, Giancarlo Esposito, Ray McKinnon, Steve James, Brad Paisley, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Ben Folds, Sheryl Crow, and Lee Ann Womack.


Attendees from early years have included Oprah Winfrey, William H. Macy, Danny Glover, Joey Lauren Adams, Patricia Neal, Rob Thomas, Lawrence Bender, Kiefer Sutherland, Joshua Jackson, Peter Falk, Paul Reiser, John Pierson, Patrick Swayze, Rick Schroder, Christine Vachon, John Waters, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Redford, James Cromwell, Harry Belafonte, Barbara Kopple, Michael Moore, and D.A. Pennebaker.