Home » Submit Your Film » Film Submission and Competition Rules and Terms

The following terms and rules govern all film submissions to the 2023 Tallahassee Film Festival (“TFF” or the “Festival”).


Prior to film submission, take a moment to carefully consider the 2023 Festival dates and your festival strategy for your film. TFF does not require “premiere status,” but understands many other festivals do and this may impact your decision if your film is selected. By submitting your film to the Tallahassee Film Festival via FilmFreeway, you agree that, if selected, the Tallahassee Film Festival in its sole discretion will exhibit your film on September 2-3, 2023.

1. Films must have been completed after January 1, 2022. TFF reserves the right to select submitted films completed outside the above-mentioned time frame, but those films will not be eligible to compete for an award. Selected films must be available for screening at the Tallahassee Film Festival dates, September 2-3, 2023.

2. As a filmmaker-centric festival, TFF will accept a film submission that is a work-in-progress if it is expressly noted when submitted. Please also include general notes on what is yet to be completed in your cover letter. If the film is selected to exhibit during the Festival, the filmmaker must inform TFF of the availability of the final cut and supply the Festival with their most recent version.

3. All films must be submitted by the dates specified in the Dates & Deadlines section of the TFF Film Freeway page. TFF may revise submission deadlines in its sole and absolute discretion at any time without notice.

4. Films submitted to TFF in previous years are eligible to be resubmitted, provided they are eligible according to all of TFF’s current rules.

5. All films that contain dialogue that is not in English must include on-screen English subtitles at the time of submission. If you wish to intentionally leave out subtitles as an artistic choice, you do not need to provide subtitles for those sections but please leave a note to this effect.

6. If you change your submission’s screening password or link after submitting, you must email the Festival immediately at programming@tallahasseefilmfestival.com so your record can be updated. If the Festival is not notified of the change, and the link is inactive or the password incorrect, the submission may be deemed ineligible.

7. TFF prefers films that are not publicly available online. Films that are publicly available to watch online prior to the Festival may be selected for screening, but are ineligible to compete for an award.

8. TFF prefers that selected films be Tallahassee premieres. Submitted films must not have been shown in Tallahassee in a theatrical setting to a public audience prior to September 1, 2023. This includes locally held special screenings or other festivals. TFF reserves the right to select films previously screened publicly in Tallahassee, but those films will not be eligible to compete for an award. The only exception: a film that has been shown in a classroom screening for an accredited university’s film program.

9. TFF reserves the right in its sole discretion to reject or disqualify any entries, without a refund.

Florida “Freshly Squeezed” Designation; Florida Filmmaker Award Criteria

1. Please include in your cover letter if your film was SHOT IN FLORIDA (and include locations) or made by FLORIDA FILMMAKERS (and identify names). Providing this information helps us program films for the “Freshly Squeezed” screening designation. This denotation in your cover letter may not always constitute eligibility for the Florida Filmmaker Award; but,

1a. IF YOU WANT TO ENSURE CONSIDERATION for the Florida Filmmaker Award, please identify both the above-the-line individuals who worked on the film and are current Florida residents, and where the film was shot in Florida. If you have questions about eligibility for the Florida Filmmaker Award, contact info@tallahasseefilmfestival.com.

Originality and Permissions; INDEMNITY

1. Films must be the original work of the filmmaker(s)/applicant(s). If a film is based on another person’s life, or on a book or other underlying work, filmmaker(s)/applicant(s) must secure any necessary rights to make such adaptations. However, it is not necessary to submit the adaptation rights agreements to the Festival. Neither the Festival nor its jurists investigate or attests to the authenticity of a filmmaker(s)/applicant(s) statement of authorship or rights secured.

2. By submitting a film to the TFF, the submitting party acknowledges the requirements specified in this section and agrees to the following:

Filmmaker(s)/applicant(s) are solely responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions for third-party materials included in their films, including but not limited to music, trademarks, logos, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights; and filmmaker(s)/applicant(s) submitting their works to the Festival hereby agree to be legally and financially responsible for any and all civil, legal, and criminal liability related to all materials, information works, and films submitted to the Festival that may exist in the present and/or in the future.

3. By submitting a film to the TFF, the submitting party agrees to and accepts the following:

TFF and its organizers of the Festival, their associates, representatives, and affiliates are not directly or indirectly responsible for matters relating to copyright and other intellectual property rights to any portion of the submitted contents and materials of the submitted films; and TFF is not responsible for ensuring that the submitting party has obtained licensing rights or other required clearances for any submitted materials, and will not be held liable for the inclusion of unlicensed or unauthorized trademarked or copyrighted materials held within the film.

Selected Films and Winners – Selection and Notification

1. TFF will use the contact information from the Submitter Information section of your FilmFreeway Project page to contact you regarding the status of your submission, including whether or not you are selected to screen at the Festival. Selected films are considered “Official Selections.”

2. If your film is selected, TFF will send an email notification via FilmFreeway. Please ensure your email contact information in your FilmFreeway account is accurate and up to date. TFF will not be held responsible for any incorrect or outdated contact information included with your submission. Please add the tallahasseefilmfestival.com and filmfreeway.com domains to the “safe senders” list within your email.

3. Upon sending the email notification of your film’s selection, TFF will proceed with downloading any assets you have made available via FilmFreeway, to build and market the film program.

4. TFF highlights each unique film programmed individually on its website and in associated materials. Therefore, please make film stills, posters, video clips or trailers, and any other publicity materials available for a selected film.

5. If you do not make any film stills available to download, TFF will capture a still from your film to use for informational purposes on its website or associated materials. If at any time you want TFF to use a different film still (or other publicity asset), please contact TFFPrintTraffic@gmail.com.

6. Filmmaker(s)/applicant(s) will be notified by approximately August 1, 2023, if their film has been selected to screen at the Tallahassee Film Festival.

7. Upon selection, exhibition copies and additional press materials will be requested in addition to any that may already be available via FilmFreeway.

8. Award recipients will be announced on September 3, 2023, at the Festival, and filmmakers not present in person will be notified thereafter via email. The judges’ decisions are final.

9. TFF has no obligation (other than as stated in these rules or on the TFF website) to disclose any of the following information: i) identities of screeners or judges; ii) notes, feedback, or information relating to the submitted project; and/or iii) details regarding the submission review or selection process.

10. TFF explicitly disclaims any liability or responsibility for any comments, notes, or opinions expressed about a submission, whether by TFF or by its volunteers.

11. Upon notification of selection, if you no longer want to exhibit your film with TFF and/or share information about your film on the TFF website or social media, contact programming@tallahasseefilmfestival.com.

12. TFF primarily screens films as digital files during the Festival. In some cases, other exhibition formats may be acceptable or needed. If your film is selected, TFF will confer with you on the exhibition formats available at the venue where the film will be screening.

13. Films that are selected to screen at the Festival may not necessarily be selected to be in competition for awards. Notifications regarding potential selection for competition status may occur subsequent to notifications of selection for exhibition.

14. Films invited to exhibit at the Festival may be screened out of competition. TFF reserves the right to select whether films screen in or out of competition.

15. TFF reserves the right to change the entry category or otherwise assign a category to fit programming needs and interests.

16. Films selected for the 2023 Festival year will be shown in person at physical venue locations around Tallahassee. More information will be provided about screening upon selection notification.

17. TFF will not pay screening fees for Official Selections.

17a. TFF does not have a travel budget for Official Selections and does not provide a travel stipend, lodging or airfare. 

Force Majeure

1. Tallahassee Film Festival reserves the right to cancel the 2023 Festival in the event of unforeseen circumstances (e.g., global pandemic; natural disaster). Every effort to provide notification via email to submitters will be made but cannot be guaranteed in all instances. No submission fee refunds will be provided in the event of such a cancellation.


1. All information contained in this document is subject to change and can be superseded at any time in TFF’s sole discretion.


I/We have read all the rules, understand, and have complied with these rules.

I/We warrant the submission of my/our original work and that there are no disputes regarding the ownership of the submission.

I/We warrant that I/we am/are authorized to commit the film for screening during festival September 2-3, 2023.

I/We warrant that the submitted material does not defame or invade the rights of any person living or dead.

I/We agree the Tallahassee Film Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize film stills, posters, video clips or trailers, and any other publicity materials from any film submitted and selected for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

To the best of my/our knowledge, all the statements herein are true and correct.

I/We understand that failure to adhere to the competition rules and regulations will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee.