Submit to the Festival

Each year the festival scours the globe to present a highly selective slate of the best animation, live action, documentary and experimental film from around the world. We are looking for creative, original, non-formulaic short and feature films that support our mission to create a more dynamic film culture for children and teens. We often program films that were not created with a young audience in mind, but are received passionately and enthusiastically by attendees ages 3-18 nonetheless. We are not shy about showing films with mature themes, subject matter, language or sensibilities.

As an Academy® qualifying festival, winners of the Festival’s juried prizes are eligible for Oscar® consideration in the Best Animated and Best Live Action Short Film categories.

Deadlines and Fees

Short Films (40 min or less)

Early Deadline: September 8, 2016
Student Fee: $25.00

Regular Deadline: October 6, 2016
Student Fee: $25.00

Late Deadline: November 10, 2016
Student Fee: $40.00

Feature Films (40 min or longer)

Early Deadline:October 6, 2016
Student Fee: $50.00

Regular Deadline: November 10, 2016
Student Fee: $50.00

Late Deadline: December 1, 2016
Student Fee: $75.00

How To Submit

Submissions for the 2016 Festival are currently closed. Submissions for 2017 will open in May of 2016. To be alerted when submissions are open, please sign up for our filmmaker email list by clicking here.

We accept submissions in two categories: short films (less than 40 min) and feature films (40 min or longer).

Submissions are accepted through Withoutabox. If you experience any errors or encounter an issue, please contact the programming department at

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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the preferred submission format?

We accept submissions through the Withoutabox platform, they allow for a variety of submission media including direct video files, Vimeo links and DVD/BluRays. Please ensure submission media is valid for entire submission period (May through Jan), we cannot guarantee being able to reconsider any updates or edits to a film that has already been submitted. We cannot return any DVD or BluRay submissions.

If I am mailing a DVD/BluRay screener, will my materials be returned to me?

Submission materials will not be returned. If you are concerned about your materials, we suggest you submit an online screener.

How will I know if my film is selected?

You will be notified if your film proceeds beyond the first initial screening, and again if your film is selected. Due to the large volume of submissions, we are not able to contact each individual filmmaker regarding the status of his or her film. If you have not heard from us by early February when our slate is released, your film was not selected for this year’s Festival.

My film was not selected. Can you provide feedback?

Due to the volume of submissions we receive and limited resources, we are not able to provide feedback on films that were not selected.

Do you accept films made by children?

We accept submissions from filmmakers of all ages. That being said, we generally do not program films made by children, and currently do not have any special programs in the Festival dedicated to films made by kids.

Can I (or my studio/company) submit more than one film?

Yes, please! We want to see your work, and welcome as many submissions as you’d like. If you are planning on submitting more than 5 films, please contact for information on a discounted submission fee.

I am an independent filmmaker with limited financial resources; can I have the submission fee waived?

We love independent filmmakers, and we feel your pain! Unfortunately, as a small-staff non-profit organization, we know that feeling all too well, and are not in the position to waive submission fees. We rely on these funds to ensure that the Festival can continue year after year. We encourage you to submit by the early deadline to take advantage of the discounted fee.