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The Charlotte Film Festival provides a cultural hub for established and emerging film-artists to showcase their works to the region’s top producers, peers, investors and viewers. Over the years, the Festival has continued to grow, attracting filmmakers locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally as well as festival-goers and enthusiasts from Charlotte, North Carolina, and nearby states.

Charlotte Cinema Arts

The Charlotte Film Festival is coordinated by Charlotte Cinema Arts, a 501© 3 non-profit organization with a mission to promote cinematic works of all kinds in and around the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area

Movies, by the Numbers

We typically receive over 250 entries per festival and from that screen about 60 films in 7 days

What We Show

Our categories range from feature length documentaries and narratives to shorts and student films, with horror, comedy, dramady, mockumentary, melodrama, and everything else in between; we just push ourselves to discover different every year


In 2005 Louis Gurgitano developed his nonprofit, Indie Film Force, to cultivate film happenings in Charlotte, NC. The next year, the Charlotte Film Festival took place under his organization and leadership. Since then, the Festival has grown and changed, but what has remained true is our dedication to both filmmakers and audiences to provide the highest quality festival experience in Charlotte, NC.

Oh, the places we've screened!

The Festival has screened at venues all over Charlotte, including the Levine Museum of the New South, the Mint Museum, the Epi Center Theaters, Park Road theaters, Ballantyne theaters, and more.

We Get By with a Little Help From Our Friends

The Charlotte Film Festival has also partnered with a myriad of local businesses, organizations, and nonprofits (including but not limited to): the Arts and Science Council, Charlotte Film Society, Charlotte Jewish Film Festival, UNC Charlotte, The Light Factory, Gay Charlotte Film Festival, and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library


The Charlotte Film Festival has also served as a cultural connection to our sister city in Germany: Mecklenburg, having officially participated in several Mecklenburg Exchange


Festivals (so far)


Films Screened


Satisfied Movie Lovers per Festival


Pints of Blood, Sweat, and Tears


Submit Your Film

The 7th Charlotte Film Festival will take place in late September 2015.


The Charlotte Film Festival is committed to rewarding independent movie makers everywhere whom, despite their challenges and restrictions, are able to produce movies rich with stories that not only entertain but also touch us on a deeply human level. Our last year we screened 69 films in five categories: Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Narrative Short, Documentary Short, and Student Film.


Submissions for the 2015 Festival will open January 1, 2015 exclusively through FilmFreeway.  


Our Criteria

Our criteria for selecting films for competition is as follows:

Documentaries (features and shorts):

  1. Representation of original ideas
  2. Importance and relevance of the subject matter
  3. Objective treatment of the subject matter
  4. Creative use of the medium as an art

Narrative-style films (including animations, features and shorts):

  1. Representation of original ideas
  2. Creative use of the medium as an art
  3. Strength of the story and acting
  4. Innovative use of the available technology

How to Enter

The 2015 Charlotte Film Festival is excepting submissions exclusively through FilmFreeway.


Entry Deadlines and Fees

NOTE: All deadlines are “Received By” deadlines. They indicate the dates that films must be DELIVERED BY, either at our post office box or at our office address. No exceptions. No deadline waivers. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Early bird Deadline – Feb. 28, 2015 Regular Fee Filmmakers living in NC/SC
Narrative & Documentary Features $40  $30
Narrative, Animated & Documentary Shorts $30  $20
Regular Deadline – April 30, 2015 Regular Fees Filmmakers living in NC/SC
Narrative & Documentary Features $50  $40
Narrative, Animated & Documentary Shorts $40  $30
Late Deadline – June 30, 2015 Regular Fees Filmmakers living in NC/SC
Narrative & Documentary Features $60 $50
Narrative, Animated & Documentary Shorts $50 $40
Extended Deadline – July 31, 2011 Regular Fee Filmmakers living in NC/SC
Narrative & Documentary Features $75  $65
Narrative, Animated & Documentary Shorts $65  $55
Animated Films $60  

 No admissions accepted after July 31st.

Entry Rules


1. Submission starts and deadline dates: Open on January 1st, 2015. Early deadline for entries is

February 28, 2015. Regular deadline is April 30, 2015. Late deadline is June 30, 2015. The

extended deadline is July 31, 2015.

2. All deadlines are RECEIVED-BY deadlines. They indicate the dates that films must be

DELIVERED BY or UPLOADED either online, at our post office box or at our office address.

3. Entry fees are non-refundable.

4. Any Preview DVD/Blu Ray copies must be submitted on NTSC DVD (Region 0, Region 1).

However, please note that all categories accept secure online screeners through the FilmFreeway

online submission website.

5. Exhibition copies format varies according to the category of the selected film. See specific

categories for details.

6. A completed entry form and appropriate fee (payable to Charlotte Cinema Arts in U.S. dollars

only) must accompany your entry.

7. Neither preview nor exhibition copies of entries will be returned, unless accompanied by a self-

addressed stamped envelope. North Carolina and South Carolina filmmakers will receive a discount

on their submission fee – please contact the Programming Director for details.

8. Eligible works must have been completed after July 2014 and must not have been publicly

screened in the Charlotte, North Carolina area prior to the 2015 festival dates.

9. Accepted running times are as follows:

NARRATIVE and DOCUMENTARY FEATURES: 50 minutes or longer

NARRATIVE and DOCUMENTARY SHORTS: 49 minutes or shorter

10. Works in Progress are accepted only if submitted by the regular deadline. ‘Work in Progress’ or

‘Rough Cut’ must be clearly marked. The final cut must be RECEIVED by June 30, 2015. Entry fees

will not be refunded for entries that fail to submit a final cut by the required date.

11.Projects in a foreign language must have English subtitles prior to submission.


FILM ENTERED FOR CONSIDERATION. We will not replace your original entry with an upgraded

version after the deadline, unless your film is selected for exhibition.

13. All exhibition copies for accepted films must be received by September 4th, 2015 for inclusion in

the festival.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Please read carefully the following terms and conditions in connection

with your submitted entry materials to the Charlotte Film Festival. Submission of your film (either

online or in hard copy format) acknowledges acceptance of the General Rules and Terms and

Conditions of the Charlotte Film Festival:

1. I/We attest that I/we have read and understand and complied with the General Rules of the

Festival, that I/we am/are the sole owner(s) of legal right and title thereto have absolute authority to

submit the Material to the Festival.

2. I/we understand that by submitting said Material, I/we authorize the Festival to exhibit the Material

during the 2015 Festival dates, if the Material is selected for exhibition by the Festival.

3. I/we will indemnify and hold harmless the Festival, its organizers, judges, sponsors, and partners,

individually and collectively, from and against all claims, demands, losses, damages, costs, liabilities

and expenses including legal expenses arising out of or in connection with any and all claims, or

third party claims based on Material submitted to the Festival.

4. I/we understand that the Festival is not responsible for any type of damage to or loss of the

Material while it is in the Festival’s possession, or while en route to or from the Festival, and I/we

release the Festival, its organizers, judges, sponsors, and partners, individually and collectively, from

any and all liabilities regarding damage to or loss of the Material while en route to or from the

Festival or while in its possession.

5. I/We agree that any dispute arising between me/us and the Festival shall be subject to binding

arbitration pursuant to the then effective Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration

Association. The arbitrator shall have the authority to award all appropriate relief, including equitable

or injunctive relief; provided, however, that the arbitrator is not authorized to award punitive

damages. The award issued by any such arbitrator may be entered and confirmed as a judgment in

any court of competent jurisdiction. The state with jurisdiction over any disputes relating to this

agreement is North Carolina, and the sole location for proper venue is Charlotte, North Carolina.

6. Selection into the 2015 Charlotte Film Festival will permit the Festival to use their name, and/or

likeness & publicity stills, film or video footage, title, and logline of Material, in pre & post-competition

publicity & promotional efforts. This may include additional post festival screenings and events.

7. The Festival may, at its own discretion, transfer the submitted Material to a compilation DVD for

Festival screening and the resulting DVD may be used for Festival promotional purposes. However,

said compilations are not sold or distributed by the Festival.

8. Should Material win one or more awards “Award(s)” at the Festival, I/we am/are authorized and/or

empowered by all parties legally representing Material to name the individual(s) listed on the Award

Designation List to receive any and all Award(s). If Material is eligible for Award(s) and no one was

designated to accept it/them, the Award will be deemed forfeit and another award winner will be


Our Awards

JURIED “In Competition” Awards

Best Narrative Feature                  $300

Best Documentary Feature           $300

Best Short Film                               $200



Best Narrative Feature

Best Documentary Feature

Best Short Film


Become a Sponsor

Sponsorship at the Charlotte Film Festival is a powerful marketing tool with innovative and unique packages custom-designed to support your company’s business objectives and to align your company’s name, image, products, and services with our influential and highly receptive participants. Each sponsor is afforded the opportunity to personalize a key element of the Festival, or as a lead sponsor, to enjoy festival-wide exposure, and to interact directly with festival attendees and filmmakers.

Learn More

Featured Sponsor

Grier Furr and Crisp
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For General Inquiries: info@charlottefilmfestival.org


Festival Director

Jennifer Bratyanski



Programming Director

Jay Morong



Development Director

Hope Branch



Operations Director

Angel Truesdale



Communications Director

Brandon Falls



Finance Director

Rich Kennedy