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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 Jewish Film Festival, UNC Charlotte, The Light Factory, Gay Charlotte Film Festival, and the Charlotte Public 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 annual Charlotte Film festival will be held late September, 2015. Submissions will be open at the end of  2014.

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. Last year we screened 69 films in five categories: Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Narrative Short, Documentary Short, and Student Film.

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 Charlotte Film Festival accepts entries via DVD/Bluray or the online submission form via Filmfreeway.com.

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 – Jan. 31, 2015 Regular Fee WAB Discounted
Narrative & Documentary Features $40 $35
Narrative, Animated & Documentary Shorts $25 $20
Student Films $25 $20
Regular Deadline – April 30, 2015 Regular Fee WAB Discounted
Narrative & Documentary Features $45 $40
Narrative, Animated & Documentary Shorts $30 $25
Student Films $30 $25
Late Deadline – June 30, 2015 Regular Fee WAB Discounted
Narrative & Documentary Features $50 $45
Narrative, Animated & Documentary Shorts $35 $30
Student Films $35 $30
Extended Deadline – July 31, 2011 Regular Fee WAB Discounted
Narrative & Documentary Features $75 $60
Narrative, Animated & Documentary Shorts $60 $45
Animated Films $60 $45

Entry Rules

1. Submission starts and deadline dates: Open on November 1st Regular deadline is April 30, 2015. Late deadline is June 30, 2015. 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. 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 thru 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. 8. Eligible works must have been completed after January 2014 (Jan 2015 for Student Films) 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 on the videotape or DVD. The final cut must be RECEIVED by April 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. 12. IF SUBMITTING DVD or BLU RAY COPIES, YOU MUST SUBMIT 2 DVD COPIES OF EACH 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 must be received by August 30, 2015 for inclusion in the festival. , 2014. Early deadline for entries is Jan 31, 2015.

Our Awards

The Charlotte Film Festival presents 15 awards (10 juried and 5 audience choice. The are:

  • Best Narrative Feature
  •  Best Documentary Feature
  • Best Narrative Short
  • Best Documentary Short
  • Best Student Film
  • Best Animated Short
  • Best Actor Award – in a short OR feature-length fictional film
  • Best Cinematography – in a fictional film
  • Best Cinematography – in a documentary film
  • Best Music – in any category
  • Audience Choice Award Best Narrative Feature
  • Audience Choice Award Best Documentary
  • Audience Choice Award Best Short Film
  • Audience Choice Award Best Animated Film
  • Audience Choice Award Best Student 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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Let’s Be Social

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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



Creative Director

Linnea Beyer



Finance Director

Rich Kennedy