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With the Paso Del Norte Community Foundation acting as our fiscal partner, the El Paso Film Festival and its sponsors award up to $5,000 in cash prizes to independent filmmakers. We’re proud to be one of only 40 independent film festivals in the country to award the best films with cash prizes.
The Grand Jury Prize recognizes the feature film with the most captivating story, values, and community impact. This award highlights the filmmaker and their work as the most commendable of all the films submitted to the festival.
The Special Jury Prize recognizes the feature film with the most heart, amusement, and comedic impact. This award recognizes the filmmaker and their work as the most enjoyable of all the films at the festival.
Built-in partnership with the El Paso Film Festival, the PBS series Reel South will award a $1000 cash prize to a short documentary in exchange for a non-exclusive license agreement and distribution deal. The winning documentary film will deftly showcase a southern story, from the Texas Border to our nation's capital or anywhere in between.
The Producer's Award honors the Producer that works behind the scenes. They are tasked with making sure the film production has all of the necessary resources, cast, and crew in order to achieve the Director's vision, and do so all within budget.
The Director’s Award honors the filmmaker who has exemplified exceptional talent, storytelling, and perseverance in bringing their film to light.
This category is for narrative feature films between 60 and 120 minutes long. This award goes to the most developed story using a believable narrative and characters to convince the audience that the unfolding fiction is real.
This category is for narrative short films that are 40 minutes or less in length. This award goes to the most developed story using a believable narrative and characters to convince the audience that the unfolding fiction is real.
This category is for non-fiction documentary feature films that instruct, educate, or maintain a historical record of a subject and run between 60 and 120 minutes long.
This category is for non-fiction documentary short films that instruct, educate, or maintain a historical record of a subject and run 40 minutes or less in length.
El Paso filmmakers are unique to our region and their work is highlighted on our bi-national stage as the future creative industry of our city. This award is given to the El Paso Filmmaker who has demonstrated remarkable capability, expertise, and hard work in telling a creative story.
We recognize the power of the audience. The audience members cast their votes for their favorite film at the film festival. All votes are anonymous, and only the attending audience members are eligible to vote for the best film of their choice.
Submissions must be accompanied by the applicable submission fee PER ENTRY and a completed online entry form. All films must be in English or have English subtitles at the time submitted.
Films must be submitted as an online streaming video via a participating submission platform (FilmFreeway), a password-protected streaming URL. DVDs & Blu-Rays will NOT be accepted as a form of submission.
If the submission link is found to be inactive or the password to be incorrect, the submission may be deemed ineligible. Please double check your links.
EPFF screens films as digital files for short/feature films and Blu-Ray Discs for feature films only, during the Festival. If you are unable or unwilling to provide us your short film as a digital file or your feature film as a digital file or Blu-Ray disc for exhibition, please DO NOT SUBMIT your film.
Films must have been completed after January 1, 2020 to be eligible for submission.
Films must be available for screening during the El Paso Film Festival, September 28-30, 2023.
Films that have been submitted to EPFF in previous years are eligible to be resubmitted, provided they are eligible according to all of EPFF’s current rules.
If your short film has already had its World Premiere, North American, US Premiere, Texas Premiere, Hometown Screening, Cast & Crew Screening, or Online Premiere, don’t worry, you are still eligible to submit and compete in our film festival.
Feature Film submissions must be at minimum an El Paso Premiere. We do make acceptations for Cast & Crew Screenings and Sneak Peeks.
If your feature film has already had its El Paso Premiere at another film festival, then your feature film may not be eligible to screen in competition.
We award the hard work filmmakers have put into their projects, regardless of where it has already screened. Submit with confidence.
EPFF reserves the right in its sole discretion to reject or disqualify any ineligible entries, without a refund.
Films must be the original work of the applicants.
By entering the competition, you represent that you have secured all necessary rights.
Films that are selected may be used in promotional materials for the El Paso Film Festival and may be selected to be part of the online screening library and streaming television channels for special guests, industry professionals, and audience members.
Applicants 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. EPFF expressly disclaims all liability or responsibility for any violations of the foregoing.
DO NOT SUBMIT WORKS IN PROGRESS! We strongly advise filmmakers to submit their film only after it is fully finished. The film will be judged as a completed work only.
STORY AND SOUND! That’s what we look for in our entries. Make sure your story can be heard. If your short or feature film is submitted with a bad sound mix, it will automatically be disqualified and you will not receive a refund.
Once an entry payment has been received we cannot provide a refund. If a payment is disputed by an entrant for any reason, the entrant may be subject to any transaction fees or similar amounts incurred by EPFF in connection with the dispute.
Online Debit/Credit Payment is the only method we accept for submission fees at this time. Mailed checks will be shredded and destroyed upon receipt.
Please include in your cover letter if your film was SHOT IN EL PASO (include locations) or if you are an EL PASO FILMMAKER. El Paso Filmmakers are eligible for the El Paso Filmmaker Award.
COMPETITION IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
EPFF has no obligation to disclose the identities of screeners or judges. Notes, feedback, or information relating to the submitted project will not be provided, nor will the details regarding the submission review or selection process.
EPFF explicitly disclaims any liability or responsibility for any comments, notes, or opinions expressed about a submission, whether by EPFF or by its volunteers.
Winners will be announced during the film festival. The jury’s decision is final.
Winners receiving cash prizes are solely responsible for payment of all applicable local, state, and federal taxes.
Press materials will not be returned under any circumstances.
I have read all of the rules, understand, and have complied with these rules and warrant the submission of my/our original work and that there are no disputes regarding the ownership of the project submission.
I also warrant that the submitted material does not defame or invade the rights of any person living or dead. To the best of my/our knowledge, all the statements herein are true and correct.
I understand that failure to adhere to the competition rules and regulations will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee. I acknowledge that once an entry payment has been processed, EPFF will not provide a refund.
No revisions of materials will be accepted once entry has been submitted.
BY SUBMITTING THE MATERIAL, I/WE HEREBY AGREES TO INDEMNIFY, HOLD HARMLESS, AND DEFEND THE FESTIVAL, ITS EMPLOYEES, DIRECTORS, REPRESENTATIVES, AND AFFILIATES FROM ALL LIABILITY, CLAIMS, AND DAMAGES IN CONNECTION WITH THE SUBMISSION AND FROM ANY FEES AND EXPENSES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO REASONABLE ATTORNEYS’ FEES, THAT ANY OF THEM MAY INCUR IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.