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We love film. So, we support them with resources that go beyond viewing space and applause.

With the Paso Del Norte Community Foundation acting as our fiscal partner, the El Paso Film Festival and its sponsors award up to $6,000 in cash prizes to independent filmmakers. We’re proud to be one of only 30 independent film festivals in the country to award the best films with cash prizes.

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Awards & Prizes

Reel South Short Award

$1000

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.

Producer's Award

$500

The Producer's Award is given by Carlos Corral, Artistic Director of EPFF and Producer at MindWarp Films. The Producer is tasked with making sure the film production has all of the necessary resources, cast, and crew in order to achieve the Director's vision. 

Director's Award

$500

Charles Horak, one of the EPFF Advisory Board Members, honors the filmmaker who has exemplified exceptional talent, storytelling, and perseverance in bringing their film to light. Being a filmmaker requires having a vision that challenges the imagination of the audience and also requires a lot of endurance when telling an engaging story.

Grand Jury Award

$1000

The Grand Jury Prize is awarded by the EPFF Jury and 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.

Best Feature Film (Narrative)

$500

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.

Best Short Film (Narrative)

$250

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.

Best Feature Film (Documentary)

$500

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.

Best Short Film (Documentary)

$250

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 Filmmaker Awards

$750

The El Paso Filmmakers Organization will present this award to an El Paso filmmaker who has illustrated remarkable capability, expertise, and hard work in telling a creative story.

Femme Frontera Award

$500

Angie Reza Tures, executive director of the Femme Frontera showcase, will present this award to a woman filmmaker that demonstrates outstanding talent and hard work in telling a unique story that connects on a personal level with the audience.

Audience Award

$500

The El Paso Film Festival recognizes the power of the audience. The audience casts their vote 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.

Rules and Terms

ELIGIBILITY

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, 2018 to be eligible for submission.

Films must be available for screening during the El Paso Film Festival, October of 2021.

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.

ORIGINALITY & PERMISSIONS

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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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.

JUDGING

COMPETITION IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. 

SELECTED FILMS AND WINNERS

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.

RETURNS & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

Press materials will not be returned under any circumstances.

COMPETITION CERTIFICATION

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.