Well, it's the glorious time of the year when we are open for submissions. We're super excited for the 22nd Annual Phoenix Film Festival and we want you to be too. During our 11 day festival, we have the pleasure of entertaining 28,000 people with awesome films from so many great filmmakers.

Our festival happens each year in the spring in the very northeast corner of Phoenix on the border of Scottsdale. We have a fancy theatre, responsive audiences and plenty of cool kids on our staff to make this the greatest experience of your life. Or at the least, pretty damn good.

We hope you consider submitting and trusting us with your film. Keep on reading if you want to hear us brag about ourselves, our marketing people insist we do. We also have some quotes from our great filmmakers. And now onto the superlatives.....

The Phoenix Film Festival has been named one of The 25 Coolest Film Festivals and a Top 50 Worth the Entry Fee by MovieMaker Magazine and has been called the most filmmaker-friendly festival out there. The Phoenix Film Festival is a program of the 501c(3) non-profit Phoenix Film Foundation, started in 2000, and it has quickly become Arizona's Largest Film Festival.

The Phoenix Film Festival annually holds over 300 screenings, holds amazing parties and provides filmmaking seminars to capacity audiences of over 28,000. The Festival takes place all in one convenient location and is held on 7 screens at the state of the art gorgeous Harkins Scottsdale/101. All parties and workshops are held in the Party Pavilion just outside the theatre. Which means everything you need is right on site.

Don't just take it from us, here are just a few comments we received from our past filmmakers......

“This festival is second-to-none! The thoughtfulness and consideration put into it for building community among filmmakers is astounding. We felt loved, supported, encouraged, inspired, and valued to a degree that few festivals are able to deliver. We didn't want to leave and we can't wait to go back."
Hudson Phillips, Writer, “This World Alone”

“Best. Festival. Ever. Our film went to a lot of festivals all over the world, we won Academy-qualifiers and opened a couple of very prestigious fests, but Phoenix wiped the floor with most of them in terms of their top festival staff, top volunteers, top cinemas and top filmmakers attending. Awesome event.."
Ivo Marloh, Director, "All the Wild Horses"

"I had an amazing time at your festival. Your team is impressive, the communication outstanding, and the entire experience was terrific. The filmmakers were fantastic, the volunteers, the venue, the love. Clearly PFF puts filmmakers first – and that came through in every aspect of my time in Phoenix. I’m so impressed with the amazing festival you’ve built, and thankful to have been part of it. I look forward to coming back again."
Mark Maxey, Director, "Up to Snuff"

The Phoenix Film Festival is a program on the Phoenix Film Foundation. The Foundation is a 501c3 Non-profit Organization whose mission is to support and develop the artistic appreciation, educational opportunities and growth of independent film within and outside of Arizona.

Copper Wing Awards

Categories vary. May include (subject to change): Best Picture, Audience Award, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Acting, Best AZ Filmmaker, Best Short Film, Best Student Film, Best Documentary, etc.

Phoenix Film Festival Short Screenplay Search winner will receive $250 and a cool prize pack for the top 3 screenplays.

Please review the following carefully. By submitting, you indicate that you have read, understood, and. to the best of your knowledge, complied with all eligibility requirements of the Festival and of the categories for which you would like this film to be considered.

1. You submission must be accompanied by a submission fee paid in full and a working screener in order to be considered. Festival staff will do their best to follow up with filmmakers who are missing required submission elements, however, the responsibility for a fully completed submission falls to the submitter.
2. Any submissions that are incomplete by our final deadline will be disqualified without refund of submission fees. Reasons a submission will be considered incomplete include (but are not limited to) the following:
a. Missing Screener
b. Missing/incorrect screener password
c. Screener is missing subtitles (if in a foreign language)
d. Screener has major issues with audio, image, or any feature that prevents our screening committee from properly judging it.

All deadlines are set for 11:59pm local Phoenix time (please remember Arizona does NOT observe Daylight Savings Time and the time difference will change with DST).

1. Short films may not be publicly available online or screen in the Phoenix Metro area from January 1 to April 30, 2022 if selected.
2. Feature films must have a Phoenix Metro area premiere.
a. The Phoenix Metro Area includes the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert, Maricopa, Glendale, Peoria, Surprise, Cave Creek, Carefree, Anthem, Goodyear, Sun City, Avondale, Tolleson, Buckeye, Ahwatukee, Sun Lakes, Apache Junction, Laveen, Fountain Hills, Litchfield Park, Paradise Valley and Queen Creek.
b. It is the submitter’s responsibility to notify the Phoenix Film Festival of any updates in premiere status as they occur, especially if the film is selected for another festival in Arizona.
c. This does not include the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival which runs concurrent with the Phoenix Film Festival.
3. Any change in premiere status must be brought to the Festival’s attention as soon as possible.
4. If a film violates the premiere requirements at any time in the process, the film will be disqualified without refund of submission fees.

Please review all submission categories carefully before submitting your project.
1. All entrants are required to pay the submission fee of their film’s appropriate category.
2. Category Changes: If you believe you have submitted your film to the wrong category, contact us immediately. Submitter is responsible for any additional fees. The Phoenix Film Festival is not able to reimburse submitter for lower category fees.
3. If they qualify, films may submit to more than one category. A separate submission fee must be paid for each category.
4. Films will only be considered in the category in which they are submitted.
5. The Phoenix Film Festival reserves the right to determine eligibility of a submission in each category. Refunds will not be offered for submission to an inappropriate category.

1. Films outside of the United States of America are considered “World Cinema Films”. This includes films from Canada and Mexico.
2. World Cinema Films can be in any language.
3. All foreign-language films in any category must be submitted with English subtitles. If a film is in a foreign language and does not have subtitles, the Phoenix Film Festival will do its best to contact the filmmaker for a subtitled version. However, if the submission does not have working subtitles by the final submission deadline, the project will be disqualified without refund of submission fees.

The Phoenix Film Festival encourages the production of film within Arizona and is dedicated to ensuring the future of Arizona filmmakers. Both of the following are requirements for the Arizona Feature and Arizona short film categories:
1. Over 50% of film was made in Arizona.
2. Director or over 50% of crew currently resides in Arizona.

The Phoenix Film Festival accepts works in progress, however the fact that it is a work in progress must be noted in the submission. Any missing elements (color correction, shots, music, effects) should be clearly indicated (ex: no color-correction, shot missing at 47:02, temporary score, missing VFX,) both in your cover letter and the film cut itself (ideally as a title card at the start of the film).
1. Any updated cuts must be uploaded to your original FilmFreeway submission with same submission link and password.
2. The Phoenix Film Festival is only responsible for considering the project as it exists at the time of review. While we will try, we are under no obligation to revisit updated cuts once a screener has been completely judged. Therefore, you should not submit your project if it is not complete enough to adequately represent the final product.
3. No updated cuts will be accepted after the final submission deadline: December, 2021.
4. The final version of the film must be available by February 19, 2022.

1. The Phoenix Film Festival DOES NOT PAY SCREENING FEES for submitted films. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that the Festival will not pay to present your work.
2. Films are screened on DCP and must be delivered in format requested by deadline set at time of acceptance.
3. All Festival scheduling is purely at the discretion of the Phoenix Film Festival staff.
4. If selected as a participant in the Festival, if requested, television ready media clips of the film must be provided by the date indicated on notice of selection.

Accepted films may be considered for the Phoenix Film Festival’s Copper Wing Award. By submitting you agree that:
1. Should this film win a Copper Wing Award (“Award”) at the Phoenix Film Festival, you are authorized and/or empowered by all parties legally representing this film to name the individual(s) listed on the Copper Wing Award Designation List (to be received upon notice of selection to Festival) to receive any and all award(s).
2. In the event the designated party is unable to attend the awards ceremony, you understand that the director and/or producer of the film as listed in the credits of the film shall accept any and all awards in their stead.
3. In the event that filmmakers are not able to receive award in person, the Festival will do its best to send award to recipient, however,

The Phoenix Film Festival reserves the right to disqualify any submission without refund, even after a film has been invited or final programming has been announced, at the sole discretion of Phoenix Film Festival staff.
Once a project is listed “In Consideration” on FilmFreeway, we are unable to offer refunds for any reason, including (but not limited to):
1. Submission to the wrong category
2. Change in premiere status or distribution
3. Acceptance to other festivals within the metro-Phoenix area or festivals that breach the Phoenix Film Festival premiere requirements
4. Duplicate submissions
5. Failure to pay the full submission fee by the final deadline
6. Failure to provide a working screener by the final deadline
7. Project’s failure to comply with submission Rules & Terms
8. Improper use of a discount code or waiver
9. Rejection from the festival
10. Withdrawing your submission for any reason (including changes of heart)

1. You have read and agree to the rules and regulations above.
2. This film is not subject to litigation nor is threatened by any litigation.
3. You are duly authorized to submit this film to the Festival and its Competition and understand that the Festival holds the right to screen my film for Festival screening and promotional purposes and to extract clips from this film for promotional purposes. You understand this may include online streaming of clips on Festival or Festival sponsor sites.
4. You understand that the Phoenix Film Festival ("Festival") and the Phoenix Film Foundation (“Foundation”) are not responsible for any type of damage to or loss of the print during screenings, at any other time during the course of the Festival, while the film is in the Festival’s possession or while en route to or from the Festival, and you release The Phoenix Film Festival ("Festival") and the Phoenix Film Foundation from any and all liabilities regarding damage to or loss of the print while en route to/from the Festival or while it is in their possession.
5. This film will not be available online publicly until the completion of the 2022 Phoenix Film Festival.

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please email us at submissions@phxfilm.com.

Overall Rating
  • Denny Klein

    This was my first in person festival due to Covid-19. Simply put, it was fantastic! My highest accolades to the staff for making this such a memorable event. We were treated like gold. Tremendous interaction with the filmmakers and wonderful camaraderie. I would highly recommend to anyone, filmmakers and patrons alike. Just a wonderful event and thanks so much for making me feel at home.

    September 2021
    Response from festival:

    You're too kind sir. I can't thank you enough for being part of the festival. Getting to spend time with you at the festival is one of the highlights of 2021. I appreciate your encouragement and support. JC

  • Germano Kuerten

    Phoenix Film Festival was superb. Exceptional staff, state of the art Theaters, and the festival had an incredible program. Thank you for hosting our short film Família.

    September 2021
    Response from festival:

    Appreciate the kind words. I can't compliment you enough on your graciousness in accepting the invite to the festival. I look forward to your next film. JC


    One of the best festivals out there. The staff, founder, and festival directors go above and beyond to take care of filmmakers. Where they showcase our films, is simply amazing! It's a whole new feeling watching your film on a huge IMAX size screen, where the plush seats recline like a home theater chair. The venue is beautiful and clean at Harkin's and the festival had an amazing competitive lineup of really good films. The festival really fosters and promotes independent filmmaking, and promotes networking. In my opinion, it's one of the top festivals in the country. Thank you to the staff, volunteers, and everyone involved in making our experience so incredible.

    September 2021
    Response from festival:

    Ron Ray, I love these kind words. This is the kind of thing I love to read when I'm having a bad day. It makes it all worth it. Thank you for being part of 2021. This was my favorite festival. I could not have asked for a better class of filmmakers and you were a huge part of that. JC

  • Sesselía Ólafs

    Sadly I could not make it to the festival because of the Covid situation, but all the communication was fantastic and I am proud that my film was a part of their program.

    September 2021
    Response from festival:

    Hopefully next time you can make it. Thank you so much for letting us screen your film. JC

  • We should be so lucky if every festival out there was as good at communicating as PIFF. I knew about my screening dates months ahead of time and could make travel plans accordingly which really eased the stress. Very accommodating. Everyone was very very nice, and it was one of the best programs I've seen at a festival. I also got to sit on a panel which is always a special joy for me, so thank you all so much for the opportunity and your lovely hospitality!

    August 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for this kind review, Chen. We're lucky to get to do what we do so this kind of feedback means the world. Thanks. JC