We are now accepting submissions to
The 2017 Rochester International Film Festival

Our selection process has two stages. Each entry is first viewed in its entirety by MOAS members, who discuss the film and vote whether to keep it for final judging. Every filmmaker receives a critique letter summarizing viewer comments about their entry. When preliminary judging is completed, final judges view all the entries that were kept and make the final festival selections. Each entry chosen for the festival receives our distinctive Shoestring Trophy. We also offer home accommodations and local transportation for filmmakers whose works are screened at the festival.

Conditions of Entry

• Entries must be postmarked no later than February 1, 2017.

• Maximum length of entries is 30 minutes.

• Entries should be submitted on DVD (region 1 or region free) format for preliminary screening.

• $35 Entry fee if postmarked before December 1, 2016.
$50 if received between December 1, 2016 and February 1, 2017.
Entry fee can be paid by PayPal (see link below), or by US check/International money order (payable to Movies on a Shoestring Inc.).

• The festival is open to films and videos of all genres.

• Each entry must stand alone as a self-contained work. Episodes of a series, video components of a multimedia installation, or other fragments of larger works will not be accepted.

• Multiple entries on a single disc are not permitted.

• Each Official festival screening copy must be received 14 days before festival. If indicated format is not provided your entry may not be shown.

• Entries must be sent to us by traditional mail. UPS, FedEx, and other delivery services cannot deliver packages to P.O. Boxes.

• All possible care will be taken in the handling of your film; however, Movies on a Shoestring, Inc. cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to entries.

• For verification that your entry was received, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard or request a confirmation e-mail.

Click Here to download our entry form. Please complete and send with your film submission.


Mail DVD and entry form to
Movies on a Shoestring, Inc,
P.O. Box 17746, Rochester, NY 14617


Entry fee can be paid by US check, International money order (payable to Movies on a Shoestring Inc.) or:

2017 Festival Entry Fee




If your work is chosen for the festival you must provide us a presentation copy of your movie in either a Quicktime file or film:

1)    The Festival Video Format is a QuickTime file.

Your video must be in QuickTime (.mov) format.

The video should be encoded in a VLC supported codec as listed here:

Please choose any one of these codecs that you are most comfortable with. We recommend H.264 using ‘Best’ settings, or ProRes 422 HQ or 422 variant. (ProRes 444 is NOT supported)

If you do not provide your video in an acceptable format we will request you send an alternative version. In the absence of an acceptable format, you work will not be screened. To ensure support, please test your files for playback in VLC 2.0.5.

The video must be provided as a single, self-contained file on any of the following media: Data DVD (Single Layer or Dual Layer), External hard drive (with USB or FireWire connectivity), or an USB Flash Drive. Drives must be formatted as HFS+ or exFat!  Video DVD’s are not accepted due to their known unreliability.

Each video should have seven seconds of black silence before the actual movie to accommodate the transition between films. Do not include color bars or count downs.

All hard drives and flash drives should be labeled with your name and phone number so we can return them to you at the end of the festival.

International films captured at 25fps do not require a re-encoding to 24fps for playback, as long as the film plays in VLC 2.0.5.  If you attempt re-encoding to 24FPS, your film will not play correctly on our equipment.

By providing us with your file you are granting us permission to copy the file to our local storage, and playback of this file for presentation in the festival. We will destroy the file at the conclusion of the festival.

RIFF is not responsible for any corruption or failure of the file provided. If such failure is identified we will notify you of the need for a replacement as soon as possible.

We need your video in our hands at least 14 days before the festival begins.


2)    The Festival Film Formats are 16mm and 35mm.  (Please specify aspect ratio.)
We need your film print in our hands at least 48 hours before the festival begins.

Comments are closed.