Submit Your Film

We found your audience … Now, all we need is your film!


Film Selection

How It works

The Rochester International Film Festival selection process is twofold. In Preliminary Judging, your entry is viewed start-to-finish by our screening committee members. They discuss the film’s merits and vote on whether to move it along for Final Judging. Every single film entry receives a critique letter that sums up our findings. Later, in Final Judging, we review the top entries and select those destined for the fest. Films which make it into the festival receive our distinctive Shoestring Trophy.


Filmmakers who are selected into and choose to attend our award-winning short film festival enjoy these complimentary perks:


Presentation and tour at Kodak Park


Tour of Rochester Institute of Technology's MAGIC Spell Studios


Extensive networking opportunities with filmmakers from around the globe


Homestays with local film lovers, or help arranging other accommodations


Local transportation


Meals, parties, etc.


Please read our “Submission Guidelines” (below), fill in your entry form and mail it with payment plus a digital download link or Region 1 or Region Free DVD copy of your film to:

MOAS | P.O. Box 17746 | Rochester, NY 14617 | U.S.A.

We accept U.S. checks, Int’l. Money Orders & PayPal

Or … Submit on FilmFreeway

You can also submit your film on FilmFreeway using the link below:


Submission Guidelines

How It works

We welcome short films and videos of nearly ANY genre. Yet, like any festival worth its weight in golden shoestrings, your entry in the Rochester International Film Festival must meet EACH of these criteria.

Critical Dates:

  • Applications open September 1, 2023
  • A $35 Early Bird entry fee applies to any film received from September 1 to December 29, 2023.
  • A $60 Standard entry fee applies from December 30, 2023 to February 29, 2024.
  • FINAL DEADLINE: Preliminary Judging entries must be postmarked by February 29, 2024.
  • Final Judging early March 2024.
  • Official festival screening copies must be received by April 15.
  • Production April to May 2024.
  • It pays to be an “Early Bird” — early entrants save 40%.
  • Festival Dates: June 6-8, 2024.

Critical Details:

  • Maximum film length is 30 min. (30:00).
  • Entries must be self-contained, standalone works.
  • Provide physical copy or downloadable file link for high quality preliminary viewing.
  • A separate entry fee is required for EACH film you submit.
  • You can enter multiple films, but with only (1) entry per flashdrive.
  • For best results, pay your entry fee using PayPal via the link above.
  • Entries must be mailed via U.S. Postal Service (not UPS, FedEx, DHL)

NOT ACCEPTED: Episodes of a series, music videos, video components and/or other fragmented works.


Your film made the fest? Hooray! Now what?


If your film made it through Final Judging and was selected for screening, congrats! Now we need a high-quality presentation copy. These tips and specifications ensure that your work will shine brightly on the screen, delight movie goers and perhaps land you a spot among audience picks for our “Best of the Fest” traveling library!

Specs & Tips for successful presentation:

  • Presentation copies must be received by April 15.
  • Submit your presentation copy as a QuickTime (.mov) file.
  • Acceptable film formats are 16mm and 35mm. Specify aspect ratio.
  • DVDs/digital videos are unreliable and therefore NOT accepted.
  • We suggest H.264 (“Best” quality), ProRes 422 HQ or 422 variants.
  • ProRes 444 codec is NOT supported for the purpose of our festival.
  • Videos MUST begin with 00:07 of black silence for film transitions.
  • NO color bars, countdowns/related effects in presentation copies.
  • Submit a single, self-contained video file on “Acceptable Media.”

Specs for Internationally-Produced Short Films:

International films captured at 25fps may not require re-encoding to 24fps for playback. Those which play well in VLC 2.0.5 do not usually require such re-encoding. Conversely, those which play well in VLC 2.0.5 but are still re-encoded to 24fps often fail. Your video must be submitted as a single, self-contained file on “Acceptable Media.”


If your presentation copy arrives in a format which is unacceptable, we will request an alternate. Without an acceptable first or alternate version, your work cannot/will not be presented. The following are acceptable media types. Comply with these specifications to be sure your work is presentable.

Acceptable media types & tips:

  • Digital File Download Link (>1GB file)
  • Blu-ray Disc
  • USB Flash Drive
  • Data DVD (Single or Dual Layer)
  • External hard drive (w/USB or FireWire connectivity)
  • All drives must be formatted as HFS+ or exFAT file systems.
  • Label hard or flash drives with your name, film name and phone #.

We look forward to viewing your film. Good luck!


While we take great care when handling each of your films: Our festival, its presenting body and its affiliates are NOT responsible for any form of loss or damage to your entry. If you wish to verify receipt of your film, please be sure to enclose with your entry one of the following:

  • A SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope)
  • A Self-addressed stamped postcard
  • Or a confirmation email address

By submitting your film, you grant us permission to copy it as we see fit. That includes making copies for presentation, playback and/or local storage. The Rochester International Film Festival, its presenting body (MOAS) and its affiliates are NOT responsible for file corruption or failure. If failures are identified, we will notify you of the need for a replacement.

Rochester Int’l.

Film Festival

about Us

The Rochester International Film Festival is produced and presented by Movies On A Shoestring, offering (4) distinct screenings each Spring at George Eastman Museum’s famed Dryden Theatre in Upstate NY.


3 Days. Dozens of Films. 1,000s of Film Lovers. See short films of ALL genres from filmmakers worldwide! Join us! All (4) distinct screenings are FREE to attend.