Call for Entries for the 59th Ann Arbor Film Festival Now Open

ANN ARBOR — The Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF) is happy to announce their call for entries for the upcoming 59th AAFF. Submissions opened on July 1 and run through September 30, 2021. The 59th AAFF is set to take place from March 23 to March 28, 2021, and is open to experimental films as well as films that demonstrate a high regard for the moving image as an art form, no matter the genre.

Deadlines and fees:

FEATURE FILMS (60 min and longer)

Early-bird deadline (July 1-July 31, 2020) – $40  USD

Regular deadline (August 1-August 31, 2020) – $55  USD

Late deadline (September 1-September 30, 2020) – $70  USD

SHORT FILMS (59 min and shorter)

Early-bird deadline (July 1-July 31, 2020) – $30  USD

Regular deadline (August 1-August 31, 2020) – $45  USD

Late deadline (September 1-September 30, 2020) – $60  USD

To enter, filmmakers may submit through FilmFreeway and Infoready.

This year, the AAFF is offering a $20 submission fee discount for BIPOC filmmakers, the same discount that is offered to their alumni filmmakers, to welcome more diverse voices to the festival. Reach out to and they will send you the discount code. Filmmakers will be notified if they have been accepted into the festival on February 1, 2021. For more information regarding eligibility, festival awards, and accepted formats for submissions please visit our website here. 

AAFF serves as an Academy Award®-qualifying festival in the United States for the Short Films category, offers over $20k in cash awards, and opportunities to participate in the Festival’s Touring programs. 

Each year, the festival prides itself on its effort to push the artistic and technical boundaries of film. Showcasing both experimental short and feature films, and avant-garde new media work. Leslie Raymond, Festival Director, is excited for another year of pushing the boundaries.

“Every year we get so much incredible work by a broad array of makers from all over the world. I’m excited to see how the artists may choose to react to the current state of our world from the pandemic to Black Lives Matter. Responses could range from looking at the issues head-on to offering alternative visions, to not addressing them at all, which is a statement within itself. That range of response and possibility is exciting, from dealing directly with real-world issues to creating a place entirely outside of reality,” Raymond said.

Due to the uncertainty of large in-person gatherings in the coming months, AAFF reserves the right to change programming in the event the festival is moved to an online platform. Submitting your film does not guarantee festival acceptance. Acceptance into the festival does not guarantee an award. Submission fees are nonrefundable.


About the Ann Arbor Film Festival

Founded in 1963, the Ann Arbor Film Festival is the oldest independent and experimental film festival in North America and is internationally recognized as a premier forum for film as an art form. The AAFF typically receives nearly 3,000 film submissions a year from more than 70 countries, and the festival serves as one of a handful of Academy Award–qualifying festivals in the United States. The AAFF is also a pioneer of the traveling film festival tour. Each year the touring programs visit more than 35 theaters, universities, museums, and micro cinemas around the world. The 59th Ann Arbor Film Festival takes place March 23-28, 2021. For more information, please visit, and be sure to join AAFF on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Vimeo.

Major AAFF Partners and Foundation Support
AAFF gratefully acknowledges support from and partnerships with the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, which encourages, initiates, and facilitates an enriched artistic cultural and creative environment in Michigan; the Michigan Film and Digital Media Office, which supports the media industry in Michigan and helps the state of Michigan become a production destination; the historic Michigan Theater, a vital partner whose beautiful venue serves as the primary location for AAFF events; the National Endowment for the Arts, an independent federal agency that funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation; and the University of Michigan Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design, with a mission focused on creative practice as an engine for cultural change and innovation.