We recognize that submitting to festivals can be a daunting process for filmmakers, so we hope that our FAQ section will provide answers to some common submission questions.

The 2015 Newport Beach Film Festival is open for submissions starting August 1st, 2014

Q: What are dates of the 2015 Newport Beach Film Festival?

A: The 16th annual Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) will take place from April 23rd to April 30th, 2015.

Q: What are your submission deadlines and prices?

August 1: Open for Submissions

Autumn Deadline: September 19 (Short $35/Feature $40/Collegiate $20/Music Video $20/Youth$10) –

Early Bird Deadline: October 24 (Short $40/Feature $45)

Thanksgiving Special: November 21 (Short $50/Feature $60)

Regular Deadline: December 19 (Short $55/Feature $65)

Final Deadline: January 23 (Short $65/Feature $75/Collegiate and Music Video $25)

Extended WAB Deadline: January 31 (Short $80/Feature $100)

Please note that entries must be POSTMARKED by the deadline date. No exceptions for late submissions.

Please include everything that is required on the online submission form. More information on our guidelines can be found on our Submission Guidelines page.

Q: What is the best way to submit my film?

A: Please submit your film through the online submission service Withoutabox (WAB) at Withoutabox offers discounts and gives filmmakers an opportunity to enter multiple festivals at the same time.

Q: I’m having issues submitting my film through Withoutabox, what should I do?

A: Please contact the webmaster on Withoutabox’s website for issues with their website.

Q: I’m having issues uploading my film through your FTP site, what should I do?

A: Please contact our Submissions Department at

Q: What happens after my film has been submitted?

A: Your film will be reviewed in its entirety by at least 5 people; two screenings by members of our Programming Staff and three by members of our Review Committee. Notifications of acceptance will be sent mid-March, 2015.

Q: Do you accept international films?

A: Yes, we screen both domestic and international films and encourage international filmmakers to submit to our Festival. If the film is not entirely in English, there must be English subtitles. Films must be submitted for review in NTSC format.

Q: What are your submission categories and how do I choose the right one for my film?

A: The Festival categorizes a short film as anything less than 40 minutes and a feature as anything 40 minutes or more.

· Narrative – a live-action feature or short film.

· Documentary – a live-action documentary feature or short film.

· Action Sports Feature – a narrative or documentary Action Sports feature or short film that explores surfing, snowboarding, skiing, skateboarding, motocross and other extreme sports.

· Art, Architecture + Design – a feature or short documentary film that explores the work of classic or contemporary artists, architects, and designers.

· Environmental – a documentary feature that explores environmental questions, issues, and concerns.

· Music – a narrative or documentary feature film based on music. This category also includes music videos.

· Youth – a film (10 minutes or under) created by a filmmaker currently enrolled in grades K-12 as of April 2014. Filmmakers may submit as an individual or in a group.

While filmmakers are highly encouraged to submit their film under a specialized category (if applicable), the NBFF Programming team reserves the right to make the final decision on program placement.

Q: What is the difference between a short and feature?

A: The Festival categorizes a short film as anything less than 40 minutes and a feature as anything 40 minutes or more.

Q: If my film has been released commercially on DVD in the United States, is it still eligible to screen at the NBFF?

A: No.

Q: Can I submit my film if it is available or has already played on YouTube, Google Video, etc.?

A: No. We highly recommend not posting your entire film online. Trailers and promotional clips are okay but we cannot accept a film that is available in its entirety online, with the exception of our Music Video category. Please read the Submission Guidelines carefully for this information.

Q: Can I submit more than one film to the Festival?

A: Yes, but please be aware that each film must be submitted with a separate entry form and entry fee.

Q: How do I know if the Festival has received my submission?

A: After we have received your screeners, our submissions department will send you an email to confirm the receipt of your submission. Read this email carefully, as it will indicate if your submission is complete. If your submission was incomplete for any reason, the email will list missing submission items. To avoid our emails landing in your spam folders, we recommend that you add these email addresses to your approved senders:

Q: Can I get my submitted DVDs back after they are finished being reviewed?

A: No, any DVDs that you send us for the submission process will not be returned. Data devices (data disk, hard drive, flash drive, etc.) containing digital file submissions can be returned if prepaid postage and self-addressed envelope is sent with the submission. All non-returned submission materials will be destroyed or discarded by the Festival.

Q: Do you accept Music Videos?

A: Yes. Please take a look at our Submission Guidelines for criteria specific to our Music Video category and submit in this category.

Q: Can I submit a rough cut?

A: No, the Festival does not accept rough cuts.

Q: Does my film have to be a world premiere to get accepted?

A: No. At a minimum we require that your film is a Newport Beach premiere and we give preference to films that are West Coast, North American, and World Premieres. Films that have been televised, available for purchase on DVD or presented online are not eligible for consideration, with the exception of Music Videos.

Q: What kind of special programs do you have at the Festival?

A: Special programs include: International Spotlight Series, Action Sports Film Series, Environmental Film Series, Art, Architecture + Design Film Series, Music Film Series, Animation Showcase, Family Film Series, Collegiate Showcase, Youth Film Showcase, and the Seminar Series. The Programming Team will decide what films will be presented in these programs.

Q: If my film is accepted, what exhibition formats do you accept?

A: DCP only.

Q: What is the best way to send my DVD screeners?

A: The best way to send your DVDs is in either a padded envelope or box via USPS mail or a carrier such as Fed Ex, UPS, etc. We recommend filmmakers utilize the online tracking services offered by these companies. Local filmmakers may hand-deliver DVDs to our office.

Q: What information should I include on my DVD screener?

A: Please legibly write the following information directly onto the DVD with a permanent marker:

(1) film title

(2) running time

(3) contact information

(4) WAB number.

Please DO NOT use paper labels or stickers, as they can prevent the DVD from playing.

Q: What happens if my submission DVD won’t play?

A: We will contact you to request another copy if your submission will not play. However keep in mind that, due to considerations of time and priority, your replacement may not arrive in time to be screened. Please make sure that your DVD or digital file plays properly all the way through before submitting.

Q: Can my fee be waived when submitting?

A: The Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and is unfortunately unable to offer fee waivers. However, the earlier you submit the more you can save on submission fees.

Q: Should I include a press kit?

A: DO NOT include a press kit. We will request a press kit once the film has been accepted to the NBFF.

Q: How old can my film be to submit to NBFF?

A: For the 2015 Festival we will only accept films completed by January 1, 2013 or later.

Q: Can I resubmit my film if it was not accepted last year?

A: You can only submit your film again if it is a new version and has been changed from the previous submission.

Q: As a filmmaker, what can I expect at the Newport Beach Film Festival?

A: The NBFF offers a unique opportunity for socializing and networking with fellow filmmakers as well as some of the biggest names in front of and behind the camera in a world-class resort setting. Each accepted Feature Filmmaker will receive two filmmaker passes and each Short Filmmaker will receive one filmmaker pass to the festival along with invitations to signature parties and events.

Q: When will results for the Festival be announced?

A: Notifications will be sent out in mid-March, 2015. Please realize that this is an approximate date.

Q: Who should I contact for information about my film in the Festival?

A: Once your film has been accepted you will be connected with one of our programmers who will serve as your main contact for the Festival. Your programmer will answer any questions and assist you with preparing for your film screening, promotion, travel, accommodations, etc.

Q: If my film is not selected, may I receive feedback from someone at the Festival?

A: Unfortunately due to the number of submissions and time constraints we are unable to give individual feedback from the programming team.

Q: Do I have to attend NBFF if my film has been accepted?

A: NBFF prides itself on being a filmmaker’s festival and is highly encouraged that each selected film has at least one member of the film’s production staff/cast/crew present.

Q: Is my film able to win any awards at the Festival?

A: Films accepted are eligible for Audience, Jury and Festival Honors awards. Music Videos and films in the Collegiate Showcase are not eligible.

Q: Where do the films at the Festival screen?

A: Films screen at Island Cinema in Fashion Island, Triangle Square Cinemas, The Port Theater, Regal Big Newport 6 and at the Regency Lido Theatre in Newport Beach. Opening Night takes place at the Big Newport in Fashion Island, one of the largest screens on the West Coast.

CLICK HERE for a full map of venues.

Q: Where is Newport Beach?

A: Newport Beach is located in Orange County, along the Southern California coast, 55 miles south of Hollywood. The closest airport is John Wayne Airport.

Festival Dates
April 23 – April 30, 2014




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