2018 Call for Entries

Submissions for the 35th Edition, March 9-18, 2018, open May 15, 2017

As the premiere venue in the U.S. for launching new Ibero-American cinema and an important showcase for international films entering the United States, as well as American independent and documentary cinema, the Festival seeks the latest works by debut, emerging and veteran filmmakers.   The Festival seeks top-quality films in all genres for various competition and non-competition categories, including features, documentaries, shorts, experimental cinema and Florida-centric stories.

The Festival only accepts submissions via Withoutabox’s Secure Online Screener system, no submissions on DVDs will be accepted.


  1. Miami Film Festival 2018 has a minimum Florida Premiere requirement for feature films. Thus, we will not screen features that have played at other Florida festivals or had any prior public screening promoted to the general public or publicly ticketed. However, this is the minimum requirement – preferential consideration is given to films that are offering World, International, North American or US Premiere status to Miami Film Festival 2018.  All things being equal, our programmers will often opt to program a film that has not yet had a release in one of these territories, over one that has played several non-Florida festivals.
  2. For any film that is not making its World Premiere at Miami Film Festival, we will only screen works that have held their World Premiere on or after March 20, 2017. Any films that have had any public screening anywhere in the world prior to this date will be ineligible for Miami Film Festival 2018.
  3. Films that will (a) open for commercial theatrical exhibition in Florida, (b) be commercially available in any streaming or VOD platforms (including US domestic airline entertainment systems), or (c) be commercially broadcast in the continental United States, prior to March 25, 2018, are not eligible for Miami Film Festival 2018.
  4. Short films (30 minutes or less) wishing to compete in the IMDbPro Short Film Competition require a Florida Premiere to be considered at Miami Film Festival 2018, as long as they are in compliance with rules #2 and #3.
  5. Short films (30 minutes or less) that are eligible for and wish to compete in the Knight Made in MIA Competition do not require a Florida Premiere and are exempt from rule #3, as long as they are in compliance with rule #2.
  6. Short films (30 minutes or less) that wish to screen out-of-competition are exempt from rules #1 and #3, and will be considered as long as they are in compliance with rule #2.
  7. Exhibition format is DCP only.


Withoutabox logos are trademarks of Withoutabox, a DBA of IMDb.com Inc. or its affiliates.

Questions? Please consult our list of Frequently Asked Questions


Knight Competition presents $40,000 in prizes courtesy of John S. & James L. Knight Foundation. All feature films directed by filmmakers who have presented at least one feature as part of the Festival’s Official Selection are eligible in this category. Competing films are eligible for a $30,000  Knight Grand Jury Prize that will be split between the producer and the U.S. distributor of the film. If no U.S. distributor is secured before April 15, 2018 then the full award will be made to the producer. The Grand Jury, in its own discretion, will also award up to a total of $10,000 additional funds for distinctions for Best Performance and Best Director.

Knight Documentary Achievement Award is a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, given to one documentary film as voted upon by the Festival audience.  All feature-length documentary (50 min or longer) playing in the Festival’s Official Selection (except for “From the Vault” screenings) are eligible for this Award.

HBO Competition is open to all U.S. Hispanic and Ibero-American films in the Official Selection, competing for a jury-selected cash Achievement Award of $10,000.

Jordan Ressler Screenwriting Competition is for screenwriters who have a first-produced feature film screenplay credit in the Official Selection (excluding “From the Vault” screenings) competing for a jury-selected cash Achievement Award of $10,000.

Knight Made in MIA Award, courtesy of the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation. The award category, which features a $10,000 cash prize, is open to any film – short or feature, documentary or narrative – in the Festival’s Official Selection that features a qualitatively/quantitatively substantial portion of its content (story, setting and actual filming location) in South Florida, from West Palm to the Keys, and that most universally demonstrates a common ground of pride, emotion, and faith for the South Florida community.

Zeno Mountain Award is a $5,000 cash prize open to all Festival entries courtesy of Fringe Partners. This jury-selected award celebrates the diversity of abilities and disabilities and seeks to reward the film that helps break down barriers to our understanding of people living with disabilities. The award is named after Zeno Mountain Farm in Lincoln, VT. Inspired by the actors and filmmakers in the documentary “Becoming Bulletproof“.

IMDbPro Shorts Competition presents to the jury-selected winner a $2,500 cash prize.

Feature Film Audience Award and the Short Film Audience Award All Festival Features and Short films are eligible as voted upon by the Festival audience.

Rene Rodriguez Critics Award All critics covering the annual Festival will be invited to cast their vote for the film they consider the best of that year’s selection.

Cinemaslam film school competition, aims to discover, showcase, and celebrate the work of undergraduate and graduate students in Miami/ South Florida film schools (submissions will open late 2017).


Cinema 360° feature narratives from both masters and up-and-coming filmmakers from every country in the world, including an international selection of dramas, comedies, suspense thrillers, neo westerns, and innovative docudramas.

REEL Music Scene  features narrative or documentary films with music-themed content.

MIFFecito features narrative films for the entire family. Category is open to films of any length

Shorts out of Competition for shorts films available on the internet for public consumption or previously screened in a public setting in Miami, FL


Friday, June 30, 2017 | Early Deadline | $45.00 (Shorts); $55.00 (Features)

Friday, July 28, 2017 | Regular Deadline | $55.00 (Shorts); $65.00 (Features)

Thursday, August 31, 2017 | Late Deadline | $65.00 (Shorts); $75.00 (Features)

Thursday, September 28, 2017 | Extended Deadline | $100.00 (Shorts & Features)