Submissions

Call for Entries!


Enter your  film in the ninth annual Longleaf Film Festival!  Rolling submission dates begin August 1 for films that demonstrate a Tar Heel State connection, through the people involved in making them, their setting, or their subject (and all former Official Selection filmmakers may enter; their "OS" status is their connection).  Longleaf is a free-to-attend juried festival that highlights the best of historic and contemporary stories through independent film.

Longleaf Film Festival seeks to reflect the diversity of talent and imagination that exists throughout the filmmaking world and—as a place that helps tell the stories that connect us all—we believe that the North Carolina Museum of History, our host, is in a unique position for showcasing those films. Throughout our short history, we have been grateful for the impactful stories regarding race and community that have been told in past festivals. We strongly believe that the art and craft of filmmaking help connect us and offer avenues for insight, as well as entertainment. We want to share your stories—all of your stories: animated, documentary, and narrative films, music videos, spoken word productions, and web series.

For another year, with the support of many caring people, Longleaf will be able to offer recognition to the best films made by historically underrepresented filmmakers (see the prize list, below, for details).

Plus, we recognize the talent of young filmmakers—students in middle and high school—share your films with us, too!

General Submission Information

Longleaf Film Festival has 10 categories for entry:

  • Animated Film (short or feature length, between 1 and 90 minutes total running time)
  • Documentary Feature (between 36 and 90 minutes total running time)
  • Documentary Short (between 1 and 35 minutes total running time)
  • History+ Film (narrative or documentary, short or feature length, between 1 and 90 minutes total running time) See below for additional qualifications.
  • Middle and High School Student Film (narrative or documentary, between 1 and 20 minutes total running time) See below for additional qualifications.
  • Music Video (between 1 and 9 minutes total running time)
  • Narrative Feature (between 36 and 90 minutes total running time)
  • Narrative Short (between 1 and 35 minutes total running time)
  • Spoken Word Production (between 1 and 9 minutes total running time)
  • Web Series (between 5 and 30 minutes total running time) See below for additional qualifications.

Eligibility for Entry

To be eligible for selection and awards for Longleaf 2023, filmmakers and/or films must have a North Carolina connection and/or be a former Official Selection filmmaker. Connections include:

  • the film was made in North Carolina and/or
  • the film’s story or topic or other feature is North Carolina based and/or
  • the submitting filmmaker or other key production member (screenwriter, cinematographer, producer, or lead actor) lives in North Carolina now and/or grew up in North Carolina and/or attended college or university in North Carolina and/or
  • the submitting filmmaker is a former Longleaf Official Selection filmmaker.

Note that visiting friends and family or regularly vacationing in North Carolina is NOT a sufficient connection to qualify for entry. We do encourage entries from out of state and around the world; however, submissions must demonstrate at least one of the North Carolina connections listed above.

Other Rules and Requests

  • Longleaf Film Festival reserves the right to refuse films depicting excessive nudity and/or gore.
  • Longleaf Film Festival holds no responsibility for lost films.
  • Longleaf Film Festival does not pay screening fees.
  • We accept films that have screened at other festivals and venues, however we encourage premieres!
  • Because we want to promote your film as a part of Longleaf Film Festival, we ask that Official Selections NOT be screened within 60 miles of Raleigh during the month between notification that you are an Official Selection and the weekend of Longleaf Film Festival.
  • And, of course, we expect your film to be available for screening during the festival dates of May 12 and 13, 2023.
  • Longleaf Film Festival and its jurists do not research authenticity of submissions which must be original works of the applicant.
  • You must include a valid surface-mail address on your FilmFreeway entry.
  • Except for middle and high school student films (see that category), films submitted for Longleaf 2023 must have been made between January 1, 2020, and March 1, 2023.
  • Longleaf Film Festival reserves the right to not award a prize in any category.
  • Longleaf Film Festival reserves the right to award prizes outside of the category of entry.
  • All submissions to Longleaf 2023 will be handled through Film Freeway. No manual submissions will be processed.
  • Once a submission is accepted as an Official Selection, a digital screening version of the film must be provided to Longleaf Film Festival.

Deadlines

August 1, 2022 Opening Submission Date
October 1, 2022 Early-Bird Deadline | $25 Submission Fee
December 1, 2022 Regular Deadline | $30 Submission Fee
February 1, 2023 Late Deadline | $40 Submission Fee
March 1, 2023 Extended Deadline | $50 Submission Fee
April 14, 2023 Notification Date
May 12–13, 2023 Event Dates

 

Categories, Additional Qualifications, Prizes

All narrative festival submissions are eligible for a $500 Judges’ Choice/Narrative Film award; all documentary festival submissions are eligible for a $500 Judges’ Choice/Documentary Film award. All films entered in the Middle and High School Student Film category are eligible for a $250 Best Student Film award.

For 2023, we are also excited to continue with three (new in 2022) awards that support the creative works of filmmakers from historically underrepresented communities:  a $250 American Indian Heritage Celebration Prize for the best film by an Indigenous filmmaker, a $250 African American Cultural Celebration Prize for the best film by a Black filmmaker, and a $250 Celebrating Latin American Communities Prize for the best film by a Latino filmmaker.

Other prizes may be awarded in the categories listed below.

 

Animated Film
Runtime: From 1 minute to 90 minutes. Films must have been completed after January 1, 2020.

One prize may be awarded in the following subcategory:

  • Best Overall

 

Documentary Feature
Runtime: From 36 minutes to 90 minutes. Films must have been completed after January 1, 2020.

One prize may be awarded in the following subcategory:

  • Best Overall

 

Documentary Short
Runtime: From 1 minute to 35 minutes. Films must have been completed after January 1, 2020.

One prize may be awarded in the following subcategory:

  • Best Overall

 

History+ Film
Runtime: From 1 minute to 90 minutes. Films must have been completed after January 1, 2020.
Entries must reflect or depict a topic in history from a unique perspective or insight and must be accurately interpreted or portrayed.

One prize may be awarded for each of the following subcategories:

  • Best Narrative
  • Best Documentary

 

Middle and High School Student Film
Runtime: From 1 minute to 20 minutes. Films must have been made between January 1, 2022, and March 1, 2023.
Films must have been primarily written, filmed, and produced by students currently enrolled in middle and/or high school or students who graduated from high school at the end of the 2021–2022 academic year. When the film is entered, a photocopy of student IDs, recent grade reports, or current schedules must be e-mailed separately to co-director sally.bloom@ncdcr.gov.

One prize may be awarded for each of the following subcategories:

  • Best Narrative
  • Best Documentary

 

Music Video
Runtime: From 1 minute to 9 minutes. Films must have been completed after January 1, 2020.

One prize may be awarded in the following subcategory:

  • Best Overall

 

Narrative Feature
Runtime: From 36 minutes to 90 minutes. Films must have been completed after January 1, 2020.

One prize may be awarded for each of the following subcategories:

  • Best Comedy
  • Best Drama
  • Best Horror
  • Best Sci-Fi

 

Narrative Short
Runtime: From 1 minute to 35 minutes. Films must have been completed after January 1, 2019.

One prize may be awarded for each of the following subcategories:

  • Best Comedy
  • Best Drama
  • Best Horror
  • Best Sci-Fi

 

Spoken Word Production
Runtime: From 1 minute to 9 minutes. Films must have been completed after January 1, 2019.

One prize may be awarded for each of the following subcategories:

  • Best Overall

 

Web Series
Runtime: From 5 minute to 30 minutes. Films must have been made between January 1, 2020, and March 1, 2023.

A “web series” must have three or more completed episodes; filmmaker should submit one episode. A “web pilot” must be the only episode of a web series.

One prize may be awarded for each of the following subcategories:

  • Best Web Series
  • Best Web Pilot