New Orleans Film Festival

NOFF // The New Orleans Film & Video Festival

27th edition

Oct 19 - Oct 27, 2021
New Orleans, United States

Open Call Open to Public Competitive Market Special Fees

Festival type Real Venue Festival
Types of films
Film length

Mission / description Celebrating its 27th anniversary this year, the Oscar®-qualifying New Orleans Film Festival has firmly established itself on the regional film fest circuit as one of the most reputable in the country. It was named by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the "50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee" in their 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 editions, and it was also named by Premium Beat as one of the "Fifteen Fests You Should Enter." Born in a city known for its eclecticism and artistic vibrance, NOFF seeks out bold and passionate storytellers. With top-notch programming in one of the world's most cinematic cities, NOFF serves up a dose of Southern hospitality that's hard to beat.

Festival guests often reference the camaraderie among attendees, something that the festival nourishes through receptions, parties, one-on-one mentoring sessions, and opportunities to interact with local audiences. Filmmakers find themselves hatching plans for future projects over red beans & rice and praline bacon, learning about funding and distribution opportunities at our industry meet-ups, and rubbing elbows with industry leaders at mansion parties in the city's French Quarter. We are dedicated to nurturing new voices and making our filmmakers feel like they've found a second home here in New Orleans. Given this commitment, we offer two complimentary nights of lodging to every film with a representative coming in from out of town, along with a Festival All-Access pass for each filmmaker to make the most of the fest.

Last year's festival screened more than 200 films over the course of eight days and reached over 20,000 attendees, including over 350 filmmakers who attended to show their work. NOFF also hosts a number of panels and conversations, featuring representatives from major U.S. distributors (like Magnolia Pictures, Variance, The Weinstein Company, Paramount, Factory 25, and FilmBuff) and other leaders in the industry (like Michelle Satter, founder of the feature film program at Sundance; Eugene Hernandez, founder of Indiewire; Effie Brown, producer of Dear White People; and Simon Kilmurry, executive director of the International Documentary Association).

The festival's growth has dovetailed with the region's continued expansion as a major film and television production hub. The city is, after all, home to Court 13, the filmmaking collaborative responsible for Beasts of the Southern Wild, as well as The Ross Brothers, who have made acclaimed documentaries like Western and Tchoupitoulas. It's also where an increasing number of big-budget and small-budget Hollywood films and TV shows are shot (including Trumbo, 99 Homes, Our Brand Is Crisis, Django Unchained, 12 Years a Slave, and True Detective, American Horror Story: Cove & Freak Show). NOFF taps into this local talent pool and industry presence, allowing festival goers to benefit from the experience and knowledge that the filmmaking community in New Orleans has to offer. Jurors have included local residents Michael Gottwald and Josh Penn (producers of Beasts of the Southern Wild), Eric Overmyer (writer/producer on shows like "The Wire" and "Treme"), and Wendell Pierce (actor, Four and "The Wire").

Recent festivals have welcomed guests like Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, Oscar nominees Patricia Clarkson, Alfre Woodard, and Steve McQueen, and Golden Globe nominees Faith Ford and Sarah Paulson.

Awards & Prizes

Every year, the festival offers jury awards to films in seven different categories. Last year's total value was over $80,000 in camera packages, film stock, cash prizes, and software. Jurors for these awards represent some of the most talented leaders in the industry, including the likes of Oscar winners Melissa Leo, Tia Lessin, and Luke Matheny; industry writers like Matt Singer of The Dissolve and Nigel Smith of Indiewire; Independent Lens producer Lois Vossen; programmers Charlotte Cook of HotDocs and Sadie Tillery of Full Frame; experimental filmmaker Lynne Sachs; and godfather of Third Cinema Kidlat Tahimik. All official selections of NOFF are eligible for Audience Awards.

Additionally, the recipient of the festival's Documentary Short Award will be eligible for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category of the Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.
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Festival website

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Class Founded: 1989
Festival category: C (national relevance, national player)
Dates Open call: Jan 06, 2015

Early bird deadline: Jan 22, 2016
Regular deadline: Apr 01, 2016
Late deadline: Jun 15, 2016

Notification date: Aug 05, 2016

Favorite this festival or add it to one of your lists to be alerted about open call, deadlines and notification date.
Fees Fees range from 40.00 to 50.00 USD . See submission categories for details about fees.
Awards Total prize money: 80,000.00 USD
Festival sections
A programming sidebar of films about music and musicians.
Films that spotlight contemporary work focusing on stories about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters and stories.
Spotlight: Black Filmmaking
This program seeks to call attention to contemporary black filmmakers working in the industry.

Prior Screenings:
- Entries may not publicly screen in the greater New Orleans area or be televised anywhere in the US prior to the festival.

Completion Date:
- Entries must have been completed on or after October 25, 2013.

- Foreign language films must be with English subtitles.


- All entries must be postmarked by the deadline date for which you are paying.

- Entries must be submitted via secure online links OR on DVD (NTSC Region 1 only). Do not put multiple films on the same DVD, and please submit two copies for our submissions team.

DVD Labeling & Shipping:
- Preview DVDs must be clearly labeled with the film title, submission category, and run time.

Receipt Acknowledgment:
- To receive acknowledgment of receipt of your entry (in addition to FilmFestivalLife acknowledgment), you must enclose a self-addressed stamped postcard with your entry.

- Films selected for screening will be notified on or around July 31, 2015.

- Entry Fee paid by Visa, Mastercard, money order, or check in US funds to: New Orleans Film Society. International entrants who do not pay by credit card must pay by international money order paid in U.S. dollars through a US bank. Entry fees are non-refundable.

- Online link or 2 preview DVDs (NTSC only). Please test your DVD on several makes and models of players. DVD+RW and DVD-RW are not acceptable formats. DVDs will not be returned.

- NOFF reserves the right to disqualify any submission without refund of submission fees.

- Films must not have publicly screened in the greater New Orleans area prior to the festival. While world premieres are not requirements for NOFF, this information is taken into consideration when making final programming decisions.

- Feature films must not have screened on U.S. television or available to view on the Internet prior to the dates of the festival.

- All accepted films may be screened more than once, and are scheduled at the discretion of the New Orleans Film Festival staff.

- Films produced or financed by a major motion picture studio are eligible for festival screenings but are not eligible for competitive awards. Films that have acquired distribution are eligible for festival screenings but are not eligible for competitive awards.

- It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to secure authorization for any copyrighted material that may be used in the film.

- NOFF is held harmless from any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, or screening of any film.

- NOFF does not pay screening fees or guarantee travel for filmmakers.