Mountainfilm

Film Entry FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions that we receive at Mountainfilm. 

Note: Most of the specific questions about fees, deadlines, process and method for submitting to Mountainfilm are listed on our website on the Submission Information page.

Q) Is my film a good fit for your festival?
A) Mountainfilm focuses on documentary film, art and ideas in the broad categories of adventure, activism, social justice, environment and culture, including an eclectic mix of films that celebrate indomitable spirit. Just because your film doesn’t include a mountain doesn’t mean it won’t work in our programming. Our Moving Mountains Symposium theme for 2019 is equity. We encourage filmmakers to submit films that discuss or address this topic, though the festival will feature films on a wide range of subjects.

Q) What happens to my film after it is submitted?
A) Films are processed through FilmFreeway and sent to our screening committee. Each film is viewed by at least two screening committee members. If the project is greenlit, it makes its way to the programming team who make the final call on if it will be part of the festival program.

Q) Who is on your screening committee?
A) Our screening committee is comprised of 25-30 volunteers, including current and former Mountainfilm staff and board, festival alumni, filmmakers, programmers from other festivals and long-time Mountainfilm audience members.

Q) What qualities do accepted films share?
A) We accept films that are compelling, engaging, and inspire our audiences to create a better world. While an excellent story is a great foundation for a good documentary, it has to be well told to make an impact. In addition to a captivating story, we are looking for high-quality cinematography, editing, graphics and sound.

Q) How many films are submitted to Mountainfilm every year?
A) We average approximately 800 submissions.

Q) How many films are accepted?
A) Generally, about 120 (approximately 75% shorts and 25% feature-length) films are accepted into the festival which means we have roughly a 16% acceptance rate. That’s three times better than your chance of getting into an Ivy League College!

Q) What length of film is Mountainfilm looking for?
A) We’re looking for everything from two-minute shorts to feature-length films. Because of time constraints and festival scheduling, it's generally easier to get a short film accepted than a feature. Keep in mind: The most common reason the screening committee cites when denying a film is that it "felt too long."

Q) Why do you charge entry fees?
A) Mountainfilm is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and strongly believes in filmmaker support. Submission fees help fund our yearly Commitment Grants and Emerging Filmmaker Fellowship. Your submission fee is assisting fellow filmmakers with production and post-production support!