No Entry Fee Film Festivals: A List of Film Festivals With No Entry Fee

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Melbourne Underground Film Festival

The Australian based Melbourne Underground Film Festival was established in 2000. Film screenings for this event are scheduled under one of two programs, “Mini MUFF” for short films and “MUFF Neu” for features. The festival shows nearly 100 films annually and also hosts special events for documentaries and curated retrospectives. Both domestic and international filmmakers can submit their work to the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. The event hosts a variety of film styles including narrative, experimental, documentary, and animation. Programming selections are competitive and Muff awards are given to winning films in the short and feature length categories.

Stony Brook Film Festival

Founded in 1996, the Stony Brook Film Festival is based in the Long Island section of New York. This event is operated by the Staller Center for the Arts on Stony Brook University’s campus and runs for around ten days. The festival program schedule includes films from the U.S. and other countries from around the world. Some of the countries represented at the Stony Brook Film Festival include Japan, Israel, China, Germany, Canada and Spain.

The festival does not require an entry fee for film submissions due to support from sponsors such as HBO, The Village Voice and JetBlue. 33 short and feature length films were selected among 750 submissions to screen at the festival during July 2010. Jury awards and audience awards are given to the best films during a closing night gala ceremony at this event. Main award categories include Dramatic Feature, Dramatic Short, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short and Animation. The Stony Brook Film Festival also attracts film sales agents and film distributors from around the world.

Read NY Film Festivals for a look at other New York film festivals.

Wairoa Maori Film Festival

The New Zealand based Wairoa Maori Film Festival started in 2005 and screens films from around the world. Organizers of this festival favor films made by Maori filmmakers. The event does not charge an entry fee for film submissions and is non-competitive but still offers perks to filmmakers. Nearly one dozen awards are given to films and talent during this festival. Some award categories include best Female Actor Aotearoa and Male Actor Aotearoa in a short film, best Female Actor Aotearoa and Male Actor Aotearoa in a feature film, best Aotearoa Feature Drama, best Aotearoa Documentary and best International Indigenous film. An audience award is also given in the category of Aotearoa Short Dramatic Film. Filmmakers accepted will receive one full festival pass that includes entry into an awards dinner.

TromaDance Film Festival

The TromaDance Film Festival was launched in 2000 and is entirely free for everyone. It was founded by Lloyd Kauffman, the director of cult film classics including The Toxic Avenger. There is no entry fee for film submissions and audiences do not have to pay admission for any of the screenings during this festival. All screenings, parties and panels are open to the public with seats granted on a first come, first served basis.

TromaDance took place in Park City, Utah for many years and then moved to New Jersey in April 2010. The TromaDance Film Festival receives odd film submissions that range from raunchy and provocative to violent and gory. Film selections are made based on criteria of originality and value. The program schedule for TromaDance includes short films and feature length films in various genres such as horror, science-fiction, comedy, fantasy, drama, documentary, animation and experimental.