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2020 Submissions



FEATURE     I     SHORT     I     MUSIC VIDEO    I     VR


Submit your film

Join us for the 15th annual TACOMA FILM FESTIVAL! $10,000 in prizes, carefully selected programming, cool venues, helpful panels and workshops, great hospitality, and a community lodging program. You'll find Tacoma is a great place to meet other filmmakers. Submit now!

50 Film Festivals worth the Entry Fee, 2014–2019 — MovieMaker Magazine

Rising stars would be remiss not to add it to their annual itinerary." — MovieMaker Magazine

"The ultimate indie film festival." — Seattle's CityArts Magazine

"One of the premier festivals in the Northwest." —

The Tacoma Film Festival is a celebration of independent film mirroring the diverse and eclectic sensibilities of Western Washington’s second largest city. Including selections from the Pacific Northwest and all over the world, TFF prides itself on showcasing the connectedness of local, national, and international film. It’s a great festival to connect with audiences, filmmakers, critics, and professionals because of the friendly, and collegial atmosphere throughout. The whole community gets behind the festival and makes it a really one-of-a-kind experience.

“It was one of the most diverse and current selection of films, shorts and new media that I have ever experienced in a film festival. I met people there that I will continue to be connected to for a long time.” — Juan Carlos Zaldivar, filmmaker

“The programming at TFF had such a progressive vision of cinema. The festival had a definite voice and created a warm atmosphere for filmmakers…” — Masami Kawai, filmmaker

“Very friendly, great emphasis on the films and filmmakers and creating an intimate community for film-going. Beautiful festival.” — Derek Knowles, filmmaker


  • Opening night at the historic Pantages Theater with the Infiltrators and 8 non-profit groups conncected with immigrant rights and deportation issues. 
  • 200+ films including world, US, and Washington premieres. Our programming presented films that featured innovative storytelling, creative non-fiction, and wonderful works of animation.
  • It was the 4th year of our wildly successful filmmaker housing program where we hand-select wonderful residents to host filmmakers.
  • The fourth edition of our Music Video program (Track 04), screened at the historic Blue Mouse Theater.
  • The Veldt VR Studio. Our fifth year presenting a diverse selection of virtual reality works, exhibited in a beloved community space, and without time limits.
  • Panels and workshops geared towards independent filmmakers
  • Fun parties and after parties


Submissions Open: December 1, 2019
Early Deadline: February 15, 2020
Regular Deadline: April 15, 2020
Late Deadline: May 15, 2020
Extended Deadline: June 20, 2020


  • Feature Narrative
  • Short Narrative
  • Feature Documentary
  • Short Documentary
  • Feature Animation
  • Short Animation
  • Pacific NW Feature (WA, OR, ID, BC)
  • Pacific NW Short (WA, OR, ID, BC)
  • Music Video
  • VR
  • Late Night Short
  • Late Night Feature  *NEW* (Late Night films accepted to festival will be eligible for awards in other categories)

2020 jury AWARDS

TFF will award a total of $10,000 in prizes in support of independent filmmaking 

  • Best Narrative Feature- $1000
  • Best Documentary Feature $1000
  • Best Narrative Short- $750
  • Best Documentary Short- $750
  • Best Animation $250
  • Best Music Video- $250
  • Best Virtual Reality film $250
  • Best Pacific Northwest feature $500
  • Best Pacific Northwest short $500
  • Best Pierce County short or feature $500


  • Best Director, Documentary Feature $175
  • Best Director, Narrative Feature $175
  • Best Director, Documentary Short $150
  • Best Director, Narrative Short $150
  • Best Performance, Narrative Feature $150
  • Best Screenplay, Narrative Feature $150
  • Best Performance, Narrative Short $150
  • Best Screenplay, Narrative Short $150
  • Four awards for Best Cinematography (documentary feature and short films, and narrative feature and short films).
  • All awards except Audience Choice awards decided by a jury composed of filmmakers, film programmers, critics, and/or industry professionals.


Filmmakers not from the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, B.C.) are eligible for these awards. Winners will be chosen based on audience votes.

  • Audience Choice, Feature- $1000 
  • Audience Choice, Short- $750
  • Audience Choice, Late Night Short
  • Audience Choice, Late Night Feature 

2020 PNW Audience Choice Awards

Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, B.C.) filmmakers are eligible for the PNW Choice Awards. Winners will be chosen based on audience votes.

  • Audience Choice, Pacific Northwest Feature- $750 
  • Audience Choice, Pacific Northwest Short- $500

All awards except Audience Choice awards decided by a jury composed of filmmakers, film programmers, critics, and/or industry professionals.

Films are placed in competition at the sole discretion of the Tacoma Film Festival.


  • We may provide waivers and/or discounts to the following:
  • TFF Alumni - if you’ve screened at TFF in the past, we will waive the submission fee.
  • Pacific Northwest Filmmakers - if your film was made in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, or British Columbia, you may be eligible for a discount. For films made in Washington State, please contact for a waiver code.
  • Student Discount - we provide a $10 discount for students or student works (films made during matriculation) on presentation of current student ID or proof of enrollment during production of your film.
  • We do not provide waivers for any other types of submissions.
  • No phone inquiries, please. Please email us with questions:


Please read our full submission rules by following this link: RULES

The Tacoma Film Festival is a program of Tacoma's only independent movie theater, The Grand Cinema. The Grand is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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