Submissions open September 9, 2020!
Call for Entries
Celebrating 40 years in 2021, the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) is one of Minnesota’s most anticipated annual cultural events, and the largest film festival in the region. Over 17 days each spring, MSPIFF brings cinematic wonder to screens across the Twin Cities, presenting 250+ new international, independent films, and offering audiences of 45,000+ countless opportunities to engage with 150+ visiting filmmakers and talent from around the world.
It will be hard to predict what conditions we will face in the spring of 2021, but we are committed to promoting the art of film as a medium that fosters cross-cultural understanding, education, entertainment, and exploration. We intend to continue offering audiences unique opportunities to experience the wealth of international cinema, to engage with and learn from international filmmakers, and to share these experiences as a community. While we are hopeful the festival can return to traditional screenings in theater venues in 2021, our current planning includes virtual and live screening settings.
As we are planning for MSPIFF 40, we will be closely monitoring health and safety guidelines. We will strive to communicate any news about possible event changes if and when they may occur. Potential changes could include dates, venues, and formats.
We have signed Seed & Spark’s 2020 Film Festival Survival Pledge, and have adjusted premiere requirements and production deadlines.
May 13–23, 2021
How to Submit
Download the MSPIFF Submissions Manual.
Submissions are accepted via FilmFreeway.com
Deadlines and Fees
Oct. 1, 2020
Nov. 1, 2020
Dec. 1, 2020
Jan. 15, 2020
|Features ( > 40min )
|Shorts ( < 40min )
Submitters will be notified of their acceptance status on or around March 11, 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions
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• Does the Festival accept submissions in DVD format?
No. Because of the rapid decline in DVD submissions and as an effort to go green the Festival no longer accepts submissions via DVD.
• Am I allowed to send an updated cut of the submission for consideration?
Yes. However, we ask that you send the screener as soon as possible. If your film has already been reviewed, the programming team will attempt to watch the updated version, but viewing priority will be given to submissions not yet screened.
• Does MSPIFF offer any awards?
Over the last several years, MSPIFF has awarded over $100,000 in cash and other prizes to short and feature length films presented at the Festival. Films may be invited by festival programmers to participate in juried competition. All films are eligible for Audience Choice Awards, with winners chosen by popular vote. For more information on juried competition categories, please download the MSPIFF Submissions Manual
• What happened to your Minnesota Made category?
It still exists! The Minnesota Made feature competitions and the festival shorts program continue to celebrate Minnesota talent. Features should be submitted as New American Visions. The programmers encourage all eligible MN Made filmmakers to request a complimentary fee waiver by filling out the festival’s Submission Waiver Request Form
• How do you define “Minnesota Made”?
A film’s director must be a current Minnesota resident OR a combined 50% or more of production and/or post-production must have taken place in Minnesota.
• My film meets the Minnesota Made requirements. How do I receive my fee waiver?
• My film could fit into several entry categories. Should I submit to more than one category?
No. Please submit your film only to the most appropriate category. If the Festival programmers feel your submission is more appropriate in a different category they will also consider it for that program.
• What is your distinction between feature length and short film?
Films with running times of 40 minutes or less are considered Shorts. Films more than 40 minutes in length are considered Features. Please select your submission category based on what the final projected running time will be, including credits. There is no maximum length limitation for features, and no minimum length requirement for shorts.
• Does the Festival accept Music Video submissions?
Yes! Music Videos can be submitted under the Short Films categories
• Will screening/licensing fees be paid to submissions that are accepted into the Festival?
Submissions accepted into the Festival will not be provided screening/licensing fees.
• Can I submit my film if it’s not completed?
Works-in-progress may be submitted to the festival for consideration, but should be 99% completed and need to include very specific details regarding elements to be completed (i.e. “Additional color correction will be completed January 2021”), as well as a firm completion date.
• When will I be notified if my film has been accepted to participate in the festival?
All notifications will be sent via email around March 11th. Notifications will be sent to both selected and non-selected submissions.
• Is any feedback provided by the festival for non-selected films?
Unfortunately, due to time constraints and the large number of submissions we receive, the festival does not have the resources required to provide feedback for non-selected entries.
Please direct further questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. A programming staff member will respond to you as quickly as possible.