Atlanta Film Festival Waiver Policy

General Questions

Do you offer fee waivers?
The Atlanta Film Festival rarely grants waivers. The only guaranteed exceptions are the following:

  • Alumni of the Atlanta Film Festival
  • Filmmakers from countries in which international sanctions prevent them from paying a fee

Any other waivers are granted solely at the discretion of the programmers, are often by invitation only, and are typically granted for works that fit specific genre or community-based program needs.

Please note, the granting of a fee waiver is NOT a guarantee of acceptance to the Atlanta Film Festival.

How many films do you program from submissions?
On average 80% of ATLFF’s programming each year comes directly from submissions. The other 20% of films are typically:

  • Marquee or distributor films programmed to increase attendance at the festival (and therefore get more eyes on all of our submitted films)
  • Sponsored screenings
  • A select few films personally invited by programmers (typically invited at the very end of our process and meant to be the missing pieces in a nearly completed program)

If I pay to submit my film, what type of guarantee do I have?
Every single film that pays to submit to our festival is screened at least 2-5 times, with the exception of films that go straight to a programmer’s hands. Films are screened by a combination of volunteer screeners, interns, and staff representing various age groups, backgrounds, tastes, and film experience. We are always striving to put together the most reliable and qualified individuals, that are the best representation of our future ATLFF audience.

From there, our programmers will look at every single film and screener response before making any decisions. No film will ever be rejected outright solely based on screener feedback without making it to a programmer’s eyes.

As programmers, our greatest source of pride is discovering a gem of a film in our blind submissions, bringing these filmmakers’ work to our screens, and championing them to our audiences. It’s truly our passion. We hope you’ll afford us the chance to view your work.

—ATLFF Programming Team