Film Submissions FAQs

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please email us at

Haven't heard about the status of your submission? Submissions status for all films and screenplays submitted to LTFF 2020 are scheduled to be released before January 15, 2020.

Unless you unsubscribed from our mailing list, you should receive at least one email about your film submission.

To check the current status of your film, please log in to FilmFreeway. The status of each project will be listed there.

General Questions

How do I submit?
You can submit to us through either FilmFreeway. If you are new, your first step will be to create an account and then to create a “project” for your submission. Please refer to FilmFreeway for help on how to submit. Please do not email us your films. We cannot consider any project that has not been officially submitted through either FilmFreeway.

We suggest that you use a permanent member of the crew to submit (preferably the director or a producer). Please use an email address/phone number that is checked regularly in case we need to get in touch with you throughout the submission process. If there is an issue with your submission and we are unable to get in touch with anyone by our final submission deadline, we will be forced to disqualify your submission (without refund of submission fees).

Can I submit via paper?
No. We only accept film submissions that go through FilmFreeway.

I worked on or acted in a film, but didn’t produce or direct it; can I submit? I was the director, but not the producer, or vice versa, can I submit on my own?
If it’s not your film, it’s advisable to submit only after you’ve received permission from the filmmakers. If you are not the director, provide us with the director’s contact information.

For directors and producers, we strongly advise that everyone is in a agreement about the festivals they are submitting to, which festivals they want to play first or want to premiere at, and which version of the film is being submitted.

When disputes arise, i.e. a film has been submitted without everyone’s explicit approval or the festival strategy has changed, we suggest that productions find a solution and come to an agreement with all the key decision makers before contacting us or any festivals the film has been submitted to.

When are your deadlines?
We have various deadlines throughout our submission process.

Is there a difference if I submit early?
Yes, submission fees are cheaper. Submitting early won’t increase your chances of getting accepted, but it will increase your chances of a well-rested programmer watching your film. But ultimately, all submissions are evaluated equally, and every year we program films that submitted all throughout the submission period.

Can I have a waiver?
No. We do not give waivers.

But I’m a struggling independent filmmaker who spent all of my money making my film!
We get it, really we do. But the reality is that the majority of filmmakers that submit to us are independent filmmakers with not a lot of money to spend. It wouldn’t be fair for us to waive fees for some and not others.

A submission fee guarantees your work is properly viewed and considered, and neither submission fees nor waivers guarantee acceptance. Submission fees support the competition, festival travel for hundreds of attending filmmakers, and the small team of staff and volunteers that will process hours of content for the festival.

Questions About Submitting

What do I need to submit my film?
Each submission must be accompanied by a submission fee paid in full and a workable online screener to be considered.

How do I know you received my submission?
In your FilmFreeway account, you'll see a message indicating that your film satisfies all requirements and is “In Consideration”. If you see a yellow or red circle next to your submission, you’ve partially satisfied the requirements. We have either not received your screener and/or payment, there is an issue with the screener, the film was submitted to the wrong category, or there’s been an upload error with Withoutabox or FilmFreeway.

If your film has not been listed “In Consideration” within 7 business days, please contact us as soon as possible so we can look into it.

Can I send an outside link?
We only accept online screeners.

The submitter is responsible for ensuring that their screener link and password is active through at least June 15, 2019. In the event of a password or URL change after submitting, email us immediately. If we discover an error with the screener, we will attempt to email the submitter for an update. Failure to respond by the final submission deadline will result in disqualification without refund of submission fees.

Do you accept rough cuts/works-in-progress?
Only on feature length projects and only films that lack final color grading/sound design. No further editing is accepted.

How many films can I submit?
You can submit as many projects as you would like.  However, you must pay a separate submission fee for each category. We do not offer bulk discounts.

When will filmmakers be notified of the final decisions for the Lake Travis Film Festival?
Final notifications are scheduled to take place no later than January 15, 2020. Some filmmakers may receive notification sooner than this but if you haven't heard from us yet, you're still in the running.

How will we be notified*?
Accepted films will receive an invitation by email. Films not accepted will also be notified by email by the notification deadline. Please make sure the email address associated with your submission remains active throughout the submission process. Your status of Accepted/Not Accepted should also be reflected in FilmFreeway by the notification date.

Questions About LTFF's Programming

What genres do you accept?
Short and long forms of narrative and documentary. Music videos. We also have a short film category for students.

Will you take a look at my film and tell me if I should submit to you?
Sorry, but no. We cannot review any films that have not been officially submitted to us. We get so many submissions that we have to dedicate our time to watching the films that have gone the official route (and paid their submission fee).

How long can films be?
We consider a short film as anything shorter than 30 minutes and anything 45 minutes or over as a feature film.
We have no cut off for runtime, but shorter is always better (as shorter films allow for more flexibility when building our schedule). Runtime is especially significant when it comes to short films. It’s pretty rare that we choose to program a 30-minute short film when we could program two 15-minute shorts, or 3 10-minute shorts (giving an opportunity to more filmmakers). However, there are always exceptions to this rule!

If I submit to one category, will I be considered for others I may be eligible for?
No. You are only considered for the category you submit your film to. Please don’t submit your film to a category with a cheaper fee even though it belongs somewhere else. Films submitted to an inappropriate category will be disqualified without a refund. Read the category descriptions carefully, and email us if you have any questions.

Do you have any ratings limitations? Must films be PG or PG-13? Do you program films with strong content and language?
We have no ratings limitations on films submitted and will screen films with a variety content, from family-friendly to some more mature themes. We want films that are well made with stories that matter.

Do you have a preference for local films or films with local connections?
We will have an award for films with Texas directors or filmed in Texas. Outside of that we hope to have a wide slate of films from across the globe.

Do you have competition sections?
Yes. Jury awards for feature films include Narrative and Documentary. Jury awards for short films include Narrative and Documentary. Also, music videos and student films.

How do you program your shorts?
We program shorts thematically. We will not choose the themes ahead of time. We look to see what themes we can build from the submissions received.

Do you prefer films with stars?
No. We prefer great and interesting stories. If a star happens to show up in a really great film, cool. It is not a requirement.

​Questions About the Screen/Judging Process

Who are your screeners?
We use a variety of filmmakers and film enthusiasts to watch films. Some are academics, some are filmmakers, some are movie buffs.  Each film will be viewed at least twice before being elevated to the next level.

Can someone who submitted a film or worked on a submitted film also be a screener?
Yes. For above the line crew (typically director, producer, writer), we will restrict you from judging films in the same category you submitted in.

Can I find out how my film is doing once I’ve submitted?
Sorry, but no. Please don’t call or email us asking for updates on your film. We’re a year round arts organization. In addition to overseeing the submissions we receive for the festival we’re constantly planning screenings, running workshops, and hosting events. Furthermore, the submission review process is long and complex, and typically doesn’t firm up until very close to our notification date. There are films that receive high scores from screeners early on that simply don’t have a place in the festival. There are also films that receive so-so scores from screeners that end up being the missing piece in the program. We don’t want to tell you anything we cannot absolutely commit to. You’ll know when we do.

Who makes final selections?
Final selections are made by the Programming Department.