In 2021, ACFF will select several outstanding conservation films to receive awards. Films are eligible to receive more than one award and all awards come with laurels and a monetary prize. Click here to see a list of our 2019 award winners.
The ACFF Selection Committee accepts a wide variety of film genres with the unifying element being conservation. Films may address environmental issues, highlight cultural preservation, focus on appreciation of the natural world, detail scientific break-throughs that impact sustainability or trace the history of a conservation hero. Topics in the past have included climate change, consumption and waste, cultural connections, energy, food and agriculture, health and well-being, history and heroes, marine life, rivers and streams, wildlife and wild places. If you are unsure if your film would be a good fit for ACFF, please email us with a brief summary. We are happy to offer guidance.
2021 Entry Fees
Early bird $35 // Regular $40 // Late $45
Student films can be submitted FREE (see requirements)
ACFF’s preferred method of submission is by secure online screener via ACFF’s FilmFreeway account. Film submissions registered via ACFF’s FilmFreeway account are also accepted through the mail. Entrants may send a labeled NTSC DVD (region-free or region 1) to the address below, however submitted DVDs will not be returned.
DVD entries must adhere to professional production standards that will ensure compatibility and playback on standard, consumer desktop DVD players. It is the entrant’s responsibility that the program that is entered can be easily identified on the DVD menu.
All films being submitted to ACFF shall have completed production after May 15, 2018 and may be duplicated for internal use by the selection committee and board of directors.
One of the elements selection committee members look for is careful editing. While fully respecting artistic license, if given the choice between a long cut and shorter cut, the team usually opts for the version that conveys the message in a concise manner.
Films that are selected by ACFF are chosen by a committee of media and conservation professionals. The quality of storytelling, production value, aesthetics and topic are principle factors in the selection of films for ACFF.
A film that is received in time, with submission fee paid in full and free of technical issues with either digital upload or physical disc will be treated in exactly the same manner as all other films, regardless of which deadline you choose.
(1) A secure online screener or labeled NTSC DVD (region-free or region 1/ N. America) copy of the work
(2) Contact information for the filmmaker or person handling the submission– name, mailing address and e-mail
(3) Student filmmakers must provide school affiliation with submissions and contact info for advisor on the project.
Deadlines are the dates by which we must receive your film. They are not postmark deadlines. We must receive your digital upload or physical disc by the deadline date for which your film has been registered.
Films with non-English soundtracks must be submitted with embedded subtitles.
If your submission is a student production, be sure to choose that designation on the online submission application. A student is defined as one who is enrolled at an accredited high school, undergraduate, or graduate school, including such programs as AFI. A student is not required to be a film or video major, but must identify their school and year of study on the entry form. No student production can have been produced as a work for hire.
ACFF is not responsible for notifying any parties other than the entrant, through its listed contact person, of entry status or of any questions or determinations regarding the entry.
It is the sole responsibility of the entity submitting the project to secure permission from the copyright holders of the material contained in the film.
Multiple entries will be accepted, provided they are submitted individually.
Entrants may resubmit film(s) submitted in the past that were not accepted as long as the film has been completed in the past 2 years.
All selected films and solicited materials by ACFF will be programmed into the festival. We plan for all selected films to be screened in public venues. In the event that ACFF’s Board of Directors decides conditions are unsafe to hold a live festival, we will reach out to the filmmaker of each officially selected film with a proposal to screen their film online.
If your film is officially selected, you may be asked to provide:
- A high resolution file download via Dropbox, Google Drive or Vimeo that is 1920 x 1080 pixels, 23.97fps, 48kHz Audio, Progressive scan, .mp4 format – with closed captions whenever possible
- 2 exhibition-quality NTSC DVDs (region free or region 1) or 2 Blu-rays of the invited work. One of each is preferred.
- A digital press kit including film stills in high resolution jpg format, a synopsis, production credits and director bio
- A link to a publicly-accessible online trailer, although an exception will be made for very short films
Note: If materials are not submitted by the applicable deadline, we reserve the right to secure substitute materials from other sources.