(2017 Film Submission Guidelines coming soon!)

2016 Film Submission Guidelines

(Submissions Closed)


  • Registration for film submissions for the 2016 Christian Worldview Film Festival will open August 17th, 2015.
  • Film submission deadline is November 2nd, 2015. Films must be postmarked or a digital download must be provided by this date.
  • Film submission fees are $50 for films under 30 minutes in length and $75 for films over 30 minutes in length
  • The 2016 Christian Worldview Film Festival and Filmmakers Guild are being held in San Antonio, March 14-19, 2016.

Thank you for your interest in submitting your film to the Christian Worldview Film Festival. The goal of this festival is to encourage Christian filmmakers to pursue excellence in their craft of filmmaking while communicating truth through a solid Biblical worldview. The Festival provides an excellent opportunity to showcase your work while networking with others in the industry.

The Christian Worldview Film Festival is looking for submissions from a wide variety of genres and categories including: Narrative Feature Films, Documentary Films, Short Films, Young Filmmakers, Promotional Media (Promotional Videos, Commercials, Music Videos, Film Trailers), Missions Awareness, and Sanctity of Life Films. These should be produced with a distinct Christian worldview. This does not mean that every film is expected to present a gospel message but that each subject, and the way it is handled, should be evidently informed by the filmmakers understanding of Biblical principles. Productions should reflect a solid foundation for the following: subject matter, good discernment and discretion in presentation, excellence in production, great storytelling, redemptive and edifying themes, building good character, persuasive and insightful documentary or promotional. This festival will be a family friendly event so we will be prioritizing films that are appropriate for all ages. We will thoughtfully consider films that are not appropriate for younger viewers but selections in this category will be limited.

If you think your film is in general alignment with the purposes and vision of the Festival, please read the following Rules and Regulations to ensure that your film has every opportunity to excel at the Festival. By submitting a film (hereafter called the “Film”) to Christian Worldview Film Festival (hereafter called the “Festival”) the Filmmaker acknowledges that he or she has obtained all necessary rights and consent and has read and understood the Festival rules and regulations for submitting a Film listed below.

Table of Contents:

  • Section I: Rules and Regulations
  • Section II: Technical Submission Guidelines
  • Section III: Film Submission Categories
  • Section IV: Award Categories
  • Section V: Film Submission Considerations

Section I: Rules and Regulations

  1.  Films must be completed after October 1, 2013, to be eligible for the 2016 Festival.

  2. It is the sole responsibility of the Filmmaker to secure authorization and permission from the copyright owners for any and all copyrighted or trademarked content. The Festival will not be held liable for any unauthorized use of copyrighted or trademarked materials and reserves the right to disqualify any Film for copyright or trademark infringement.

  3. By submitting a Film to the Festival, the Filmmaker agrees to allow the Film to be screened at the Festival and to allow short portions of the Film to be used by the Festival for promotional purposes.

  4. Filmmakers must fill out a submission form and all fees must be paid before the deadline for a film to be eligible for the festival. Submission fees will not be refunded if a Film is disqualified or not selected to be shown at the Festival. Submission fees are $50 for films under 30 minutes and $75 for films over 30 minutes.

  5. Late entries will be accepted until December 1st, 2015. Late submission fees are $100 for films under 30 minutes and $150 for films over 30 minutes.

  6. All Films must be submitted according to the guidelines listed in Section II: Submission Guidelines and must be post-marked by the deadline to qualify. Submission deadline is November 2nd, 2015 or December 1st, 2015 if registering as a late entry.

  7. Films will be selected based on excellence in their work and alignment with the Festival guidelines and objectives as explained in Section V: Film Submission Considerations.

  8. Filmmakers may submit multiple Films, however, each Film must be accompanied by its own entrance fee and submission form. Multiple short Films that have been registered can be combined on a single DVD if applicable.

  9. Once the Films have been reviewed and the selection process is complete, Filmmakers will be notified using the contact information included in the submission form. It is the sole responsibility of the Filmmaker to insure that the Festival has the necessary and correct contact information.

  10. The Festival is under no obligation to provide feedback on individual Films or on the selection process.

  11. Films that contain significant non-English dialogue must include English subtitles.

  12. We strongly encourage you or a representative of the Film to be in attendance at the Festival to receive any potential awards. Please notify us ahead of time if this is not possible.

  13. Judges will present awards as outlined in Section IV: Award Categories. Judges reserve the right to not grant a category award if none of the submissions meet the criteria for that category.

  14. Judges reserve the right to present additional awards not outlined in Section IV: Award Categories.

Section II: Technical Submission Guidelines

Please read the following guidelines carefully to ensure that your film is not rejected due to technical issues. The submission deadline is Monday, November 2nd, 2015.
  1. Filmmakers must submit five (5) copies of each Film on DVD to be used for review purposes by the judges. DVDs must be encoded for play back in Region 1. DVD−R or DVD+R (non-rewritable) media should be used. If the discs do not work, the Festival will try, but is under no obligation, to contact the Filmmaker and see if replacement discs can be sent. Submissions must be postmarked by November 2nd, 2015 or December 1st, 2015 if registered as a late entry.

    DVDs should be mailed to: Phillip Telfer, 1751 FM 1044, New Braunfels, TX 78130

    Films UNDER 30 minutes in length may be submitted on five DVDs or via download link (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.). If submitted via download, the Film should be submitted as an H.264 MPEG-4 file with a minimum resolution of 1280×720 pixels.

    1280×720 -Target Bitrate between 2.5-5.0 Mbps (no less and no more)

    1920×1080 – Target Bitrate between 3-7 Mbps (no less and no more)

    Submissions must be emailed or postmarked by November 2nd, 2015 or by December 1st, 2015 if registered as a late entry.

  2. Filmmakers must provide 2-3 screenshots of their Film, a one or two sentence logline, and a Film synopsis of no more than 120 words. The screenshots, logline, and synopsis will be used to promote the film if it becomes an official selection.

  3. If accepted into the Festival, the Film must also be submitted in Digital Format. Films under 30 minutes in length may be submitted via download link, otherwise Filmmakers must submit one (1) copy of their Film in digital format to be used for screening at the Festival. The Film should be submitted as an H.264 MPEG-4 file with a minimum resolution of 1280×720 pixels on a flash memory device or hard disk drive or data DVD. Filmmakers who have registered more than one short Film may submit their Films on a single storage device. If your Film is not able to be encoded with these specifications please contact us through the website and we will provide you with further encoding instructions.

  4. Each Film submitted should begin with a black screen (for one second) and then the Film should immediately start without any further delay. Please, do not include any trailers or special introductions. Films submitted on DVD should have a simple menu with an icon to play the movie.

  5. Audio should be mastered in stereo sound.

  6. DVDs will not be returned under any circumstances. Receipt of films will be confirmed by e-mail correspondence.

  7. Flash memory devices, hard disk drives, or other storage devices will be available for pickup at event office during the Festival. (The Festival will not be responsible for shipping flash memory devices, hard disk drives, or other storage devices back to the applicant.)

  8. All entry lengths are calculated from black to black, and must include all opening and closing credits, logos, etc.

  9. Application fee is non-refundable.

Section III: Film Submission Categories

Films can be submitted to the Festival in the categories listed below. Awards will be given for the best of each category as well as additional awards that are listed in Section IV: Award Categories.

Feature Film
  • Dramatic or comedic narrative
  • 30 – 120 minutes*
  • Narratives must be a complete work, not a compilation of a series
  • Nonfiction or docudrama
  • Less than 120 minutes in length
Short Film
  • Dramatic or comedic narrative, nonfiction or docudrama
  • Less than 30 minutes in length*
Young Filmmakers
  • Dramatic or comedic narrative; live-action or animated
  • Nonfiction, docudrama; live-action or animated
  • Produced or Directed by young filmmakers 17 years of age & under
  • Length Suggestion: The shorter your Film the more likely it will be considered
Promotional Media & Commercials
  • Less than 30 minutes in length
  • Documentary or narrative style; live-action or animated
  • Corporate, political, community, or non-profit promotional video
  • Commercials spots must be exactly 15, 30, or 60 seconds in length. Filmmaker must own rights or have permission to submit a Commercial
  • Film Trailers. No more than 150 seconds in length. The Film that the trailer is created for does not have to be an official selection in the Festival but it must comply with the worldview considerations expressed in Section V
Music Videos
  • Any musical genres will be acceptable being mindful of the film submission considerations outlined in Section V.
Animated Films
  • Dramatic or comedic narrative
  • Nonfiction, docudrama
  • Less than 120 minutes in length
* On occasion narrative films can be hard to categorize based on length alone. The Festival reserves the right to determine the category of a film, regardless of its length, as a Short or Feature Film if they feel it better suits the Film to be categorized as such. The Festival may also choose to create a separate category for narrative films that are difficult to place as either Short Films or Feature Films.

Section IV: Award Categories

The Festival is pleased to offer the following awards given there are a sufficient number of entries per category to warrant a competition and at least one award worthy film has been entered:
  1. Best Narrative Feature Film
  2. Best Documentary
  3. Best Short Film
  4. Young Filmmakers Award
  5. Best Promotional Media
  6. Best Music Video
  7. Best Gospel Presentation
  8. Audience Choice Award
  9. Sanctity of Life Award
  10. Missions Awareness Award
Monetary prizes will be based on sponsor support. The Festival may choose not to grant a category award if none of the submissions meets the criteria for that category. The Festival may choose to offer additional awards not listed above. Additional awards given in the past include: Best Animated Film, Best Children’s Film, Best Original Music Score, Best Film Trailer, and Best Inspirational Short Film.

Section V: Film Submission Considerations

Since 2005 Media Talk 101 has been teaching Biblical principles for media discernment to consumers; with this Festival we are taking it a step further in order to encourage media discernment among those who create it. In his epistle, James warns us, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” The following slogan from Media Talk 101 about media is helpful to understand how the judges of the Festival will apply James’ words to your Film:

Every song is a sermon,
Every movie is a message,
Every TV is a teacher,
Every word a weapon,
And a picture is worth a thousand words.

Another principle from the Scriptures is found in Proverbs 12:18, “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” The films you produce can do harm if you are careless with this very sharp tool of communication. On the other hand, if you handle this tool with wisdom it can be a tremendous blessing to others. Use the following questions to judge for yourself how your project might be judged.

1. Do You Understand Worldview?

Dr. David Noebel answers that question by stating, “A worldview is nothing more and nothing less than a bundle of ideas.” Where have you acquired your “bundle of ideas?” If you have spent more time in front of the TV or sitting in theaters than you have spent studying God’s Word, it will be reflected in your films. The Bible won’t help you learn how to follow focus, set up lighting, or choose the right camera lens, but it will give you the right foundation for presenting the right ideas through your projects. We believe that it is imperative for Christians to be saturated in Scripture in order for your bundle of ideas to manifest a truly Christian worldview in your film productions.

2. Do You Love God?

Jesus said in Mark 12:30 that the greatest commandment was, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” That certainly includes your filmmaking as well. Does your film reflect your love for God? Most non-Christian filmmakers craft a world where God does not exist. Let that not be the case in Christian filmmaking.

Avoiding Profanity – the word “profane” can only be understood correctly in the context of something that is considered holy or set apart. When you treat something that is holy in a common or degrading way, you are profaning it. This certainly includes using God’s name in a profane way but it doesn’t end there. Another example from Hebrews 13:4 says, “…marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” You should never profane the sanctity of marriage. Consider the following criteria that were included in Hollywood’s 1930 Motion Picture Production Code…

“The sanctity of the institution of marriage and the home shall be upheld. Pictures shall not infer that low forms of sex relationship are the accepted or common thing…”

“Even within the limits of pure love, certain facts have been universally regarded by lawmakers as outside the limits of safe presentation. In the case of impure love, the love which society has always regarded as wrong and which has been banned by divine law, the following are important: 1. Impure love must not be presented as attractive and beautiful. 2. It must not be the subject of comedy or farce, or treated as material for laughter. 3. It must not be presented in such a way to arouse passion or morbid curiosity on the part of the audience. 4. It must not be made to seem right and permissible. 5. In general, it must not be detailed in method and manner.”

NOTE: We do not commend every aspect of The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 but we do recommend that filmmakers read the entire code.

3. Do You Love Your Neighbor?

Jesus also taught in Mark 12:31 that the second most important commandment is that “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Your love for others must be defined by God’s Word. One way that your filmmaking can demonstrate a love for others is by not exposing them to content that would be considered obscene.

Obscene – The word comes from ancient Greek theatre. It is derived from the phrase ob skene, which literally means “off-stage.” Certain elements of a story (i.e. violence or sex) were to be implied “off-stage,” not acted out for the audience on the stage. Though we are not applauding Greek plays, they had some sense of propriety in not exposing the audience to obscenities. This concept was also present in the 1930 Production Code when comparing written material to film…

“The latitude given to film material cannot, in consequence, be as wide as the latitude given to book material. …a book describes; a film vividly presents. One presents on a cold page; the other by apparently living people… a book reaches the mind through words merely; a film reaches the eyes and ears through the reproduction of actual events… the reaction of a reader to a book depends largely on the keenness of the reader’s imagination; the reaction to a film depends on the vividness of presentation. Hence many things which might be described or suggested in a book could not possibly be presented in a film.”

Authenticity? – In the name of ‘keeping it real’ some Christian filmmakers put a certain amount of immodesty, obscenity, or vulgarity in their Film. At the Festival, we will be looking for and awarding Filmmakers who put in the time and effort to find creative and careful ways of communicating the reality of a scene without defiling the audience. Showing restraint can enhance your storytelling when it involves dealing with a variety of real life issues. We will also be looking for Films that ‘keep it real’ by being bold with the message of Jesus Christ.

“No picture shall be produced which will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrong-doing, evil or sin.” -Motion Picture Production Code

4. Do You Love Truth?

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” and, “…you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Those who are without Christ are confused about the subject of truth like Pilate who asked Jesus, “What is truth?” Consequently, those without truth are held captive to the philosophies and deceptions in the world and are in need of finding freedom. Your commitment to truth will be evident in your commitment to Jesus. We can draw wisdom from Philippians 4:8 which says, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” As a filmmaker you should be asking yourself if your production is true to this list. These are the things your audience should be dwelling on as they invest their time and resources in your project.

5. Do You Love Family Friendly Films?

We do! We want to encourage Christian filmmakers to produce films that the entire family can watch together. The Festival will especially look for ways to promote healthy, age integrated entertainment that every member in the family can enjoy together again and again.

As Christians we deal with a lot of heavy issues in our culture and society. This is often reflected in our films. We recognize that there are some topics that need to be dealt with that are not appropriate for children, in those cases we will be looking for films that handle tough topics with discernment, creativity, and respect for the family, while nurturing a love for righteousness and a distaste for sin in the viewer. Sin must be shown for what it really is and truth and righteousness must be exalted: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” – Isaiah 5:20

6. Do You Hate Violence?

The Bible tells us that God hates it when people love violence. “The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.” (Psalm 11:5) God has portrayed violent stories in the Scriptures. Each story is found in a distinct context and with a certain purpose. His stories are not often detailed in their accounts of violence but discreet. God does not include violence in His narrative in order to entertain an audience or to satisfy a thirst for action and violence. If you hate violence then you will be more likely to handle it with greater care in your films.

We will ask the question, is the violence portrayed within a proper context? Films with gratuitous violence (violence just for the sake of violence as a production device for the purpose of entertainment but not necessary to tell the story) will not impress our judges. Before submitting your Film ask, “Does it promote a love for violence?” or “Is this designed to create an unhealthy appetite in the viewer?”

Consider the following excerpt from the 1930 Production Code, “No picture shall be produced which will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrong-doing, evil or sin. This is done: 1. When evil is made to appear attractive and alluring, and good is made to appear unattractive. 2. When the sympathy of the audience is thrown on the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil, sin. The same is true of a film that would throw sympathy against goodness, honor, innocence, purity or honesty. Note: Sympathy with a person who sins is not the same as sympathy with the sin or crime of which he is guilty. We may feel sorry for the plight of the murderer or even understand the circumstances which led him to his crime: we may not feel sympathy with the wrong which he has done. The presentation of evil is often essential for art or fiction or drama. This in itself is not wrong provided: a) That evil is not presented alluringly. Even if later in the film the evil is condemned or punished, it must not be allowed to appear so attractive that the audience’s emotions are drawn to desire or approve so strongly that later the condemnation is forgotten and only the apparent joy of sin is remembered. b) That throughout, the audience feels sure that evil is wrong and good is right.”

7. Do You Love Excellence?

In the book of Exodus we learn about Bezalel, a man chosen by God, who helped with the artistic needs of the tabernacle. This is what God revealed about his abilities, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works.” God also speaks of the other artisans by saying, “…and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you.” Bezalel was also gifted to teach others, “And He has put in his heart the ability to teach.” Filmmaking is an artistic work that takes wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and workmanship. These abilities need to come from God and He imparts them directly or through gifted teachers working with keen students.

Huram was also a noted master craftsman, “he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill in working with all kinds of bronze work.” King Solomon shared his insight about skill in Ecclesiastes when he wrote, “For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and skill…” It takes labor to acquire necessary skills to demonstrate excellence in your productions and we want to showcase those growing skills in Christian filmmaking.

The Webster’s 1828 Dictionary gives the following definition of excellence, “An valuabale quality; any thing highly laudable, meritorious or virtuous, in persons, or valuable and esteemed, in things. Purity of heart, uprightness of mind, sincerity, virtue, piety, are excellencies of character; symmetry of parts, strength and beauty are excellencies of body; an accurate knowledge of an art is an excellence in the artisan; soundness and durability are excellencies in timber; fertility, in land; elegance, in writing. In short, whatever contributes to exalt man, or to render him esteemed and happy, or to bless society, is in him an excellence.”

Submission Deadline
Submissions must be postmarked or a digital download must be provided by November 2nd, 2015

Submission Fees
Films under 30 minutes in length: $50 (per film)
Films over 30 minutes in length: $75 (per film)

Late Submission Deadline and Fees
Late submission must be postmarked or a digital download must be provided by December 1st, 2015
Films under 30 minutes in length: $100 (per film)
Films over 30 minutes in length: $150 (per film)

(Submissions Closed)