Film Submissions for CEFF 2021 Now Closed

2021 Festival Submission Deadlines 

(Film Submissions for 2021 are now closed)
  • July 15 – Early Bird Regular Deadline
  • August 31 – Regular Deadline
  • September 27 – Late Deadline
  • October 18 – Extended Deadline
  • November 15 – Notification Deadline

Check back in Summer 2021 for our 2022 Festival Call for Entries!

If you have a film to suggest for our consideration, please contact us!

*Information Regarding COVID-19 and Our Festival*

During this challenging time of uncertainty, CEFF is more committed than ever to the power of film to inspire, educate, and motivate people to act and make an impact in protecting and preserving their local and global environments. It is essential to continue to provide the opportunity to share important environmental stories of resilience and hope, while keeping everyone as safe as possible. We are excited to announce the temporary one year format for the 2021 Colorado Environmental Film Festival. With an abundance of caution and the intent to allow our filmmakers and audiences to plan accordingly, the Colorado Environmental Film Festival is planning to host the majority of our 2021 Festival with online screenings and other great interactive festival opportunities from February 12-21, 2021. Additionally, we are planning a single day live, in-person event in Golden, Colorado if local government and public health recommendations allow. We are closely monitoring public health and safety recommendations and will adhere to official federal and state mandates. We will post potential pertinent updates regarding our festival both here and on our website ( as information becomes available and in the case of policy updates or changes. Filmmakers who have already submitted will receive notice of any changes by email directly. We look forward to reviewing your films! (Updated June 1, 2020)

Film Submission FAQ’s

Who should submit a film?

Filmmakers of all abilities and backgrounds are invited to submit their films in the following categories:

  • Short Films (less than 40 minutes long)
  • Feature Length Films 
  • Youth Submissions (for filmmakers under age 19; includes both short and feature films)

What type and length of films are you looking for?

Our mission, to celebrate the power of film to inspire, educate, and motivate audiences on environmental topics, is an excellent starting point in considering if your film is relevant for CEFF. We watch hundreds of films each year to find the best and most inspiring environmental films.  Films should cover environmental topics, but can certainly overlap with social, economic, spiritual, or other themes. We welcome shorts and features related to the environment including those about nature, activism, conservation, health, water, energy, climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, food and farming. This is an open forum designed to inspire awareness and action on a myriad of worldwide environmental topics. The quality of the film production will also be considered and weighed. All genres, including documentaries, narratives, shorts, children’s films, and experimental films are all welcome and will be given equal consideration.

We screen all lengths, from 2 minutes to 100+ minutes. Please let us know if shorter versions of your film are available – our audiences appreciate films that convey their storyline in an engaging and concise way. We typically accept fewer longer films overall. We are mostly concerned with the content and quality of the film. We will adjust our viewing schedule to accommodate different lengths of films, though some films may be “blocked” together for viewing. 

How do I submit a film?

Colorado Environmental Film Festival proudly accepts entries on FilmFreeway, the world’s #1 way to enter film festivals and creative contests.  FilmFreeway is very user-friendly, but we’re happy to offer pointers to get you set up. Submit now.

  1. First, you need to create a FilmFreeway account.
  2. Next, create a “project” within the site. Generally, a project will be a film.
  3. Once you have created your film project, add a digital version of your project (like a Vimeo link or direct upload to FilmFreeway).
  4. Once your film project is complete, you can submit your film to any festival.
  5. To submit to CEFF, search for “Submit now.” in the search bar.
  6. Click the green button that says “submit now.”
  7. Just pay the submission fee and you’re done!

If you have questions along the way, Contact Us!

What does it cost to submit a film?

We encourage you to submit your work early. We offer discounted entry fees the earlier you submit.

  • Early Bird deadline: July 15: $30
  • Regular deadline: August 31: $40
  • Late deadline: September 27: $50
  • Extended deadline: October 18: $60

*Student fee applies to anyone submitting as a student of an accredited school. 

*Students under the age of 19 are eligible to submit in the Youth Category for $10 anytime before the Extended Deadline of October 18.

Do you offer fee waivers or discounts?

As CEFF is an environmental and educational non-profit, we are only able to offer a limited number of fee waivers, and we cannot guarantee them from year to year. We rely on our submission fees to keep our event successful and ensure we can continue to offer a platform to screen films. We do understand that some filmmakers are unable to make the financial commitment to pay the full submission fee, so we do have a waiver request process. To request a waiver consideration, please contact us and provide:

  1. A detailed explanation as to why you are requesting a fee waiver
  2. Explain why you feel your film is a good fit for our festival – please specifically address how your film is an environmental film. Please note – CEFF is an environmental film festival and we select films that closely match our mission.

Youth and Student: CEFF also offers a student discounted fee for students age 19 and older who are enrolled in an accredited school and a Youth rate for filmmakers under the age of 19.

Alumni and CO Filmmakers: We love to work with our local COlorado filmmakers and CEFF alumni – please contact us if you have a new project!



When will I find out if my film was accepted?

Our Notification Date is November 15th. You will receive an email with information regarding your submission status on that day. If we need to move the Notification Date for any reason, we will notify you in advance.

Do you offer feedback if my film is not accepted?

If requested, yes. However, we cannot guarantee a timeframe as we receive many requests for feedback and are not always able to respond in a timely manner. We’re grateful for your patience.

Do you present awards?

We present five unique awards each year created by local artist Rik Sargent of Sargent Studios. Awards presented annually include:

  • Best Short Film
  • Best Feature Film
  • Best Youth Film
  • Spirit of Activism 
  • Best of the Festival

Check out our 2020 Festival Award Winners

How will the 2021 festival going online impact filmmakers?

While a difficult decision, the CEFF team is excited to announce that we will be hosting the 2021 version of CEFF primarily online. Until it is safe again to gather in theaters and experience films on the big screen as intended, we are looking forward to the opportunity to expand our filmmaker benefits and reach new audiences! Here are a few of the opportunities we are planning for CEFF 2021 for filmmakers:

  • Live and recorded Q&A sessions – A fan favorite! We anticipate being able to provide all accepted films the chance to conduct a more extensive Q&A session with audiences – something our physical festival has to usually limit due to time restraints!
  • Interactive filmmaker virtual lounge 
  • Check back for more details we unveil them closer to the festival!

What are the benefits for films that are selected for CEFF?

if selected for the festival, your film will be screened by a diverse group of people who understand the importance and value of environmental film making. Additional benefits include: 
*Your film will be considered for a festival award, including the Best of Festival award, the Best Short award, the Best Feature award, and the Spirit of Activism/Local Colorado award.

*You will be able to market your film with the Colorado Environmental Film Festival official selection and, if selected for an award, an award logo (which will be made available at a later date).

*You will receive (2) Free Festival Passes to the festival 

*VIP treatment: You will be invited to record and/or participate in a Q&A session following the screening 

*You may sell copies of your film through the festival platforms

*Your film will be considered for the CO Environmental Film Fest touring package (CEFF Caravan) offered to local Colorado communities each year.

*Some forums and parallel discussion-related programs are in development in which you may be invited to participate.