Film Submission Guidelines

The Big Bear Lake International Film Festival is open to U.S. and Foreign films in seven categories: Feature Films, Short Films (Narrative and Documentary), Animation, Student Films and Family Films. To be eligible, a film entry must have been completed January 1, 2011 or later. All entries must be submitted on DVDs which play in all regions. Entries must be postmarked by submission deadlines:

New Year's Special -  January 6, 2014 

Spring Fever Special Deadline - February, 24 2014

Early Entry Deadline - March 24, 2014

Regular Deadline - May 5, 2014

Final Deadline - June 2, 2014

Withoutabox Extended Deadline - June 30, 2014

(Please, NO PAL submissions). Entries must be submitted with the processing fee. We encourage you to provide all information via Withoutabox. To submit directly to the festival, complete the 2014 Entry Form and contact for further instructions.

Submissions will not be returned unless requested by email at

Filmmakers will be notified of their acceptance no later than August 15, 2014. If selected, a digital media film (.MP4) and a backup DVD/Blu-Ray must be received in the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival office no later than August 29, 2014


Award Categories: Unless BBLIFF is given instructions, all film entries will be considered for the Jury and Audience Award competition. Jury Award winners will be selected by a panel of active film industry professionals. All films go through a screening process and are reviewed by at least three film industry professionals. Winners agree to participate in the publicity for the Festival and other promotional events, including the website and festival print materials. The determination of the winners is final.

Jury Award categories:

  • Best Feature Film
  • Best Short Film
  • Best Documentary Feature
  • Best Documentary Short
  • Best Student Film
  • Best Animation Film
  • Best Cinematography 

Audience Award categories:

  • Best Feature Film
  • Best Short Film
  • Best Documentary Feature
  • Best Documentary Short
  • Best Animation
  • Best High School Student Film
  • Best 3D Film
  • Best Big Bear Connection Film

Selected film entries will be notified no later than August 15, 2014 via phone or email. Jury Award and Audience Award winners will be announced at the film festival. A trophy with the Director's name and film title will be awarded to the winners. Some Award categories may have prize sponsors providing gifts. One trophy and one prize (if there is a prize sponsor for the category) will be given to the individual designated as Director on the official entry form.


Accepted 2014 Filmmakers: Filmmakers accepted and planning to attend the 2014 festival are responsible for their travel, lodging, and all other expenses.

Each Film accepted into the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival will receive the following:

  • Two Filmmaker Badges, granting access to all films, panels and seminars
  • Two tickets to the Opening Night Gala
  • Two tickets to the Centerpiece Film & Reception
  • Two tickets to the Wrap Party & Filmmakers Award Ceremony
  • Two invitations to attend the Filmmaker Breakfast
  • Two Festival Sponsor Bags
  • Access to Industry Networking events
  • Admittance to the Filmmaker Lounge

You will have the opportunity to purchase discounted passes and tickets in advance for additional filmmakers, crew, and actors attending the festival with your film. Questions? Email

Films which have been broadcast on television, cable or have had a theatrical release prior to the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival are NOT eligible for any competition, but may be screened, out of competition, at the discretion of Big Bear Lake International Film Festival.

Non-English language produced films must have English subtitles or be dubbed in English.

All entrants certify that they have been given full rights to use any and all music in their films.

Film Producers/Distributors are responsible for insurance and shipment costs of films to Big Bear Lake International Film Festival.

The title of the work and name of entrant, email and return address must be on all DVDs, Blu-Rays, Digital Files and mailing containers. (Please do not use stickers, or your disc may not play.) Digital Files (.MP4) must have title and aspect ratio indicated on the file.

Films and other film material will be handled with utmost care, but neither Big Bear Lake International Film Festival staff nor supporting Theater organizations can assume responsibility for damage or loss of the film and other film materials, en route or otherwise, during the course of the Festival's possession of the film.

Upon request, The Big Bear Lake International Film Festival will provide return shipment of films if a self-addressed envelope with appropriate postage, or a FedEx/UPS account number is provided. The Big Bear Lake International Film Festival will NOT incur the cost of return shipments.

All stated information, eligibility and submission guidelines, terms and conditions of entry, and entry information is subject to change by the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, without notice.

Films, Submission Forms and Entry Fees should be sent to:

Big Bear Lake International Film Festival P.O. Box 12995  Newport Beach, CA 92658


For FedEx/UPS deliveries, please note the delivery address on Withoutabox or email