Ely Film, Art, & Music Festival



Deadline February 03, 2024

Short Film Contest

Film Submissions can be Completed via FILMFREEWAY

Deadline February 03, 2024


Film Submissions can be Completed via FILMFREEWAY


Creating Your Films for The Ely Film, Art, & Music Festival

 Independent filmmakers have two categories to compete in: Amateur and Professional Short Film or Feature Length Film.

“Amateur Filmmakers” will be grouped by age: 12 and younger, 13-18 years old, and 19 and older.

This classification is for independent, inexperienced filmmakers, students, and/or novice filmmakers.

 “Professional Filmmakers” are 19 or older, independent but experienced, working filmmakers, film students, or having previously competed in film festival circuits/contests.

 Both sets of filmmakers can create ORIGINAL SHORT FILMS, no longer than 20 minutes – OR ORIGINAL FEATURE LENGTH FILMS from 50 minutes to 120 minutes.

 Filmmakers are free to submit films in their preferred genre; for example: 

 Drama | Science Fiction |  Animation | Western | Comedy

Musical | Horror/Thriller | Documentary

 ALL SHORT FILMS submitted to the Ely Film, Art, & Music Festival’s Film Contests must be appropriate for all audiences.

No nudity, lewdness, profanity, or violence.

Films must comply with YouTube content creation guidelines, which can be reviewed here. This is to provide all audiences the ability to access Ely FAM Festival content.

Ely FAM Festival short film contest page

The Ely Film, Art, & Music Festival

Celebrating NEVADA FILM, Art, & Music. 

Independent Filmmakers establishing their film’s setting in or filming their independent movies within the Silver State receive special consideration for awards.

*The Ely Film, Art, and Music Festival requests that the filmmakers be aware of copyright and trademark infringement. It is the sole responsibility of the submitting filmmaker to ensure their entry is free from any violation of copyright, plagiarism, trademark or intellectual property. The Ely Film, Art, and Music Festival committee, organizers, affiliates, staff, judges, or operators may disqualify any entry for any reason, limit or prevent its viewing on festival sites or affiliated viewing platforms. Short Film Submissions in either the Amateur or Professional category will be disqualified from receiving awards or showcasing if any violation of terms and conditions is suspected or found at any time following submission. You, the filmmaker, not the Ely Film, Art, and Music Festival, will be held liable in any event there is a violation of copyright or trademark discovered in your submitted work. The Ely Film, Art, and Music Festival may share any part or the whole of your entry to promote, advertise, or highlight the 2023 Ely Film, Art, and Music Festival’s short film showcase and awards. You must only use royalty free or originally composed music you hold the rights to. Filming on public or private property may require permission. Any mess or disturbance of a location must be cleaned up promptly. Please be courteous to others and the environment.
Submission Guidelines
  • Your Ely Film, Art, & Music Festival (Ely FAM Festival) Film is DUE BEFORE 11:59 pm SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 03, 2024.
  • Film Submissions can be Completed via FILMFREEWAY.



  • Nevada Students in Elementary, Middle School and High School can request a FilmFreeway FEE WAIVER @ NevadaFilmMuseum@gmail.com
  • Students must provide their Name, age category, Title of Film, and Name of the School they are attending. 
  • ONE SUBMISSION per Filmmaker/Group of Filmmakers


All submitted films will be judged by film industry professionals and FAM Festival committee members.  

Amateur entries will be judged separately from Professional entries.

Judges and the coordinating FAM Festival committee reserve the right to resubmit your entry into an alternate category if your film is deemed misidentified as either Amateur or Professional.

Submission of a film does not guarantee your film will be selected for viewing during the festival. 

Each Filmmaker of a Selected Films will be contacted prior to the event.

Selection does not guarantee a cash prize or award.

Awards will be announced and distributed at the Ely FAM Festival’s Film Showcase and Awards on Saturday, March 9th, 2024 at Ely’s historic Central Theater.

Check our Events Page for more details.

Filmmakers of Selected Films showing during the Ely FAM Festival’s Film Contest will receive a VIP swag bag and All-Access Badge to the weekend’s films and events at the time of their arrival to the theater, (these items will not be mailed due to cost.)

 The Ely FAM Festival’s Film Showcase and Awards Ceremony on March 9, 2024 is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

Some professional and independent short or full-length feature films showing during this festival may not be suitable for younger audiences. Viewer discretion is advised. 

Parents must accompany minors. No minors are admitted to the theater without a parent or guardian.

The Ely FAM Festival reserves the right to change the terms and conditions of the contest at any time without notice.

Getting Started

For novice and beginner filmmakers, it is important to understand STORYTELLING when creating a film.  

Judges will be looking for a clear narrative with a beginning, middle, and end. Being able to show an original point of view through your film that connects with the audience starts with a clear understanding of what you want to express and leaves the audience thinking and feeling.

Bringing Your Story to the Screen

Make sure you have a clear and understandable storyline to engage audiences with your content. The best movies make us feel, think, and imagine, and they all make sense and have clear characters that develop over the course of the film.

Genres and Ideas to Help get you Started

Documentary of Nevada’s history, historic figures, modern times, current or past events, societal issues, present day affairs, etc.

Science Fiction

Drama, including: Romance, period piece, Sports, Art, Noir, medical, mystery

Comedy, including: Action-Comedy, Buddy Comedy, Dramatic Comedy “Dramedy”, Romantic Comedy “Rom-com”, Slapstick

Musical: your own original music, lyrics, and storyline

Animation, including: Stop Motion, classic hand drawn, or digital

Horror/Thriller including: Ghosts, Paranormal, Monster, suspense

Western, including: Historical, Caper, Crime/ Heist

Short Film Contest Awards

Ely Film, Art, & Music Festival’s Film Contest Awards Ceremony will take place Saturday, March 11, 2023, at the historic Ely Central Theater.

Top qualifying Amateur and Professional filmmakers will see their creations of visual storytelling on the big screen during the festival after a judge’s screening committee has reviewed all submissions. 

The Ely FAM Festival’s Film Showcase and Awards will highlight and honor top entries in each amateur age group category before showcasing and awarding professional-level filmmakers.

Top honors will be given to Professional contestants through a Judge’s Official Selection Award, Nevada’s First Lady’s Choice, and the coveted Audience Choice Award for Favorite Film. Professionally competing short films will receive the Ely Film, Art, and Music Festival Laurel for future use. With each Award accompanied by a cash prize.*

Top honors are given to Amateur contestants through the Judge’s Selection for Best Picture, in each age bracket, the Nevada’s First Lady’s Choice Award, and Audience Choice for Favorite film. Best Picture in the Elementary, Middle SChool, and High SChool categories are accompanied by a cash prize. The First Lady’s Choice and Audience Choice awards also earn a cash prize.

*Cash prizes are subject to change and are dependent upon availability of sponsor and partner participation.

*Participating Filmmakers of Showcased Films receive a VIP Swag Bag and Badge for the week’s events, at the theater upon arrival. (These items will not be mailed to contestants due to cost.) 

Past Amateur Short Film Winners

Please visit our YouTube Channel to view past winners.

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