‘Anybody has a chance:’ Submissions for 2023 Florida Film Festival now being accepted

Event will be held at Enzian Theater from April 14-23

Enzian Theater. (Enzian Theater)

ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s time for filmmakers all over the world to reel in their excitement because the 2023 Florida Film Festival is now accepting entries for its 32nd annual event.

The festival is scheduled to take place at the Enzian Theater in Maitland from April 14-23, 2023, and organizers are looking for submissions from newcomers and experts alike.

[Click here to sign up for the Setting The Stage arts & entertainment newsletter | See more Setting the Stage stories here]

Deanna Tiedtke, Enzian Theater’s director of public relations and development, said the “beast of an event” will spotlight an “Only in Florida” theme throughout the festival’s run, featuring community sponsorships and restaurant partners that play with the fact we’ve basically become “a meme of a state at this point.”

People gather for last year's Florida Film Festival at the Enzian Theater. (Enzian Theater)

Despite the hyperlocal angle, Tiedtke said anyone is invited to apply to the Oscar-accredited festival and expects the return of many diverse and international artists.

“We’re an Oscar-accredited festival and it could be pretty intimidating to apply, but really, I mean, we have accepted films from, you know, first-time filmmakers, we’ve accepted films of people who’ve been applying for 10 years straight. You know, anybody has a chance to make it,” Tiedtke said.

[TRENDING: Can a Florida wildlife officer pull me over for a traffic violation? | Brightline announces traffic advisories from Orlando to West Palm Beach | Central Florida boy, 10, loses leg in shark attack | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

Last year, they handpicked over 150 films to screen during the 10-day festival out of nearly 3,000 submissions.

Filmgoers gather to watch a movie outside. (Enzian Theater)

“So, it’s a lot of watching movies. It’s a lot of figuring out what’s, you know, the best of the best out there,” she said of the selection process. “And, obviously, from an operations and logistics perspective, it’s a whole lot of events... (we’re) just trying to make this event as as incredible as it can be.”

Filmmakers are invited to submit films in a number of competition categories, including short films (both narrative and animation), documentary films (both short and feature length), narrative features, and international films (both short and feature length).

The 32nd annual Florida Film Festival is slated to run from April 14-23, 2023. (Enzian Theater)

All three short film categories at this festival could put filmmakers in the running to win an Academy Award. Awards are determined by both a jury of film professionals and audience ballots.

A lucky participant in Central Florida Film Slam will also have a chance to score a spot in the festival lineup, after audience awards are pooled together and an ultimate winner is decided.

The deadlines to enter are as follows:

  • Early deadline - Sept. 30
  • Regular deadline - Nov. 11
  • Late deadline - Nov. 25

Interested artists can submit their entries at FloridaFilmFestival.com through Film Freeway. For more information on the festival itself and any upcoming discounts on ticketed events, such as the upcoming Black Friday sale, click here.

Check out every episode of Riff On This in the media player below: