Registration will be open between May 14, 2016 and January 31, 2017. There will be two submission age groups, 13 to 18, and 19 an up. Both can pick from these three categories:

1. Living in Poverty– We want filmmakers to tackle the issue of poverty in a nontraditional way. Filmmakers must give life to the perspective of “how does it affect me,” and “why should I care?” All too often in our society people give this bleak answer, and the filmmakers goal is to answer it for them. Make people see why they should care about poverty and show them how it truly affects them. Living in poverty pushes filmmakers to think out of the box about an issue that is so often put in the dark, and prodded with opinion. We aim to put a floodlight on poverty, with a globe at its center.

2. Identity: Your Narrative, Real or Fictional– This Category speaks for itself, come up with any narrative and submit it! Identity narratives are the best way to help feel how constricting and different slipping on someone else’s shoes truly is. This is the key to diversity. You never feel closer to someone else after you not only hear, but see their story. Once you have the key, all you have to do is unlock the door.

3. “Fear me not, I mean well”– We are specifically looking for satirical films that best fit this phrase, for example a dictator’s use of Emergency Laws and use of police or military force. This category encourages contestants to find a common ground on grim issues while being playful and creating awareness for the issue or issues of their choice. Filmmakers can target voices of underrepresented communities in the media. You can also create your own satirical talk show, but feel free to interpret the phrase and brainstorm an idea of your own. “The importance of satire is bringing more people to the table. There are a lot of average citizens who aren’t interested in politics and would be more interested if it’s brought to them in a comedic, funny, satirical way,” said Bassem Youssef, “My show in Egypt was called, ‘The Show,’ or, ‘Al Bernameg’ in Arabic. Basically, it was a political satire show. It started on Internet by three, four-minute episodes, and then it evolved into a live show in a theater, which was something that was unprecedented in the Arab world.”

-You can also bring in or mail a USB drive with your movie and documents , but will not have the USB drive returned.  Our address is 4011 Bailey Avenue, Amherst NY 14226. 

-Films cannot be longer than 10 minutes, including credits. Submission documents must be accompanied by with a 1-3 minute Video biography about why you chose the subject, explaining the film and your ideas behind it. If you win we may play this video as well.Trailers are welcome but not required. Please email your documents to



We will be giving a total of 18 prizes and one grand prize. 1st is $500, 2nd is $300, 3rd is $150, per age group and category. The best out of all six first place winner will receive an additional $1,000. We may have additional prizes from sponsors for those who did not win, and a certificate for all those who apply. Trailers are welcome but not required.

  • Official CIFF Rules

    Start Up:
    • Pick a team name, and together designate a leader.
    • Stock footage may be used as long as the team has rights to the stock footage.
    • Animation and special effects are permitted, as long as the team has rights to the footage.
    • Still photographs are permitted, provided that the team has the rights to them.
    • Any type of video or film camera may be used. There is no limit to the number of cameras.
    • We expect films to be submitted in 720p to 1080p.
        Music Rights:                                                                                                        
    • Participating group must have the rights to any music used in its film and must provide releases for all music used. As with music, pre-recorded sound effects are allowed, but you must have rights to use them.
        Total Run Time:
    • The finished film must be a minimum of 3 minutes in duration, and a maximum of 10 minutes in duration, including end credits.
        Opening Credits:
    • 5 seconds of black to start
    • A title card with the following: team name, team leader’s name, title, city, and date
    • Must include the official Collective International Film Festival Logo (it can be found in the submit section on OR a title card with: “This film was submitted to the Collective International Film Festival
    • 2 seconds of black
        Ending Credits:
    • Must have a title card with: This film was submitted to the Collective International Film Festival
    • For any future screenings, online or otherwise, films should retain the opening and ending credits, official Collective International Film Festival Logo OR title card that says: “This film was made for the Collective International Film Festival”.
      Media Formats:
    • Must use the formats withoutabox has restricted submissions to.
    • Format must be compatible with Vimeo requirements. If your film cannot be viewed on Collective International Film Festival equipment, it may be disqualified.
    • Will only accept online submissions.
        No Pre-Screening Distribution: 
    • The Entrant should not distribute their entry/video in any way prior to it receiving its official Collective International Film Festival premiere screening. This includes uploading the video to any website or screening the film for groups of anyone other than the team. The Entrant is encouraged to make a trailer of their film and distribute that instead. If you make a trailer and decide to enter, it should be no longer than 45 seconds, and you should send it in with your production documents. (All production documents must be sent to before you submit your film on Withoutabox.)
        Submission Notes:
    • We recommend that you make sound levels relatively even throughout your film. (If your film has uneven sound or sound that peaks, it may be modified to protect the playback equipment.)
    • Projection specs vary from theater to theater and are beyond the control of the Collective International Film Festival. If your film is very dark, it may be difficult to see in certain settings.
    • We are expecting your use of common decency.
        Production Documents:
    • Each team must secure releases for talent, crew, music and locations (and any other applicable releases), which must be turned in before submitting films, along with team leaders agreement. The film/video will not be screened before the Collective International Film Festival Organizers receive the signed releases. All production documents must be sent to
    • Release forms can be found on the Collective International Film Festival website in the submit section.
    • To be eligible for the Project, Entries must be the original work of the Entrant; must not infringe third-party's rights; must be suitable for publication (i.e., may not be obscene or indecent); must not contain pornographic material; may not invade privacy or other rights of any person, company or entity; may not in any other way violate applicable laws and regulations; and may not contain any copyrighted elements (other than as owned by the Entrant).
    • Entries containing prohibited or inappropriate content as determined by the Collective International Film Festival, in its sole discretion, to be inappropriate will be disqualified. Collective International Film Festival reserves the right to make the final determination as to which Entries are eligible. Collective International Film Festival also reserves the right to refuse to screen a film or to make an announcement at the screening regarding the content of the film.
        Official Film Entry:
    • To be certified as an Official Film Entry, each participating group's film/video production must follow all rules herein. The Collective International Film Festival Organizers reserve the right to screen only certified Official Film Entries.
        Entries Not Returned:
    • No Entries (media or documents) will be returned.
    • Collective International Film Festival and Project Parties may, in their sole discretion, disqualify Entries deemed to be inappropriate or otherwise non-compliant.
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