Guidelines and Forms


All entrants must meet the requirements listed below. Failure to do so will result in disqualification from FilmFest.

  1. FilmFest participants must submit an online registration form.
  2. FilmFest teams must adhere to the FilmFest Team & Submission guidelines and meet all deadlines.
  3. FilmFest Teams must attend a minimum of 4 FilmFest workshops.
    • At least one team member must be present to receive credit.
    • Workshops will be spread out along the production process beginning in October and ending in March.
  4. All films must be accompanied by a production notebook (digital or manual). The production notebook must include the following:
    • Final script
    • Complete list of production team and actors (use full names, as should be called out during awards)
      • Non-ACU students must be indicated on the form. Individual team members may fill more than one role. This form will be the basis for position-based awards (only the names listed will be considered for awards). Not all films will use all of these roles:
        • Producer
        • Director
        • Writer
        • Editor
        • Cinematographer
        • Composer
        • Visual Effects
        • Sound Designer
        • Production Designer
    • Signed General release for all actors, location, and music
    • At least 3 production photos
      • photos will show the film’s production behind-the-scenes and must contain at least one production member or actor on set. “Selfies” will not be accepted.
      • Photos will contribute to Film Fest advertising on social media
    • Receipts for production costs
    • Any other documentation aiding in film permissions and treatment of film (shooting schedule, call sheet, storyboards, etc)
  5. Along with a production notebook, teams must submit an external drive or Google drive folder with the following:
    • Final Script
    • Production Photos
    • Final Film Submission (in 1080 HD or 4k resolution)
    • Film Poster (24″ x 36″ pdf)

By participating in FilmFest, participants agree to all of the aforementioned terms and agreements and all those obtained in the remainder of this document.

Film Fest Teams

  1. FilmFest is open to all ACU students. Non-students are allowed to participate given the following stipulations:
    • Production teams must be predominantly student populated.
    • A “student” is defined as someone enrolled in at least 12 hours at ACU as an undergraduate or at least 9 hours at the graduate level. Non-students or part-time students are not eligible for awards or prizes.
    • ACU faculty and staff may not fill a production role, but may act in or consult on films. ACU students with faculty or staff status will not be eligible for awards or prizes.
    • Films must be written, directed, and produced by ACU students.
    • FilmFest production teams must consist of at least 3 student team members. This does not include actors.


  • All scripts must be approved by the FilmFest committee.
  • Films must adhere to MPAA PG -13 guidelines and content must comply with the ACU Student Handbook.
    • References to and illusions of alcohol and tobacco use may be shown, but students are not allowed to consume alcohol or use tobacco products as part of an official ACU event.
    • Refusal to meet rating and content requirements could result in disqualification and a film not being shown at the gala event.
  • Films can be a maximum of 10 minutes long, but successful films have often been shorter.
  • Production teams must manage a budget and document actual spending during production.
    • Receipts and invoices for production costs such as costumes, practical effects, equipment rentals, and any products purchased with the intent of furthering the film production must be included in the production notebook.
  • There are no limitations on the types of equipment (cameras, microphones, etc.) or technologies (editing software, special effects, etc.) used during the production phase of FilmFest. Student teams are responsible for any misuse of or damage to equipment or missed deadlines due to technical failure.
    • Include a run-down of audio, video, and editing tools used in the production notebook.



FilmFest 2021 deadlines are as follows:

  • October 8, 2021 5pm: First Draft of Script Due
    • All films must submit a partial script (half-way or finished) for content approval. FilmFest reserves the right to require changes or reject films that do not adhere to MPAA PG -13 guidelines and comply with the ACU Student Handbook. All scripts will be approved in consultation with the Student Life office.
    • Plot and theme of final product must have distinct similarities to initial script approved by FilmFest. Any major deviation without prior approval may result in disqualification.
    • Any significant changes to the plot or theme must be approved by appealing to the FilmFest committee.
  • Fall Workshops
    • Sept. 16 Interest Meeting
    • Oct. 1 – 2 Story Development with Jason Baumgardner
    • Dec. 2 On Set Sound with Nathan Driskell & Matt Maxwell
    • Nov. 29 – Dec. 25 Virtual Casting Call
    • January – TBD Camera for Cinema with Nathan Driskell & Matt Maxwell
  • February 01, 2022: Final Scripts due
  • March 22, 2022: Rough Edits due
    • Entrants must turn in a rough cut of their film for prescreening. Rough edits need to be at least half of the length of the final film.
  • March: Rough Edit Reviews with Brent McCorkle
  • April 02, 2022 5pm: Final film submission with Production Notebook
    • Final films must be submitted on an external drive or Google Drive according to the submission specifications on this page.
    • Production notebooks (see above for submission details).
  • April 07, 2022: FilmFest Gala, 7pm at Abilene’s Paramount Theatre
  • April 08, 2022: Production Teams feedback with Judges, 3rd Floor Brown Library

Awards and Prizes

  1. Awards and prizes will be selected by FilmFest judges and the faculty advisory panel.
  2. Individual awards will be given based on achievement in a range of production and performance roles. An individual may win multiple awards.
  3. Current full-time ACU students who are enrolled in at least 12 hours at the undergraduate level and 9 hours at the graduate level will be eligible for awards or prizes.


Submission Format

To ensure proper playback at the FilmFest premiere screening and prescreening by judges, films must be submitted in the following format:

  1. Films must be exported in 1080 HD or 4k video file in one of the following formats: MP4, M4V, or MOV
  2. Any questions about exporting your film can be answered at the Learning Studio.



Submission of a complete film entry in the ACU FilmFest grants ACU permission to show the work at the festival and have the work reproduced, either in whole or in part, for educational or promotional purposes.


All entries using copyrighted material must obtain written permission to use the material. Documentation showing permission from the rights holder must be submitted with the production notebook. Examples of copyrighted material may include: popular music, stock video footage and still photographs. It is the filmmaker’s responsibility to obtain rights, clearances and permission. ACU FilmFest assumes no responsibility for violation of copyright law.


The organizers of FilmFest discourage students from engaging in any activity or action involved in the production process deemed hazardous or that exposes students to any unnecessary risk or potential harm. Students taking risks do so of their own accord and ACU, or the organizers of FilmFest, cannot be held responsible for injuries or harm to property occurring during the course of participation in the event.