Film Challenge Rules

Important: These Rules are supplemental to any posted Challenge-specific ones. Those are posted on the respecitive Challenge page.
follow ALL posted Guidelines to qualify your entry for Theatrical screening and/or receiving awards!

By entering into a Film Challenge sponsored by the OIF (Organization of Independent Filmmakers) or any of its subsidiaries, you acknowledge and agree to all of the following:

  1. You are the authorized owner or agent for the production being submitted.
  2. All productions are independent. Under no circumstance shall you state or imply that you are an employee, contractor or have any working relationship with OIF.
  3. You certify that the script is based on an original story where you or a member of your production team is the copyright holder.  No adaptations. No “Fan” films.
  4. You are self-rating the film, please choose the rating in line with current industry practices. 
  5. The Challenge entrant is required to be an active member in good standing of the respective facebook group for the Challenge.
  6. In order to help protect the time and effort invested by cast and crew, any production leads that enter the Challenge and do not complete and submit their film on time may be disqualified from entering the following Challenge. Basically they “lose a turn”. Please inform us promptly if you will not be able to complete your film project prior to the deadline
  7. You have obtained all necessary talent and location releases for the submitted production.
  8. Film project (script and production) must be submitted by, and rules must be accepted by, a real person. No pseudonyms or company names allowed for submissions.
  9. Please practice safe filming.  No real arms to be used on ANY set.
  10. Film entries not received by the deadline will not be eligible for awards. However; in rare circumnstances, up to the admin’s sole discretion, may still be screened.
  11. The end credits must include the respective OIF branded end card/slate, without modification, for at least one second duration. End cards and ratings cards can be found on this page:
  12. Running length limitation of the film to be submitted varies and is posted on the submission page. 
  13. Total running time includes credits; but excludes any required OIF slates.
  14. Unless otherwise posted on the specific Challenge page, films should be encoded in h.264, .mov or .mp4 format, 1920p x 1080p Full HD resolution (2K, 1.78:1 aka 16:9). Do not submit any other resolution for the screening. For other perspectives, you may use “black bars” (letter-boxing).
  15. When submitting films, the file names must match the film title exactly (all lowercase), using underscores to indicate spaces. Shorter names preferred.
    Example: if title is “My Dog Is Great”, film file name should be “my_dog_is_great.mp4”. 

    DO NOT use any other file-naming sequence such as “My dog is great version 2.1” or “filmmaker-Darth-Thomas-My Dog Is Great (Final).mov”, “MDIG.mp4”, or “oif-film-24-mdig-series-b.mp4”.
  16. For short film submissions under 10 minutes in running time, total stock footage used must not exceed 15 seconds of runtime.
  17. Spoken word (synchronized dialogue) films must be presented in the English Language or use English Language Sub-titles.
  18. Only directors and or producers are authorized to nominate candidates for OIF Awards.
  19. OIF may show or post images, photos or trailers of your film, up to 20 seconds, via any distribution channel(s) for marketing and promotional purposes. 
  20. During production, abide by all local laws and ordinances.
  21. Film Rating: Please use good taste. Keep content to “PG-13” use swear words sparingly and where appropriate for the film’s story. No nudity.  No more than 3 “F* bombs”! We normally have a general audience in the theater, keep it so the whole family can enjoy the screening.
  22. Failure to provide the film according to the technical Challenge rules and specifications will cause a one, or more, point deduction to the offending award categories for each infraction (adherence to genre, missing required slates, wrong naming convention, sound issues, wrong format provided).
  23.  Because we rent screening space according to total run-times, once a film has been submitted, it cannot be withdrawn from screening.
  24. You confirm you have the authority and hereby authorize the producers of each Challenge you enter, to screen your film in its entirety, to the public, at a theater.

New or modified rules are listed in this color.

Additional Notes

  • The submitter of the film acknowledges their production team has followed the above rules. Please communicate these rules with your crew and talent to avoid jeopardizing your submission.
  • You are of course allowed to make minor changes to your script during production, as long as the storyline is not materially changed and all the guidelines are followed, your film submission will likley still qualify.
  • If your script was selected and your film qualifies by the aforementioned rules, you have a secured screening spot at the event. Your cast and crew are eligible for awards as long as the final film qualifies and is submitted by the deadline.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to submit your film project. In the past several films were not screened nor qualified for awards because of unforeseen events occurring near submission deadlines. Work with your editor to get the film in on time.
  • For any Challenges or related events where submissions over 20 minutes in length are allowed, it is strongly recommended that a trailer be submitted. A trailer is not required for shorter films, however, you are free to post one in your local group’s Facebook page.
  • You now have the option of having your film shown on, currently building up a large library of short films, an initiative to distribute films mostly from within the OIF library and increase exposure to the world.  The site will be launched when its library has reached a suitable size.

Please visit the submission page at to send us any of the following:

Your Film for Challenge entry, the Film Poster, Film Trailer, Filmmaker Bio.
Additional resources may be available to you on this page as well.

Filmmakers, be sure to share the following with your editor!

Editors, please Review Required Film Specs: 

Final Video Format:  H.264 .mp4 format, 16:9 aspect ratio (1920x1080p) preferred. If using other aspect ratios, be sure they will be letterboxed on the screen.
* Any larger resolution will be sized down to 1080p for screening purposes and may cause you to receive an award penalty (see rules).
* Other aspect ratios will be automatically letterboxed into 1080p frame size by OIF or the Theater.

If your film contains captions, be sure to show them at least at a distance equal to 10% of the frame height above the bottom so as not to be potentially cut-off.
Films are exported in default DCP formats 2K 24 fps, stereo unless otherwise posted.

Submittting a film in other formats may cause you to receive an award penalty for each infraction (see rules).

Suggested Audio Settings:
Audio format: AAC 48Khz stereo at 320kbps 
Normalize overall Audio levels to a MAX -3db.  NO PEAKING to “zero” db or above  (In general, keep your audio output to -24 LUFS)
Normalize dialogue levels to about -6.  Bit rate: 15 Mbps target for a 1080FHD file.

Some of the OIF submission guidelines on this page are modeled after general Film Festival Submission Guidelines, furthering our members’ preparedness in the film industry.  These guidelines are also established  to foster greater general participation in film-making and to provide a broader environment to recognize local filmmakers, talent and crew. Guidelines are subject to change without notice.  Please review them carefully prior to submitting your entry.

Failure to agree to and abide by all of the above guidelines may disqualify your entry. 

These guidelines were last updated on March 14, 2024