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2025 GUIDELINES

Cacti
CALL FOR FILMMAKERS
SUBMIT ONLINE

Underexposed Film Festival yc proudly accepts entries exclusively via FilmFreeway.com, the world's best online submission platform. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, unlimited video storage, digital press kits, and more. Click to submit with FilmFreeway.

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IMPORTANT DATES

MONDAY | JULY 15, 2024

2025 SUBMISSION SEASON OPENS

SUNDAY | OCTOBER 6, 2024

EARLYBIRD DEADLINE

SUNDAY | NOVEMBER 17, 2024

REGULAR DEADLINE

SUNDAY | DECEMBER 15, 2024

LAST CHANCE DEADLINE

MONDAY | JANUARY 27, 2025

SELECTION NOTIFICATION

MONDAY | FEBRUARY 24, 2025

SCREENER & EPK DEADLINE

TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO OPENING NIGHT

VIP PASS DEADLINE

CAST & CREW DISCOUNT PACKAGE DEADLINE

APRIL 10 - 12, 2025

2025 UNDEREXPOSED FILM FESTIVAL yc

MISSION & OBJECTIVE

 

The Underexposed Film Festival yc seeks diversity in storytelling while encouraging, nurturing, and supporting the creativity and vision of independent filmmakers. Here, both experienced and emerging filmmakers are provided a forum where their work can be viewed, their voices are heard, and dialogue between the two is encouraged. The UFFyc sets itself apart by actively seeking the “undiscovered talent” waiting to be exposed.

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

 

The Underexposed Film Festival yc showcases the best in international indie filmmaking from across the world. It focuses on strength in storytelling, screening films that break down the fourth wall and envelop the audience in the story. Filmmakers often share their experiences during question and answer sessions, giving festivalgoers a glimpse into their vision and process.

 

In 2025, the Underexposed Film Festival yc continues its focus on high quality, independently created short films. All submitted films are juried by filmmakers, professionals, and academics working in the field. In April of 2025, filmmakers and enthusiasts will converge upon Rock Hill, SC to be exposed to, engaged with, and intrigued by films that leave the audience with a greater worldview. 

Organizers

Arts Council of York County | more info

Melanie Cooper | Executive Director

Karen Collins | Programming Director

OPEN CALL FOR ENTRIES

 

Independent filmmakers across the world are invited to submit professionally presented films with a runtime of 35 minutes or less to participate in this juried competition. Films screened at the Underexposed Film Festival yc must be York County, SC festival premieres. Submissions must fall into one of the following categories:

 

Narrative

Fictional filmmaking that includes comedy, drama, action, thriller, adventure, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, western, horror, film-noir, romance, sports, family-friendly and more.

 

Animation

Animated filmmaking - including but not limited to traditional, hand drawn animation, flip book animation, stop motion animation, computer animation, mechanical animation, mixed media, and special effects animation.

 

Experimental

Experimental films may be avant-garde, non-linear, non-narrative, or include puppetry. They may include the utilization of abstracting techniques, asynchronous sound, and are not limited by the constraints of traditional filmmaking. But, don’t let us define it for you…

 

Documentary

Non-fictional filmmaking that includes cultural, topical and historical subjects.

Puppetry

Films that include the manipulation of puppets.

 

The Underexposed Film Festival yc exclusively accepts entries through FilmFreeway:

https://filmfreeway.com/UnderexposedFilmFestivalyc

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

 

Submissions are only accepted online through FilmFreeway.com.

 

Only the producer, director, screenwriter, or someone closely connected to the film may complete the application. Schools may submit films on behalf of student filmmakers with the permission of the student(s). 

 

Original formats may have been shot on 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, and all formats of video as well as all formats digital and computer multimedia.

 

Submissions must include:

  • Entry Fee,

  • Final Cut of the submission uploaded to FilmFreeway.com,

  • Synopsis of no more than 50 words,

  • Summary of no more than 500 words,

  • Director and producer with short bios,

  • An above the line cast and crew list,

  • Release date,

  • At least 1 digital, hi-res, still photo from the film,

  • A listing of previous screenings, festivals and awards, including dates,

  • Optional: Links to the official website, Facebook, Instagram, X, Vimeo, etc.

 

Films submitted for consideration in the Underexposed Film Festival yc must be:

  • Independently developed, financed, and filmed,

  • Have a runtime of 35 minutes or less in length,

  • Fall into one of the following categories:

    • Narrative

    • Documentary

    • Animation

    • Experimental

    • Puppetry

 

We regret that a submission cannot be accepted if:

  • The entry fee is not paid in full in US dollars;

  • It is received after the final deadline of Sunday, December 15, 2024;

  • Any part of the submission is incomplete;

  • The film is created using artificial intelligence (AI);

  • The film contains erotica, explicit nudity or explicit sex.

AWARDS

 

GRAND JURY PRIZE | $750

In addition to awarding the Grand Jury Prize, the UFFyc honors the top film in each category.

BEST OF CATEGORY

Narrative | $200
Animation | $200
Experimental | $200
Documentary | $200

Puppetry | $200

 

The UFFyc also recognizes the best film submitted from the Carolinas with the Cinema Carolina Award, the best film directed by a female with the Woman to Watch Award, and the Best Student Film Award for students enrolled in collegiate programs. All films accepted by the UFFyc screening committee and meeting the specialty awards criteria will compete for the following awards:

SPECIALTY AWARDS

Cinema Carolina | $200

Best independent film made in North or South Carolina, regardless of category, content, or subject. 75% of the principal photography must take place in North or South Carolina to be eligible for this award.

Woman To Watch | $200

Best Female Director Award. All female directed films in each category are eligible for this award.

Best Student Film | Collegiate | $100

Student films are eligible when created by a student filmmaker enrolled in a collegiate program while in production. All student films from each category are eligible for this award.

Terry Roueche Audience Choice | $100

Official Selections are eligible for the Terry Roueche Audience Choice Award. At each block that features Official Selections, the audience is invited to vote for their favorite Official Selection. Director’s Choice films are not eligible.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

 

Filmmakers may submit multiple entries. Each film must be submitted separately and a separate entry fee must be paid per film.

All submissions must be in English or subtitled in English, with the exception of films submitted in the Experimental category.

Submissions created with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) are not eligible for consideration. Films that are submitted and are found to have used AI will be disqualified and removed from the screening lineup.

Films screened at the UFFyc MUST BE York County, SC festival premieres.

The UFFyc reserves the right to include non-competition films in the festival. 

Screening fees are not paid to films accepted into competition.

The UFFyc does not accept rough cuts or works in progress.

The UFFyc does not accept partial screeners, trailers, or screener links that require access other than password protected links.

Films may not be edited after acceptance to the festival. Accepted films submitted with edits will be disqualified and removed from the screening lineup.

The UFFyc does not edit films for time or content when selected for screening at the Festival or in the Series.

Films produced, financed or initiated by a major motion picture studio are not eligible for screening.

Employees of the Arts Council of York County and organizers of the Underexposed Film Festival yc are not eligible to submit films for competition in the Underexposed Film Festival yc.

Payment of submission fee does not guarantee inclusion in the Underexposed Film Festival yc. Films are selected on overall quality, production value, community relevance and/or other factors as determined by the screening committee. 

The UFFyc cannot issue refunds.

 

The UFFyc reserves the right to remove films received after the submission deadline from the screening lineup.

Screeners are non-returnable.

The UFFyc retains the right to reschedule or cancel festival dates, venues, and awards under special circumstances. Changes will be published online, and festival authorities will make every effort to notify selected filmmakers in advance. By submitting to the UFFyc, you give the festival consent and the right to screen your film in front of a live audience, and under special circumstances, online screening.

Filmmakers may NOT install banners or posters at the Festival’s screening locations. Space permitting, the Arts Council may provide a table where postcards and small promotional materials advertising films screening at the 2025 UFFyc may be placed.

Award recipients will be notified via email after the Festival wraps. Shipping details must be confirmed before awards are mailed. Should the Festival representative not receive confirmation from the filmmaker or the assigned representative, awards will be forfeited.

Prize money can be distributed via check or PayPal. International bank transfers are not available. Fees will be incurred by the filmmaker.

FEES & DEADLINES

 

EARLYBIRD |  Sunday, October 6, 2024

Standard  |  $20
Student  |  $15

FilmFreeway GOLD | $15

REGULAR | Sunday, November 17, 2024

Standard  |  $30
Student  |  $25

FilmFreeway GOLD | $20

LAST CHANCE | Sunday, December 15, 2024

Standard  |  $35
Student  |  $30

FilmFreeway GOLD | $25

Submissions for the 2025 UFFyc are only accepted through FilmFreeway.com.

ACCEPTED FILMS

 

The selection and scheduling of all films screened at the Underexposed Film Festival yc are entirely at the discretion of the Arts Council of York County's Executive Director and the UFFyc Programming Director.

Films accepted into competition (Official Selections) are not eligible to receive screening fees. Festival entrants will be notified by written correspondence on or around Monday, January 27, 2025.

Once accepted to the Underexposed Film Festival yc, filmmakers agree and certify that the accepted title(s) will not be edited/altered or withdrawn. The selection and scheduling of all films screened at the UFFyc is entirely at the discretion of the ACYC.
 

LIABILITY

 

The Arts Council of York County (ACYC) and the Underexposed Film Festival yc (UFFyc) will not assume costs of shipping competition entries or associated collateral, nor does the ACYC or the UFFyc provide insurance while in transit to or from the Arts Council's facilities. Do not send original prints or master copies. The ACYC and the UFFyc reserve the right to refuse any entry, and to withdraw any work from the Festival at its discretion. 

All work is the property of the applicant. By entering the competition component of the UFFyc, all entrants consent to give the ACYC the rights to use footage and/or titles and/or information about the submissions for promotional and educational purposes. 

By submitting your film, you are assigning non-exclusive rights to the Arts Council of York County, the Underexposed Film Festival yc and its affiliated sub-venues and to use said film in conjunction with the aforementioned event. The Underexposed Film Festival yc is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt (not to exceed 15% or 3 minutes, whichever is less) from any film submitted and accepted for screening at the Festival for promotional and educational purposes.

Film entries must be submitted by the rights holder(s) or with express written permission of the rights holder(s). By submitting, entrants affirm that they have the right to submit their entry to the Festival and that all clearances and licenses have been obtained, including but not limited to, music, locations, on-camera talent and voice talent. The rights holder(s) will hold the Underexposed Film Festival yc or the Arts Council of York County harmless for any claim involving, but not limited to, claims, liabilities, losses, damages; and expenses involving, but not limited to, copyright, trademark, credits, intellectual property, credits, publicity, screening, or royalty infringement(s) related to submitted work(s). 

The Arts Council of York County and the Underexposed Film Festival yc promote the Festival and the schedule of screenings via media including newspapers, emails, social networks, television and radio. We encourage filmmakers to help promote the screening of their films at the 2025 UFFyc by promoting their screenings to industry professionals, distributors, the press, and the general public. 
 

SHIPPING

 

Final films accepted for festival screenings must be resubmitted digitally. Should shipping needs arise, all fees must be paid by the entrant or the entrant's representative.

Final cut must be delivered to the Arts Council of York County (or an appointed agent thereof) no later than Monday, February 24, 2025. 

Films submitted to the UFFyc juried competition will not be returned to the filmmakers. 

FESTIVAL SCREENING

 

No cuts or changes will be made to any film by the Arts Council of York County, however, participation in the UFFyc implies allowing of broadcast on U.S. television and on the internet (excerpt will not exceed 15% or 3 minutes, whichever is less) and for marketing current and future festivals. If you do not want your film to be used for such purposes, please notify the Arts Council of York County in writing with your submission. Acceptance to the UFFyc also entitles ACYC to use titles and information about the films for the purpose of promoting the festival.
 

Filmmakers whose films are accepted to the UFFyc must provide the following with their festival screening package:
 

SCREENERS

Final films accepted for festival screenings must be resubmitted digitally.

The primary screening format for films at the UFFyc is digital via a Windows-based operating system.

DELIVERY DEADLINE |  Monday, February 24, 2025
          Formatting and delivery instructions will be provided upon acceptance to the UFFyc.


PRESS KIT

          The preferred format for press kit submission is digital, submitted to the UFFyc via email to arts@yorkcountyarts.org.

          The required electronic press kit (EPK) must be received  by the UFFyc no later than Monday, February 24, 2025.
 

If not provided in the submission process:

Synopsis of no more than 50 words,

Summary of no more than 500 words,

Director and producer with short bios, 

An above the line cast and crew list,

Release date,

An up-to-date listing of previous screenings, festivals and awards - including dates,

At least 1 digital, hi-res, promotional or suitable still photo from the film,

     Behind the scenes shots are not acceptable

If Available: Links to accepted film’s official website, Facebook, Instagram, X, Vimeo, YouTube, Instagram, etc.

Optional: Film trailers, promos, interviews

Failure to provide any of the above materials, or submission of the film in an incorrect screening format will disqualify the film from the festival.

VIP TICKET PACKAGES | CAST & CREW TICKETS

Filmmakers whose films are accepted into competition at the 2025 UFFyc will receive a maximum of two (2) complimentary VIP passes to the 2025 UFFyc screenings and wrap party. The official representative of accepted films must notify the ACYC of their intent to use the complimentary passes up to TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO OPENING NIGHT

EMAIL | arts@yorkcountyarts.org

BY PHONE | +1 (803) 328-2787

Discounted ticket packages for the cast and crew must be arranged with the Arts Council of York County’s box office in advance. The official representative of accepted films must reserve the discounted tickets up to TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO OPENING NIGHT

EMAIL | arts@yorkcountyarts.org

BY PHONE | +1 (803) 328-2787
 

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