Rules & Categories

IMFF 2023 is the 12th Annual Edition

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IMFF 2024 13th Edition Rules

Be part of a revolutionary filmmaking revolution — the 13th annual International Mobile Film Festival will take place April 26, 27 & 28, 2024!

Since 2009, IMFF has been recognizing and celebrating international filmmakers who use only their smartphones to create feature films, Short films, documentaries, narrative films, music videos, and more. See how far the art of mobile filmmaking has come in a decade and be part of the ever-growing mobile filmmaking movement.

Make your mark in the world of film! Showcase your smartphone-only creations to an audience of industry professionals and join hundreds of other filmmakers in being celebrated for amazing works of art.

Don’t wait — start creating now to submit your film beginning June 19, 2023 to be part of next year’s International Mobile Film Festival in San Diego!

But first…

You need to know the rules before you submit your film. International Mobile Film Festival proudly accepts entries on FilmFreeway, the world’s #1 way to enter film festivals and creative contests.

Check all the details below! The rules and criteria are all updated for 2023 and will be updated for 2024 before the next call for films, June 19!

How do you submit? Click the button below to submit your films, screenplays and smartphone photos.

2024 Call for films opens June 19, 2023

Beware of some alterations to our rules from this year into 2024. We expect a few changes.

In order not to overwhelm you on our website. Check these links below for more details.


All about the Short Film Categories

Narrative – Documentary – Ultimate Mobile – Cosplay – Screendance – Geography, Wildlife and Travel – Experimental – Music Video

IMFF 2022 San Diego, California

Changes we made for 2023: The Entire Book of Rules and Categories on our Knowledge Base.

Time Limit for the Short Film Competiton minimum 3 minutes and maximum 10 minutes. Last deadline January 13, 2023.

Read about our festival’s new transformation which began in 2022.

Rookie Award Films (no change) minimum 1 minute and maximum 5 minutes.

Feature length films (no change) minimum 40 minutes and maximum 120 minutes (2 hours). Submissions are now closed.

The Rookie Award is a separate competition for less experienced, and new mobile filmmakers to showcase their films in a separate session during our film festival. The length of the short films in this category/competition is 1-5 minutes. All genres accepted. One of a handful of selected films will receive special recognition during the awards ceremony with The Rookie Award. Last deadline January 13, 2023.

Community Stories was founded in 2009 by festival founder, Susy Botello.

Community Stories is not an official category. However, if you submit a short film to The Rookie Awards or Short Film Competition, your film may qualify to be featured as a Community Story during our live in-person film festival. Read more.


Mobile Screenplay Competition: Even though screenwriters don’t write for a camera brand, we are introducing a screenwriting competiton for short narrative films. One screenplay per submission. Submissions are now closed.

Frame A Story (One story in one frame)
Storytelling with a photo: Your photo should inspire the imagination of the viewer and it tells a story. Photos will be incorporated into a video montage sharing your photo and name on the large screen during the festival. Up to the limit allowed by FilmFreeway with a maximum of six photos. Get the details! Submissions are now closed.

Listen to one of the judges for the Smartphone Photo Contest share many great photography tips! Ant Pruitt has a show on TWIT TV (This Week In Tech podcast): Hands On Photography.


October 19, 2022 Mobile Features Deadline

November 19, 2022 Mobile Shorts Deadline

November 19, 2022 Rookie Award Deadline

November 20, 2022 Short Screenplay Deadline

November 21, 2022 Photo Deadline

December 22, 2022 Extended Photo Deadline

December 23, 2022 Extended Short Screenplay Deadline

December 24, 2022 Extended Features Deadline

January 13, 2023 Extended Shorts Deadline

January 13, 2023 Extended Rookie Award Deadline

IMFF 2024’s 13th Edition will open for submissions June 19, 2024

April 28 – 30, 2023 Festival Event Dates in San Diego, California

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