Newport Beach Film Festival 2012's First (and Cheapest) Entry Deadline for Filmmakers is Coming Up

As the first entry deadline for the 13th running of the Newport Beach Film Festival nears, newbie filmmakers might be spooked that Movie Maker Magazine has named Orange County's esteemed cultural event one of the “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.” It sounds so big time and industry enveloped and, well, snooty, no?

Don't let the hype deter you, young Spielbergs (or J.J. Abramses). The DIY vibe still flows as freely on NBFF screens as the Absolut Mandrin does at the after-parties.

The 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival is scheduled to run from April 26 to May 3 with an international slate of more than 350 feature-length narrative, documentary, short, animated and student films, with many competing for jury, festival and audience awards.

Besides screenings, the eight-day run will include galas, red-carpet premieres, nightly special events, filmmaker receptions, filmmaker Q&A's, international spotlight films, industry seminars, musical performances, fashion shows, technology panels and motion picture retrospectives. (Last April's talk at the Lido by Aaron Sorkin was one of my personal 2011 highlights.)

Special programs planned for 2012 include environmental films, the action sports film series, the Art, Architecture + Design Film Series, the now-two-year-old music film series, the family film series, a collegiate showcase and the always-packed Youth Film Showcase.

So, fire up the Final Cut Pro and get your entry in by the Sept. 23 Autumn Deadline. That's not the last deadline for films to be accepted, but if you read on you'll discover it's the cheapest. And that can have a direct impact on your craft-services (read: Domino's) budget.

Discounts of $5 apply to the entry fees below if you submit through

Autumn Deadline
September 23, 2011
Short – $30
Feature – $35
Youth – $10 (no Without a Box discount offered for youth films)

Early Bird Deadline
October 28, 2011
Short – $35
Feature – $40
Youth – $10

Thanksgiving Special
November 21, 2011
Short – $45
Feature – $50
Youth – $10

Regular Deadline
December 16, 2011
Short – $50
Feature – $55
Youth – $10

Final Deadline
January 27, 2012
Short – $60
Feature – $75
Youth – $10

Extended Without a Box Deadline
February 10, 2012
Short – $75
Feature – $100
Youth – $10

If you don't use Without a Box, follow the links at

That's also the place to go if you're not a filmmaker but want to get involved. Volunteers, film reviewers and, if you're a college student, interns are always being recruited. And there are links at the same site for “Cinema Sage Hill,” the NBFF-sponsored, free monthly documentary film series kicking off in October at The Studio at Sage Hill School in Newport Coast.

Another coming attraction: the fall lineup for NBFF-organized Orange County Film Society screenings—independent and Hollywood mainstream films that are shown to members before the general public. The fest site includes membership details.

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