Submissions FAQ

Welcome to the Asian Pacific American Film Festival Submission FAQ!

The 14th Annual DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival is still being planned.  Details on the submission process and deadlines will be published here in the future.  Please subscribe to our newsletter, or follow us on social media to receive updates.


Why submit to DC APA Film?

  • We are the largest showcase of Asian Pacific American films on the East Coast.
  • Great networking opportunities with filmmakers and talent from around the country.
  • Good odds of acceptance: 30% of entries programmed last year!
  • Great, filmmaker-friendly staff! We love our filmmakers and they love coming to our festival.


  • By completion date: films should have been completed within the last two years (2009-present)
  • By country: Our festival focuses on the experiences of the Asian American community, but we think of that very broadly. We accept films produced anywhere in the Americas (North or South). We also accept entries from other countries with significant diasporic Asian populations, such as Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Africa.
  • What regions of Asia do you consider? We have shown films concerning populations from all over the Asian continent, but our focus has been on East, South and Central Asia.
  • What if I am Asian American, but there are no Asian characters or subjects in the film? Your film is still eligible.
  • Do you have a premiere requirement? No, but we prioritize films that have not screened in the Washington, DC area before.
  • I have submitted my film in the past, but was not programmed. Should I submit it again? Unless there have been significant changes (scenes reshot, edited, etc.) it is unlikely that the film would be reconsidered.


  • What kinds of films are you looking for? We accept submissions of all types of films, including Narrative, Documentary, Animation, Music Video and Experimental.


  • Can I have a waiver of the entry fee? Unfortunately, we are very dependent on entry fees and other sources of revenue to support the operations of our festival. All of us work on the festival without pay. All funds raised through our fees go directly to fund the operations of the festival.
  • But I am a poor student with limited funds? Please submit your film early to receive our reduced entry fee.


  • I submitted my film but it doesn’t show as “In Consideration” in WithoutABox yet. Why is that? We have very limited administrative time since we all work as volunteers, so generally allow for a couple of weeks for a received submission to show up on WAB. And if you are contacting us in March, allow extra time because we are attending the SFIAAFF. Finally, be certain that you have submitted all the required materials: the fee, 3 copies of your film on DVD, an electronic press kit, and print quality electronic stills.
  • Can I submit more than one film? Yes, please complete a separate entry in WithoutABox for each film. Separate fees are required for each submission.
  • Are “Work-in-Progress” submissions accepted? Yes, for consideration only. If accepted, the exhibition copy MUST be the finished film. The submission materials should be clearly marked as “Work-in-Progress” and the elements that are still unfinished must be indicated. Ideally, a submission should be as close to the finished product as possible.
  • What is a press kit and why do I have to submit one? A press kit provides us with valuable background info for us to consider as we evaluate your film for our festival. It may answer questions that we have after watching your film. If your film is programmed, it will be invaluable in helping to market and promote your film. A press kit can consist of just a page or two listing cast and crew, maybe some bios of the principals, previous film work, and short, medium and long synopsis of the film. Or it can be much longer. Here are some references to help you prepare your press kit:
  • Why do I need to send you a Press Kit or Print Quality stills with my submission? Why can’t I wait until I find out if my film is programmed? Unfortunately, we have found that its very time consuming to get filmmakers to submit these items in the short time we have between locking our festival program and producing our Program Book and Website. Many filmmakers are difficult to reach, on travel, going to other festivals, or working on a new project. As an all volunteer organization, we simply don’t have the staff time to send multiple emails requesting stills and other items from filmmakers during this crunch period.
  • What does it mean for an electronic still to be “print quality”? The resolution of the still should be at least 300dpi. The file size of a high quality still is generally measured in Megabytes. If you are sending electronic stills that are less than one megabyte, they are probably not print quality and will look horrible if printed in our program book. [maybe link to an article or two explaining this more clearly and giving examples of how to check dpi on an electronic still]
  • Why do you ask for three DVD copies? We have a large number of programmers and it is to your advantage to have your film seen by as many people as possible. If you can only send two, that is acceptable but the more sent the better.


  • Can you help me promote the non-festival screening of my film in DC? Our committee is focused solely on getting new films for our Fall festival. However, we do have a monthly newsletter that goes out.
  • If my film is available for viewing on the web, mirrors and wall art online you still consider it? Most likely, yes. We have screened films (usually shorts) in the past that were also available to see on the web either on the filmmaker’s website or through a service like YouTube. This is a growing means of creativity and distribution in the independent film community and we are looking to incorporate it into our festival.


  • What kinds of films are you looking for? We accept submissions of all types of films, including Narrative, Documentary, Animation, Music Video and Experimental.