Submit a Film

a sign indicating that we are currently open for submissions

the words COMING SOON in a the form of a stamp

Our 20th season!

Our 2023 call for entries is now open!

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curatorial criteria

The integration of dance and cinematography is the heart of our work. When choosing works for exhibition and installation, we consider thoughtful forms and themes, investigative / innovative / experimental approaches, production values, audience appeal, choreographic creativity, virtuosic performance, and program fit. None of these criteria is a must; none is more important than the others; excellence in any one or two areas may be sufficient for acceptance. Cinematic elements must be an integral part of every entry. We encourage submissions from all artists regardless of credentials and affiliations.

a silhouette of a woman tap dancing on a bench; part of the Sans Souci logo

categories for 2023

For a full description of each category, see our FilmFreeway page.

  • Dance Film – short – under 15 min
  • Dance Film – long – over 15 min
  • Dance Documentary – short – under 15 min
  • Dance Documentary – long – over 15 min
  • Performance Documentation / Hybrid – under 15 min*
  • Music Video – under 8 min
  • Micro Short – under 2 min
  • Youth Creatives – age 18 & under – under 3 min
  • Student Filmmaker – age 19 & over – under 5 min
  • First Time Filmmaker – non student, age 19 & over – under 15 min
  • Jazz Dance Film – under 15 min**
  • Virtual Reality / 360 films – under 10 min

*Note on the Performance Documentation / Hybrid category:
We’re looking for films that feature an original or unusual method for documenting a live dance/movement performance, or films that began as a dance project for a stage, site-specific location, or other live performance, but were re-crafted into a film. In this category we are interested in unique and creative approaches to documentation, and the use of cinematic elements in transforming the work from live performance into film/video art. Cinematic elements may include multiple or moving perspectives, editing techniques, etc. We are not looking for a single still camera documentation of a performance.

**Note on the Jazz Dance Film category:
Submitted works must explore jazz and American social dance ideas from forms including but not limited to jazz, tap, and hip-hop styles. We encourage you to join the ongoing conversation around “what constitutes jazz and American social dance,” and the sociocultural histories of and innovations in these styles by submitting. Artists 21 and older at any point in their careers are welcomed to submit to this category.

We are interested in dance films that integrate the aesthetics of dance and film, and are an appropriate length in relationship to their treatment and style. Please carefully note the length limits on each category, and if you have questions on which category best fits your film, please contact us. SSF reserves the right to adjust or change a film’s category according to the curation team’s prerogative. For example, if we feel a film submitted as a dance film fits better with our hybrid category, we reserve the right to screen it in that category if accepted.

Films with spoken word must have English subtitles, or be in English. Multiple language subtitles encouraged. Audio descriptions and closed captions enthusiastically accepted.

dates & deadlines

  • January 31, 2023 – call for entries opens
  • February 28, 2023 – early deadline & fee assistance deadline
  • April 9, 2023 – regular deadline
  • May 7, 2023 – late deadline
  • June 23, 2023 – notification date

rules and terms

If your film has music, it MUST have: music created as an original score for this film, a music license you purchased from the copyright owner, or uncopyrighted music. In case it’s helpful, YouTube has a list of copyright free music, and environment sounds can be of inspiration, as well. This rule applies to all categories except for music videos. All music videos must be official music videos, having secured the rights to the music for this submission and subsequent screenings, with the ability to provide documentation if requested (please reach out with questions).

If your film is accepted, we will ask for a still frame from your film to illustrate your work in our programs and/or promotional materials; if you would like to select stills yourself, please have them uploaded to FilmFreeway by the final deadline. They should have the same pixel dimensions and aspect ratio as your film’s frame and clearly convey movement or dancing in the image.

Physical support (posters, etc.) of films is sent at the artist’s own risk. The festival is not responsible for any damage the physical support may suffer, and there will be no refunds. After the festival, Sans Souci will not return any materials.

If your film is accepted, we may reach out to you in the future to share your work for our touring program. While we usually don’t have the budget to fund screening fees for these events, we deeply appreciate your generosity in sharing your work to help us develop a wider audience for screendance. Please note: Selecting the second option when submitting (which says “Additionally, I grant permission for SSF to screen this entry at subsequent venues”) will greatly increase the likelihood of your work being invited to our touring program after initial acceptance. However, this line item is not taken into account when judging for initial acceptance into the festival, and we may still ask you for permission to bring your work on tour. If your film is accepted for screening this year, it is automatically a part of the Sans Souci Archive, listed on our website. Your film itself will not be published nor distributed to any other person or organization, but if you provide a trailer, we will include that link in your listing on our website. Your film may be exhibited completely or partially during educational events organized by Sans Souci and its campus affiliates (Screening Partners), for example as part of lectures on screendance at universities and conferences.

If the submission fee creates a financial barrier to your entry, Sans Souci may be able to help. We offer a limited amount of fee assistance to those with financial hardship, with a preference for artists from historically or currently marginalized communities. If you’d like to apply for this program, please submit an application form by the early deadline (Feb 28, 2023). You’ll be notified shortly afterward whether or not you’ve been selected for a waiver. If not, you’ll still receive the early deadline price for submission. As stated in our mission and values, increasing equitable access to dance cinema festivals is a high priority for us. If you have questions about this, please feel free to contact us. Submitting the form does not guarantee receiving a waiver. Receiving fee assistance does not grant acceptance to the festival. All films submitted must go through curation, and may or may not be accepted for screening. Due to the limited amount of fee assistance available, artists selected will only be able to submit one film. If you are looking for help with the cost of covering multiple submissions, please reach out at the contact link above about requesting a bulk submission discount.

awards & prizes

Audience Choice Award
These awards are voted on by audience present at screening events throughout our season, and are announced at the end of the season. See our 2022 Audience Choice Awards trailer here.

Jazz Dance Film Award
Artists selected to present works in the Jazz Dance Film category will have their work shown at 2023 screening events, be invited to audience/artist dialogue opportunities, have a chance to win a $200.00 prize for selection as the top submission in the ‘jazz dance film’ category, and open themselves to the possibilities of international and university screenings of their work and winning an Audience Choice Award.

past SSF events
upcoming SSF events