a sign indicating that we are currently closed to submissions

Our 2021 call for entries is currently closed.

Looking to submit? Check back in October 2021 for a call specifically for jazz dance films, and in January 2022 for the next regular call for entries. You can also join our email list or follow us on Facebook or Instagram to get updates and reminders.

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.

New categories for 2021

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

  • Dance Film – short – under 16 min
  • Dance Film – long – over 16 min
  • Dance Documentary – short – under 16 min
  • Dance Documentary – long – over 16 min
  • Performance Documentation / Hybrid – under 16 min only*
  • Music Video – under 5 min only
  • Micro Short – 1 min only
  • Youth Directors – age 18 & under – under 3 min only
  • Student Director – age 19 & over – under 5 min only
  • First Time Filmmaker – non student, age 19 & over – under 5 min only

*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.

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.

Rules and Terms

If your film has music, it MUST have uncopyrighted music, music created as an original score for this film, or a music license you purchased from the copyright owner. If you’re looking for it, 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.

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.

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.

The application for Fee Assistance closed on the Early Bird Deadline of February 28, 2021. If the entry fee creates a barrier to your submitting, please contact us about applying for a fee waiver early for the 2022 season.

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.