Rules & Regulations

The 1st LA Chinese Film Festival adheres to the following rules and regulations effective immediately. Please carefully read this document before submitting your work and contact the festival committee with any questions. Applicants, who complete the registration process, implicitly agree to the rules and terms outlined within this document. The LA Chinese Film Festival Committee reserves the rights to make final decisions and interpretations for those cases not clearly described below. 

1. Mission Statement

The goal of the LA Chinese Film Festival is to uncover excellent Chinese focused films and foster cultural exchange through screenings and other activities. With this mission in mind, the programming committee has begun the collection of original films from all over the world, extending a special welcome to newcomers and independent filmmakers. With the addition of online competition units and special categories, the committee hopes that the festival will serve as a cradle for independent Chinese cinema.

2.1. The Film Must Satisfy at least One of the Conditions Below

  •  The main language of the film is a Chinese language or dialect
  • The creative team includes persons of Chinese ethnicity (e.g. director, screenwriter, lead actor/actress, cinematographer, and editor)
  • The film’s content focuses on Chinese society, Chinese culture or the lives of Chinese people.

2.2. Registration and Competition Schedule

  • Early bird submission deadline: July 31, 2017 (Short: No entry fee, Feature: $15)
  • Regular submission deadline: Aug. 15, 2017 (Short: $15, Feature: $30)
  • Finalists announced: Oct. 2017
  • Winners announced: Nov. 2017

Note: All materials must be received by the committee by the submission deadline above.

2.3. Submitted Films Must Adhere to the Following Requirements

  • The work must be entirely original. Any plagiarism will result in disqualification;
  • There is no restriction on the theme content or format of the submission. Submissions may include but are not limited to feature, documentary, experimental, and animated films. However, the content may not come into conflict with the laws of the United States of America;
  • Participants should actively keep in touch with the organizers to ensure the provision of timely and accurate information;
  • Applicants must hold the film’s copyright or have proof that they are authorized to promote, screen, and participate in related activities at this festival;
  • Applicants have the obligation to ensure the legal status of the film itself. In the event that a legal dispute (such as copyright infringement) arises during the process of the film festival, the applicant will assume full responsibility and bear all costs of the dispute including but not limited to legal fees.

2.4. The festival consists of a competition unit and a special screening unit (invitation only).

Subcategories include: features and shorts; narrative, documentary, experimental and animation. Each entry must fit into one of these categories. Each film can only be entered into one award category. The programming committee will give additional awards for films that focus on cultural exchange, social justice, and environmental protection. For additional details on awards see section 6.

2. Rules and Regulations

3. Competition (Features and Shorts)


3.1. Eligibility Requirements

  • LA Chinese Film Festival’s definition of a feature-length film is of 40 minutes or more (150 minutes or less ), a short is 40 minutes or less;
  • The entry must be a film, which has completed production after Jen. 01, 2016;
  • Entries are not required to have world premiere at the 1st Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival;
  • Every applicant may submit a maximum three films;
  • Films of all genres can be entered in the short category or the feature category (if the film is an experimental animation, please check the experimental box on the entry form);
  • The film has not released or distributed (including online distribution) in the Los Angeles, CA area and will not be released in full on any other online platform during LA Chinese Film Festival;
  • Due to the fact that our film festival judges are from both China and U.S., all submissions are required to have embed English subtitles, costs of close captioning or subtitling are covered by the applicants. 

3.2. Submission Guidelines

  • Option One: Use one of the following websites to submit your work. (Withoutabox, Filmfreeway, Festhome, and Clickforfestivals) 
  • Option Two: Complete and submit the online application form, and provide links to online viewing works and password.(Vimeo, Youtube, YouKu and etc.)
  • After submitted the work: Send the following materials to the festival committee
  1.  Three stills from the film;
  2. A poster of the film (optional). 

Please indicate the title of the film, name of the director, the length of the film, and competition unit in the subject of the email.

* If you can not submit electronic copies or video links,  please explain in the email to the LACFF Organizing Committee.

3.3 Notes:

  • All materials submitted by applicants are non-returnable,  please be sure to retain the original;
  • Once successfully submitted works, in principle, the organizing committee is no longer accepting new versions, if there are significant changes in registration information, please contact the organizing committee. 

4. exhibition Requirements


4.1. Additional Materials

  • Finalists must promptly provide the Organizing Committee with the relevant additional materials (posters, trailers, etc.);
  • Once the film is nominated for the festival, producers need to prepare a digital copy of the film that meets the organizing committee’s standards of quality. No lock code DCP(only for feature), DigiBeta, or .mov file. Due to screening quality considerations, the programming committee will not accept DVD and Blue-ray Disc. The final copy screened at the festival may not have significant differences from the preview submitted to the committee;
  • As the final competition will take place in Los Angeles, CA, films must be subtitled in English. All segments with non-English dialogue must have English subtitles added to the final copy for the screening. The costs of subtitling the film will be borne by the filmmaker (or team);
  • Digital copies of the film must be sent to the programming committee by the 15th of Oct. 2017. The transportation fees and insurance costs will be borne by the applicant.

4.2. Authorization

  • The finalists are required to authorize the committee to use clips from the film (no more than 2 minutes) and related information (including screenshots, posters, stills, abstract, trailers, etc.) on the festival's official website, radio, television, print media, social media, and other forms of media used to promote the festival; 
  • Once the applicants accept the festival nomination they may not withdraw from the competition, finalists are required to give the programming committee the rights to screen the film at least one time in the Los Angeles, CA metro area.

4.3. Invitation to LACFF

The nominated director (producer, or another designated representative from the production team) will be invited to Los Angeles, CA to attend a 3-day festival and other related activities including a post-screening Q&A with the audience and filmmakers’ forum and discussion panel. Finalists are independently responsible for obtaining a visa for travel to the U.S., travel expenses, and any travel insurance.  

5. Programming and Selection


5.1. Initial Review

The festival organizing committee will conduct a preliminary selection and classification of all entries, filtering out those films, which do not meet festival’s requirements.

5.2. Nomination of Finalists

Selection of films for the feature and short film categories of the main competition: After the screening of the entries by category, a selection committee set up by the organizing committee and comprised of industry insiders will deliberate, score and nominate finalists.

5.3. Judging and Selection

The selection committee will nominate films (for both the main competition categories and online competition categories) to the professional contest judges (established filmmakers and film scholars from China and the U.S.), and the panel of judges will assess the films and exchange opinions. Eventually, the scoring breakdown will decide the contest prizes. At the same, time the organizing committee will gather the judges’ scores and feedback and give them to the finalists for their consideration.

5.4. Audience’s Choice

Main competition categories (feature and short): The organizing committee will hand out ballots to the audience before every screening, and collect the votes after every screening.

5.5. Competition Results

All winners are to be announced during the closing ceremony. The LACFF Organizing Committee will screen participating films in a manner of independence, openness, and fairness in accordance with its mission and professionalism.

6. Categories and Awards


6.1. Number of Nominations

The number of the finalists will be determined by the number of participating entries in all categories; all finalists will receive a certificate of participating LACFF and professional feedback.

6.2. Awards and Prizes

Winners will receive a trophy, and possible cash prize, more details will be announced in the future.

6.3. Categories and Awards

The organizing committee will adjust and revise the awards based on participating films in each category, and announce the updates along with the finalists.