2018 LACFF Rules & Regulations


The 2nd edition of the LA Chinese Film Festival will launch its call for entries on June 1st,  2018. The LA Chinese Film Festival adheres to the following rules and regulations. We invite applicants to read this document carefully before submitting their 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 right to make final decisions and interpretations for those cases not clearly described below. 

1. Mission Statement

The purpose of the LA Chinese Film Festival is to identify and promote high-quality, Chinese-focused films; promote Chinese filmmakers; and foster cultural diversity. Through film screenings, panels, and social events; the Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival  strives to advance the understanding of contemporary Chinese film culture in Los Angeles and North America, as well as the Chinese language community around the world by building a platform for Chinese filmmakers and North American audiences. By creating opportunities for cultural exchange and cooperation with outstanding international colleagues, the committee hopes that the festival will serve as a support structure in Los Angeles 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 people of Chinese ethnicity/heritage (e.g. director, screenwriter and lead actor/actress) This includes people with ethnic backgrounds from Chinese-speaking regions such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore
  • The film’s content focuses on Chinese society, Chinese culture/heritage, or the lives of Chinese people/Chinese speaking people/people of Chinese heritage

2.2. Registration and Competition Schedule

The call for entries begins on June 1st, 2018.

  • Early bird submission deadline: June 30th, 2018 (Short: $15 or 100 CNY, Feature: $25 or 160 CNY)
  • Regular submission deadline: July 31, 2018 (Short: $25 or 160 CNY, Feature: $35 or 225 CNY)
  • FilmFreeway Deadline : July 20th, 2018 (Short: $25 or 160 CNY, Feature: $35 or 225 CNY)
  • Finalists announced:  September 1st, 2018
  • Winners announced: November 5th, 2018

Note: All materials must be received by the committee by the submission deadline above. All dates are based on the Pacific Time Zone on the West Coast of the United States.

2.3. Submitted Films Must Adhere to the Following Requirements

  • The work must be entirely original. Any plagiarism will result in disqualification
  • Submissions may include but are not limited to feature, documentary, experimental, and animated films. There is no restriction on the theme or format of the submission. The content of the submission 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 own full copyright of the participating film (including but not limited to video, pictures and music), or have proof guaranteeing that the film is authorized to participate in the festival's promotion, screenings, and other related activities
  • 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's Competition section

The Competition section of this year's festival will be divided into two major categories: feature films and short films. Both categories include four subcategories: narrative, documentary, experimental and animation. The 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 screening selection and award nomination for the finalists will be jointly decided by the festival's organizing committee and the evaluation team.

2.5 The festival's Out-of-Competition section

The films selected for the  Out-of-Competition section of this festival will only be screened, and will not participate in the awards evaluation. Screening spots for the Out-of-Competition section are limited.  With the exception of specially invited Out-of-Competition films, the organizing committee still requires that the films meet the rules of the competition in order to participate.

2. Rules and Regulations

3. Competition (Features and Shorts)


3.1. Eligibility Requirements

  • The entry must be a film, which has completed production after Jan. 01, 2017
  • Entries are not required to have their world premiere at the 1st Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival
  • Every applicant may submit a maximum of three (3) films; however, the applicant must submit a separate application form and registration fee for each film entry
  • The film has not been commercially released and distributed in California (including online distribution) and will not be released in full on any other online platform during LA Chinese Film Festival
  • Since the film festival screening committee and judging panel are from different countries, the submitted copy of the film must be subtitled in English. Otherwise, the registration will be invalid.  Costs of close captioning or subtitling are covered by the applicant. If the video does not have English subtitles, the translation company appointed by the Film Festival Organizing Committee can provide professional English translation services, for a fee based on the length of the film

3.2. Submission Guidelines

  • Option One: The applicant can complete and submit the online application form on this website. After paying the registration fee, the applicant must send materials to the festival organizing committee.  For details on the registration process, please refer to the Submissions page
  • Option Two: The applicant may use either FilmFreeway or Clickforfestivals to submit their work. If you choose this option, you do not need to resubmit through the LACFF website

* If  for technical reasons the applicant cannot submit electronic copies or video links,  please contact the LACFF Organizing Committee by emailing programming@lacff.org

3.3 Notes:

  • All materials submitted by applicants will not be returned. Please be sure to retain the original
  • Once a film has been successfully submitted, the organizing committee no longer accepts 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 (a DCP without a lock code, or an Apple QuickTime ProRes 422.mov file) and an extra Blu-Ray copy for screening purposes. For the sake of screening quality, the programming committee will not accept DVDs. 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 filmmaking team)
  • Digital copies of the film must be sent to the programming committee by October 15th, 2018. The transportation fees and insurance costs will be borne by the applicant

4.2. Authorization

  • 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 applicant accepts the festival nomination, they may not withdraw from the competition. Otherwise, the festival reserves the right to pursue legal action. Finalists are required to give the programming committee the right to screen the film at least one time in the Los Angeles, CA metro area

4.3. Invitation to LACFF

The nominated director and another representative from the team (producer, or another member 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.  After the initial review 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.

5.2. Judging and Selection

The selection committee will nominate films 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. Finally, the organizing committee will gather the judges’ scores and feedback to determine the finalists and contest winners.

5.3. Competition Results

All winners will 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.  Awards and Prizes

Winners will receive an official trophy from the LA Chinese Film Festival and the festival sponsors of this contest. More details will be announced later.

6.3. Award Categories

The LA Chinese Film Festival will be awarding prizes for the following categories:

  • Best fictional feature
  • Best non-fiction feature
  • Best fictional short film
  • Best non-fiction short film
  • Most promising new director
  • Independent Spirit Award

The organizing committee will adjust and revise the awards based on participating films in each category, and announce any updates along with the finalists. The organizing committee retains the right to make changes to the competition categories, prizes and awards.