2019 LACFF Rules & Regulations


The 3rd edition of the Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival (LACFF) 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 agree to the rules and terms outlined within this document. The Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival (LACFF) is to identify and promote high-quality, Chinese culture-focused films; promote Chinese linguistic heritage filmmakers (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Chinese American, etc.); 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. Competition Section

The competition section of this year's festival will be divided into five categories: narrative features, documentary features, narrative shorts, documentary shorts, and experimental & animation films. Each submission can only be considered for one competition section.

2.2. Registration and Competition Schedule

The call for entries begins on May 6th, 2019.

Early bird submission deadline: June 3rd, 2019

  • Shorts: $10 or ¥65

  • Features: $25 or ¥160

Regular submission deadline: July 1st, 2019

  • Shorts: $25 or ¥160,

  • Features: $35 or ¥225

Extended submission deadline: July 21st, 2019

  • Shorts: $35 or ¥225

  • Features: $50 or ¥335

Finalists announced: September 2019

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




3.1. The Participating Films Must Satisfy at least One of the Conditions Below

  • The main language of the Participating Film is Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, or any Chinese dialects);

  • The creative team includes people of Chinese ethnicity/heritage (Ex: director, screenwriter, or the lead actor/actress). This includes people with ethnic backgrounds from Chinese-speaking regions such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore;

  • The Participating Film’s content focuses on Chinese society, Chinese culture/heritage, or the lives of Chinese people/Chinese speaking people/people of Chinese heritage.

3.2. Participating Films Submitted Must Adhere to the Following Requirements

  • Submissions  must be for a film completed after Jan. 1, 2018;

  • Submissions may include but are not limited to narrative, documentary, experimental, and animated films with no restriction on the theme or format. Applicants represent and warrant that his/her submission of the Participating Films does not and will not conflict with any of his/her commitments with third parties, or violate any applicable policies, laws and regulations including these in the United States of America. Applicants shall have the obligation to secure all clearances (including without limitation likeness and privacy and publicity rights clearance), with respect to the Participating Films and any chain of title thereof. In the event that a legal dispute or claim (such as a copyright infringement claim) arises in connection with the applicant’s Participating Film or the submission thereof at any time, prior to, during or after the LACFF, the applicants will assume full responsibility (including without limitation potential disqualification from LACFF and any other legal liabilities) and bear for themselves and for LACFF Parties (as defined below) all costs of the dispute including but not limited to legal fees.  Applicants will indemnify and defend LACFF and its affiliates, directors, employees, agents, representatives and volunteers (“LACFF Parties”) against any loss, damage, claim or liability (including but not limited to legal fees) arising out of any exploitation of the Participating Film and any elements thereof;

  • Participating Films submitted must be entirely original. Any plagiarism will result in disqualification. Applicants represent and warrant that they exclusively own the copyright and all right, title and interest in the Participating Film (including but not limited to concept, storyline, plot, theme, footage, and music), or have been duly authorized by the exclusive owner of the Participating Film (as evidenced by a letter of authorization in form and substance satisfactory to the LACFF Committee) to participate in LACFF and the festival's promotion, screenings, and other related activities;

  • The Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival’s definition of a feature-length film is a film between 40 and 150 minutes, a short is 40 minutes or less, and there are no length restrictions for the experimental & animation category (the film length includes title and credits);

  • Submissions are not required to have their world premiere at the Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival; but the submissions cannot be commercially released and distributed in California (including online distribution) and can not be released in full on any other online platforms during the Los Angeles  Chinese Film Festival;

  • As the final competition will take place in Los Angeles, CA, Participating Films must be subtitled in English. All segments with non-English dialogue must have English subtitles added to the final copy for the screening or the film will be disqualified. The costs of subtitling the film will be borne by the filmmaker (or filmmaking team);

  • Every applicant may submit a maximum of three (3) films; however, each  applicant must submit a separate application form and registration fee for each film entry;

3.3. Submission Guidelines

  • The 2019 Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival ONLY accepts submissions from FilmFreeway (For non-English speaking applicants, please refer to the FilmFreeway Submission Guidelines on the Chinese in Entertainment Wechat account: CIELosAngeles for instructions);

3.4. Notes

  • All materials submitted by applicants will not be returned. Please be sure to retain any original copies;

  • Once a film has been successfully submitted, the festival committee typically no longer accepts new versions. If there are significant changes in registration information, please contact the festival committee at  submit@lacff.org;

  • If for technical reasons the applicant cannot submit video links or supporting materials (poster, set photos, etc.), please also contact the festival committee at submit@lacff.org. Please include the film’s title, the director’s name, and the film length in the email;

  • Once registration for a film is complete, the registration fee will not be refunded.



4.1. Additional Materials

Finalists must promptly provide the festival committee with the following additional relevant materials through FilmFreeway:

  • One poster (60*90cm, 150dpi+, unless otherwise specified);

  • One photo of the director (150dpi+, jpg.);

  • Three to five set photos (150dpi+, jpg.);

  • Cast and Crew list in a word/excel document (names should be in both Chinese and English if applicable, and must be consistent with the cast and crew in the film credits);

  • One trailer lasting 3 minutes or less (optional for shorts);

  • Once a film is nominated by the festival, applicants 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 1st, 2019. The transportation fees and insurance costs will be borne by the applicant.

4.2. Authorization

  • 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.

  • 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, abstracts, trailers, etc.) on the festival's official website, radio, television, print media, social media, and other forms of media used to promote the festival;

4.3. Invitation to Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival

The nominated director and another representative from the team (producer, or another crew member) 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. The festival committee will, however, provide an official invitation letter to attend the festival.   

4.4. Screening Fee

The Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival typically does not, and is under no obligation to offer any screening fee for nominated films.  However, the festival committee will use its good faith efforts to provide travel and accommodation support for directors and producers who personally appear at the festival’s screenings of their selected films.

5. Programming and Selection


5.1. Initial Review

The festival 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 of Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival. The festival committee will screen participating films in a manner of independence, openness, and fairness in accordance with its mission and professional standards.

6. Categories and Awards


6.1. Award Categories

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

  • Best narrative feature

  • Best documentary feature

  • Best narrative short film

  • Best documentary short film

  • Best experimental/animation film

  • Up-and-Coming Award

  • Independent Spirit Award

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