Submit a Film!

Real to Reel's 2021 Call for Entries is open! If you are interested in submitting a film to R2R, there are several ways to submit. Online submissions are accepted through You can also submit using R2R's own application form, which is available below. Our deadlines for the 2021 Festival are listed below.



Early Bird Deadline - February 5th, 2021

Films by children 14 & under: $5
Student/Amateur: $20

Professional: $40


Regular Deadline - March 5th, 2021

Films by children 14 & under: $10
Student/Amateur: $25

Professional: $50


Late Deadline - April 16th, 2021

Films by children 14 & under: $15
Student/Amateur: $30

Professional: $55

Extended Deadline: May 14th
Films by children 14 & under: $20
Student/Amateur: $35

Professional: $60



For deadline extension waivers please email:


Notification Date - June 25th, 2021

Categories (films in any of these categories that were made specifically for children or by children 14 and under, if selected, will screen at our new "Real to Reel Kids Fest" Screening time 10am-12pm, Saturday, July 25th)

• Documentary

• Feature Length (Over 61 minutes in length)

• Shorts (Under 60 minutes in length)

• Animation



Monetary awards are presented to best Professional film and best student/amateur film in each category in each of the four categories listed above. We also give monetary awards in the Best of Festival and Audience Choice categories.

• (1) Best of Fest

• (4) "Best of Category" Professional Awards

• (4) "Best of Category" Student/Amateur Awards

• (1) Audience Choice
• (1) Best of North Carolina Award
• (1) Best Film Made by a Child (14 & under)

*R2R reserves the right to add, alter or eliminate categories based on the availability of qualified entries.


Important Stuff

Each submitted film is watched by at least three selection committee members— no exceptions.

*Filmmakers who submit digital versions of their film for preview MUST send us a DVD or Blu-ray copy if they are notified that their film has been selected to screen at the festival!

*Students please include a copy of student ID

We are equally happy to receive your submission directly using the form below. You may send a check with your submission or use the PayPal button below.
Open as PDF
Open Word Doc.
Mail to: Real to Reel Festival
c/o Cleveland County Arts Council
111 S. Washington St.
Shelby, NC 28150


Early Deadline
From our filmmakers!

"The REAL TO REEL INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL is, without question, one of the best film festivals on the circuit, and is certainly well worth the entry fee. The venue is technically great, and the festival patrons are open to creative even controversial treatments of various social issues. It's also one of the few festivals that offer a cash award for Best Film -- very rare, indeed. I can't say enough positive things about this excellent competition, really. AND, if you're limited in how much $$$$ you've got for marketing your work on the festival circuit (and who isn't ?), REAL TO REEL is a clear "must enter." You won't find a more receptive showcase for your hard work!" - Bob Pondillo

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