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Film Festivals

North Carolina plays host to a bevy of film festivals — large and small — throughout the year.   Click on the individual festival name below to learn more, including how to get tickets and other events.

If your film festival is not listed, please send a news or media release announcing dates of your upcoming festival to

*NOTE:  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many festivals are being rescheduled or cancelled.  While this site is trying to stay up to date on any schedule changes, you are encouraged to reach out to the individual festival itself to see if the event is still taking place at the time indicated below.


Real to Reel Film Festival
Kings Mountain, NC
September 9-12, 2020 (taking place virtually)
(Submissions closed May 15)

Outer Banks, NC
September 17-19, 2020 (opening night drive-in style screening, other screenings online)
(Submissions closed June 4)

Footcandle Film Festival
Hickory, NC
September 23-27, 2020 (taking place virtually)
(Submissions closed June 1)

Charlotte Film Festival
Charlotte, NC
September 23-27, 2020
(Submissions closed July 24)

BEYOND: The Film Festival
Cary, NC
September 24-27, 2020 (rescheduled from June due to Covid-19 and now taking place virtually)
(Submissions closed on March 13)

Down East Flick Fest
Greenville, NC
September 25-27, 2020 (event to be live-streamed)
(Submissions closed June 28)

Halloween International Film Festival
Kill Devil Hills, NC
October 1-3, 2020 (taking place virtually)
(Submissions closed July 31)

OUT at the Movies International LGBT Film Festival
Winston-Salem, NC (taking place virtually with possible drive-in screenings)
October 2-4, 2020
(Submissions closed July 31)

Raleigh Film & Art Festival
Raleigh, NC (taking place virtually)
October 2-4, 2020
(Submissions closed August 7)

NC Black Film Festival
Wilmington, NC
October 9-11, 2020 (rescheduled from May due to COVID-19)
(Submissions extended to July 5)

Indigo Moon Film Festival
Fayetteville, NC (taking place virtually)
October 9-11, 2020
(Submissions closed July 31)

Tryon International Film Festival
Tryon, NC
October 9-11, 2020 (primarily online, but some events still taking place in person)
(Submissions closed August 21)

Film Fest 919
Chapel Hill, NC
October 14-18, 2020

Horror Movie Freaks Film Festival
Clemmons, NC (taking place outdoors)
October 16-17, 2020 
(Submissions closed August 2)

Wreak Havoc Film Festival
Winston-Salem, NC
October 21-22, 2020 (taking place as a "drive-in" style event)
(Submissions closed July 31)

Reel Out Charlotte Film Festival
Charlotte, NC
October 24-November 1, 2020 (moved from May due to COVID-19)
(Submissions closed on March 13)

CineOdyssey Film Festival
Charlotte, NC
November 5-7, 2020
(Submissions accepted until October 5)

Cucalorus Film Festival
Wilmington, NC
November 11-25, 2020 (primarily going virtual, but there will be some possible in-person events)
(Submissions closed July 17)

OUTSOUTH Queer Film Festival (formerly NC Gay & Lesbian Film Festival)
Durham, NC
November 13-14, 2020 (rescheduled from August, then September due to COVID-19)
(Submissions closed on May 29)

Stranger Days Independent Film Festival
Charlotte, NC
November 14-15, 2020
(Submissions closed July 1)

Carrboro Film Festival
Carrboro, NC
November 20-29, 2020 (most events taking place online)
(Submissions closed August 31)

Foothills Film Festival
Shelby, NC
January 15-16, 2021
(Submissions accepted June 15-December 5, 2020)

Hayti Heritage Film Festival
Durham, NC
February 8-14, 2021
(Submissions accepted August 1-November 6, 2020)

Reel Teal Film Festival at UNCW
Wilmington, NC
February 13, 2021
(Submissions accepted September 5-December 31, 2020)

Sick Chick Flicks Film Festival
Chapel Hill, NC
February 20-21, 2021
(Submissions closed July 1, 2020)

Cinema Sisters International Film Festival
Wilmington, NC
March 5-7, 2021
(Submissions accepted September 15,2000 - January 15, 2021)

RiverRun International Film Festival
Winston-Salem, NC (with events also scheduled in Greensboro)
May 6-16, 2021
(Submissions accepted September 15-December 1, 2020)

Longleaf Film Festival
Raleigh, NC
May 14-15, 2021
(Submissions accepted August 1, 2020-March 1, 2021)

Charlotte Black Film Festival
Charlotte, NC
June 16-20, 2021
(Submissions accepted June 24, 2020-February 6, 2021)

Dirty Dancing Festival
Lake Lure, NC
September 24-24, 2021 (2020 event cancelled due to COVID-19)

North Carolina South & East International Asian Film Festival
Durahm, NC
January 29, 2022
(Submissions accepted January 31-September 17, 2021)



Cape Fear Independent Film Festival
Wilmington, NC
Fall 2020 (new dates coming following postponement due to COVID-19)
(Submissions closed June 5)

Charlotte Jewish Film Festival
Charlotte, NC
Winter 2021

Triad Jewish Film Festival
Greensboro, NC
Winter 2021

Wake Forest Film Festival
Wake Forest, NC
Early Spring 2021
(Submissions TBA)

Visions Film Festival and Conference
Presented by UNC Wilmington Film Studies Department
Wilmington, NC
Spring 2021 (typically sometime between late March to mid-April)
(Submissions opening TBA)

Tarheel Shorties Film Festival
Wilson, NC
Spring 2021
(Submissions TBA)

Cat Fly Film Festival
Asheville, NC
Spring/Summer 2021
(Submissions opening TBA)

Lumbee Film Festival
Pembroke, NC
Summer 2021
(Submissions opening TBA)

Joedance Film Festival
Charlotte, NC
Summer 2021 
(Submissions TBA)

Micropolitan Film Festival
Marion, NC
Summer 2021
(Submissions TBA)

Carolina Film Festival
Charlotte, NC
October 2021 (2020 event cancelled due to COVID-19)
(Submissions TBA)

FilmSPARK, part of SPARKcon
Raleigh, NC
Fall 2021 (2020 event cancelled due to COVID-19)
(Submissions TBA)

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