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Global Drone Film Festival

Let Your Inner Light Shine…The World is Your Canvas!
Submit Your FilmGot Questions Get Answers

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About Film Festival

(GDFF) is dedicated to educating audiences and empowering creators, filmmakers, and photographers around the globe to tell their stories through their lens by exploring Land, Air, and Sea and even Under Water. Let Your Inner Light Shine…The World is Your Canvas!

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Deadlines

Please keep track of deadlines closely if you plan on submitting within a certain submission window. All deadlines are set for 11:59pm EDT  and  our final deadline on February 21, 2021 at 11:59pm EST).

 

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Who We Are

The Global Drone Film Festival (GDFF) is hosted by Kids Drone Zone (KDZ) a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Kids Drone Zone mission is to serve as a global educational and career resource for scholars around the globe to learn about all aspects of  aviation and Drones/Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle (UAV) and Unmanned Vehicle Systems (UVS) and how this technology is used to better society in many beneficial ways.  We create Unconventional aviation experiences for youth! We teach scholars how to not only Build, Code, Race Drones, Fly Planes but also train and help them pursue aerial careers. We Come To You!

About

More Details About GDFF

We invite all to participate. There are categories for students, schools, drone enthusiasts, women, and corporations. Enter as often as you like!

Participant

 This film festival encourages youth from around the globe to participate. As well as adults, women, schools, corporations and all creators.

Equipment

This is a Hybrid Film Festival you can use a drone (from quadcopter to a Matrice 600 for aerial film),  a land drone or even an underwater drone. 

Don’t have a drone… no problem share your creativity using traditional video and photography equipment! There are categories for both.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please keep track of deadlines closely if you plan on submitting within a certain submission window. All deadlines are set for 11:59pm EDT.  Submissions open October 1.

We have five deadlines throughout our submission process:

Early Deadline (November 1)

Regular Deadline (January 10)

Late Deadline (January 31)

Extended Deadline (February21).

 

After February 21, all film submissions for the 2021 GDFF are closed. The show must go on!

We anticipate our Film Festival Awards event to be held in May 2021.

 

Any submissions that are incomplete by our final deadline will be disqualified without refund of submission fees. Reasons a submission will be considered incomplete include (but are not limited to) the following:

Screener is missing

Screener has been deleted or password has been changed

Screener is missing subtitles (if in a foreign language), audio, image, or any feature that prevents us from properly judging it.

 

 

How do I submit?

For the 2021 Global Drone Film Festival, we are only accepting submissions on FilmFreeway. If you are new to FilmFreeway, your first step will be to create an account and then to create a “project” for your submission. Please refer to the following page for more information on how to create a project and submit to festivals: https://filmfreeway.com/help.

Please do not email us your films. We cannot consider any project that has not been officially submitted through FilmFreeway.

We strongly suggest that you have a permanent member of the crew to submit (preferably the director or a producer). Please use an email address/phone number that is checked regularly in case we need to get in touch with you throughout the submission process. If there is an issue with your submission and we are unable to get in touch with anyone by our final submission deadline, we will be forced to disqualify your submission (without refund of submission fees).

 

I don’t like online submissions, can I submit via paper?

No. We no longer accept film submissions that do not go through FilmFreeway. It is difficult to keep track of films that are not within our official system, and when there’s no electronic record of a submission, it makes addressing problems (i.e. a film was submitted, but the DVD didn’t arrive, a main contact has to be changed, etc.) troublesome.

 

 I worked on or acted in a film, but didn’t produce or direct it; can I submit? I was the director, but not the producer, or vice versa, can I submit on my own?

If it’s not your film, it’s advisable to submit only after you’ve received permission from the filmmakers. If you are not the director, we kindly request that you also provide us with the director’s contact information.

For directors and producers, we strongly advise that everyone is in a agreement about the festivals they are submitting to, which festivals they want to play first or want to premiere at, and which version of the film is being submitted.

When disputes arise, (i.e. a film has been submitted without everyone’s explicit approval or the festival strategy has changed), we suggest that productions find a solution and come to an agreement with all the key decision makers before contacting us or any festivals the film has been submitted to.

 

Can I resubmit content previously created?

Yes, as long as your submission is still within our eligibility window (completed after October 1, 2018). However, we recommend doing so only if the current version being submitted is a radically different cut or if the previous submission was a work in progress with lots to be done. BUT, full disclosure, it’s been rare that a resubmitted film has been accepted the next year. If you do resubmit, please note that the film is a resubmission and what changes were made between the different cuts.

 

When are your deadlines?

We have five deadlines throughout our submission process:  Early Deadline (November 1), Regular Deadline (January 10), Late Deadline (January 31), and Extended Deadline (February 21 ). After February 15, all film submissions for the 2021 GDFF are closed.

Please keep track of deadlines closely if you plan on submitting within a certain submission window. All deadlines are set for 11:59pm EDT. 

Any submissions with an unpaid balance after a deadline will be required to pay the following deadline’s submission fee. Failure to pay the appropriate fee will result in disqualification without a refund.

Any submissions that are incomplete by our final deadline will be disqualified without refund of submission fees. Reasons a submission will be considered incomplete include (but are not limited to) the following:

Screener is missing

Screener has been deleted or password has been changed

Screener is missing subtitles (if in a foreign language), audio, image, or any feature that prevents us from properly judging it

 

Is there a difference if I submit early?

Yes and no. The main difference if you submit early is that you will spend less money on your submission fee. Submitting early won’t increase your chances of getting accepted (though it may increase your chances of a well-rested programmer watching your film). But ultimately, all submissions are evaluated equally, and every year we program films that submitted all throughout the submission period.

 

What are your submission fees?

You can find a full list of submission fees on next tab and on FilmFreeway.

 

Can I have a waiver?

We do not grant waivers.

 

What do I need to submit my film?

Each submission must be accompanied by a submission fee paid in full and a playable screener to be considered.

How do I know you received my submission?

In your FilmFreeway account, under the “Submissions” tab, you can locate your submission to our festival. As long as the Submission Status is listed as “In Consideration”, your film has satisfied all of our requirements and is ready to be reviewed by our screeners and programmers.

Films that are listed “Incomplete” at the time you submit are most likely missing a screener. Please check your submission again to ensure that your screener was uploaded properly.

If we discover an issue with your submission during the submissions process (i.e. screener was deleted, password was changed, is missing audio or subtitles etc.) we will reach out to the submitter to correct the problem. At this point, we will also update the status of the film to “Incomplete”. If at any point your film is listed Incomplete and you did not receive an email disclosing the reason, please reach out to us at GDFF@Kidsdronezone.org.

 

Do you accept online screeners? Can I send an outside link?

YES. We have now transitioned to only accept online screeners, we can no longer accept submissions on DVD or Blu-Ray. Please do not send DVDs or Blu-Rays to our office, they will be recycled.

Our preference for online screeners are password-protected Vimeo links or films uploaded directly to FilmFreeway. Online screeners must be available to stream; we do not accept any films that must be downloaded.

The submitter is responsible for ensuring that their screener link and password is active through at least June 30, 2021. In the event of a password or screener URL change after submitting, email us immediately. If we discover an error with the screener, we will attempt to email the submission contact for an update. Failure to respond by the final submission deadline will result in disqualification without refund of submission fees.

 

 

 

 

How do I submit Virtual Reality films and how are they reviewed?

For VR film submissions, please provide either:

  1. A) 360 Vimeo/YouTube screener (other 360-enabled platforms welcome).
  2. B) Downloadable link (to be reviewed via Oculus Go)
  3. C) Both the 360 screener and download link.

 

For non-360 VR films, installations, augmented reality and/or interactive projects:

1) You MUST provide a full gameplay recording as the primary screener for consideration. We refer to this screener in the event of any issues with the build, as well as to highlight any live installation components.

2) You may only provide a build or app as well if we have the primary screener.

3) Please detail any needs for the exhibition (such as schematics, compatible VR gear, etc.).

 

Do you accept rough cuts/works-in-progress?

Yes. Just be sure to mark the submission as a rough cut/work-in-progress/WIP both in your cover letter and in the screener file itself (preferably as a still image of text at the start of the screener). Please note which elements are incomplete (ex: color correction, score, missing shots, etc.)

We see incomplete versions of films all of the time, and our programming staff is very adept at using our imagination. Just keep in mind that if you are accepted you’ll need to be prepared to deliver the final cut to us by February 2021.

 

Can we send updated versions of the film?

Yes. However, please adhere to the following guidelines:

Any updates must be made directly to the online screener attached to your submission. For example, if you have a Vimeo link attached to your FilmFreeway account, any updates to your Vimeo link or FilmFreeway screener should be updated on our end as well. We cannot accept updated versions via email.

GDFF is only responsible for considering the project as it exists at the time of review. We are under no obligation to revisit updated cuts once a screener has been seen, so be sure that the submitted cut is a fair representation of the final piece.

No updated cuts will be accepted after the final deadline: February 21, 2021.

 How many films can I submit?

You can submit as many projects as you would like as long as they are all eligible to screen at the 2021 Global Drone Film Festival. However, you must pay a separate submission fee for each category.

When will filmmakers be notified of the final decisions for the 2021 Atlanta Film Festival?

Final notifications are scheduled to take place no later than end of day on April 15, 2021. Some filmmakers may receive notification sooner than this but if you haven’t heard from us yet, you’re still in the running.

How will we be notified*?

Accepted films will receive an invitation letter by email. Films that are not accepted to screen will also be notified by email by the notification deadline.

Please make sure the email address associated with your submission remains active throughout the submission process, and add each of the following accounts to your address book to prevent our communication from going to spam: (GDFF@Kidsdronezone.org. noreply@filmfreeway.com).

Your status of Accepted/Not Accepted will also be reflected in FilmFreeway under “Submissions” by the end of day on April 15.

Note: Email filters have a hard time with addresses that start with info@, mail@, admin@, etc. If you’re using one of these email addresses, it’s more likely your notification email may not arrive. We also suggest using an email address that someone checks daily.

*Notification dates are subject to change, please check the festival website every few weeks for updates. We strive to notify all submitters via email when a change will be made.

What genres do you accept?

EVERYTHING! Yes, as long as it adheres to the category of submission.

Okay, but what kind of films do you play?

EVERYTHING! 

Will you take a look at my film/photo and tell me if I should submit to you?

We cannot review any films/photos that have not been officially submitted to us. We get so many submissions that we have to dedicate our time to watching the films that have gone the official route (and paid their submission fee). 

Perusing our past program guides (listed above) is the best way to get a sense of our programming ethos. But keep in mind, our program is going to look different every year. The number one thing we’re looking for is originality. We watch many of films every year, and we’re always on the search for films that present something new and really stand out from the crowd. If this sounds like your film/photo, send it our way!

How long can films be?

We consider a short film as anything shorter than 3 minutes anything 3.01 minutes or over  will not be accepted.

We do have a cut off for runtime, but shorter is always better (as shorter films allow for more flexibility when building our schedule). 

If I submit to one category, will I be considered for others I may be eligible for?

No. You are only considered for the category you submit your film to. Please don’t submit your film to a category with a cheaper fee even though it belongs somewhere else. Films submitted to an inappropriate category will be disqualified without a refund. Read the category descriptions carefully.

Do you have any ratings limitations? 

Must films be PG or PG-13? 

Do you program films with strong content and language?

We have no ratings limitations on films submitted. We program films with a variety of content, from family-friendly to work that would only be appropriate for mature audiences. Our mission is to program great films and a strong lineup first and foremost.

Do you have a preference for local films or films with local connections?

No We love all submissions equally.

Is there a discount for student work?

No. We have provided special pricing for students. A student is defined as a youth who is attending elementary, middle or high school. 

Do you have competition sections?

Yes. Jury Prizes are awarded  for a variety of categories.  

How many films are put in competition?

Films placed in competition are chosen solely at the discretion of the GDFF programming team. Acceptance to the festival does not guarantee placement in competition.

Do you include international films?

Yes, we love international films! 

Do you prefer films with stars?

No. We prefer great and interesting stories. If a star happens to show up in a really great film, cool. But it’s not a requirement.

Can I find out how my film is doing once I’ve submitted?

No. Please do not call or email us asking for updates on your film. We’re a year round non-profit  organization. In addition to overseeing this festival, we host numerous classes workshops, and community outreach activities.

Furthermore, the submission review process is long and complex, and typically doesn’t firm up until very close to our notification date. There are films that receive high scores from screeners early on that simply don’t have a place in the festival. There are also films that receive so-so scores from screeners that end up being the missing piece in the program. We don’t want to tell you anything we cannot absolutely commit to. You’ll know when we do.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES WITH THE GDFF

GDFF needs outgoing and enthusiastic volunteers.  Volunteering for GDFF is about helping  wonderful artists to share their stories. 

However, the real benefits of volunteering aren’t things, or even films—they are the experiences you have and the people you meet.

WHAT VOLUNTEER POSITIONS ARE AVAILABLE?

  • Box Office & Registration Agents: Will aid guests with accurate event information and assist them in purchasing tickets or pick up pre-purchased tickets or passes.
  • Filmmaker Liaisons: Responsibilities include Liaisons assisting with filmmaker arrivals per film at the theater and connecting guests and speakers with the staff or the technical manager and any other duties as assigned. Additional training required; spots are limited.
  • Greeters: Will welcome patrons and provide directions to where they need to go.
  • Line Attendants/Scanners: Responsibilities may include organizing guests into appropriate lines or scanning guests’ tickets.
  • Parking Attendants: Parking attendants are needed to give our guests and patrons directions to parking lots that are specifically available to the festival. Please wear weather appropriate clothing for weather as it can be unpredictable.
  • Security: Must be at least 21. Dress appropriately for the weather. Patrols facilities/grounds and performs “rounds” as required, reports all security concerns to Volunteer Coordinator or Venue Manager.
  • Special Events: Tasks will include set up, break down, clean up and maintenance during and after our special events.
  • Sponsor Liaisons: Responsibilities include assisting with setting up sponsor activations, coordinating activation needs for sponsors, being the liaison contact for sponsors during certain events, and assisting with any specific needs from the sponsor. Additional training required; spots are limited.
  • STREET TEAM: Beginning as early as mid-January, earn tickets—or even passes—to the festival by helping our Marketing Associates spread the word! Distribute 2021 GDFF materials whenever and wherever you’re available.
  • Theater Attendants: Will be stationed outside of the theater doors to mark tickets for patrons and click in any passes on the clicker.
  • Transportation: A transportation team will use the festival fleet of vehicles to drive our guest filmmakers to and from venues.
  • Ushers/Ballot Collectors: Will be stationed inside the theater assisting guests to their correct seats. Ushers/Ballot Collectors will also be responsible for giving out and collecting ballots at the beginning and end of each film.
  • Venue Captains: Captains serve as the supervisors to the volunteers of each department and venue. They will be responsible for tracking the arrival and departure of each volunteer during the festival. Captains will be required to work a minimum of three 8 hour shifts and will be expected to embrace additional responsibilities and time commitments to complete their roles. Captains play a critical role in maintaining a smoothly running festival.

Volunteer positions are subject to change, so please be flexible!

HOW TO VOLUNTEER?

Sign up to be notified of volunteer opportunities.

 

VOLUNTEER BENEFITS?

ONE FREE screening voucher (Buddy Pass) for select film and seminars for each shift

you work.  Each shift is around 4-4.5 hours. We also have an incentive

program for our super volunteers who will work 10 or more shifts (totaling more than 40 volunteer hours during the festival) and for Corporate Volunteer Teams.

 

For more information about Volunteer Teams, contact us at GDFF@kidsdronezone.org.

 

GDFF VOLUNTEER APPLICATION

 

The Global Drone Film festival cannot do what we do without the help and support of our volunteers. You are the unsung heroes that produce an amazing festival and provide unforgettable experiences. We would like to welcome you to apply to become a volunteer for the 2021 GDFF (April 15 – June 30).

 

We encourage our volunteers to enjoy both behind the scenes view of the festival as well as being entertained as the audience.

 

All volunteer positions play an important role in the success of the 2021 GDFF. Once your application is completed, please make plans to attend one of three volunteer

orientations—scheduled on weekends before the festival. A volunteer coordinator will be in contact with you to discuss scheduling.

* Required

 

Register Here Button: https://kidsdronezone.org/volunteer-for-gdff/

Global Drone Film Festival proudly accepts entries on FilmFreeway, the world’s #1 way to enter film festivals and creative contests.

 

Participant Info

Festival participation is open to anyone in the world with a special division for youth. With low entry fees and enthusiastic esteemed judges, this is the one Festival where you can “Let Your Inner Light Shine”. Winning selections will be awarded prizes. Selected submissions will be screened. Entrants warrant that they have the legal right to submit the work to GDFF and that all statements made in this application are true and accurate, and that all necessary rights and clearances have been secured to screen the work at the festival.

Frequently Asked Questions

This division is open to any adult 18 and up from around the globe. You can be a drone enthusiast, commercial operator, first responder, FPV Racer, extreme sports, hobbyist, and enthusiast, amateur filmmakers/photographer.

Your film does not need to exclusively contain aerial footage. In this division, a Drone or Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle (UAV) must be used for at least 50% of the film and 100% for photo submissions. There is no hard and fast rule about how much aerial footage must be in your film, but your footage should be central to the story you’re telling. Applicants may enter as often as they like. Please read and adhere to all guidelines.

Film must be 3 minutes or less. Any submissions over 3 minutes will be automatically disqualified.

Amelia Dronehart For Women” This division is dedicated to women around the world who use Drones or Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle (UAV) for various aerial purposes such as film and photography.

Your film does not need to exclusively contain aerial footage. Photos must be an aerial view.

In this division, a Drone or Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle (UAV) must be used for at least 50% of the film and 100% for photo submissions. There is no hard and fast rule about how much aerial footage must be in your film, but your footage should be central to the story you’re telling. Except youth submissions, Films/Photos completely unrelated to aerial photos/film or do not contain relevant aerial footage, will be disqualified. This does not include submissions under the youth division. Applicants may enter as often as they like. Please read and adhere to all guidelines.

Films must be 3 minutes or less. Any submissions over 3 minutes will be automatically disqualified.


If you do not have a drone this year, no problem. We still want to see your artistic side.

 

Films must be 3 minutes or less. Any submissions over 3 minutes will be automatically disqualified.

 

In this category a non-drone/UAV can only be used. We understand many youth do not have drones YET!

 

Submit entries into the traditional category and next year be inspired to use a Drone!

Accepting submissions from around the globe ages 10-18.

 

Must be a Student in a public, private, or homeschool organization from elementary to college can only submit in the Youth program.

 

Scholars must provide their educational institution contact info when uploading their film/photo submission.

 

Films must be 3 minutes or less. Any submissions over 3 minutes will be automatically disqualified.

 

Scholars may enter as often as they like. Please read all guidelines.


We support families. Show how your family has enjoys having fun, travel excursions around the world, or cool time just kicking it at home.

 In this category a non-drone/UAV can only be used. We understand many families do not have drones YET!

 Films must be 3 minutes or less. Any submissions over 3 minutes will be automatically disqualified.

 Families may enter as often as they like. Please read all guidelines.

Does your corporation or organization use UAS (Land, Air, or Sea) ) to facilitate various missions.  Trail Blazers like you are exceptional! Companies or organizations doing conservation, delivery, mining, security, search and rescue, Covid-19,  research,  first responder organizations, or more. Share your company’s awesome work in using Drones  for good!

 

Submissions should reflect how this technology is used to benefit society.

 

UVS includes the following systems:

 

Unmanned Ground Systems (UGS) -Operates on all types of Terrain

Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV)- Floating Systems that operate on water

Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUWV)- operate below shallow and deep water

 

Films must be 3 minutes or less. Any submissions over 3 minutes will be automatically disqualified.

Awards

Awards in each Category: Best in each category and People’s Choice Awards. Winning selections will be awarded prizes. Awards will include cash and prizes..

Global Drone Film Festival proudly accepts entries on FilmFreeway, the world’s #1 way to enter film festivals and creative contests.

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