The following are answers to some questions that are often asked regarding submitting a film to the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. If you have any further questions, please email 

Q1. Why should I submit my film to the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival?

The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is the largest film festival in Southern California dedicated to showcasing films by and about Asians & Pacific Islanders around the world. We were recently named one of "The 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World" in 2017 by MovieMaker Magazine!

If invited, your film will be seen by enthusiastic and appreciative audiences and festival programmers, and many executives and professionals from the entertainment and media industry.

If your narrative live-action / animated short film is selected by the Festival and wins the GOLDEN REEL AWARD, your film would be eligible for consideration in the Animated Short Film / Live Action Short Film category of the ACADEMY AWARDS®!

The Festival has brought established, emerging, and award-winning filmmakers to the public's attention, including Andrew Ahn, Gregg Araki, Shonali Bose, Lino Brocka, Aneesh Chaganty, Justin Chon, Tanuj Chopra, Davy Chou, Chen Kaige, Christine Choy, Curtis Choy, Michael Kang, Lena Khan, Stanley Kwan, Ang Lee, Chris Chan Lee, Justin Lin, Bao Nguyen, Raymond Red, Miike Takashi, Renee Tajima-Peña, Justin Tipping, Ham Tran, Wayne Wang, Chelsea Winstanley, Hao Wu, Wong Kar-wai, WongFu Productions, John Woo, Ruby Yang, Jessica Yu, and many others.

We also provide a space for artists to connect with our cinematic communities, to develop relationships that may well turn into fruitful collaborations.

Q2. I’m an Asian Pacific Islander filmmaker, but my film has no Asian or Pacific Islander characters / subjects in it. What are the chances of my film being accepted?

The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival supports the works of Asian and/or Pacific Islander filmmakers and is interested in showcasing Asian Pacific Islander diasporic stories. However, all films by Asian Pacific Islanders will be considered according to programmatic considerations specific to that year.

Q3. I’m not Asian Pacific Islander, can I still submit to the Festival?

The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival accepts films and mediaworks that are principally made by and/or about Asian Pacific Islander individuals and communities around the world. If your work celebrates the diverse stories of our Asians and/or Pacific Islanders, your work is eligible.

Q4. Can I submit my film entry by mail? Can I submit a DVD screener?

No. The Festival requires all submissions and preview materials to be delivered electronically via FilmFreeway.

Q5. Are work-in-progress submissions accepted?

Yes! We accept work-in-progress entries for preview purposes only (not for exhibition). Though we prefer to evaluate entries that are as complete as possible, our screening committee will take into account the unfinished state of a submission as it makes its decision. Be sure to indicate on your preview screener the status of the film (i.e., rough cut, fine cut, picture lock, etc.) and specify what elements are still incomplete (i.e., temp sound, color correction needed, etc.). That said, it is in your best interest to submit a version that is as close to completion as possible.

IMPORTANT: If your work-in-progress submission is accepted, you must be prepared to deliver a completed version in time for its Festival Week 2020 screening.

Q6. Can I re-submit a film that was not accepted the previous year?

Yes. Decisions to accept or reject films each year are based on programmatic considerations specific to that year. If your submission was not accepted the previous year, but you feel that you have since improved it significantly, you may very well consider submitting it again.

Q7. Do you have any premiere status requirements?

We generally prefer at least a Los Angeles premiere, especially for feature-length films. Exceptions can be made, but we endeavor to showcase films that have yet to be seen in the Greater Los Angeles and Southern California area.

The Festival presents many world premieres, North American premieres and U.S. premieres, but these are not required. We are not interested in taking away opportunities for your film to be screened in other cities.

Q8. Is running time a consideration in the selection process? (Is it possible for my short film to be too long, for instance?)

It depends. The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival considers all works 41 minutes and longer to be features; those 40 minutes or shorter is a short film. There are generally two possibilities for a short film to be showcased at the Film Festival: 1) in a shorts program, or 2) preceding a feature film.

Running time – and whether it is warranted for a film – is one of many factors that are considered in the selection and programming process. We are not as concerned with the actual running time of the film as we are with how effectively that time is used.

Q9. Is it possible to get a fee waiver for my submission?

The Festival does not provide waivers other than for current Visual Communications Members at the Filmmaker level. We understand the severe financial restrictions among many of our artists. As a non-profit organization, we also operate under limitations on resources, and the entry fees sustains us to produce the best possible space to showcase your works. We encourage all artists to submit by the early deadline, or to purchase a VC Membership.

Q10. I see that the Golden Reel Award winner in Short Narrative Live-Action / Animated Film would be eligible for ACADEMY AWARDS® consideration. Why aren't short documentaries eligible?

The Festival's current qualification is specifically for films which could be eligible for consideration in the Animated Short Film / Live Action Short Film category of the ACADEMY AWARDS®. We will soon begin the application process for qualification in the Short Documentary Film category, so please stay tuned for updates.

Q11. I just found out about the HBO APA Visionaries Short Film Competition but I already submitted my short film to LAAPFF. Can my film be considered for the competition?

Submissions for the HBO APA Visionaries Short Film Competition officially open on September 15, 2019 at 9am PST via our FilmFreeway; however, if you submitted a film to LAAPFF from Sep 1 - Sep 14, 2019, your film may be eligible for consideration via email. Such individuals will be sent an email on or about September 15, 2019 with instructions on how to enter the APA Visionaries Short Film Competition. If, after September 15 you do not receive an email, please email

Q12. If I submit my film to the HBO APA Visionaries Short Film Competition category, will I still be considered for another LAAPFF category?

Yes! If our programmers think your film may be suitable for another LAAPFF program category instead of the HBO APA Visionaries Short Film Competition, it will be recommended for further consideration.