Submission Criteria

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Submissions for the 2021 Three Rivers Film Festival are now closed.

3RFF is the oldest and largest film festival in the Pittsburgh region. Now in its 39th year, this prestigious fest includes American and foreign dramas, comedies, and documentaries, restored classics, and more. In addition to film screenings, there are Q&As with cast and crew, receptions, and other fun. Now part of the Film Pittsburgh family, the Three Rivers Film Festival will continue its prominent role in bringing people together to share the power of independent film.

The 3RFF includes well-attended screenings in commercial theaters, audience awards with beautiful, custom-designed trophies, and networking events including a filmmakers’ lounge and after parties. Passholders for this year’s festival can also attend a filmmaking conference of workshops and panel discussions with industry pros.

Thanks to Covid-19, the 2020 festival was presented virtually as part of a combined Fall Festival. But we’re anxious to get back to normal and plan to present 3RFF in November 2021 in the theater if it’s safe to do so. 


Audience Awards are given for Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature.


3RFF is open to all independent filmmakers. Eligible films must adhere to the following criteria:

  • Must be a Pittsburgh premiere (no prior public Pittsburgh screening)
  • Must be a feature-length film with a run time in excess of 40 minutes
  • Films must have been completed in 2019 or later
  • Foreign language films must have English subtitles

Entrants may submit more than one film. Each entry requires a separate submission and fee.

Please include the following as part of your submission:

  • Film synopsis (50 word maximum)
  • Country of Origin
  • Languages spoken in the film
  • Type of film (Live Action, Documentary, or Animation)
  • Length of film
  • Prior Festival Screenings and Broadcast History
  • Honors and Awards
  • Filmmaker contact information
  • Director’s Bio (100 word maximum)
  • Brief Personal Statement (100 word maximum)

Please submit online via FilmFreeway. Vimeo links strongly preferred.


Deadline: Entries are due by August 31, 2021.


By May 31: $40 
By July 31: $50
After August 31: $60

Entry fees are non-refundable. Films will not be considered complete and your film will not be previewed until the submission fee has been paid.


Filmmakers will be notified of their selection status by October 10, 2021.


Selected films will need to be submitted as follows:

Preferred format: ProResHQ 422 QuickTime File

Also acceptable:
H264 QuickTime File (must be a maximum quality – 30mb/s or higher)
MP4 (must be a maximum quality MP4 – 30mb/s or higher)

  • 1920 x 1080 Pixels
  • 24 Frames Per Second (23.98fps is also accepted)
  • 5.1 Audio (Stereo is also accepted)

The above-mentioned specs are preferred. If your project settings do not match, a master quality file of your project in its native framerate and resolution is acceptable.


Terms and Conditions

Film Pittsburgh is not responsible for late, lost, damaged or ineligible entries. Entrants will retain all ownership rights to their submitted films. By submitting to this festival, the entrant certifies that they have the legal right to submit and exhibit the film. The applicant is responsible and liable for any breach of rights or the law in the submission and exhibition process. By submitting your film you give Film Pittsburgh the right to exhibit your film at the JFilm Festival. Entrants may be required to sign an affidavit confirming that their film is original and that he/she holds all rights. All federal, state, and local taxes, and customs fees, when applicable, are the sole responsibility of the entrant. The undersigned assumes responsibility to ensure the submission payment information is complete and correct and agrees to reimburse Film Pittsburgh for any additional fees incurred by incorrect submission payments, submission disputes, and credit card chargebacks. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Film Pittsburgh for any and all fees, claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving submission payment disputes, copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the content submitted and/or screened. By entering the festival, the entrant grants the right to publish or transmit portions of the film for the purpose of press or promotion, unless otherwise noted. Additionally, entry constitutes permission to use winners’ name, likeness, and voice for advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation. Void where prohibited.