Information for Filmmakers

As the only human rights film festival in Colorado, ACT Human Rights Film Festival strives to communicate and operate with transparency and equity. ACT produces an annual film festival in Fort Collins, Colorado each spring and screens films at year-round community events both on and off Colorado State University’s campus.

ACT pays screening fees for every film it programs. ACT discloses its annual budget for film screening fees when films are selected. When filmmakers are invited to participate in ACT events, ACT either pays an honorarium or covers travel expenses.

ACT Human Rights Film Festival’s program selection is primarily curated. Each year, we accept a limited number of film submissions. Submitted films have been programmed at ACT’s annual festival every year since 2019. Artistic and programming decisions are made by ACT’s program advisory committee. The program advisory committee comprises engaged community members as well as Colorado State University faculty, staff, students.

Submission Deadline & Information

ACT does not charge submission fees for films to be considered for programming. However, due to staff and programmers’ limited bandwidth, ACT will accept no more than 50 submitted films to review each festival year. ACT will only accept films from the current calendar year and one previous to review (e.g. for 2023, films need to be no older than 2022).

In order for your film to be considered, please forward a film preview link (screener), press kit, previous festival appearances, and any awards to

Submission window: October 1 – November 30.

Films received outside of this time frame will not be considered.

Film Selection Criteria

Films selected for the ACT Human Rights Film Festival should: 

1. be an exemplary work of cinematic artistry, indicating the filmmaker’s aesthetic and intellectual rigor while showcasing the unique properties of the motion picture medium; 

2. either highlight an underrepresented conflict/social problem in the world or present an original, unconventional, and/or culturally informed perspective on a much-reported human rights issue (i.e. one that goes “deeper” than most mainstream news/narratives); 

3. stimulate thoughtful post-screening conversations between audience members and filmmakers, inviting people to ask and address difficult questions; 

4. create opportunities for empathetic outreach and community-building at the local, national, or global levels; and

5. demonstrate a commitment to the ideals set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes “the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.” [This — “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” (as stated in the UDHR’s preamble) — is the conceptual foundation of the ACT Human Rights Film Festival]. 

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