Filmchella Film Festival Now Accepting Early-Bird Submissions

filmchellaBy Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)

Most film festivals are dominated by sitting in seats in a dark theater, or waiting in line. Sure there are after parties (if you can get in on the guest lists), but for the most part, it tends to be a passive affair for the filmgoers.

A new festival called Filmchella is hoping to change all of that. Billed as the Coachella for movies, the festival is hoping to bring the rock & roll experience to filmmakers and fans. With star shows, DJs, parties, and an open air theater in the desert, the festival will rage on for three nights in Joshua Tree, CA from September 22nd to the 24th.

The festival is now accepting submissions in the following categories:

  1. Feature Film
  2. Short Film
  3. Documentary Film
  4. Virtual Reality
  5. Screenplay
  6. Vintage

Here’s the full list of deadlines, which will range anywhere from $10 to $80 dollars, depending on the category you submit for:

  1. March 1, 2017 – Earlybird Deadline
  2. June 1, 2017 – Regular Deadline
  3. August 1, 2017 – Late Deadline
  4. September 1, 2017 -Extended Deadline

The festival has its own awards, including their version of the Palm d’Or, which is a neon lightning bolt trophy for best film, and a golden banana trophy called the Gorilla award for the most innovative filmmaking. Here’s the full list of awards:

  1. Neon Lightning Bolt Award – top film
  2. Gorilla Award – most innovative
  3. Candy-ography Award – best cinematography
  4. Synth Award – best music
  5. Golden Pocket Pistol – best short
  6. Gonzo Award – best documentary
  7. Emerald Headset – best VR program
  8. Wet Seed Award – best unproduced screenplay

In some ways this reminds me of Midnight Madness that happens during the Toronto International Film Festival, which is a lot rowdier then most film festival programs. It’s some of the most fun you’ll ever have at the theater, so I can only imagine what turning it into a three-day party in the desert will be like.

To submit your film to the Filmchella Film Festival visit Here’s a description of the festival from the organizers:

The ROCK N ROLL experience for filmmakers and fans. Where making something cool is most important. Open air theater, in the desert, techno fueled and full of filmmakers.

Hosted at an RV park and campground in Joshua Tree, CA. Filmchella screens only quality films in a dreamlike atmosphere, think Alice in Wonderland. There will be live music, DJs, teepees, art installations, and parties during the day, with films and star shows at night. Complete sensory overload.

If you’re gonna go to a film festival, might as well have the best time of your life.

About Danny Santos

Freelance writer, filmmaker, actor, musician, and visual artist. Writing online professionally for 4-plus years and has produced and performed in over a dozen films and webseries. He has also been everything from a social media consultant to managing a JUNO award winning musician.