Is this your first film festival? If so, check out these tips to help you get the most out of your experience. Planning ahead ensures that you get to see all the films on your itinerary; it also gives you a chance to experience some unexpected bonuses. 

How to Fest

1) A festival pass is the way to go! Clear your calendar and enjoy four days of more than 70 films, panels, showcases and events. Four-day passes include entry into every screening, event, and discussion throughout the festival as long as filmgoers arrive on time and seating is available. A Festival pass provides you with a discount on tickets for unlimited screenings and access to Opening Night film and After Party, space permitting.

2) Plan, plan, plan! Visit the Film Festival website or pick up a program. Check out our extraordinary selection of films, and plan! If you want to get, stand in the RUSH LINE. Once pass holders and ticket holders have been seated, there may be extra seats available. Rush means that if you get there early and pay cash at the door, the first 20-25 people will most likely get in. 

3) Come prepared. Make sure you have your pass, your plan, and your program, and that you know where and when your first film is being screened. Arrive at least twenty minutes before the start time to ensure a seat and avoid crowds. Seating is general admission at all venues and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Comfy shoes and casual attire will allow you to relax.

4) Make the most of this opportunity. Join us on the Red Carpet for Opening Night excitement, the film and the community After Party. Throughout the next three days there are films, panels, coffee talks with..., conversations with..., parties happening over the four-day celebration of film. Film festivals allow you to see new independent releases and award-winning films that have not been released yet at your local movie theater. Watch a film about a subject you don't know much about. Meet a filmmaker, actor or producer and ask questions about the film you've just viewed. Our films represent an amazing variety of subjects and themes. There really is something for everyone.

5) Attend everything you can! Panels held on Friday are with filmmakers and leaders in various industries on a range of topics. See the Festival Highlights in our program for more details on the remarkable participants in these illuminating discussions, showcases, spotlights and more. 

6) Text to vote. We offer a green, clean, digital and secure way to vote for your favorite films.  If you prefer, fill out paper ballots. At every screening, you'll be reminded at the end to Text to Vote to rate the film. Your results will determine the winners of the "Best of the Fest," audience awards which will be shown following the Juried and Audience Award winners on Sunday afternoon at Maryland Hall. 

7) Be flexible. Yes, there will be lines. They will be filled with interesting people for you to meet and talk to while waiting. If it looks like you might not get into that event, have a second choice ready. We have four full days of films and panels in eight different venues. If you go with the flow, you will find many things to do and see.

8) Enjoy our wonderful town. Rain or shine, Annapolis is a great place to visit and to walk from venue to venue (or grab the free circulator). With countless places to enjoy between films, this is your chance to mingle with VIPs, filmmakers, neighbors and to make new friends while enjoying what Annapolis has to offer! Click here to learn more about all the great things to do in town!

9) Stay the night. Annapolis offers a wide range of lodging options, a ton of things to do and see, along with dozens of restaurants to choose from. The film festival is the perfect reason to hang around for a night enjoying everything Annapolis has to offer. 

About the Annapolis Film Festival

Vision & Mission of AFF

The vision for the Annapolis Film Festival is to establish Annapolis as a center for filmmakers to showcase different global perspectives and independent thought to a variety of audiences through their work. The long-term goal is to enhance growth both culturally and economically to the Annapolis area and throughout the region. 

The mission of the Annapolis Film Festival is to encourage the development of all aspects of the creative arts in and around Annapolis through the cinema experience. We seek independent films, features, documentaries and shorts, that will inspire, enlighten and entertain all audiences on a variety of topics, promoting Annapolis as a cultural arts center.