Hero Film Festival & Awards is a quarterly and annual film awards competition with annual live screening at the Naro Cinema in Norfolk, VA. Based out of the largest American military hub on the East Coast and only a few hours’ drive from the nation’s capital, HFFA celebrates heroism in filmmaking. Competitive films originate from around the globe to receive HFFA recognition, industry contacts and film promotion.

Hero Film Festival & Awards presents awards within multiple categories. These presentations occur quarterly in March, June, September and December of each year. Annual awards, digital screenings and theatrical screenings take place each March.

At HFFA, we recognize the struggles filmmakers face, regarding other festival submission and screening requirements. To ensure you do not disqualify yourself for these other prestigious events, screenings are digital as needed. Invitees include real life heroes, press, industry contacts, advocates and other people suited to your film’s market. For select winning films not requiring private digital screenings, we engage your public audience at a historic 1936 cinema for presentation of the film and filmmaker Q&A.

Quarterly and Annual Competition Rules

All HFFA entries must include a subject, story line or thread of heroism.

Each category offers its own jury-selected quarterly award. In addition to these awards, the best among these films vie for four Best of Show levels, called the Pioneer (first-time filmmaker), Voyager (exceptional production), Luminary (on-screen talent or real-life hero) and Conqueror (most memorable) awards. Category winners progress to the annual film festival and awards event in Norfolk, VA.

Annual awardees and screening films are named March 1 of each year for late March private screening and public presentation. Hero Film Festival & Awards also reserves the freedom to invite secondary films from the quarterly tiers for additional screenings or appearances.

Submissions must take place on FilmFreeway.com. Non-English language films must have English subtitles. While works in progress are accepted for quarterly competitions, we encourage film completion prior to submission. Films must have a completion and/or premiere date within the prior three years (36 months) for consideration.

Film entries are not limited to only one category, when others apply to the genre and content. But for each submission or category entered, a submission fee is required. Entry fees are non-refundable.

By entering your production in Hero Film Festival & Awards, you grant non-exclusive rights to HFFA for festival program promotional use of excerpts, poster art, trailers, teasers and stills. Selected films for the live screening in Norfolk grant non-exclusive theatrical (one-time showing) rights to HFFA. Digitally screened films grant non-exclusive one-time rights for an online event. Films will NOT otherwise be made available to outside parties or for download online.

Categories for Entry

Quarterly winners progress to the annual film festival and awards. Specific categories of entry for Hero Film Festival & Awards include:

Feature Categories:
Films over 45 minutes in duration, only
Dramatic Feature Film
Documentary Feature
Experimental Feature

Short Categories:
Films 45 minutes or less in duration, only
Fictional Short
Documentary Short
Experimental Short

Film Genres / Subjects / Markets:
True Crime
Advocacy in Action
Hero in Uniform
Everyday Hero
Western
LGBTQ
Animal Advocacy
Health
Political

Best of Show Awards

Best of Show Award participants are determined by the jury, from quarterly winners in the above categories.

Individuals or Groups:
Best Producer
Best Original Music Score
Best Editing
Best Cinematography
Best Director – Feature
Best Director – Documentary
Best Director – Short
Best Director – Experimental
Best First Time Filmmaker
Best Actress
Best Actor
Most Intriguing Hero [Real-Life Subjects]

Best of Show:
These awardees progress to the annual competition.
Pioneer | First-Time Filmmaker
Voyager | Overall Production Value
Luminary | On-Screen Talent or Real-Life Hero
Conqueror | Most Memorable