Submit a Film



The Beneath the Waves Film Festival is entering its seventh year! We’re proud to announce that our last year was the best yet! Last year’s diverse group of films showcased incredible stories about the biology and ecology of our oceans. Beneath the Waves is successful primarily due to these stories we’ve been able to share. So, it gives us great pleasure to announce for the sixth time that we will be accepting the next great group of films!

If you have a story to tell about a marine or aquatic topic, we want to hear from you! Films shown by Beneath the Waves are by anyone and for everyone. So, whether you’re a student, a first-time filmmaker, or a professional, we want to see your perspective and what you are passionate about.

So grab a camera and show us why you love the oceans! What do you want to show the world?

Submissions are now being accepted and the deadline for submission is January 15, 2016. We will then review films and send out acceptances in early February 2016.

All correspondence regarding film submissions can be made by emailing us at collections[at]


We welcome films with all types of tones, themes, and artistic styles (including animation or CGI), and underwater footage is not a necessity. However, a strong narrative or story is required, and we encourage conservation or science-themed pieces. We especially enjoy success stories!

Requirements for films:

  • Contents must be your original work (you will be required to sign a release form upon submission, see below)
  • Must relate to some marine/aquatic issue
  • Must have a strong narrative or story
  • Must be less than 10 minutes in length (please email us if it’s longer, and we may consider it). Longer films are sometimes accepted but they will be screened less frequently throughout the year.
  • We prefer films in English, but films in other languages are also acceptable if they have English subtitles.
  • Must submit either electronic or hard-copy film file
  • Must also have film available online for viewing (this can be a private link)
  • Must be less than 4 gigabytes in size
  • Must submit an abstract with each film (see below)
  • Must submit payment of $15.00 or $30.00 for each submission (see below)



Deadline: Submissions are now being accepted and the deadline for submission is January 15, 2016.

We take pride in maintaining strong communication with our prospective filmmakers. If you are thinking about submitting and/or have any questions, please drop us a line at and we will get back to you quickly.

All submissions MUST include the following items to be considered for selection:

1) A copy of your film in either .mov/.mp4/.avi format (this can be sent electronically or via mail). All films are strongly encouraged to be less than 10 minutes in length. Files must be less than 4 gigabytes in size.

2) Your film “abstract,” which contains your name/address/affiliation, the film title and length, a link to view your film online (this can be a private link, but please provide the password), and a one-paragraph description of your film. Please indicate whether you are a student filmmaker.  Make sure to list the film’s title and creator as you want it to appear on all promotional materials and our website. Also include a note of your method of payment (see #4). View an example abstract here. Please name this document using the filename: “Filmname_abstract.docx

3) A signed copy of the film release form. Please save the file as “Filmname_release.pdfDownload the release form here.

4) Payment for submission. Submission fees for each film are $15.00 for students and $30.00 for non-students. Payment can be sent electronically – please send payment by clicking the link below (the “donate” button). Checks can also be made out to “Beneath the Waves, Inc.” with the Memo “Film Submission” and mailed to the address for all hard-copy submissions below.


There are two options for submitting your films: (1) Electronic and (2) Physical hard-copy. All materials must be received by January 15th, 2016.

Electronic option:

a. Upload and share the film with us so that we can download it via a file-sharing website such as You Send It, Hightail, Dropbox, MediaFire, or Vimeo. Make sure to include the password for us to access the film.

b. Send the submission fee (electronically or via snail-mail)

c. Send us an email ( with the following information:

The link to download the video, the film “abstract” (as an attachment), the signed release form (as an attachment), and a note on the confirmation of payment. Please title the subject of your email “Filmname Submission to Beneath the Waves”

Hard-copy option:

a. Mail us a copy of the film on either a data-DVD or on a USB flash-drive. We need access to the file itself – make sure it’s not just a viewing DVD.

b. In your package please also include the following:

The printed film “abstract,” the printed and signed release form, and a note on the confirmation of payment. You can also add the abstract and release form to the data-DVD or USB drive. Checks can be made out the “Beneath the Waves, Inc.” with the Memo “Film Submission.”

Please send packages to:

Ashwin Bhandiwad c/o Beneath the Waves Film Festival
1812 NE 65th St.
Seattle, WA, 98115, United States of America

c. Email us informing that your materials have been submitted

After we have received your submission materials, we will send you a confirmation email. All films will be viewed by a panel of judges, and all filmmakers will receive decisions by early March. While we love all of our films equally, awards are given to exemplary films, decided by a panel of external judges, in the following categories: Best Overall, Best Conservation Message, Best Student Film, Best Cinematography, and People’s Choice.


Some of our amazing entries from 2012

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