2017 Trailer Contest

1st Prize: $200
2nd Prize: $100
3rd Prize: $50

The 20th annual East Lansing Film Festival, held November 6 – November 14  at Wells Hall on the MSU campus and Studio C! in Okemos, wants YOU to make a trailer for the festival.   The 30-second to one-minute trailer will be used to promote the festival on-line and in other media and will run prior to each film festival screening.

Who Can Enter?

Any person can participate in the contest.  Entries from individuals or teams of individuals will be accepted. Only one entry per person or team is permitted.  No individual can participate on more than one team.


The trailer must promote ELFF the longest and second oldest film festival in Michigan. ELFF showcases feature, documentary, short and student films from around the world and from our backyard. A highlight of the film festival is the Lake Michigan Film Competition that awards films made in the states that border Lake Michigan – Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.  Learn more about ELFF at www.elff.com.

Trailer elements:

The trailer should promote the East Lansing Film Festival and the Lake Michigan Film Competition cleverly. Humor is highly recommended. Animation is encouraged. You can choose the topic just make sure it is appropriate for the pre-movie screening.  Production should be above average with good sound and visual clarity. Have fun!


The length of the trailer can range between 30 seconds and 1 minute. Preferably closer to 30 seconds.


All entries must be submitted by August 27. No extensions will be granted. Winners will be announced on September 25 or sooner if possible.


All submissions must be in a digital format.  No DVDs will be accepted.  The link with the submission should be sent by to  kjm.lmfcdirector.elff@gmail.com.  Videos in YouTube and Vimeo are preferred.  Make sure to include a password (where appropriate) and make the file available anytime until midnight, November 18, 2017.  Please include your name, email and phone number and country of origin in your email.


The trailer must be appropriate for all audiences and may not contain gratuitous sex, violence, or offensive language.


The trailer you submit must reflect your own work and may not make use of any copyrighted material in any form.


In addition to having your trailer played during the East Lansing Film Festival, First Place will receive $400. Second will receive $200 and Third Prizes will receive $100.

Criteria for Judging the Submissions:

The team at the East Lansing Film Festival will review submissions and, if appropriate, select a winner. The trailers will be judged based on their originality, technical proficiency and their ability to capture the look, feel, goals of the film festival.  The East Lansing Film Festival team will in their sole discretion establish procedures and standards for judging the contest.  ELFF reserves the right to accept or reject any or all of the contest entries.

Rights Granted to the East Lansing Film Festival:

By entering the East Lansing Film Festival Trailer Contest, contestants agree to grant to ELFF and its successors full and complete ownership of the trailer for use in perpetuity in any and all formats. Contestants fully understand that the trailer may be used prior to and at the 2017 Festival and in succeeding years and in any current or subsequent promotions in print, online and in other formats.  Contestants retain the right to seek permission from ELFF to use the ideas and images in their trailers to create derivative works in any and all other media. Permission shall not be unreasonably withheld.   Questions? Feel free to contact us at: kjm.lmfcdirector.elff@gmail.com or susanw.woods@gmail.com.