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What are the General Requirements for Submitting My Short Film to Midnight Train Film Festival? 

The film must have a runtime with end credits of no more than twenty (20) minutes.  It can be a narrative film, a documentary, animation, or experimental.  There are no restrictions on genre.  The film cannot be a public service announcement or PR-related short film that advocates for, or advertises, a political cause, the sale of a particular product, the endorsement of a brand, celebrity, public personality, etc.  No films with distribution will be considered, and no films that are readily accessible to the general public will be considered.  MTFF wants to provide its audience with a unique, original line-up of quality short films that would be hard to find outside of the festival environment.  

Can I Submit My Feature Film to Midnight Train Film Festival? 

Unfortunately, no.  MTFF screens a blend of short films and feature films, but only the short film section is a competition open to all filmmakers.  The festival founders spend a significant amount of time on the festival circuit meeting up-and-coming filmmakers, and the feature films are personally recruited by the founders of the festival.  No unsolicited feature films will be considered.

When Is the Submissions Deadline?  When Will I Be Notified About My Submission? 

Submissions for MTFF are currently scheduled to open in 2021.  Stay tuned for the specific deadline and notification dates.

My Film Was Rejected by MTFF.  Will You Tell Me Why My Film Wasn’t Selected or Give Me a Critique of My Film? 

The acceptance and rejection emails are sent via the submissions platform for the festival:  Every filmmaker who submitted a film for consideration by MTFF will receive one of those two standard emails.  Festivals must take a holistic approach to selecting the films to be screened for our audience.  We have a limited amount of runtime with which to work, and we strive to present a diverse group of subjects, themes and viewpoints to our audience. Unfortunately, that reality forces us to reject an otherwise quality film because it simply doesn’t fit in our overall slate of programming. 

What Type of Prizes Will My Film Be Eligible For If It’s Selected? 

MTFF offers a $ 2000 prize for the winner of Best Overall Short Film  and $250 for five (5)  additional categories - such as acting, cinematography, score, etc..


What is the Midnight Train Film Society?  

The mission of the Midnight Train Film Society is to create a community of individuals who appreciate cinema and gather on a regular basis to watch and discuss the kinds of films that rarely screen in the Columbus-Phenix City area. The MTFS is not a film appreciation class or based on the idea that the members are an audience who should be lectured to during the meetings.

The goal is to facilitate the friendly exchange of opinions and aide in the analysis of cinema as an art form. Member participation and a diversity of viewpoints are essential to the continued success of the society. Art is inherently subjective, and everyone has their own personal aesthetic that determines their likes and dislikes.  By sharing these perspectives, we expand our understanding and appreciation of the art form we love.

When and Where Does the Midnight Train Film Society Meet? 

MTFS meets on the third Wednesday of every month (except December).  We meet at the Riverfront campus of Troy University – Phenix City in Room 311.  Occasionally university events require us to change rooms, so be sure to check the announcement board near the elevators to confirm the room number for the meeting.  For those who have time in their schedules to mix and mingle, an informal gathering is held at 6 p.m. and the official program for the evening begins at 6:30 p.m.

Who Picks the Films For MTFS? 

Scott Phillips, the co-founder of the Midnight Train Film Festival and a professional film critic, hosts the meetings each month and curates the films that are shown.  He strives to tie the featured film of the month to current trends in the motion picture industry while avoiding films that are commonly considered classics because members will already have seen such films.  Over the years, Scott has screened films, old and new, from all over the globe.  A sample of titles screened at previous meetings is available on this website.

How Much Does MTFS Cost?  Do I Have To Be a Member to Attend? 

MTFS is free to the general public.  No special membership is required.  If you attend a meeting, you are a member.  It’s as simple as that.  If you’d like to be added to the monthly email list, please send your request to, and you will be notified in advance of every meeting. 

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