The Teen Cinema at the Edge film Festival (CATE) showcase's up and coming talent from a younger generation of film makers.  

The Festival will be held on February 21st-23rd, 2020  at the Edgemar Center for the Arts (Santa Monica, CA).

Submit your film and join us for great movies, panels, parties, and more!

The 7th Annual Cinema at the Edge Festival (CATE), founded by Festival Director Michelle Danner celebrates independent films of all genres that feature a distinct vision, a unique voice.  

Our High school and middle school film festival division has been created to showcase up and coming young film makers in order to promote and empower the next generation of film makers. 

Hundreds of filmmakers join us in Los Angeles for an action-packed weekend that includes our Teen Indie film Awards Show.  CATE has become a platform for artists to showcase their creativity through film and about the voices that need to be heard.

This film festival is a great chance for filmmakers and rising stars to gain exposure and additional opportunities for global distribution. Winners will be considered for acquisition by industry professionals working in international film distribution. 

Cinema at the Edge Festival (CATE) is located in the heart of Santa Monica, Edgemar Center for the Arts is a two theater and art gallery complex designed by Frank Gehry, just minutes away from the beach. At the center's inaugural ceremony Steven Spielberg welcomed cinema fans and noted, "Here we have a venue that can turn out some extremely experienced, daring and resourceful artists." Previous years at CATE featured audience favorites from Sundance, Cannes Film Festival and other major festivals, while maintaining a focus on world or regional premieres, challenging films that deserve a second look, and showcasing local artists.

Jury and Audience awards will be given to the best film in each category. All selected filmmakers will benefit from networking opportunities, packed screenings and the festival's signature pub crawl. Our Panels and Juries have included executives at film distribution companies which will give each filmmaker the opportunity to get distribution.

Submit to the Teen Cinema at the Edge film Festival CATE) High School Film Festival

Cick here to Submit Your Film 

***International Submissions Welcome!***

Below are the categories with which you can submit to:

  • Drama
  • Comedy: Comedies make you laugh, but they also tell stories that move the audience and leave them wanting more. There are so many comedic genres to choose from, and we welcome them all. Make us smile, make us cringe, make us laugh. This is your chance to share your comedy. 15 minutes or less.
  • Documentary: The boundaries of documentary filmmaking continue to expand. We accept all forms and styles as long as they are nonfiction and document an aspect of reality. Find your subject, document it, and submit! 15 minutes or less.
  • Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Scary or Twisted? Out of this world? If you have a horror, science fiction, or fantasy story, this is the category for you. 8 minutes or less.
  • Experimental: If your film is non-traditional, non-narrative or otherwise hard to define, this is the place for it. Get weird, break the rules and express your style. 7 minutes or less.
  • Animation: There are many styles for animated storytelling: Traditional, Stop-Motion, Computer-Generated, 2D, 3D, Claymation and more… And we accept them all! 10minutes or less.
  • Directing: Did you direct something that you’re proud of? We’d love to see a project that you directed, no matter the genre or format.
  • Cinematography: Lights,camera, action! Do you consider yourself a good cinematographer? Let us be the judge.
  • Editing: Post-production is the final and arguably most important step in the filmmaking process, so we’d love to see your editing skills. Please send us your project in any genre.
  • Screenplay: It all starts with the words. Impress us with your writing!
  • Best Actor (Female lead): We are looking for an actress with emotional range in a dramatic or comedic role. So if you have a project with a strong female lead, send it our way!
  • Best Actor (Male lead):
  • International: Hollywood may be the capital of cinema, but it would be nothing without its international presence. Send us your best foreign films of any genre or format. 8 minutes or less.
  • Music Video: Find a song and share its story or essence through visual imagery. All forms of music videos are accepted. Although we do not accept music videos with uncopyrighted music that you can use. Please click here to browse our library copyrighted music (without explicit permission) we’ll help to provide of free-use music.5 minutes or less.
  • PSA: All forms of Public Service Announcements are accepted. 3 minutes or less.
  • Original Score: Fashion yourself a John Williams or Hans Zimmer? Demonstrate your composing skills in a film of any genre.
  • Middle School Film: Are you in 8th grade or younger? Submit your story in any genre.5 minutes or less.
  • Tutorial: Are you an emerging expert or just someone who knows how to do things? Share your knowledge on any topic, trend, or little treat of wisdom with a “how to” video tutorial. 5 minutes or less.
  • Vlog Life: Sit down in front of a camera and share your life, thoughts, opinions, and interests in a video diary format. Feel free to include embedded video, text, images, etc. BUT make sure that you have the rights to all content that appears in your submission.    5 minutes or less.
  • Adventure/Travel: Gone anywhere interesting lately? Experienced your own epic adventure? Or maybe you were just in your backyard and had a moment to remember… Share your passion, inspiration, and exploration. Share your life experiences. 3 minutes or less.
  • Broadcast Journalism: Feature Story: Share an in-depth story about a compelling, newsworthy subject that highlights creativity and subjectivity and makes an emotional connection with the viewer. 5 minutes or less.
  • Influencer Categories: We invite storytellers to submit videos designed specifically for the next generation of digital storytellers and online influencers.
  • Awards & Prizes: Jury awards will be given in each category. While the programmers are thrilled to give independent filmmakers a vehicle of expression, an additional commitment is to see that the standout titles at the festival have an opportunity to screen for distributors. Therefore the winners of the jury award in each category will be viewed by industry professionals working in international film distribution and considered for acquisition in addition to a cash prize.

Rules & Terms


Cinema at the Edge is open to independent film of all genres that feature a distinct vision, a unique voice or a challenge to what is expected and accepted in the medium. Each year we select and exhibit narrative features, documentary, and short films. Films previously submitted (and not selected) may be reentered if there has been significant change to the edit. You must complete an entry form for each film submitted.


January 26th, 2020 (postmarked by)- Entry Fee: $35

Entries must be submitted by NTSC DVD or through a secure online screener (FilmFreeway, Vimeo, etc.). Region free NTSC DVD's are preferred for screening purposes. We do not accept VHS or video data files for screening purposes.


  • Foreign language work must be dubbed or subtitled in English. Please do not send elaborate presentation materials, press kits, binders, etc. with your entry. All that is necessary to send is a clearly identified DVD or digital file. If your film is selected for the festival we will contact you about images and press kits.
  • We DO NOT accept submission on a DVD
  • INTERNET LINKS (URL): If you have a link (ie., Vimeo) you must submit via FilmFreeway and send an email to cinemaattheedge@gmail.com with the link, title of film, director, and FilmFreeway tracking number. 

This option is available for all categories.


Entry fees must be in U.S. funds only paid through FilmFreeway. Entry fees are per film entered, and must accompany the entry form for confirmation. Entry fees are non-refundable.


Cost of shipping exhibition prints to the festival is the responsibility of the entrant. Exhibition copies must be sent to the festival prepaid.

Cinema at the Edge
@ Edgemar Center for the Arts
2437 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405


The festival selection committee makes all programming decisions. If accepted we will notify filmmakers by email and phone. Films not selected will receive notification by email. If accepted the DVD or BlueRay of your film will need to be in our office by January 1st, 2020. Be sure to indicate aspect ratio of your film as well as any other special screening/presentation information we might need to know.

PHONE: 310 • 392 • 7327





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