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All submissions are watched in their entirety by our team.

Judges score the quality and creativity of entries on a performance scale and against a high standard of merit. Films are awarded points for several criteria according to the category they have been submitted to by each judge. Points are then added up to establish category ranking. 

On the Notification Date, films with the highest scores will be part of the Official Selection for the month and will receive an email notification with the Officially selected laurel. Non-selected films will be notified via FilmFreeway at the same time.
The Award Winners of each category and Honorable Mentions chosen from the Official Selections will be announced 10 days after the Notification Date. 

The annual cycle consists of 10 monthly competitions. The award winners of these qualify for the Annual Showcase Event. From the pool of selected Award Winners, a subset of projects will be selected by the programmers of Touchstone Independent Film Festival to be publicly screened in Cocoa Beach, Florida on December 16, 2023.

The filmmakers whose films are selected to be showcased will be notified by November 16, 2023.



All Official Selections, Honorable Mentions and the award Winner in each category will receive an official laurel from Touchstone Independent Film Festival.

The Award Winner in each category will receive a featured page spotlighting the film with a trailer and/or stills and a synopsis. Additionally, Award Winners may submit a VIP Spotlight Video. Trailers and VIP Spotlight Videos will be hosted and formally presented on our Youtube channel and must meet the Youtube community guidelines.


A VIP Spotlight Video is your opportunity to promote your film as only you can or to thank everyone involved in the making of your film. The video may be up to five minutes in length and will be published and promoted on our website and social media networks.

Best Indie Short
Best Animation Short
Best AI Short
Best Machinima Short
Best Stop Motion Short
Best 1 Minute Short
Best Microfilm
Best Documentary Short
Best Experimental Short
Best Drama Short
Best Romantic Short
Best Romantic Comedy Short
Best Comedy Short
Best Mystery Short
Best Thriller Short
Best Fantasy Short
Best Sci-Fi Short
Best Actress
Best Actor
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Young Actor
Best Director
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Sound Design
Best Original Score
Best Original Story
Best Special FX
Best Visual FX
Best Production Design
Honorable Mention
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