Rough Cut
Film Festival
June 13-20, 2016




RCFF2016_72dpi developing a vertical community
of Philadelphia filmmakers,
one frame at a time.

CONCEPT: Our festival is designed to develop a vertical film community
within the Philadelphia region by showcasing original films from high school, university, fellow nonprofit media creation programs and Philly-based independent filmmakers under the age of 25. Social gatherings, live performances, hands-on workshops and panel discussions led by industry personalities will compliment screenings at venues throughout the city.

SUBMISSIONS: “Official Selections” will be made for multiple film categories including Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Horror, Action/Adventure, Documentary, Music Video, Animation, Experimental and “Transformative.” Writers can also submit original scripts for works yet to enter production. Winners will be incorporated into live festival events and eligible for awards.

AWARDS: The week will culminate with a spectacular Awards Gala at Suzanne Roberts Theater in the heart of Philadelphia. Live performances by School of Rock’s famous House Band, Philly Youth Poetry Movement’s 3-Time International Champion Slam Team and Philly Young Playwrights’ award-winning Alumni will compliment a celebration of amazing Philly filmmakers.

PROMOTIONAL PARTNERS: A true movement is forming around this community development concept with a diverse array of partners throughout Philly. Philadelphia Film Society, Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Philadelphia Independent Film/Video Association, Philadelphia Women in Film and Television, Philly Youth Media Collaborative, Fresh Artists, The Franklin Institute and Philadelphia Museum of Art.

SPECIAL SPONSORS: Specific categories and special awards are being sponsored by wonderful friends at the Media Education Lab, the Pulitzer Center,, Youtube Space L.A, Videosmith and more are joining us daily. Our panel of industry judges ensures that submitted work is being considered by those that live and breath the craft.

MISSION: Rough Cut Productions, a nonprofit with the Culture Trust of Greater Philadelphia, is dedicated to enriching the lives of Philadelphia youth through access to media creation tools and hands-on instruction. Your support of this annual Festival helps finance an expansion of existing programming and provide free after school and summer classes.


Filmmakers 25 yrs or younger from the Philadelphia region
can submit any original film created within the past 3 years.
Free Submissions for 2016 have closed (June 1st), but we are already accepting for 2017












Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association









University of the Arts has come on board as a major partner offering significant scholarships and venues for screenings, workshops and panel discussions.  Special screenings and social events will be hosted across the city throughout the week.

Philadelphia Film Society has partnered to screen Official Selections at The Roxy Theater on Sat, June 18th and Sun, June 19th.

Suzanne Roberts Theater, will host our Awards Gala, celebrating an amazing night of films and live performances on Mon, June 20th. A whole slate of awards will be up on the big screen while School of Rock’s House Band, PYPM 3-Time International Slam Poetry Champions and Philly Young Playwright alumni perform original pieces.

The Franklin Institute will host a special Kickoff event on Mon, 6/13, show off their archive of film and photography equipment and screen films at the museum throughout Festival week.

Fancy Pants Cinema (N 3rd Bar) will host a showcase of independent shorts and mini features on Tues, 6/14

Fergie’s Pub will host a special screening of “Joining the Session” and live Irish Music Sessions on Wed, 6/15

All-Access VIP Festival Badges are available as well as individual tickets for all Festival events. All sales support our nonprofit media creation programming for youth in Philadelphia.



Amazing industry partners have signed on as judges, workshop leaders and panelists to ensure our weekend is as interactive and engaging as possible.

Barry Braverman- Director of Photography, 2nd Unit for Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom”- will lead a hands-on cinematography workshop.

Mariya Pyter– Founder of Magic Hour Productions, LA- will lead a hands-on workshop on Directing for Design as well as contribute to panel discussions on creating equity in the industry and   navigating the Festival Circuit.

Josh Cooke– Actor, Writer (NBC’s Committed, Dexter, Longmire)- will lead a hands-on Acting Techniques as well as contribute to panel discussion on how to distribute your original content.

Jennifer Zaylea & UArts Audio Engineers- will lead a hands-on workshop on Audio for Video, and participate in various panel discussions.

Chris Cerasoli- and his Videosmith team- will be on hand with the latest filmmaking tools to help push your production to the next level.

Denise Hewett– CEO of will work with aspiring screenwriters on how to increase their chances of scripts consideration.

Industry Personalities are joining the team on the daily. Check out our Partners page for profiles of the talented people serving as judges, panelists and awards presenters.



Network- Socialize- Make Memories
There is a serious buzz for Philly right now, and people are realizing how underrated this town truly is! We’re hard at work to ensure there are plenty of fun activities at hip and interesting venues across the city to continue the energy of Philly Beer Week. Film Reel tickets come with 2 free drink tickets at all social events for those 21 and over. 

The Franklin Institute’s Planetarium Speakeasy- Mon 6/13
come down to the museum to kick off the week and interact with their amazing archive of film and photography equipment,
enjoy a live freestyle score of films projected on the planetarium dome and a performance by former Philly Poet Laureate Soledad Alfaro-Allah

Barrelhouse, Bella Vista-  Tues, 6/14
come down to South St. for a night of cinema trivia with Quiz Master Philbot and socialize at this corner mainstay.

Fergie’s Pub- Live Irish Music Sessions- Wed, 6/15
Join award-winning Irish musicians- the subjects of Eamon Kelly’s documentary “Joining the Session”

Rough Cut Photolab- “I’m Not the Same Anymore” Exhibition- Thurs, 6/16

celebrate the opening of RoughCut Photolab’s newest exhibition of amazing photography at URBN Center Gallery, Drexel University 3501 Market St.

Tap Takeover- Fri, 6/17
join us for a Tap Takeover, location TBD, from Philly region craft brewers while some classics are projected on the wall.

Barrelhouse, Bella Vista-  Sat, 6/18
walk down South St. after the evening Film Reel for a Tap Takeover and Festival After Party.

Rex Bar 1516 South St- After Hours Party- Sun, 6/19
Join us for special cocktails and industry networking After Party.

Cambridge 1508 South St- Awards Gala After Party- Mon, 6/20

Our Schedule will be updated when new and exciting events are added.

What will you make today?

– Rough Cut Mantra