South Texas Film Alliance
Coming July 30th, 2011
Please read all rules carefully. Films which do not strictly adhere to the rules as outlined below are
subject to disqualification. Although STXFA reserves the right to modify and/or clarify rules until July
8 , 2011, once rules are set for a particular fest they will not be changed. Rules may change from fest
to fest, so please read all rules and guidelines for the current film fest before producing or submitting
your film. Please check www.stxfilm.com for rule updates or ask organizers if you are uncertain about
any of the rules.
Legacy of the Ninja
To be considered for participation in Ninja Fest, films must focus on a concept where “stealth”
and hand to hand combat comprise a major component of the story. Use of a specific martial
art or the traditional Ninja dress is NOT required, but at least one of your characters must
engage in a situation that requires stealth and skill in close quarter combat.
The film may be in any genre: Action, Comedy, Horror, Drama, Sci-fi, etc. as long as the
above requirements are met.
Major Hollywood film examples that meet the fest requirements: “Ninja Assassin”, “Enter the
Dragon”, “The Octagon”, “The Green Hornet”, “The Matrix”, etc.
PRODUCTION DATES AND DEADLINE
Ninja Fest films must be made between April 29th, 2011 and July 22nd, 2011. Films produced
before or after these dates are not eligible for the fest.
Deadline for entries is July 22nd, 2011 at 11:59pm Central Daylight Time (GMT -5).
South Texas Film Alliance presents Ninja Fest Rules and Guidelines--2
QUALIFYING COMPONENTS FOR FILMS
1. Required Element. Films must include either one of the two following elements.
Characters in the film must use the prop for its intended purpose in at least one scene in the
film. Choose either of these two elements:
• BINOCULARS. These must be easily identifiable as “binoculars” and must be
used to watch objects or individuals at great distance. A telescope, rifle scope or
other image enhancing device not identified as “binoculars” will NOT qualify.
• MINIATURE LIGHT. This can be either a lipstick-sized flashlight, key chain LED
light, or similar device designed to give out just enough light for the individual
operating it. The device should be used covertly. Laser pointers or other laser
beam devices will NOT quality. This prop must be a very small ILLUMINATION
2. Leader. Every film must be preceded by an official Ninja Fest film leader. Leaders will
be provided by the South Texas Film Alliance and will be available for download at
www.stxfilm.com at least two weeks before the deadline. Leaders must not be visually
modified in any way,
3. Running Time. There is no minimum length for films. We’d like to see strong,
compelling stories. If filmmakers feel they can tell that story in 30 seconds, that’s fine.
However, films must run no longer than 10 minutes! Maximum! Filmmakers should aim
for a running length of 8 minutes. We are providing 2 “grace minutes” for this fest.
(Future fests may have just 1 grace minute and a shorter running length, so please read
the rules carefully!) Films that run just ONE FRAME over the 10 minute time limit will be
disqualified! Please don’t test us on this.
• NOTE: The length of the leader does not count toward the total running time of the
film. Each filmmaker has 10 minutes plus the length of the leader, which will
usually run 8 to 10 seconds.
4. Film Title/Credits. All Ninja Fest films must include a title which must appear at some
point during the film duration. We would also strongly encourage flmmakers to include at
least 30 seconds of credits. However, credits are not required, as they will count toward
the 10 minute time limit.
5. Rating/Content. Ninja Fest films must have an equivalent MPAA rating of “R” or lower.
Please refer to mpaa.org for general guidelines or ask us before submitting if you’re
unsure. Please use common sense. Excessive, sustained violence and gore, sex or
graphic nudity may not qualify as an R-Rating. South Texas Film Alliance reserves the
right to not screen any film we feel is inappropriate, regardless of rating.
Page 2 of 5
South Texas Film Alliance presents Ninja Fest Rules and Guidelines--3
6. Copyright. No copyright violations will be allowed. All material in Ninja Fest films must
be royalty-free, licensed, public domain, or completely original. This includes music,
sound effects, script/story, artwork, or any other elements where an outside party may
own a copyright. It is the filmmaker’s responsibility to secure all necessary
release/permission forms during production. We assume absolutely no liability for
copyright violations. All films will be pre-screened and we will use our best effort to
ensure there are no copyright violations prior to the public screening. Any film known to
have a copyright violation will be removed from the festival and will not be eligible for any
7. Promotional Trailer. Filmmakers must submit a 30-second or 60-second promotional
trailer for their film. This should be an accurate representation of the film entry and
should be compelling enough to make the audience want to see the film. We would like to
have trailers that are just 30 seconds in duration. However, trailers may be 60 seconds if
needed. The trailer (and poster) must be submitted before the deadline, just like the film.
Trailers will not be judged and will not affect how the films are scored, but they are
required for the film to qualify!
• Trailers MUST BE EXACTLY either 30 or 60 seconds! We want to keep all trailers
consistent, and will not accept trailers shorter than 30 seconds, longer than 60
seconds, or any length that falls between 30 and 60 seconds.
8. Poster. A poster must also be submitted with each Ninja Fest entry. Poster dimensions
must be 1280px (Wide) x 1986px (High), 150 dpi or 300 dpi. These are the same
dimensions as a standard one sheet (27” x 40”), but on a much smaller scale. Like the
trailers, posters will not be judged and do not count in the scoring, but they must be
submitted prior to the fest deadline. A poster can be as simple as the title of your film
against a solid color, as long as it measures the proper dimensions.
• We want to keep all posters consistent. Do not create posters that deviate from
these dimensions, or make the poster landscape rather than portrait.
• Acceptable file formats include: .psd, .pdf, .jpg, .png, or 24-bit .bmp.
• File size should be no larger than 5MB.
1. Number of submissions. Each filmmaker may enter up to two films. However, they
must be separate films, not two parts of the same film or story. There will be no limit on
the number of films filmmakers can collaborate on, and we would strongly encourage
filmmakers to collaborate on multiple films.
Page 3 of 5
South Texas Film Alliance presents Ninja Fest Rules and Guidelines--4
2. Public exhibition of entries. Ninja Fest films, in whole or in part, may not be publicly
exhibited in any form prior to the conclusion of Ninja Fest. This includes posting footage
on the internet and also applies to trailers. To clarify, no moving images (even cut
scenes, unused footage, trailers, bloopers, etc.) may be publicly exhibited prior to the
conclusion of the festival. Any footage from a Ninja Fest film that is publicly exhibited will
disqualify the entry from competition, and the entry will not be eligible for any prizes,
awards, or acknowledgments.
• STFXA may run television or online advertisements promoting Ninja Fest. The fest
organizers may use at their discretion selected clips from certain entries. This is
for promotional purposes and the clips will be selected by the organizers only.
• Filmmakers may use still frames from their entry to promote their film anywhere.
Photos of cast and crew or taken on the film set are also acceptable.
• Video footage of interviews, cast/crew profiles, or behind the scenes activities is
also acceptable. However, any video footage must be from “behind the scenes”
only and not directly feature fictional elements.
1. Entry Fee. There are no film submission fees for Ninja Fest. Like our previous fests,
participation is free and open to the public. We would like to encourage all filmmakers to
produce quality films and enjoy the filmmaking process.
2. Eligibility. Ninja Fest is open to anyone from any country. Films may be produced in
any language. However, if the films are in a language other than English, they must be
subtitled in English.
3. License. By submitting an entry to Ninja Fest, filmmakers agree to grant South Texas
Film Alliance the non-exclusive right to use their film and trailer to promote the festival, to
screen the entry publicly, and to include the entry in a DVD should there be a DVD
UPLOADING OF FILM ENTRIES
Instruction on uploading films will be posted on www.stxfilm.com by July 12th, 2011. The
upload link will remain active until the submission deadline passes. Filmmakers are
encouraged to upload films as early as possible, allowing them time to make adjustments to
Page 4 of 5
South Texas Film Alliance presents Ninja Fest Rules and Guidelines--5
their entry should there be a rule compliance violation. Filmmaker will be allowed to make
necessary changes and re-upload their entry up until the deadline.
Films will be judged on quality and originality. We are looking for strong storytelling skills and high
production value. Judges will provide detailed feedback on all screened entries and scores will be
provided to filmmakers upon request. As in any art form, opinions about a particular film may be
subjective. We would like to keep Ninja Fest, and any subsequent fests, a fun experience for
everyone. We make every effort to remain fair and unbiased. Genuine concerns about
judging/fairness will be addressed in future fests. However, during the current fest all judge’s
decisions are final.
• We provide filmmakers their scores as a source of reference for possible improvement in their
filmmaking skills and why (according to the judges) their film placed where it did. Judging
scores will only be provided to the corresponding filmmaker, and will only be provided if
requested by the filmmaker.
The audience at the screening will also have a chance to vote. Films with the highest vote
average will be recognized as the “Audience Favorite.”
• Acknowledgements awarded for Ninja Fest are as follows: Best Film (1st Place),
Best Film (2nd Place), Best Film (3rd Place), Best Fight Sequence, Audience
Favorite Award. As we move forward, future fest may recognize additional categories
(Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Music, etc.) No award categories will be added during
a running fest.
If there are any issues we have not addressed here please let us know. Visit
www.stxfilm.com for current contact information.
Good luck to all filmmakers, performers and artists!
We hope you all enjoy Ninja Fest!
Page 5 of 5