The Festival

Experience Cinema in the lap of Himalayas

Golden Fern Film Awards is an ISO 9001 : 2015 Certified International Live Screening Film Festival. With the magnificent view of Mount Kanchenjunga over the rolling tea gardens, Darjeeling – the queen of hills is a beautiful hill station situated in the northern part of West Bengal. Darjeeling is simply breath-taking. Darjeeling is popular for its beautiful rolling hills, vibrant culture, adorable toy trains and tea gardens.

Golden Fern Film Awards (GFFA), Darjeeling attracts a broad selection of shorts by filmmakers working in every genre and formats and offers an extraordinary chance to glimpse the future of independent cinema. The festival prides itself upon providing opportunities for talented directors, producers, writers, actors and crew members from all over the world to learn together and exhibit their work in a stimulating international environment.

The Festival ensures and encourages good content from outside the mainstream film industry. We look for films that represent different facets of filmmaking, from polished productions to no-budget gems.


The officially selected project in each month will receive a laurel and certificate and the winners will receive a laurel, a customized certificate and will be rated at their respective IMDb pages (if applicable).

 The monthly winners will automatically be qualified for annual screening and will be nominated for the prestigious Golden Fern Awards.


The Golden Fern Awards are given in the following categories:

  • Short Films (Less than 40 minutes)
  • Narrative Features (Above 40 minutes)
  • Documentary Films (Any length)
  • Experimental Films (Any length)
  • Student Films (Any length)
  • Extra consideration: Best Director (Any Length)
  • Extra consideration: Best Cinematography (Fiction & Documentary) (Any Length)
  • Extra consideration: Best Editing (Fiction & Documentary) (Any Length)
  • Extra consideration: Best Sound Designing (Fiction & Documentary) (Any Length)
  • Extra consideration: Best Actor (Fiction) (Any Length)
  • Extra consideration: Best Actress (Fiction) (Any Length)
  • Extra consideration: Best Supporting Actor (Fiction) (Any length)
  • Extra consideration: Best Supporting Actress (Fiction) (Any length)
  • Virtual Reality (VR) / Augmented Reality (AR) and 360° Video (Any length)
  • Drone Films (Any length)
  • Web and New Media (Any length)
  • Mobile Film (Any length)
  • Young Filmmaker (Under 18) (Any length)
  • Debut Filmmaker (1st or 2nd Film) (Any length)
  • Horror / Science Fiction / Genre Feature Film (Above 40 minutes)
  • Women’s Films (Any length)
  • Film on Women (Any Length)
  • LGBT Film (Any length)
  • Animated Films (Any length)
  • Family/Children Films (Any length)
  • Films on Disability Issue (Any length)
  • Film on Religion (Any length)
  • Film on Nature / Environment / Wildlife (Any length)
  • Travel Film (Any length)
  • Silent Film (Any length)
  • One Minute Film
  • Postmodern Films (Any length)
  • Free Speech (Any length)
  • Television / Pilot Program or Series (Any length)
  • Commercial / Advertisement (Any length)
  • Music Video (Any length)
  • Best Film Score – Soundtrack
  • Trailer/Teaser (5 minutes or less)
  • Film/Video Poster
  • Photography (Photos from film set included)
  • Treatment / Synopsis
  • Short Script
  • Feature Script
  • Preforming Arts
  • Amateur Film
  • Best VFX Artist
  • Best Producer
  • Crime short
  • Romantic short
  • Comedy short
  • Selfie video
  • Educational Film (Any length)

Photo Gallery

Rules & Regulations

Please read these Rules & Regulations carefully before you submit your film. By submitting your film into competition in the Golden Fern Film Awards, you expressly acknowledge and agree that you shall be bound by the terms of these Rules & Terms.

GFFA is open to any film, regardless of content, subject, or origin. Submitting your film to the GFFA is not a guarantee of selection. All the official selection, nominees and the winners will be listed on our website permanently. We treat every filmmaker equally.

  1. The film submitted to the GFFA for a particular month can be re-submitted at any time for a second chance, considering that we have different judges’ panels for each season.
  2. Films made in languages other than English must have English subtitles otherwise they will be summarily rejected.
  3. The GFFA reserves the right to refuse entries.
  4. A director / producer may submit more than one film in a category and more than one category at a time.
  5. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless the GFFA, from and against all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred because of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits and publicity.
  6. After a film has been an official selection, the filmmaker will be notified, and eventually the film will be listed on the festival website under Official Selections. The Official Selection status doesn’t mean that your film will be screened at the festival. It means that your film has been appreciated by our judges of panel and you can use the festival logo on your poster.
  7. The GFFA will not refund any fees if the filmmaker fails to submit the film in the correct category. Films submitted without the correct fees or proper submission media may be deemed ineligible at the discretion of the GFFA programming director or executive director. The festival does not cover any of the expenses incurred by the filmmaker.
  8. We require an official trailer or poster, synopsis and a link to your film. Please select the correct category while submitting to avoid disqualification. We reserve right to re-assign films to the appropriate category.
  9. A nominee will be privately screened for the GFFA judging panel, and will not be screened initially to the public.
  10. A filmmaker’s submission fee will not be reimbursed if they decide to withdraw their submission. All entry fees are non-refundable.
  11. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless the GFFA, from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits and publicity.
  12. GFFA may without advance notice amend these Rules & Terms from time to time. Each and every such amendment shall be become effective immediately. It is your responsibility to periodically check for updates of these Rules & Terms.


All filmmakers understand and accept that if their film is accepted for presentation and screening at the film festival, they grant full and unrestricted permission for GFFA to screen the film/video at times of the festival’s choice and to charge an admission fee for the presentation of the digital video program.

The Filmmaker understands and accepts that they do not participate in receiving any funds from the Box-office proceeds which are fully retained by the festival to help cover the overall cost of the festival presentation. It should be noted for the record that box-office proceeds never cover the cost of presentation of the Features and Short Film Programs. The Festival (GFFA) is a non-profit, Cultural Organization with Federal, State, Country & City Tax-Exemptions.

Required Legal Stuff: The filmmaker releases the festival (GFFA) from any and all liability for dam-ages or destruction of the entered DCP. The Filmmaker understands that the entered DCP will be retained in a secure facility by the festival, and every effort will be taken to protect and control the viewing of this production. The festival assumes no liability whatsoever for theft, copyright violations or piracy of the entry.

We use Professional Pioneer International playback systems, all formats, all regions, including Region 0. All entries are carefully pre-screened prior to the public showing to assure that the DCP does perform to the industry Standards.

The Festival (GFFA) assumes no responsibility for any technical difficulties in the presentation of this video at the actual event.

The Film Festival (GFFA) reserves the complete right to make changes in the program dates and times and to possibly not screen the video, despite its being selected for screening.

The filmmaker will endeavor to present to The Festival (GFFA) a new and pre-checked Hard disk / DCP for the actual presentation of the video at the festival.

HOME July 15, 2016