Close to everything you need to know about the festival.

What is this festival all about?

Since 2020, Dust Wave has produced award-winning, no-budget short films. Throughout our creative journey, we've observed that short films are often neglected by film festivals. Shorts are typically screened in two-hour blocks, trapping viewers and forcing a “reset” every few minutes. This format limits audience engagement and reduces festival value for filmmakers.

The first goal of the Fronteras Micro-Film Festival is to re-imagine the short film festival. We aim to give filmmakers and audiences an experience that emerges from, and supports, short film. To do so, we are creating (1) a unified context for the films with a strong theme, and (2) we are supporting a decentralized, viewer-driven, immersive viewing experience.

The second goal is to provoke public conversation about borders. Dust Wave will solicit thirty second to three minute-long films, from local and international filmmakers, that address themes of borders, enforcement, and crossings. We will select twenty films for festival screening.

Borders structure life for billions of people globally. Borders are also relevant to Dust Wave's members. We are a majority Latinx group, comprised of immigrants and non-immigrants who live near the U.S.-Mexico border. As such, we see around us the rising tide of nationalism and xenophobia. In shooting a recent project, a documentary on the International Dark Sky Reserve (IDSR) along the border, we were moved by the capaciousness of the natural world -- the boundless sky and desert. This ecosystem presents one vantage point that reveals national borders as recent, artificial, and intrusive artifacts.

Fronteras will feature a series of interactive installations that speak to the border's artificiality and dire consequences upon human life and the natural world. Some installations will invoke unwanted stops in a migrant's journey, including border walls, detention centers and trailer transport. Others will conjure state surveillance apparatuses of cameras and guard posts. Still others will engage the beauty and awe of the remaining untouched natural landscapes of the Mexico-U.S. border.

When is the submission period?

The Festival submission period begins on March 1, 2023, at 4:00 PM Mountain Standard Time and ends on May 2, 2023, at 11:59 PM Mountain Standard Time.

Who is eligible to submit?

The Festival is open to human beings of Earth eighteen (18) years of age or older at the time of submission.

What is the submission fee?

The submission fee is $11 USD.

In rare circumstances, the submission fee can be waived due to proven financial need. To request a fee waiver, please contact [email protected] with the subject line "Fee Waiver" for more information.

How many submissions can a person make?

Each person is limited to five (5) submissions for the Festival.

Entrants may only use one email address to submit to the Festival.

What are the submission categories?

There are 3 categories:

Portrait Films must not exceed 60 seconds (1 minute) in length and must be submitted in 9:16 format.

16:9 films must not exceed 180 seconds (3 minutes) in length and must be submitted in 16:9 format.

4:3 films must not exceed 90 seconds (1.5 minutes) in length, must be silent, must be black and white, and must be submitted in 4:3 format.

Where do I submit?

Right here.

Do entrants retain ownership of their submissions?

Yes, entrants retain ownership of their submissions. By submitting their work, they grant a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, and unrestricted license to the Sponsor to use submissions for any and all Festival advertising and marketing efforts, including but not limited to digital and social media channels, in-store and other point-of-sale marketing, digital billboards and other out-of-home marketing, and to screen in any live iterations of the Festival.

Do I need to make a new film to submit?

Nope. We accept old and new films alike. If you made a film 20 years ago that you think fits our festival, by all means submit!

How will the finalists be selected?

The 20 finalists will be selected by a panel of qualified judges chosen by the Sponsor, based on creativity/originality, relevance to the stated themes of the Festival, and relevance to the installations.

In the event of a tie, the entrant with a higher score in the "Creativity" category, as determined by the Festival Judges in their sole discretion, will be selected from among the tied entrants as the potential Finalist.

When will the finalists be notified?

The Finalists will be notified on or about May 9, 2023, using the email address or phone number provided with the submission.

Finalists will be required to respond within three (3) days of notification via email.

Finalists are subject to verification.

What happens after my film is selected?

We will assign your film to one of the installations in each of the 3 live events taking place in 2023:

  1. The Cell Theatre at FusionJune 2-4, 2023.

    700-708 1st St. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, USA.

  2. Currents New Media 2023June 16-18, 2023.

    3229 Rodeo Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87507, USA.

  3. MOODTBD 2023

    3001 Monte Vista Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, USA.

The Fusion and MOOD events are free to the public and the Currents New Media event charges for tickets separately. Come hang with us and check out all the films!

What if my film has sound?

For the Portrait Films and the 16:9 films categories, we will use directional speakers to prevent cacophony.

4:3 films must be silent, so no issue there.

I want to sponsor the festival. Where can I get that going?

Right here.

Where are the complete official rules?

Right here.

Dust Wave 2023