Submissions for the 2020 Wolf Tree Film Festival are now closed. Please check the event page to buy tickets, and consider submitting a film next year!

In its second year, Wolf Tree Film Festival aims to showcase films set in the Great Lakes region or that include themes or topics related to the region, as well as the work of filmmakers who reside in or grew up in the Great Lakes region. The Great Lakes region is defined as any state or territory that touches one of the Great Lakes (including Ontario, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York). Submitted films should be no longer than 30 minutes, and all genres will be considered.

The festival will include screenings of each selected film, a Q&A with select filmmakers, an awards presentation, a networking mixer, and a toast to the filmmakers.

The Wolf Tree Film Festival takes place in historic Marshall, Michigan, a gorgeous small town with a vibrant artistic community. Hosted by the Franke Center for the Arts and Marshall’s Youngish Professionals Committee, the festival is held at Franke Center, originally a church built in 1921, now an arts complex that is the proud home of world-class concerts, inspiring theater, and award-winning movies.

Awards & Prizes

A juried award will be presented for Best of Festival, which includes a cash prize (to be determined). Additional juried awards may be added prior to the festival, pending film entries.

An Audience Choice award will also be given, as well as a prize for Best Actor or Actress.

All award winners will receive a physical award. Pending festival sponsorship and donations, additional small cash prizes may also be provided.

Special Guest | Sebastian Twardosz

Film industry pro Sebastian Twardosz will lead discussions for the evening and will be present to talk with filmmakers during the festival’s networking mixer.

Sebastian Twardosz has been very fortunate to work with leading companies in both film and television for the past twenty-five years. He is the founding partner of Savant Artists which advises and represents emerging filmmakers and content creators. Clients have produced films which premiered at all of the major film festivals including Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Telluride and Toronto and which were released by most of the leading distributors theatrically and in all media. He is also the host of The Insiders which is a web series about the business of Hollywood.

Sebastian was previously the head of development for a Paramount-based production company called Craftsman Films, founded by Kerry McCluggage, which developed numerous studio projects, including the feature film reinvention of the Star Trek franchise.

For three years, he worked in comedy and drama development at Touchstone Television, the tv production division of the Walt Disney Company and ABC, where he staffed on six produced pilots. He also worked on numerous pilots and on-air tv series for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment.

Sebastian’s first production job was from 1995-1999 for Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner’s Paramount-based company where he started as an assistant and was promoted to executive, actively participating in the making of Mission Impossible 1-2 and Without Limits.

Sebastian started in the business as an agent’s assistant in the motion picture department at ICM. He graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in 1993. His short film, Silent Rain, received a Student Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the Student Emmy.

Sebastian recently co-produced the independent features Celebrity Crush starring and directed by his longtime friend Oliver Robins, a Mandarin language film called A Different Sun starring Chin Han, as well as Small Town Saturday Night starring John Hawkes, Chris Pine and Octavia Spencer. Since 2006, he has also been an adjunct professor at National University, UCLA and the USC School of Cinematic Arts teaching about the art and business of film. He has taught at USC for 10 years. Born in Poland, he grew up in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan.

Rules & Terms

Films are accepted only through electronic submission via FilmFreeway.

The entry fee is $5 per film.

More than one entry may be submitted, however each entry must be accompanied by a separate entry form and entry fee.

All rights must be held by the individual making the submission and/or legal documentation must be provided that permission has been given by the copyright holder of the film to be shown at the festival.

Film submission grants Wolf Tree the right to screen your film in front of a live audience at the festival.

Films selected for screening will be notified via email from The Youngish Professionals.

Awards will be determined by a juried panel (prior to the festival) and/or audience selection (at the festival). Awards will be presented the night of the festival and shared through various media channels following the festival.

Wolf Tree reserves the right to promote clips/stills from your film on social media, based on the press kit(s) provided upon film submission/selection.

Wolf Tree retains the right to change the date and venue of the festival under special circumstances. All filmmakers will be informed ASAP about any changes through our online platforms/email.

Wolf Tree places no restrictions on your work in terms of premiere status or whether your work has been made available online.

Any technical issues with the submitted films are 100% the responsibility of the filmmakers. If, at the time of judging, the video file doesn’t work or doesn’t have English subtitles (if in a language other than English), it will be automatically rejected without refund. Please contact the festival team ASAP if there are any issues with the submission process and a solution will be found.

Wolf Tree will not provide submission refunds.

By submitting to Wolf Tree filmmakers agree to the noted terms and conditions. Wolf Tree reserves the right to update our terms and conditions. Upon update, each submitting party will be notified.