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First Time Fest

Representing a hybrid between a traditional film festival and an audience participation event, FIRST TIME FEST is a celebration of first time filmmakers.

From Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane to John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon, Rob Reiner’s This is Spinal Tap, Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, and Sam Mendes’s American Beauty, first films have proven to be the benchmark for some of our greatest cinematic voices. 


The mission of FIRST TIME FEST is to discover and present the next generation of great filmmakers.You, the public, are an essential part of this experience – you are the “fifth judge” at our first-time competition and an important part of awarding our Grand Prize: theatrical distribution for the winning film through our partner, Cinema Libre Studio.


Join us for our First Exposure series: presenting first films of renowned filmmakers, whose creators share their experiences and who are then invited to mentor our first timers. We have speakers and panels each day at our new home base, NeueHouse, that will excite, astound and educate you. And plan to be wowed on our Closing Night as we present our John Huston Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema to the legendary Terry Gilliam.

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