American INSIGHT’s FREE SPEECH FILM FESTIVALTM celebrates the passionate innovations of independent filmmakers, and champions the ideas, perspectives and voices that prove vital to the future of Free Speech, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law around the world.


By agreeing to the terms and conditions stated herein, participants in American INSIGHT’s FREE SPEECH FILM FESTIVALTM unconditionally accept these rules and regulations:


American INSIGHT’s FREE SPEECH FILM FESTIVALTM jurors will include well-known writers, lawyers, scientists, recording artists, media specialists, scholars, historians, civic and cultural leaders from Philadelphia, as well as other national and international locations.

Jurors will not be prejudiced by film length, subject matter, filmmaker. They will follow established Judging Criteria (below) as they select American INSIGHT’s six “Official Selection” films.  Although it is understood that any evaluation of artistic material involves a certain degree of subjectivity, their decisions will be considered final.


THEME: Relevant to the topic of Free Speech, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.

EMOTIONAL IMPACT/AUDIENCE APPEAL: Visually appealing and entertaining, engender an emotional response, and create a lasting impression.

STRUCTURE/STORY: Clear, logical and effective plot with a meaningful and unique story line.

AUDIO/MUSIC: Appealing soundtrack, original, consistent volume, no background noise.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Effective visuals, lighting and camera angles.

EDITING: Smooth flow, creates emotional response from the viewer


Film submissions deadlines and fees:

Opening Date: February 1, 2023

Early Deadline:  February 28, 2023

Regular Deadline: March 31, 2023

Final Deadline: April 30, 2023

Email Notification of acceptance or rejection: before August 1, 2023.

FREE SPEECH AWARD Ceremony: November 18, 2023.


– Submissions must be made electronically through FilmFreeway.

– Guidelines must be followed by all applicants, or films will not be accepted.

– Defective submissions will not be accepted into the Festival.

– Multiple submissions are permissible; however, each submission must be accompanied by its own Entry Form and submission Fee.


– FilmFreeway Online Screener


Restricted to individuals 18 years old or above.

Uncompleted films will not be accepted.

American INSIGHT’s selection committee(s) reserves the right to determine inappropriate content, such as violence, hate speech, defamation, or pornography; if any content is deemed by the committee(s) to be such, the film will not be accepted.

Previously broadcasted and/or independently/commercially distributed films will not be accepted.


No submissions can be greater than 60 minutes in length, or less than 6 minutes.


International submissions will ONLY be accepted through FilmFreeway, including the Entry Form and Entry Fee.

All non-English films must include English subtitles.

All International film submissions must agree with copyright rules and regulations.


Filmmakers submitting to American INSIGHT’s FREE SPEECH FILM FESTIVALTM are encouraged to submit trailers along with their signed Entry Form and Entry Fee. Trailers may be included in American INSIGHT’s online pre-Festival promotional activities. Trailers can be submitted by a Vimeo or YouTube link, or on FilmFreeway. All terms and conditions regarding American INSIGHT’s FREE SPEECH FILM FESTIVALTM apply to Trailer content.


Submitter is responsible for notifying American INSIGHT of any and all changes in contact information as soon as they occur.

All communication will be through email to the primary email address provided, including: reception of submissions, acceptance and non-acceptance of submissions into Festival, defective submissions, etc.

Notification of acceptance status will be sent no later than August 1, 2022.


The final five films chosen may be promoted by their filmmakers as “Official Selections” of the FREE SPEECH FILM FESTIVALTM.

Acceptance of a film by American INSIGHT’s FREE SPEECH FILM FESTIVALTM in no way obligates the Festival to screen or award any film, and such additional actions are done so at the discretion of the Festival and its committee(s).

“Official Selections” for American INSIGHT’s FREE SPEECH FILM FESTIVALTM are selected by the Selection Committee, based solely on the Judging Criteria stated above.

“Official Selections” are in no way an endorsement of the film’s content by any representative of American INSIGHT.


Do not submit press kits until notified (unsolicited kits will not be returned).

Upon notification of acceptance, press kits will be requested and preferably should be submitted through FilmFreeway.

Press Kits should include: still photos (300 dpi); synopsis of the film (100 words or less); Trailer; filmmaker statement, photo, and biography.


Entry Fees are non-refundable.

Filmmakers retain the copyright of their film


All archival materials used in your film must be credited within the film itself and be included within its run time.

The submitter and/or undersigned expressly warrants that it has obtained all necessary copyright clearances for original works of authorship used in the film, and all rights and clearances necessary to exhibit the film.

The submitter and/or undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless American INSIGHT, and its FREE SPEECH FILM FESTIVALTM from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, fees, and expenses (including but not limited to reasonable attorney’s fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos submitted, and any claims arising out of or in connection with the exhibition of the film.

American INSIGHT is grateful to FilmFreeway for being a Sponsor of the 2021 FREE SPEECH FILM FESTIVALTM

Free Speech Award