The Reel Puppetry Film Fest celebrates the craft and art of filmmaking utilizing live-puppetry performances.

Filmmaking, as it relates to performing arts, is a relatively new medium. Though one that is progressing and changing at an amazing rate. For us, this medium of film allows puppets to be seen in a new way, and reach audiences worldwide through movie theaters, festivals, personal websites, and online streaming sites like Vimeo and YouTube.

From extraordinarily polished to the genuinely handcrafted productions, “Reel Puppetry” strives to showcase just a sampling of what is currently being created in this medium. We hope you enjoy what you see, and that you will be inspired by what is out there and consider what might be possible for the future

NOTE: In order to help curb the ability for stop-motion films to easily enter within normal animation categories, we are only accepting films with live-performance puppetry.

Awards & Prizes 

A number of awards will be presented during the final "The Best of Reel Puppetry" screening on Thursday, July 20th.

The awards will include best overall film, puppetry performance, character design, and more!


  • Submissions will be juried on the basis of four categories: production quality, manipulation/performance, narrative excellence, and other artistic merit. Excellence in any of the above categories may be enough for selection: for instance, non-professional production values are not an immediate disqualifier.
  • Submitted films must feature live-performed puppetry. Fully animated films will not be accepted.
  • Submissions are open to individuals of all ages and organizations worldwide. There is no submission fee and each applicant may submit up to two films. In lieu of the typical submission fee, though, non-members are asked to register as a member of the Puppeteers of America.
  • We are looking for puppetry that makes use of the screen as a stage: not for recordings of puppetry designed and performed for theater or street performance.
  • Documentaries on topics or subjects in puppetry are acceptable.
  • Both full-length features and shorts produced within the past 5 years are eligible for submission. Films previously screened at the Festival are not eligible to screen again unless specially selected.
  • Filmmakers must have rights for any copyrighted music or content included in accepted films.
  • A single applicant (individual or organization) may only submit TWO films with their verified Puppeteers of America membership number.
  • Films must present as self-contained: if they are part of an ongoing series, TV/web/etc, they must be of sufficient narrative integrity and quality to stand on their own.
  • If you are submitting a multi-part series, please note that no more than TWO films can be submitted by any single applicant.
  • If you are submitting more than two episodes of a series, an additional application under another individual or company name with a separate Puppeteers of America membership number must be submitted.

Submit to the Reel Puppetry Film Festival

Questions? Email the Reel Puppetry Producer

Puppeteers of America
310 East 38th St, Suite 127
Minneapolis, MN 55409