Everything you need to know about the Central Florida Film Festival

Everything you need to know about the Central Florida Film Festival

CENFLO is a Florida-based festival founded in 2007 by Bob Hackett and Brendon Rogers. CENFLO’s purpose is to bring independent filmmakers interested in exposing their work to audiences who might not get the chance to see it anywhere else while offering public screenings for local filmmakers and other members of the general public interested in seeing new movies. The festival features a new award every year, with the current award bearing the name of CENFLO’s founder Bob Hackett, who passed away in October 2017.

The Central Florida film Festival (CENFLO) is a cultural event that invites film productions to Florida. It takes place over four days in downtown Orlando. The festival includes workshops, parties, seminars, and screenings. There are also feature films being shown at different theatres throughout the city. These all take place during March Month.

CENFLO wanted to create a new festival to bring attention to independent productions. They were inspired by other movie festivals and wanted Orlando’s version.


Florida-based movie Festival is open to all types of films. 

It is important that they are original and have not been previously released online or in theatres. The festival has several categories for submission, including documentary, full-length feature film, short film, student project, commercial/PSA video, music video, animation, experimental work, and web series.

The festival has an open submission process so that anyone can apply to the Central Florid Festival. The entry fee is $35 for U.S. filmmakers and $50 for international ones. Films must be submitted online before the deadline to be considered for a prize. Once all the applications have been received, the screening judges go through them to see which films will be shown. The more popular ones are selected for viewing by the general public at early screenings. These are called “Best of” screenings and help determine the eventual winners of each category.

The judges then get together to watch all of the finalists’ movies, discuss them, and give out awards. The Best of Show winner receives a trophy and the festival’s “Filmmaker on the Edge” award, including a cash prize. There are also awards for the Jury Award First Place, Audience Award First Place, and Best of Category Awards.


CENFLO is the 2nd annual Florida International Movie Festival

It quickly became a popular meeting place for filmmakers to network and enjoy local audiences with independent films that they wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise. CENFLO grew from a three-day event into an international movie festival in just four years. The number of submissions increased year by year, and Hackett was the first film producer from outside the United States to direct CENFLO in 2008. As a result, he was named Best Short Producer at the 2nd annual Florida International Movie Festival, ‘Patience.’

With the company’s growth, it was clear that a new location would be required; and Bob discovered the solution when CENFLO was relocated to the West Orange Cinemas. CENFLO offered filmmakers the chance to show their work in a real movie theatre for the first time after screening it at a professional cinema. Bob’s seminars and workshops were all held in a hall on the lower level of the building. Because there was more room available, Bob decided to hold them there instead of at the sidewalk cafe as originally planned. The annual movie festival weekend, combined with the great networking possibilities for both experienced and upcoming filmmakers, gives CENFLO a strong foundation on which to build. CENFLO was included in the “Top 25 Film Festivals worth the Entry Fee” list compiled by Moviemaker Magazine.

Brendon Rogers, the executive director, operations team, and the BOD (Board of Directors) have been devoting themselves to expanding and strengthening Bob’s original vision of an international movie festival since 2018. The goal was to attract both foreign and domestic filmmakers and provide entertainment and education in the community where it is based. Brendon has transformed CENFLO since its new CEO in January 2018, moving the event to Mount Dora’s, and building the newly Epic Theatres with Epic XL as the new venue. CENFLO is now truly located in the center of Florida, thanks to the new administration for moving it to a more centralized location.

CENFLO presents various new series of displays

In 2019, CENFLO partnered with Lake Sumter State College to present a new series of displays (films that will be shown outside the normal festival and be evaluated on a more limited scale). Along with academic film programs and focusing on giving scholarships, CENFLO also strengthens community awareness through fundraising for local non-profits and creating workshops and master classes for upcoming filmmakers. While in the preparation for the 14th annual festival, CENFLO is developing new applications to be announced as soon as they are ready to release them to the public. The team at CENFLO is passionate about showcasing the work of filmmakers in Central Florida and beyond.

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