More about the Submission Format

Ashfield FilmFest is moving away from formatted DVD's. This is partly due to the fact that less and less computers actually have DVD drives; most cameras used these days are in HD; and that the DVD format actually compresses the video, resulting in loss of quality.

We are looking for you to submit a data file on either non-returnable thumb/flash drive or data DVD (not the kind of DVd for your stand-alone DVD player). The file should be:

  • .mov or .m4v
  • widescreen (16:9)
  • 30 frames per second (fps)
  • H.264 format preferred
  • HD format: 720p - 1280px x 720px or 1080p - 1920px x 1080px.


The following is a step by step instruction on how to export your movie from iMovie on a Mac. If you are on PC, your movie program should have similar options.

To export your project to the Finder:
In iMovie, open the project or select it in the Project Library, and then choose Share > Export Movie.

The Share menu appears in a light gray bar across the top of your computer screen.

Type a name for the movie in the Export As field.

Choose the location where you want to save it from the pop-up menu.

If the location you want doesn’t appear in the pop-up menu, click the blue Arrow button to the right of the Save As field, and then navigate to the desired folder.

Select the largest size available.

The table shows which sizes are best for each viewing device or location, and the resolution of each size (how many pixels it contains).

The resolution of the exported movie for each size depends on the aspect ratio (standard or widescreen) you chose when you created the project.

If you’re unable to select the larger sizes, the original project media isn’t large enough to render in that size. The size of the largest media used in the project determines the final movie sizes you can render.

Holding the pointer over the “i” next to the movie dimensions displays the following information for the rendered movies:

H.264 or 3GP:  The video compression that’s used in the movie.

fps:  The frame rate of the movie in frames per second.

Kbps or Mbps:  The data rate of the movie in kilobits per second or megabits per second.

MB:  The size of the movie file in megabytes.

Click Export.

To find your exported movie, navigate to the folder that you chose from the pop-up menu.

About the HD format requirement:

Since HD has been standard for years now, we feel it is time that the FilmFest can stop supporting old formats. The range of different formats we have received over the years has been dizzying, and so we feel the time has come to simplify. For a good primer on display resolutions, check out this page on Wikipedia.