Reel South Call for Submissions
Press Release

Now Accepting Submissions for Reel South Season 5

May 14, 2019 by Nicholas Price

Reel South is now accepting submissions for Season 5 of its broadcast series, airing nationally on PBS stations.

Submit your half-hour or feature-length films via Submittable.

Quick Facts:

  • Non-fiction films only. Fiction/Narrative films will not be considered.
  • Film run times must meet PBS standard 24 minutes (half-hour) or 55 minutes (hour). Films over those run-times will be edited to time.
  • Films must take place in or cover a topic concerning the American South broadly.
  • Deadline to submit is mid-July. Final review by the Reel South editorial panel will take place in August.

For questions, please email


Submit your film and join us on a journey through the REEL SOUTH.


REEL SOUTH films focus on the people, issues, and culture of our region. The films must highlight a Southern story in all its possibilities. The series seeks films that cover a broad range of topics and filmmaking styles: from public affairs or social issues, to more personal or experimental works. Particular topics of interest include social justice, the economy, the environment, civil rights, history, as well as arts and culture. In terms of style and format, narrated and non-narrated films are considered along with first person or point of view projects, observational films, and news documentaries. 


Non-fiction: Only documentary films will be considered. No narrative films, docudramas, or performance pieces. Independents only: Filmmakers must have artistic, editorial, and budgetary control of their projects, and own the copyright. Completed or nearly completed works: Submitted works must be completed films, fine cuts, advanced rough cuts, or festival versions. Please note that filmmakers must be willing to commit to on-lining, packaging, and broadcasting their films within 6 months of being accepted to the series. 

Rights and Releases: Submitted works must have signed appearance releases for all persons appearing in the film before applying to the series. Additionally, all music, photos, and acquired footage must be licensed before applying. Proof of releases and licenses may be required before the panel will consider the film. 


Submitted rough cuts and fine cuts should be as close to PBS standard half-hour and hour lengths as possible; festival versions may run slightly longer. If a film is selected for the series, films will be required to meet  PBS half hour (approximately 25 minutes) or hour (approximately 55 minutes) run times prior to broadcast. Reel South offers to cut down the film as part of the license agreement, in coordination with the filmmaker. 

Editorial and Funding Practices: 

All projects must comply with PBS' editorial and funding guidelines.

Rights Filmmakers are required to grant REEL SOUTH exclusive US public television broadcast rights. The series also requires a limited run of non-exclusive streaming rights for PBS online platforms. All third party material included in the films (archival footage, newspaper or magazine headlines/articles, music, photographs, etc) must be cleared for these same rights. Compensation Selected films will receive a license fee, series packaging, captioning, mastering, inclusion on the series website, promotion, and errors and omissions insurance coverage. 


The Season 5 submission window is open from May 15 – July 15, 2019. Final selections will be made in August by the series selection panel, which will include the producing stations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Post production will begin in November, with a series premiere in Spring 2020 distributed by PBS.



Documentary Filmmaking