MNKINO Film Score Fest 2018

Looking for the 2019 Film Score Fest? Check out the snazzy new website!

Short FILMS with original SCORES performed live by an ORCHESTRA.

The MNKINO Film Score Fest is an annual event that brings filmmakers, composers, and musicians together to create short films with original scores — performed live by an orchestra! The next Film Score Fest will be held on July 28th, 2018 at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

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How to Participate:

  • If you’re interested in making a film or composing a score, sign up below  by March 18th, 2018, and we’ll help partner you with a filmmaker or composer. Sign up early; we’ll partner you on a first come, first served basis and by location so folks can work together.
  • We’ll let you know who your filmmaker/composer partner is shortly after March 18th, if not before.
  • If you have a filmmaker or composer in mind you’d like to work with, please list this in the sign-up. Filmmakers are encouraged to talk with their composer partners before making the film, to get inspiration and see what role the music can play.
  • By signing up, you are making a commitment to create a film or score. We understand life happens, so if you can no longer participate, let us know ASAP, so we can partner your filmmaker/composer with someone else.
  • We will screen at least 18 films, but our orchestra has a limited amount of scores they can learn. If needed, our screening panel will select films based on: 1) artistic merit, 2) score playability, 3) whether or not they fit in the overall program, and 4) whether or not the films/scores were made locally in Minnesota.

Guidelines for filmmakers:

  • Video must be under 5 minutes
  • Based on the mystery meat (theme) “UNREAL” (watch the MM video below)
  • Any video format is acceptable, consider using .mp4 or .mov (but please avoid .wmv if possible!)
  • You must submit your film to your composer and MNKINO by May 13th. Consider using, dropbox, or a physical handoff.

Guidelines for composers:

  • We will have one of each of these instruments: flute, oboe, Bb clarinet, saxophone (alto, tenor, or bari), bassoon, french horn (in F), Bb trumpet, trombone, tuba, drum set, guitar (classical, steel string, or electric), piano (electronic), harp, violin, viola, cello, double bass, and an additional percussion player, who can play one of the following: two-octave xylophone, glockenspiel, triangle, woodblock, shaker, tambourine, claves, cabasa, bongos, bodhran (Celtic), ashiko (African), djun (African), djembe (African), box drum.
  • Score and parts must be formatted for 8.5 x 11″ paper, vertical layout. Make sure it’s readable by a human conductor and not too tiny.
  • When finished, send (using dropbox or
    • PDFs of your score and parts
    • A metronome click track that fits the timing of your score – mp3 format (for the conductor and musicians to listen to during the performance)
    • The final video with your score audio demo (for the musicians to learn)
    • The final video without score audio demo (for the video playback)
  • Due date for scores is June 10th, 2018

Important Dates and Details

  • Sunday, March 4th, 3pm to 5pm: Film Score Fest Kick-Off Event at Honey. Mystery Meat reveal and sign-up begins.
  • March 18th: Sign up Ends
  • May 13th: Films must be finished and handed off to your composer and MNKINO.
  • June 10th: Film scores must be finished and sent to

Need Help?

Here’s a presentation that includes helpful filmmaking and composing tips for your submission. If you have more questions, feel free to email with filmmaking questions and with composing questions.

MNKINO is not just for film school graduates, MFA candidates, or videographers. It’s for you! If you never made a film or need the resources to create your film, check out at Saint Paul Neighborhood Network, a community access center. They’ll be providing to affordable classes at a discount rate MNKINO FSF participants. Check out their classes here and sign up today!

This Year’s Theme:

This year’s Mystery Meat (theme) is “UNREAL”: