IMFF accepts documentary films on a broad range of maritime subjects. These include, but are not limited to, voyaging, racing, working, leisure, boatbuilding and restoration, historical documentary, and environment and science. Films may have been made on any date, regardless of previous premiere, but the person submitting the film must be the copyright holder. Judging is not category-specific; rather, all films will be evaluated in relation to each other, in one of two tracks:
Feature Length (40 minutes or more)
or Shorts (under 40 minutes)
All films are to be in English, or to carry English subtitles.
The Grand Prize winner in the Feature Length category will receive $500. One runner-up will receive $250. The Grand Prize winning Short Film will receive $250 and one runner-up will receive $100.