10th Annual

Santa Monica International Film Festival

July 23, 2016 to July 23, 2016


U.S. Documentary Short Films


Deadlines & Entry Fees

All fees will be charged in U.S. Dollar
...but you can display them in these other currencies:

Online Services Offered
Entry Form
Fee Payment
Press Kit
Submission Copy
Earlybird Deadline
August 1, 2015
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 40.00 35.00
Regular Deadline
September 1, 2015
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 60.00 55.00
Late Deadline
October 1, 2015
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 80.00 75.00
WAB Extended Deadline
May 1, 2016
Regular Discounted
Standard Fee 80.00 75.00

Discounted fees apply to projects with pre-purchased Discount Packs, on entry fees greater than 30.00.

Category Details

Approximately June 15, 2016

Shorts: maximum 50 minutes

Projects completed after January 1, 2013

Projects may originate from anywhere in the world

No premiere requirement

Project must not have distribution

Submission & Exhibition Format Requirements

  Secure Online Screener
REGION 0    
REGION 1    
REGION 0    
REGION 1    
Media Files
  .MOV (QuickTime)

Subtitled Dubbed Dialog List

REGION 0    
REGION 1    
REGION 0    
Media Files
  .MOV (Quicktime)
Film Gauge

Subtitled Dubbed Dialog List

Press Kit Requirements

Do not submit a press kit.

Prizes & Awards

This category is a competition.

Short Film Grand Jury Prize

Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Documentary

Short Film Special Jury Award: Documentary

Category Rules

To submit to this category, your project may be a documentary film of U.S. origin with a running time of less than 50 minutes. In order to qualify as a U.S. Short Film, at least half of the submitted project's financing must originate from within the United States. Short Films have no premiere requirements or prior screening restrictions-- they may have had any number of public theatrical exhibitions, been released on DVD, Blu-ray or on-demand, and may have have been broadcast on television or the internet and still retain eligibility.

Feature films may be submitted on either a single DVD or Blu-ray, or via the Withoutabox Secure Online Screener system. For the purposes of reviewing your initial submission, we cannot accept VHS, Beta, Mini-DV, HD-CAM, 16mm, 35mm, YouTube/Vimeo links, etc. If your film is accepted into the Festival, we will contact you regarding the exhibition formats we accept for projection.

Your film must be submitted on a single disc. If you submit half of the film on one disc and half on another, we will only watch the first disc. If your film is too large to fit on a standard 4.7GB DVD, you may burn it to a 9.5GB dual-layer disc, but you must also include a standard DVD-R or DVD+R that is encoded at a lower bitrate as a backup. DVDs and Blu-ray discs must be compatible with standard set-top DVD and/or Blu-ray players. Do not simply burn a quicktime or AVI file to a disc as data. Please ensure that your disc plays in a standard player before sending it to us!

Please refrain from using paper labels on your disc, as they may cause the disc to spin improperly during playback. This includes any label or sticker with an adhesive surface. Instead, please write or print your film’s title and tracking number directly on the surface of the disc.
For DVDs, it is highly preferred that you send us an NTSC, region 1 or region free (region 0) DVD when submitting to us, but we will accept other formats as well (such as PAL). If you are sending a disc that has a region code other than 0 or 1, and/or a format other than NTSC, please mark this CLEARLY on the face of the disc and on the DVD sleeve or case. If you choose to submit your feature film on Blu-ray, we ask that you ONLY submit a region 1 or region 0 disc! Due to region coding issues with the Blu-ray format, most of our Blu-ray players will not play discs that are formatted to region 2 or above.

After you have completed the online application, all we need from you is a single copy of your film. In an effort to cut down on waste, we ask that you do not send printed press or promotional materials to us-- we will not keep anything in your package except for your disc. Quite often, films sent to us in standard size retail DVD or Blu-ray cases will become dislodged during shipping, resulting in scratched, unplayable discs, so we recommend mailing your film in a paper sleeve or slim jewel or clamshell case. Please refrain from taping your disc to any surface, as tape residue may also render your disc unplayable. Our preferred method of packaging is a medium (approximately 6” x 9”), bubble padded envelope. It is not necessary to wrap your disc in bubble wrap and mail it to us in an oversized box. Doing so will only make it more difficult for us to process your film once it is received. If you choose to upload your film via Withoutabox’s Secure Online Screener system, please do not send in a DVD or Blu-ray disc!