24th Annual

San Diego Latino Film Festival

March 09, 2017 to March 19, 2017

Film Market
Submit Online
c/o Media Arts Center San Diego
2921 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego CA 92104
Phone: 619-230-1938
Fax: 619-230-1937

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated. Add this event to your Watch List and set a Remind-Me if you want to be notified when the next Call For Entries is posted.

Best Narrative Feature (60 min. and longer)
SDLFF is seeking narrative feature films 60 min. and longer.
Best Documentary Feature (60 min. and longer),
SDLFF is seeking documentary feature films 60 min. and longer.
Best Documentary Short (under 30 min.),
Documentary shorts under 30 min.
Best Narrative Short (under 30 min.)
Narrative Shorts under 30 min.
Best Local Work (produced or directed by a current resident of San Diego / Tijuana Border Region),
Features, shorts, and documentaries made by current resident of San Diego/Tijuana Border Region
Youth Produced Work
Any work in any genre produced by filmmakers under 18 years of age.


The festival is seeking innovative works that are 'by', 'about' or 'for' the Latino community, that have been produced between 2015-2016.


Twenty-four years ago, the San Diego Latino Film Festival (SDLFF) was originally established as a student film festival focusing on works by Latinos and/or about the Latino Experience. Since then, the SDLFF has developed into one of the largest, most respected and enduring Latino film festivals in the country. Over 260,000 people have attended during the past seventeen years, and over 2,450 films/videos from across Latin America and the United States have been screened. The SDLFF’s distinct legacy can be attributed to the combination of the programming and operational team’s unwavering persistence of finding the very best Latino content and the continuous support from our long-time patrons, sponsors, and community partners. Our Call for Entries is our official launch of the 2017 SDLFF season, and we are eager--and honored-- to screen your work.

Past festival guests have included renowned individuals as Kate del Castillo, Edward James Olmos, Plutarco Haza, Hector Jimenez, Gustavo Sánchez Parra, Cassandra Ciangherotti, Fina Torres, Armando Casas, Juan Manuel Bernal, Alejandro de la Madrid, Sergio Tovar Velarde, Carlos Bolado, Marimar Vega, Gaspar Scheuer, Eduardo España, Gustavo Moheno, Erick Elías, Juan Pablo Medina, Eduardo Verastegui, Barbara Mori, Alfonso Arau, Robert Young, Miguel Littin, Angélica María, Dayanara Torres, Demián Bichir, America Ferrera, John Leguizamo, Bruno Baretto, Roselyn Sanchez, Alfonso Cuarón, Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal, Carlos Carrera, Rodrigo Prieto, Alex Lora, Lupe Ontiveros, Bruno Bichir, Carmen Salinas, Luis Mandoki, Danny Trejo, Adal Ramones, Tony Plana, Elpidia Carrillo, Humberto Solas, Dennis Leoni, Arturo Ripstein, Paul Rodriguez, Patssi Valdez, Luis Valdez, Gregory Nava, Lourdes Portillo, Moctesuma Esparza, Ray Bradbury, Jacob Vargas, Patricia Velásquez, Fernando Sariñana, Lúcia Murat, Nancy de los Santos, Vanessa Bauche, and hundreds of other emerging and established Latino filmmakers.


Ethan van Thillo (Executive Director); Juan Lopez (Exhibitions Coordinator); Juan Lopez (Exhibitions Coordinator); Juan Lopez (Exhibitions Coordinator); Moises Esparza (Programmer ); Moises Esparza (Programmer ); Moises Esparza (Programming Manager)


SDLFF 2017 is seeking innovative, original, and thought-provoking works that are ‘by’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ the Latino community, that have been completed between 2015-2016. Work previously exhibited in the San Diego / Tijuana Border Region – whether theatrically, at another local festival or broadcast on television, – is not eligible to apply. A panel of distinguished curators from the San Diego and Tijuana community will select the films to be screened in the “Official Selection” of the festival.

All entries will be pre-screened for eligibility by curators and selection committee, however, not all entries will be programmed. The festival will not pay an exhibition fee for any accepted entries initially submitted through our general Call for Entries. There are no refunds for submission fees for neither accepted or non-accepted films. The SDLFF may screen any accepted entries up to three times during the festival dates (March 10-20, 2016) at ANY of our exhibition venues.

Films must be submitted with English subtitles if the dialogue is in a language other than English. Films must have been completed after January 2015. Fee waivers will be granted on a case by case basis and almost exclusively to non-profit organizations and international cultural/educational organizations.

Please note: DVD screeners, press kits, and any other physical materials submitted during the Call for Entries period will not be returned.

Upon acceptance to the festival, the following is required:

Features: Press Kit containing 100 word synopsis in English, 5 hi-res film stills (300dpi, CMYK and/or RGB color), digital trailer with English subtitles (if film is in any language other than English), online or physical screener of film for press.

Shorts: Press Kit containing 50 word synopsis in English, 3 hi-res film stills (300dpi, CMYK and/or RGB color), digital trailer with English subtitles if available.

Information regarding exhibition copies:

Features: DCP (preferred), Blu Ray. All exhibition copies must come with a back-up Blu Ray. Exhibition copies of accepted features must be received by February 24th, 2017

Shorts: In digital format via USB or email. USBs will be returned. Formatting specifics will be included in acceptance letter. Exhibition files must be received by February 3rd, 2016.

*Submitters will be notified of entry status in early January 2017. Judges’ decisions are final. Due to the large number of films we receive, feedback on individual films will not be provided. Films entered after the November 11 deadline will not be reviewed or returned.

An additional panel of filmmakers, film critics, and local luminaries will sit on this year’s Awards Jury. Awards are given for excellence in form and content. Films to be considered for competition will be determined by the Festival Curators.

Entry Categories:
Narrative Feature (60 or more minutes)
Documentary Feature (60 or more minutes)
Narrative Short (under 30 minutes)
Documentary Short (under 30 minutes)
Local Film (Narrative or Documentary Feature: 60 or more minutes; Narrative or Documentary Short: under 30 minutes)
Youth Short (Under 30 minutes, Must be under 18 years old when submitting)

Awards Categories:
Best Narrative Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Audience Award Narrative Feature
Audience Award Documentary Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Short
Best Local Feature
Best Local Short
Best Youth Film (under 18 years-old)

*Additional categories may added based on festival showcases.

For questions, please contact Moisés Esparza, moises@mediaartscenter.org (Features), or Juan Lopez, juan@mediaartscenter.org (Shorts). Both can be reached at 619.230.1938 ext. 102.


CATEGORIES & ELIGIBILITY: Entries may be submitted in only one category. Categories include: Narrative Feature (60 min. and longer), Documentary Feature (60 min. and longer), Documentary Short (under 30 min.), Narrative Short (under 30 min.), Experimental Work, Youth Work (For film and video works shot, directed and produced by youth under 18 years old), Local Work (produced or directed by a current resident of San Diego / Tijuana Border Region), and Student Work.

AWARDS: Competition judges reserve the right to withhold any awards if entries in any category do not meet the awards criteria. Jury decisions are final. Awards will be announced at awards ceremony on Fridayy, March 17th.

ENTRY FEES: Entry fees are based on running time type of film and time of entry. Payment in U.S
dollars only please. Domestic entries may pay by check (payable to MEDIA ARTS CENTER SAN DIEGO), money order, Visa or MasterCard. International entries please pay by Visa or MasterCard. Checks or money orders are not accepted for international entries. International entrants who do not wish to pay by credit card must contact the San Diego Latino Film Festival for instructions on sending a bank wire transfer. Do not send cash. Entry fees are not refundable.

SUBTITLED ENTRIES: All non-English-language entries must have English subtitles for preview and for Festival presentation. Exceptions may be made for entries with little or no dialogue. If you have questions, please contact us before sending your entry.

COST & LABELING: All shipping costs to and from San Diego must be bourne by the sender. All DCPs and DVDs must indicate title, shipper's name and return shipping address.

INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES: We recommend that all entries from outside the U.S. be sent Air Mail Registered or by a parcel or express service. We cannot accept entries shipped via air freight if customs and delivery fees have not been prepaid.