OPEN CALL FOR ENTRIES • Select a Category of Entry to continue.
|From wild road-trip comedies to heart-felt dramas, this series of films is comprised of the freshest films from both established and emerging filmmakers. In order to be considered for the Features Program, films must be longer than 30 minutes.
|Based on real life stories, our documentary film section aims to provide a vivid reflection of the world beyond our doors – taking audiences to places they might never have the chance to see, and introducing them to people they will be glad they got to know. In order to be considered, films must be produced after January 1, 2016. To qualify as a Documentary Feature, the submitted project must be a non-fiction film not including entirely scripted or improvised reenactments or fictional depictions of actual events. Documentaries may contain some dramatization of actual events. Films longer than 30 minutes may be considered. If accepted, the Programming Department will ultimately decide which category suits your project best.
|Our shorts track is comprised of six short film programs (each program is comprised of approximately eight short films and runs 1.5 hours in length). We accept documentary, animated and experimental shorts in this category as well. In order to be considered, films must be produced after January 1, 2016.
|Support of Native American filmmakers is part of the SDiFF’s core mission and has an annual program spotlight that includes short and feature length narrative and documentary films. To be considered for the Native American category, the film must be directed, produced or co-produced by a Native American or explore a topic pertinent to Native American culture.
|There are no limits on format. For filmmakers, there are no age limits or education requirements. Even animation industry professionals exploring the independent sector are eligible. If accepted, the programming department will ultimately decide which category suits your project best.
|Submit in this category if you are a student (proof of current scholastic attendance required).
|Films that honor our U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel by telling their stories, in order to help bring closure, create understanding and bridge the gap of empathy between the civilian community and our sailors, soldiers and airmen fostering the spirit of One Nation unified on the home front.
|Using the power of film to tell transformational stories with lasting social impact and to create positive change in the world. The goal is to bring awareness to worldwide social issues. Issues can include, but are not limited to, homelessness, violence against women, LGBT+, Eco-Environmental, discrimination.
MISSION & OBJECTIVE
IT’S TIME TO SHINE.
The 16th annual San Diego Intl Film Festival
With the belief that cinematic storytelling can make a difference in our world, the San Diego International Film Festival is dedicated to shining a spotlight on films that make a difference. Riveting Film Screenings and networking events are accompanied by great parties, great people and stunning views of sunny San Diego - Chosen the #1 Best Travel Destination in the US by Money Magazine.
The SDiFF is a competitive five-day festival for U.S. and international independent films and filmmakers with two “film village” locations including the vibrant Downtown San Diego/Gaslamp district and the iconic beach community of La Jolla. SDiFF offers filmmakers and audiences, industry insights, educational panels, exciting discussions at intimate gatherings and opportunities to learn and grow as you explore the art of cinema.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Notable features of the festival include:
- 100+ Independent and Studio films
- 100's of visiting filmmakers and entertainment industry leaders
- Sneak preview premieres of Oscar-worthy studio releases
- A spotlight on Independent films/ filmmaking
- A Tribute evening & program with notable cinema actors and filmmakers hosted by VARIETY magazine.
- Jury and Audience Awards in multiple categories
- Walkable villages at different screening venues in San Diego
- Industry Panels
- Social Impact Panel and Film Track
- Signature events including: Opening Night Film and Party, Friday Party with a Purpose, Filmmaker Awards and Culinary Cinema.
Just 120 miles south of Los Angeles/Hollywood, the San Diego Intl Film Festival (SDiFF) has quickly become a favorite of industry insiders and celebrities. Past filmmakers/ celebrities attending have include: Annette Bening, Adrian Brody, Kate Beckinsale, Simon Heldberg, Beau Bridges, Judd Apatow, Mariel Hemingway, Alan Arkin, Michelle Monaghan, Josh Duhamel, Denise Haysbert, and many more.
The slate of films selected offers a wide range of programming from creative narrative features to thought-provoking documentaries to engaging and enlightening short films. Topics in film we specifically cultivate include Women in film, Native American, film exploring the role of veterans and the Armed Forces, Student Film projects, Sports, Horror, Animation and World Cinema.
Gala Premieres which have been nominated for or won major awards from the festival include: LION, DENIAL, HELL OR HIGH WATER, CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, ROOM, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, THE IMITATION GAME, WILD, ST. VINCENT, WHIPLASH, MR. TURNER, SEPTEMBERS OF SHIRAZ, I SMILE BACK, HE NAMED ME MALALA, ROOM and many more.
Filmmaker Hospitality & Benefits:
- 2 Filmmaker Badges with full access to all screenings and events
- 5 Complimentary Tickets for the filmmaker's screening
- Filmmaker Brunch including networking with industry professionals
- Discounted accommodations for filmmakers
- Industry-oriented seminars and workshops
- Potential for one-on-one meetings with prominent entertainment industry professionals
- Complimentary admission for some of the leading tourist and cultural attractions in and around San Diego.
The nonrefundable entry fee must be payable in US dollars to SAN DIEGO FILM FOUNDATION. Entries must be POSTMARKED by the deadline. Submission costs vary depending on category and discounts. When submitting to the festival you are agreeing that, if selected and the invitation accepted, to screen the submitted film during the dates of the festival. SDiFF will not pay any screening fees for presentation of the film during the festival. The only exception would be if there is a negotiated agreement preceding the submission of the film to SDiFF.
The SDiFF is a competitive showcase for domestic and international feature films, documentaries and shorts. The SDiFF reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any project submitted. All films must be a minimum of a San Diego Premiere and NO theatrical, cable, television, satellite, DVD, VHS, VOD, internet screenings or availability of any kind in the San Diego region prior to the SDFF dates. Only works completed in 2016 and 2017 are eligible for selection. There is no limit to the number of entries.
All foreign language entries must have English subtitles. Projects must be submitted for consideration on DVD, BluRay or as an online screener. PAL format will not be accepted. Works in progress will be considered for the SDiFF. Works in progress will not be screened in the festival. Screening material, press and any application materials sent to SDiFF will NOT be returned. If you did not receive a confirmation of submission, please email email@example.com. All features and documentaries submitted must be available in BluRay and DCP for festival presentation.
The San Diego Intl Film Festival is a competitive event and unless notified otherwise, all films officially selected are eligible for competition. For a list of competitive categories, please see our Awards page. All films are nominated and voted upon by an impartial jury of filmmakers, industry professionals, festival programmers and film aficionados.
If selected, the SDiFF will require an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) to include high-resolution production stills, key art, bio and filmography of the director, production notes and full cast and crew credits.
Although every possible care will be taken with tapes, films, drives and files while in our possession, we cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage. Do not send original or master prints, tapes, files or drives. Please keep the SDiFF notified of any address/phone number changes.
The cost of shipping all entries and films to the festival must be paid by the entrant. The SDiFF will not pay the cost of shipping the print back to the filmmaker. SDiFF will not be responsible for expedited or overnight shipping charges to other organizations. Also, SDiFF cannot guarantee shipment of prints to other festivals during the days of the festival. All international entries must be sent 'free domicile' to the SDiFF office with all transportation charges, duties, and taxes prepaid by the shipper.
Submission of an entry gives the SDiFF permission to have excerpts of accepted work, including film trailers, shown in all promotional activities related to the festival.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
I agree to the General Festival Rules