23rd Annual

San Luis Obispo International Film Festival

March 14, 2017 to March 19, 2017

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P.O. Box 1449
San Luis Obispo CA 93406
Phone: 805.546.3456
Fax: 805.540-3580

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated.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.

George Sidney Independent Film Competition
Named for Academy Award winning director George Sidney, a longtime supporter of the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and of upcoming filmmakers, the George Sidney Independent Film Competition welcomes films of all lengths and genres.
Central Coast Filmmakers Showcase
The Central Coast Filmmakers Showcase features locally produced films that might not otherwise have the opportunity to be publicly screened in San Luis Obispo.

Filmmakers with films that were produced, directed or written by a resident of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara or Monterey counties are invited to submit to this category. The CCFS fees are discounted. Any films submitted in this category that are not eligible will not be considered.

The same film cannot be entered in both competitions. A separate set of jurists will choose a selection of films to be screened as "local" films. If the filmmaker decides to submit the "local" film to the George Sidney Independent Film Competition, it will be judged by the SLOIFF Programming Committee along with all other entries from around the world and will not be considered for the CCFS competition.


To entertain, educate and inspire film-goers and filmmakers. Movies Matter!


"Small town, world class fest!" MovieMaker Magazine also called the SLOIFF "one of the best film events in the country," and in 2014 added it to the list of the "50 Festivals Most Worth the Entry Fee." We offer filmmakers and film fans an intimate, small town setting surrounded by scenic beaches, vineyards and the beautiful ranch land of the California Central Coast.

The 23rd San Luis Obispo International Film Festival is scheduled for March 14-219, 2017. The festival features a diverse spectrum of contemporary narrative features, documentary and short films from independent filmmakers from all over the world. In recent years the SLO Film Fest has developed a reputation for showcasing the talents of new emerging independent filmmakers who are shaping the future of the motion picture industry. San Luis Obispo's proximity to Los Angeles (3 hr. drive) makes it very easy for filmmakers, celebrities, media and industry people to attend the Festival.

Films are screened in several parts of the county, with a concentration of screenings in downtown San Luis Obispo, recently named the "happiest place in America." Festival highlights have included epic surf and extreme sports films and heroes, cutting-edge new films, local and youth films, behind-the-scenes panels, a focus on women filmmakers and issues, and classic film "Hollywood & Vines" events pairing great classics with local wine and food, including historic screenings at Hearst Castle. In 2016, the Festival Tent in downtown SLO became the meeting place for filmmakers, media, sponsors and major pass holders making it a great venue for networking and wine tasting.

Every year, the King Vidor Award for Excellence in Filmmaking is presented to a well-respected industry professional who has made a notable artistic contribution in any facet of the industry. Past recipients include Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, Peter Bogdanovich, Ann-Margret, Norman Jewison, and Jeff Bridges. Each year, independent film awards are presented to talented independent filmmakers, and six days of screenings, parties, wine tasting and workshops allow filmmakers many networking opportunities. Local filmmaker hosts are also assigned to make navigating the festival and the county more manageable.

Films in competition are juried by notable professionals who specialize in narrative, documentary and short films and filmmakers are eligible for cash prizes. In 2017, filmmakers will be taken on a tour of county that will include wineries, ranches, beaches and other great filming locations, with Audience Awards to follow at the Closing Night festivities.


Brigetta Walsh (Treasurer); Cassie Brown; Nancy Joynt (Assistant to the Director); Wendy Eidson (Festival Director); Wendy Eidson (Festival Director); susan minker (Festival Registrar)


All contemporary films, in and outside of the George Sidney Independent Film Competition will be considered for the "Best in the Fest" Audience Award. Only competition films will be juried for Best Narrative, Best Documentary, Best Short and Best Student prizes.

Films directed, written or produced by residents of San Luis Obispo, Monterey or Santa Barbara Counties, or films shot in these counties, are eligible to be entered in the Central Coast Filmmakers Showcase category. There is a reduced entry fee but films CANNOT be entered in both the Central Coast Showcase AND George Sidney Independent Film Competition. Central Coast Showcase films will not be considered Official Selections of SLO Film Fest, but will be judged and selected on merit by a separate set of jurors. Go to www.slofilmfest.org for more information.

Youth films (elementary-high school) will be screened in the Young Filmmakers of Tomorrow Showcase and have separate entry and selection requirements. Go to www.slofilmfest.org for more information.

Deadline: Absolutely no late submissions will be considered after the final, WAB Extended Deadline. All films must be received in our office by December 1, 2016.

The SLOIFF reserves the right to determine eligibility of any work submitted. All films submitted must have a completion date after March 1, 2015. For purposes of submission, secure online links are preferred. DVD's and blu-rays will also be accepted. Multiple entries accepted.

Notification: Films selected for screening at the festival will be notified no later than February 15, 2017. Please do not contact the SLO Film Fest to inquire about submission disposition. All submitted materials become property of the SLO Film Fest and will not be returned.

Payment: All entries must be pre-paid by credit card or accompanied by a check or money order payable to the SAN LUIS OBISPO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL for the full submission fee [please see submission fee schedule in listing]. Multiple submissions require separate payments: please do not combine fees into one check or money order.


SLOIFF is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless SLOIFF from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Award-winning and popular films may be screened again after the festival dates, with permission of the filmmaker.