20th Annual

San Diego Asian Film Festival

November 07, 2019 to November 16, 2019

Film Market
Submit Online
2508 Historic Decatur Road
Suite 140
San Diego CA 92106
Phone: 619-400-5911
Fax: 619-342-2695

OPEN CALL FOR ENTRIES • Select a Category of Entry to continue.

Animated Short
2D, 3D, Traditional, CGI, Experimental accepted
Short Documentary
Feature Documentary
Narrative Short
Narrative Feature


The mission of the San Diego Asian Film Festival is to inspire, entertain and support a more compassionate society through the Pan Asian media arts.

We fulfill our mission by:
* Presenting unique, culturally-enriching programs that would otherwise be inaccessible to the public;
* Engaging the public in meaningful discourse and positive social change through our programs;
* Promoting artistic excellence, innovation, and the independent voice;
* Strengthening San Diego as an arts destination.

SDAFF is a competitive festival, borne out of the love for independent film and the desire to showcase the diverse Pan Asian experience through film and other arts.

SDAFF supports both Asian and non-Asian artists by giving them a venue to showcase their work, and it gives the community access to quality films that otherwise would never show in San Diego.


2019 marks the 20th season of the San Diego Asian Film Festival (SDAFF), which will take place November 2019. SDAFF launched its first competitive festival in August 2000 and has grown to become the largest exhibition of Asian cinema in the western United States and one of the premiere festivals for Asian American cinema anywhere, showcasing everything from future classics like Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder (US Premiere) to luminary independent work like Patrick Wang’s award-winning In the Family (North American Premiere). Each year, the festival brings West Coast, North American, and World premieres of films from around the world to San Diego and brings unique opportunities to discover international cinema to our more than 20,000 patrons.

SDAFF takes pride in providing excellent hospitality to filmmakers, artists, and industry guests during its festival, while creating meaningful programs and events... and throwing some killer parties. If you are accepted into the festival, you are guaranteed three things: 1) lots of alcohol, 2) lots of food, 3) lots of love, plus the possibility of winning a prize for your film.

The best films of the festival are awarded during a 600-seat Gala Dinner in the following categories: animated short, documentary short, documentary feature, narrative short, narrative feature, international short, and grand jury award. Films in ALL categories are eligible for the grand jury prize. First-time feature filmmakers are also eligible for the George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award.

Our Vision for SDAFF is to:

* Present provocative stories that represent the diversity and dynamism of the Asian and Asian American experience, and market these stories to the broadest audience possible.

* Provide a venue to showcase and contextualize innovative and important films that are directed by, acted by, or about Asians or Asian Americans.

* Celebrate San Diego's diverse Asian Pacific Islander communities and encourage better understanding of the different cultures locally.

* Cultivate local talent by providing meaningful programs and resources for minority students to pursue careers in media, film, and the arts.

* Promote San Diego County as a location to shoot and view films, and to make San Diego an arts destination.

The San Diego Asian Film Festival is the flagship event of Pacific Arts Movement (Pac Arts), one of the largest media arts organizations in North America that focuses on Asian and Asian American cinema.


Brian Hu (Artistic Director); Christina Ree (Program Manager)


I. 2019 Festival Dates
November 7-16, 2019 (tentative)

II. Submission Fees and Deadlines
1. A completed application and entry fee must accompany each entry. There are no exceptions to the entry fee. Entries must be postmarked per the deadlines on the listing for each category.

2. Make payment by check or money order in US dollars payable to PACIFIC ARTS MOVEMENT.

III. Programs
The Festival accepts films/videos in the following five categories: narrative feature, narrative short, documentary feature, documentary short, and animation short. Festival programming staff may use their discretion to place your film in the appropriate category.

IV. Eligibility
1. Films/videos entered into competition must be directed or principally acted by an artist of Asian or Pacific Islander descent, or contain subject matter relating to Asian or Pacific Islander cultures or communities. Clarify questions of eligibility prior to submission of entry.

2. Entries must have been completed after August 1, 2018. For feature-length films, the date of first public premiere (if any) must be after September 1, 2018.

3. Feature length entries cannot have been previously exhibited in San Diego at a film festival or commercial venue, or be available for broadcast, home video, or online for American audiences, before Nov. 16, 2019.

4. Each project entered into competition must pay an entry fee. There is no limit to the number of qualifying entries by any entrant so long as an entry form and fee accompanies each entry.

5. Foreign-language entries must be subtitled in English.

6. Films/videos cannot be re-entered into competition if previously rejected by the San Diego Asian Film Festival.

7. Entrants shall obtain all licenses, royalties, and permits necessary to present their work. Entrant will assume all costs arising from the use of patented, trademarked, franchised, or copyrighted music, materials, devices, processes, or dramatic rights used in production of work.

8. Short films previously exhibited on the Internet are eligible for entry.

V. Feature and Short Definition
A feature is any work of running time forty minutes or longer; less than forty minutes running time designates a short.

VI. Submission Materials
1. All entries must include the following:
(a) DVD labeled with film title, director, contact telephone number, and running time; unless submitted online through Withoutabox's streaming video.
(b) Completed Festival Entry Form (via any of the accepted submission platforms)
(c) Entry Fee

2. The Festival is not responsible for returning DVD screeners. Entry fees are not refundable.

VII. Selection
1. Festival programming staff will select and invite films at their discretion. Entrants will be notified of their selection status via email or Withoutabox's notification system on or about July 31, 2019.

2. Selected filmmakers are expected to provide as much of the following as possible:
(a) Exhibition print. The Festival exhibits work in only the following formats, regardless of origination: 35mm film, 16mm film, Blu-ray, or DCP for feature-length works; Quicktime file, DCP, 35mm film, or 16mm film for shorts.
(b) Press kit including film stills (digital TIFF or JPEG files preferred with minimum 300 dpi), synopsis, and full production credits. Director photo and biography are optional. Additional collateral material including postcards, posters, etc. may be included if available.
(c) Clips or trailer to be used for press, promotion, and awards ceremony.

3. Selected films may be screened multiple times during the course of the Festival at our discretion.

4. Pacific Arts Movement and the San Diego Asian Film Festival are not responsible for any damage to films/videos during shipping, handling, or screening.

VIII. Screening Fees
The Festival does not pay rental fees; instead we choose to invest our resources in producing the best possible showcase for your work and promoting your work as widely as possible.

IX. Awards
The Festival presents the following awards to films in competition:
Narrative Feature; Documentary Feature; Narrative Short; Documentary Short; Animated Short; Emerging Filmmaker Award; Audience Choice Award; Grand Jury Award; International Short.

Winners (except for Audience Choice Award and International Short Award) will be recognized during the festival's Gala Awards Dinner. There may or may not be additional awards. If jurors deem all films in a category undeserving of awards, they can elect to not choose an award for that category.

X. Shipping
1. Submit entries prepaid including applicable customs fees to:
Pacific Arts Movement
SDAFF Entry Coordinator
2508 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 140
San Diego, CA 92106, USA
Email: entries@sdaff.org
phone: 619-400-5911

2. Shipping via courier capable of tracking delivery of submission is recommended. Package DVDs properly and securely using bubble-wrap.

3. Selected filmmakers are responsible for delivery of exhibition prints or videos to our offices by the date designated at time of selection notification. The Festival will handle the return shipping of prints and videos after the conclusion of the Festival.

Any additional inquiries, please email: entries@sdaff.org


I, the undersigned, acknowledge and agree that to the best of my knowledge, all of the statements in this document are true; I am duly authorized to submit this film to the San Diego Asian Film Festival (SDAFF); I hold SDAFF harmless from damages to or loss of the film print en route due to improper containers or otherwise; the film is not subject to nor is threatened by any litigation; and I grant SDAFF permission to use stills and excerpts from the submitted work for promotional purposes and for use in the Pacific Arts Movement's internal library.