In its 6th year, Animal Film Festival (AFF) is the only global fest of its kind, seeking specifically animal-themed films in every category. AFF is held at a beautiful and state of the art theater in the heart of the Sierra Nevada foothills in Grass Valley, California. AFF kicks off with an invitation-only party the night before the fest - serving delicious catered vegan food and beverages. Filmmakers are provided with free lodging (as available) and VIP treatment throughout the fest. Audience discussion follows films where the filmmakers are present. Each filmmaker receives a gift bag loaded with animal-friendly products. Best of all, the films screened at Animal Film Festival go far in changing people's minds and treatment of animals. This is a win-win for our audience and animals.

AFF seeks films that bring awareness about the realities animals face in the world today. The stories showcased in documentary, scripted, feature and short films are engaging, funny, edgy, beautiful and inspirational. The festival seeks to explore topics about companion animals, wildlife, animals used in entertainment, farming, and laboratories. We are looking for films that highlight ways our society celebrates our relationships with non-humans, as well as films showing the ways we mistreat them. Animal Film Festival aims to not only entertain audiences but to propel people into action to change their own lives as well as the animals affected. AFF is presented by the non-profit animal advocacy organization Center for Animal Protection & Education (CAPE), founded in 1992.

During the 2018 Animal Film Festival, $17,000 in awards were presented to filmmakers in the categories of Feature, Short, and Student as well as the Tarshis Award-winning films. Winning filmmakers also received a framed certificate listing the filmmaker(s) and the title of their film/category. Cash awards will again be given to winning films during the 6th Animal Film Festival.

Prizes may range from $500 - $3,000. Visit the Tarshis Award page at to learn about this wonderful opportunity for all filmmakers. Submit your film(s) using the FilmFreeway portal located in the right-hand column.

Through a generous donation from the Amber & Adam Tarshis Foundation, the AFF will be awarding cash prizes in the following categories: Best Feature, Best Short, Best Student.

* All submitted films must be accompanied by a paragraph describing how the film connects the audience to animals or an issue about animals.
• Feature films are more than fifty five (55) minutes. We select ONLY one to two features AT THE MOST.
• Short films must be fifty five (55) minutes or less, including all credits. WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE filmmakers to enter their short films.
• If the film is in a language other than English, it must be subtitled or dubbed in English.
* All entries must be available for screening during the festival, March 23 & 24, 2019.
* We welcome and celebrate short films. We only screen at the most two full-length features.
* All entries must conform to the rating standards of PG-13 or lower.
* You may submit as many entries as you like. Each entry requires its own entry fee. AFF does not pay screening fees for films.
* Finalists will be selected based on excellence in conformity to content guidelines (e.g., the PG-13 rating limit), judging criteria, and festival philosophy.
* We accept online screeners only. If you are chosen to show at the festival you may send a full quality .mov file on a DVD or via the internet no later than 3 weeks prior to the festival screening.
* We will NOT return either preview or final exhibition materials, so plan accordingly.
* All awards are based on the overall merit of the entry. Decisions by the judges are final.
* Finalists will be notified before or by March 1, 2019, if their entry will be screened at the 2019 AFF and considered with the other finalists for the top awards.
* All finalists will have their entries screened at the 2019 AFF, and will be featured in the festival program.
* Entrant must hold all copyrights or have proof of permission for all content used in their film(s).
* AFF Channel on ROKU - Please be advised that all directors of selected films will be offered a non-exclusive licensing agreement for the inclusion of their film on the AFF Channel on ROKU as well as our streaming channel on ECOSTREAMZ.
* AFF on Tour - All films selected for the AFF will be in consideration to be screened during AFF on Tour events. Filmmmakers will be advised if their films are selected for the on tour events.

Overall Rating
  • Tracy Bishop

    Animal Film Festival is a very organized and well put together festival. The venues in Grass Valley and Nevada City were both excellent, the films were compelling and well done, and meeting the other filmmakers was a terrific experience. Shelley Frost and the entire CAPE/AFF staff were all gracious and accommodating as well, so I completely felt at home there. All of us at HoodPuppy are honored that Mercy's Kennel was selected to screen at Animal Film Festival this year, and we highly recommend this festival to everyone.

    February 2019
  • Christina Ciano

    My partner and I were so happy to have had the opportunity to attend the CAPE Animal Film Festival. Shelley Frost was very kind and incredibly supportive, championing our work long before it was accepted into the festival. She and J.P. deftly handled coordination of the activities leading up to the fest, providing lodging accommodations for many of us out-of-towners, which was instrumental in our decision to attend. Their technical god, Brian, handled the visuals beautifully, kept the trains running on time, and made the screening a satisfying experience. These individuals and their loved ones, along with the many caring volunteers, were like an extended family that made us feel incredibly welcome during our stay. This is a festival that I would attend again and again.

    March 2018
  • This film festival is an absolute treasure for filmmakers, film lovers, and animal advocates of all kinds! As a visiting filmmaker we were welcomed with a wonderful VIP reception where we met filmmakers from all across the US and even a few international visiting filmmakers. The weekend is all vegan and concludes with a tour of Animal Place and the CAPE Animal Sanctuary which do incredible animal advocacy work on a pristine setting.

    Shelley and J.P. made us feel like family all weekend. Miss them already! We will definitely be submitting our future film to the Animal Film Fest!!

    February 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Michael! It was a pleasure hosting you and Josh!

  • Autumn Payne

    This is a lovely group of caring people in a charming town. They've thought out all the details from activities during breaks to catered food with pre-order capability. They really go out of their way to take care of the filmmakers and make them feel welcome. Attending the festival was a great experience!

    February 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Autumn!

  • Carla Fraser

    A truly lovely film festival, with a huge heart, committed to film and supporting animal welfare and the planet.
    It's impeccably organised, and they think of everything to make sure they support their film-makers. You will have the most lovely time there, and the town is lovely too.
    The sanctuary connected to this film festival is also a huge bonus.. and you get a tour!
    I'm very grateful for my lovely experience, and the wonderfully kind people I met there.

    February 2018
    Response from festival:

    We so enjoyed having you at the Animal Film Festival! And your film Grey Future was extremely important and moving. Thank you, Carla - best of luck in your career!