Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema (BHOC) showcases diverse work of local San Francisco Bay Area filmmakers and artists living and working in and around San Francisco’s historic Bernal Heights neighborhood. In its 17th season, BHOC features an end-of-summer 3-day festival of free screenings staged in parks, playgrounds and other venues located throughout the neighborhood on September 10-11 and 19, 2020. The festival’s schedule includes a film crawl of six venues along the neighborhood’s “Main Street”, a screening under the stars at a mini park and a season finale and neighborhood-wide party.

The BHOC line-up features short films or videos — 20 minutes or shorter— in all genres, in which: 1) local Bay Area residents have participated in any aspect of production or distribution; or 2) the subject matter or theme resonates with current sentiments, issues and challenges facing the neighborhood and residents of Bernal Heights. The Bay Area and Bernal Heights in particular have a long history of independent filmmaking and social and political activism. During the 1960s, the neighborhood was known as "Red Hill" for the anti-war activists in shared households and collectives who moved in among the working-class families of Bernal Heights. By the 1990s, Bernal's pleasant microclimate, small houses and freeway access to Silicon Valley led to the most recent wave of migration. Despite the changing demographics, Bernal Heights retains its reputation as a community of activists and independent thinkers.

Four non-monetary awards are presented to featured filmmakers:

- "Best of Bernal," "Spirit of Bernal" and "Bright Star Emerging Filmmaker" are determined by the Submissions & Selection Committee

- "Good life Audience Award" is determined by the audience.

The Awards presentation and award-winning films will be presented at the final event of the season, "Best of Bernal" screening, awards presentation and reception, Saturday, September 19, 2020

BHOC showcases the work of LOCAL FILMMAKERS with connections to the neighborhood. If you do not live, work or have a cast or crew member who has ties to Bernal Heights, San Francisco, CA, please DO NOT submit your work as we are committed to showcasing and promoting local talent and stories. Before submitting your work, please review and agree to the following:

-- We seek short films (20 minutes, maximum) in all genres including narrative, animation, documentary, drama, experimental, children’s, music videos, and works in progress.

-- There are no restrictions regarding year of completion, submission to other festivals or previous presentations of the submitted films

-- Special interest and consideration is given to films that share and align with the diverse sentiments of the Bernal community

-- By submitting their film, submitter agrees that they own or control the copyright in and to, and am duly authorized to submit this film to Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema

-- Filmmakers give permission to BHOC to use press kits for marketing purposes, and a clip from film in highlight reel for box office and online trailer.

-- if your work is selected for screening, you must supply a high-resolution digital link, 1920 x 1080 pixels, .mov

-- If selected, filmmakers are invited to attend their screenings but are not required to be present

Overall Rating
  • Jessica Heidt

    This is a wonderful local festival with an engaged and enthusiastic audience. Communication with the organizers was great and they followed up with thoughtful notes and gestures. Highly recommend!

    October 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Jessica. We were honored to share your work with our audience and hope to hear more from you in the future.
    Anne and Leslie, Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema