As the film industry continues to expand in the great Southwest, meeting the multicultural needs of those who call the area home becomes a growing topic of conversation. Enter the Borderlands Film Festival, a multi-city celebration bringing the best in independent films from around the world, with an emphasis on female-driven, Spanish language, and US Military-produced projects.

Brought to you by a creative team of directors with years of film festival running experience, the Borderlands Film Festival (BFF) aims to champion great independent filmmakers who would otherwise not have the chance for a prestigious public screening of their work. What sets it apart from other festivals of its kind is that it will be presented in multiple cities throughout the southwest for maximum exposure.

Bringing awareness to the gorgeous yet otherwise overlooked cities by the film industry, in and around the borderlands, is a vital part of what the BFF hopes to achieve. We make it easy by presenting a shortened version of our main (Las Cruces) festival event. This allows us to provide further screenings for our filmmakers and to these areas that love film. We deliver a polished film festival run by experienced festival directors to those communities.

Since disparity of any kind is caused by lack of opportunity, Borderlands Film Festival is doing its part in providing opportunities to female filmmakers worldwide, too. As such, the first annual festival theme will be: Women in Film. To fulfill that theme, the Borderlands Film Festival will have dedicated programming and workshops celebrating women filmmakers.

“Having had the pleasure of working with several highly creative and motivated women filmmakers during my 30 years in the film industry, while at the same time being absolutely perplexed by how few of them have been given a voice, I consider it a personal challenge to help change that paradigm,” said Managing Partner and CSO David Salcido. “It’s a feeling we all share, which makes it all the more imperative to have our very first festival proudly bear the standard for women filmmakers worldwide. Personally, I can’t wait to see the results.”

Due to its proximity to the international border, the Borderlands Film Festival is also dedicated to developing, promoting and increasing awareness of Latino culture by presenting a variety of Spanish speaking programming from all over the world, including Latin America, Mexico, Spain, Portugal and the United States.

As an added salute to our United States Military, the festival will present a US Military film category and award. “Our nation has the most trained and professional military in the world,” said festival Executive Director/CEO, and US Army Veteran Dave Witt. “This type of discipline translates to filmmaking and creates Veteran filmmakers who can walk directly into the industry with world experience. As a thank you for their sacrifices this festival will provide free film submitting for any US military Veteran."

Further adding to the mix is the Borderlands Film Festival’s mission statement: Integrating excellence in independent film with resources and connection within the film industry. What this means is the Borderlands Film Festival will provide opportunities for film professionals at every level to participate, learn, network and even get their films distributed!

“The logistics of implementing a multi-city and state film festival requires a high degree of detail-oriented experience in the coordination of many people, facilities, and supplies,” said Managing Partner/COO, and US Navy Veteran Michael Evans. “I am fortunate to be working with some highly motivated and bright people to bolster my educational, corporate, and military experience. Having distributors present with eyes on film during film screenings at our festival truly supports our commitment to the independent filmmaker. Providing a direct avenue of resources to the independent filmmaker, not just during the festival but all year, ensures they know our mission is to see them succeed.”

Putting filmmakers first is the key to making this the best festival experience in the southwest, with accepted films receiving lodging, meals and access to multiple red-carpet events, after parties and networking activities.

From features to documentaries, short subjects to animation and an impressive lineup of foreign films, the programming of this festival will represent a great diversity of themes and genres.

The Borderlands Film Festival awards:

Grand Jury Award


Best Feature
Best Short


Best Feature
Best Short


Audience Choice:
Feature and Short

Best Borderlands
Best US Military
Best Animation
Best Student Film
Best Music Video

Best Director
Best Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Actress
Best Actor

We understand how fees can add up for filmmakers. We also understand that a not-for-profit film festival needs to stay in business. So, PLEASE REFRAIN FROM ASKING FOR A FULL FEE WAIVER.

Films completed prior to January 2015 are ineligible.

For entries into the Student category, the school where the project was produced must be mentioned within credits.

The awards that each selected film is eligible for will be assigned by BFF staff.

By submitting to the Borderlands Film Festival, filmmaker implies understanding and acceptance of festival rules & terms.

Filmmaker submitting hereby attests that he/she is fully empowered to authorize public screening(s) and the promotion of such screenings and, by being selected to this festival agrees to the provisions outlined below:

- Filmmaker will not submit industrial or instructional works.

- For films selected, filmmaker will provide press kit items as requested by Borderlands Film Festival for use at its discretion in promoting the film festival and its activities.

- Scheduling screenings of films selected is at the discretion of the Borderlands Film Festival.

- Filmmaker’s representative shall make best efforts to attend the film’s screening, and participate in question-and-answer session with audience following screenings.

- By submitting, and if selected, Filmmaker gives permission to Borderlands Film Festival to screen selected film(s), during the festival's 1st Annual run, in a public forum, in multiple cities, any number of times, as needed.

- Foreign language films must have subtitles in English.