The BSFF is a FILMMAKER-CENTRIC festival. You will experience an extremely well-attended-in-person-event. As a 501(c)(3) organization, our task is to create wonderful art experiences for you and our desert community.

The BSFF is now rolling into our second decade. We're well established and having an incredible time. We feature single-venue-screenings, great local attendance, a catered opening gala, a filmmaker networking event, our Saturday party, panel discussions, workshops, and a grand award ceremony.

And, through the generosity of the Laureen and Joyce Callo Foundation, the BSFF is now offering a $1,000 cash prize to female directors!

Additionally, for our 2024 season, we've expanded our awards and submission categories. It's an inclusive opportunity for you to receive the recognition independent filmmakers so well deserve. Check out the new selections and share your craft with us!

The BSFF takes place in one of the most beautiful locations in the world, Borrego Springs, CA. Our vibe is desert eclectic. Vintage trailers, refined mid-century modern neighborhoods, primitive pup-tent camping, or even world class resort living, Borrego Springs showcases it all.

If you're making your first film or your twentieth, we want you here. Our selection committee embraces it all. Everything from highly crafted films to sentimental favorites are part of our programming.

We excel simply because we truly offer a great time, remarkable local attendance, and we go out of our way to accommodate our filmmaker guests.

You’ll meet and greet your audience, lounge with other filmmakers, and interact with everyone. We even have homemade cookies. Do you know about our homemade cookies? You need to find out about our homemade cookies.

“Best fest ever and we've been to many. These folks really appreciate the filmmakers…If you only enter one festival this year, make it BSFF. — Ronn Kilby, Director, “Dog Star”

The Laureen and Joyce Callo Foundation for the first time will sponsor a $1,000 cash prize for Best Female Director of a narrative film of any length at the 2024 Borrego Springs Film Festival. The award is designed to encourage and support female filmmakers who are woefully under-represented in the film industry.

All accepted films to the BSFF will be judged for awards based on their submission categories. Multiple submissions of a single film to numerous categories are allowed.

Filmmakers that believe their film is worthy in particular categories should submit accordingly.

Additionally, top audience votes for will win the BSFF "PEOPLE'S CHOICE" award for Best Short, Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best International, and Audience Favorite.

The BSFF committee will also offer "THE GOLDEN COOKIE" award for films we believe resonate with the attitudes and sentiments of the Borrego Springs audience.


Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry.

All films must be in English or subtitled in English.


Pay entry fees online during the online application process.


If your film is accepted, you must be able to provide: a hi-res film still, a digital hi-res poster of your movie, a digital high-res image of the director and/or producer, and a synopsis of your film in 140 characters or less.


The BSFF features trailers of selected films during our screenings, as well as showcasing the trailers on our website and social media. Accepted films will provide a trailer no less than :30 and no longer than 3:15.


A film can be submitted into multiple categories. Each category requires it's own individual submission.


If your film is selected to be part of the BSFF, you will be notified, via the email listed on your FilmFreeway profile, on or about November 5. You will also be notified by email if your film is not selected.


We are unable to respond with feedback or explanations if your film is not accepted. The popularity of the expanding BSFF means we receive many more worthy films than we have programming space to screen.


All accepted film will submit screeners uploaded via the internet. mp4, prores, or DNxHD with a stereo audio. We do not accept DCP or 5.1 surround sound tracks at this time.

The exhibition copy of your film must be received no later than December 5th. Accepted films that miss the deadline will be removed from the program and replaced.


By submitting your film: you acknowledge and agree that to the best of my knowledge, I am duly authorized to submit this film to Borrego Springs Film Festival (BSFF) and to grant permissions related to its use. Submitting a film to BSFF constitutes an agreement by and between the filmmaker/representative and BSFF.

You grant permission to BSFF to use film clips/stills for promotional use. You allow BSFF and any third parties at the festival the right to film, videotape and photograph your appearance and voice for any and all marketing and promotion of Borrego Springs Film Festival and Borrego Festivals Foundation.

You indemnify and hold harmless BSFF, its judges, affiliates, staff, sponsors and partners, individually and collectively, from and against all claims, demands, losses, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses (including legal fees) arising out of or in connection with any and all claims, or third party claims based on stories or films submitted to BSFF.

If my film is accepted into the BSFF, you grant BSFF the non-exclusive right to right to show and market my film in its entirety as BSFF sees fit during festival week. BSFF does not take any copyright or ownership of your film.

By submitting, you agree to all of these rules, terms and conditions. You acknowledge that no submission fee refunds are given once this application has been submitted. You also acknowledge that you will not receive any compensation for the use of your film by BSFF in accordance with the rules, terms and conditions.

You understand and acknowledge that, if you are under 18 years of age, your parent or guardian must agree to the terms of this Filmmaker Release on your behalf. As a Parent or Guardian of a minor filmmaker, if applicable, you understand and acknowledge that you are agreeing to the terms of this Filmmaker/Guardian/Representative Release on behalf of your child or a child for whom you are a legally designated Guardian.


The BSFF reserves the right to arrange accepted submissions into any category at our discretion.

Overall Rating
  • We had an absolute blast at this festival! Everyone there was so kind and inviting and they had so many great activities and parties planned for us. But best of all, every screening was packed... and with engaged audiences who participated and asked so many great questions during the Q&A. I can't recommend this festival highly enough!

    March 2023
    Response from festival:

    We agree Michael. The community of Borrego Springs really shows up for the screenings...and they'll let you know what they think too!

  • Stephanie Trudeau

    This film festival is a gem of an oasis in the vast landscape of film festivals. Totally supportive to film makers and talent with lots of networking opportunities, parties and instructive seminars. The filmmakers' lounge was a wonderful welcome area and Pam's cookies were the best. Special thanks to Fred and Lara for their hospitality and appreciation. And we are so thrilled to have won People's Choice award for Best Hispanic/Latin Film. Thank you from Joyce Callo and Stephanie Trudeau

    February 2023
    Response from festival:

    We keep telling people about the cookies. I mean, seriously, it's home baked cookies, y'all! (And scones. Don't forget the scones.)

  • The Borrego Springs Film Festival is fabulous! The organizers of the festival, the film programs, the beautiful desert town, the terrific venue - all make for a delightful experience for the filmmakers and the audience! The INSIDE THE BEAUTY BUBBLE team is still basking in the glory of winning both the Golden Cookie Award and the People’s Choice Best Documentary!

    February 2023
    Response from festival:

    You guys really hit a home run! So glad you came to the festival in person too. We knew you guys would be a great fit, especially with such a heartfelt documentary.

  • Jack Pollington

    Thanks for screening and awarding our film, massive shame not to have been there!

    January 2023
  • Keaton Morris-Stan

    What a wild ride - Borrego Springs is an oasis in the desert. Truly a filmmaker's festival, from the curation of films to the packed houses, networking events and thoughtful panels, this festival is most definitely worth attending. We won a Golden Cookie award for Best Acting in short film Fractal, and not only was it a huge honor, it was also delicious!

    January 2023
    Response from festival:

    Okay, we confess, we ate some of the Golden Cookie Awards too. Couldn't help it! (not all of them turned out, so someone had to do it) We're honored to share our Golden Cookies with an actor that offered our town such a sublime performance!