The Borrego Springs Film Festival invites you to send in your film to our 5th annual event January 11th - 15th 2018.

We are a young vibrant festival that takes place in one of the most beautiful locations in the United States: Borrego Springs, CA.

Our community supports the BSFF with enthusiasm and always sells-out our festival passes. Packed houses and a lively Q&A are all part of the event. We’re an old-school film festival. You’ll meet and greet your audience, have a blast, lounge with other filmmakers, and interact with everyone. We also have homemade cookies. C'mon, homemade cookies, y'all.

“The BSFF packs the theater with a very engaging audience a very special place that is worth the visit to witness firsthand the fun loving hospitality of the locals.” -- Gabe Crate, Director, "Move Me”

"Beautiful location, focus on film makers and audience experience. One venue, great communication, well-organized. Soon to be one of the top 50 film festivals to attend. Bravo!" -- James Theres, Director, "30th of May"

"The festival also has a great filmmakers lounge with awesome homemade cookies, and they give you two all-access passes for everything. I plan to return to this festival every year even if I don't have a film showing!" -- Steve Oldfield, Director, "Lines of Sight"

See, told you about them cookies.

BSFF filmmakers are honored guest in our town. We'll treat you to a wonderful opening gala, parties, a private lounge area, and discount lodging in Borrego Springs.

2018 is the most special year for the film festival yet. 5 years in and we're getting better while having more fun all the time.

Through generous support of the town residents we're now upgrading our theatre to include a bigger projection, surround sound, and 4k resolution.

Join us for what will be the best year of the BSFF. One huge theater, one big screen, and endless community enthusiasm!

The BSFF occurs in our small desert resort town surrounded by the 640,000 acres of Anza Borrego Desert State Park. This natural beauty has long attracted tourists and filmmakers and explains the area's strong historical connection to cinema production.

The earliest feature was made here in the 1920's and over 60 films have been shot here since. Film industry personalities come to Borrego Springs to live, work, and play. We welcome your creative energy to our film festival and invite you to join us in building a tradition celebrating innovative filmmaking.

Awards & Prizes

Award trophies will be presented for Best Narrative Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best Latino Film, and Grand People’s Choice.

Also, in 2018, we're starting our fan favorite competition across all genres. Top votes for each category will win our BSFF "PEOPLE'S CHOICE" award.

Rules & Terms


• Films completed on or after July 1, 2016 are eligible.

• 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.

All films may be submitted into only one category:

• Narrative Feature – any narrative film 40 minutes or longer

• Narrative Short – any narrative short film under 40 minutes

• Documentary – a documentary of any length

• Latino – a film of any length made by, featuring, about and/or for the Latino community

• Animation – any form of animation, any length

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 2:15.

More than one entry may be submitted. However, each entry must be submitted as a new film with a separate online entry form, a unique registration number, an additional entry fee.

If your film is selected to be part of the BSFF, you will be notified via email on or about November 15. You will also be notified by email if your film is not selected. Please make sure that you notify us if email changes, and add borregospringsfilmfestival@gmail.com to your safe sender email list.

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. Don’t be discouraged if your film is not accepted.


• All accepted film will submit screeners uploaded via the internet. mp4, prores, or DNxHD.

• 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 and distribution. 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 your 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 at the festival. 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.

12 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Nicholas Thurkettle

    I've attended Borrego twice and I will gladly go every year that they'll have me. Great programming taste, a packed room of engaged viewers at every screening, and an incredible sense of community. This small town makes you feel like family from the moment you arrive, and their humor and warmth and love for film is irresistible.

    January 2018
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    Derek Parsons

    Gutted I could not attend. The best administration I have encountered. Well done people!

    February 2017
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    Marvin Glover

    I can't thank this team enough. We were greeted warmly from the time we pulled in to the parking lot. We had a great screening and a lively Q&A discussion afterwards. Can't wait to come back!

    January 2017
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    Vanessa Caceres

    Hi, even if we were not able to attend, the communication and tools the festival provide to filmmakers are great. We were thrilled to know our movie won for Best Latin Film.

    January 2017
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    Matt Bosson

    Borrego Springs was the best-run festival that we've attended yet! The quality of the other films and forums was tremendous. And the nearly full-house audiences were terrific.

    Full disclosure: this was not our first time to Borrego Springs. We had visited twice before and so we were really thrilled when Manny was accepted to the festival! We just love the majestic and mystical beauty of the Anza-Borrego Desert surrounding the little town of Borrego Springs, and couldn’t wait to return.

    However, there were some technical glitches during some of the screenings. It’s amazing how difficult it is, nowadays, to avoid these kinds of problems when digitally projecting. I’ve seen this happen at every festival we’ve been to! But fortunately, Manny screened perfectly and looked great! And the Q & A, afterward was really fun! Overall, this was a really well-run and pleasantly managed festival, full of great people and great movies!

    I will definitely submit my next film to Borrego Springs, and would recommend this festival to any filmmaker that wants to get their work before an audience that loves independent film!

    January 2017