We're a seriously traditional and FILMMAKER-CENTRIC festival. Our event is five days. In 2019 we featured 70+ films.

The BSFF takes place in one of the most beautiful locations in the United States: 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. The BSFF throws a happy and warm friendly party for everyone.

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

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.

Most important, we’re an old-school film festival. The BSFF gathers everyone into one venue to watch films on a single screen. In the crowded marketplace of film festivals we excel simply because we truly offer a great time, remarkable attendance, and we go out of our way to accommodate our filmmaker guests.

You’ll meet and greet your audience, have a blast, lounge with other filmmakers, and interact with everyone. We even have homemade cookies.

“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.

After a half-decade of running the BSFF we're getting better while having more fun all the time. It's the sort of festival any filmmaker truly appreciates: crowds, a great location, and a warm quirky vibe. We welcome your creative energy to our film festival and invite you to join us in building a tradition celebrating innovative film making.

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

We're continuing the fan favorite competition across all genres. Top votes for each category will win the BSFF "PEOPLE'S CHOICE" award. We are expanding our awards and will offer winning certificates in various sub categories through our juried and people's choice selections.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

• Films completed on or after Jan 1, 2017 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.

CATEGORIES
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

PAYMENT
Pay entry fees online during the online application process.

DIGITAL PR:
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.

FILM TRAILERS:
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.

MULTIPLE ENTRIES
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.

NOTIFICATION
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.

FEEDBACK
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.

EXHIBITION FILM REQUIREMENTS

• 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.

RELEASE & LICENSING AGREEMENT
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.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Jeff Fry

    Borrego Springs Film Festival is a gem hidden in the California desert. Although still in its infancy, BSFF already has what other festivals strive to offer - a packed theater at every screening, for every film, regardless of time of day. This is due, in part, to the festival's commitment to a singular venue, but even more so to an appreciative audience, hungry for the caliber of films selected by the programmers.

    BSFF is one of the most rewarding festivals that I've experienced. Although receiving an award can bias one's perception, I'm certain that the cast and/or crew in attendance from every film would agree that the awards pale in comparison to the reception and respect shown to us as filmmakers, and the kindness and generosity of the community. Thank you, Borrego Springs, for your amazing audience, for the positive and delightful interaction, and for accommodating our needs. It was our privilege and pleasure to participate.

    February 2019
  • Maki Yoshikura

    It was a shame I couldn't make it to the festival, but the staff in charge were very organised and helpful in the lead up to the screening. No doubt I would have had a great time if I had attended the festival.

    February 2019
  • Anthony Newen

    This festival is amazing! So much support from the town, met great filmmakers, and really felt like what we do as filmmakers have an impact on the world, starting from this small town.

    January 2019
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    It was our honor having you guys here. Please send us your next film! Don't forget, it's free for alumni. When the time comes, just contact us and we'll send you a waiver.

  • Wendy Rogan

    If you're looking for a festival that knows how to bring in an engaged and appreciative audience, this is it! We were so excited to show our short doc to a full house, and ALL of the film blocks were sold out! Communication with Matt and Pam was great, and we received a a warm welcome when we arrived. The festival organized fun parties and local desert activities for filmmakers as well. What's not to like?

    January 2019
  • An absolute gem of a film festival! The staff is fantastic. The community support is outrageously wonderful — full houses and lots of thoughtful engaged responses at the Q&A's. In fact, the whole town made the filmmakers feel special. Hats off to Fred, Matt, Pam and the countless other members of the BSFF community that made this festival such a pleasure. Can you teach other festivals how you do it?

    January 2019