If you know us, you already know.

If you‘re just discovering us, we strive to be that independent fest that loves filmmakers, screening films, and then talking about them in the most convivial of ways. We believe we’re getting better at it. That’s us. That’s Boston SciFi aka Boston Science Fiction Film Festival & Marathon. We love the film culture, we love the possibility of ‘if’, and we’ve been doing it for 46 years. So there’s history.

The legendary Orson Welles Cinemas is where it started. Legendary? Yep, the first manager was some dude named Tommy Lee Jones, and people like Peter Bogdanovich, Neil Young, Errol Morris and many more experienced formative cinematic awareness there. It was a 3-screener, it had a restaurant. There was a film school and more. It burned in 1986, and we are all that survived. Making films, showing them, and celebrating the creators is in. our DNA.

Today we are housed in the vintage, independent Somerville Theatre. That’s in Davis Sq, the front door to Tufts University, and just T stops (Boston’s subway system) to Harvard, MIT, Boston University & Northeastern.

We are an 11-day event with two distinctive parts. "The Fest" and “The Thon”.

The Fest is 9 days of submitted and judged films. Tossed into this will be curated films, some classics, some global discoveries. There are also workshops, panels, and other special events. There a number of events/parties for filmmakers including weekend brunches and evening parties. They are convivial networking opportunities with fellow filmmakers and the industry.

The closing event is part two of Boston SciFi. It is “The Marathon”, aka The Thon. Where the greats, the not-so-greats, the not-even-close-to-great screen in a 13 film, 24 hour roller coaster of cinema and community. Some will even be in 35mm, and we’re always looking for a 70mm, too. Think of it binge viewing with 700 of your best friends, even if you just met. Since we’ve been doing this for 46 years, we consider ourselves the “Original Binge View.”

That’s the layout. When it comes to asking yourself to submit, you probably have questions. Hopefully you can find the answers here. One question often asked is how do we define science fiction. If Rod Serling play it on the original TWILIGHT ZONE, then who are we to argue? Whether it shorts, features, documentaries, animation, webisodes, whatever, we'll screen it. In our world, good scripts are more important than an explosion. Although a well-done nicely timed explosion is fun.

The organizers of BostonSciFi are industry professionals with decades of experience. One of the biggest reasons to enter your film is to get exposure to audiences AND the industry. It is this latter piece where our experience helps. We invite our friends to come, and we recommend BostonSciFi films to those we know.

So welcome to SF46, the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival, the oldest, and perhaps the coolest, SciFi festival in the US with a passion for film that comes age.

It's about exploring new worlds.

Oh did you notice that FilmFreeway has awarded us their Top 100 Best Reviewed Festival? And not just once, seven times. Of the 8500 festivals in the FilmFreeway's universe, Boston SciFi consistently ranks in the top 100. We blame it on our staff who are committed and to the filmmakers who share their creativity with us.

, making us the longest running genre fest in the US. Not bad considering we never really started out with that in mind. Evolution and change is what we embrace. How the visual story is told is what we love.

Awards, including The Gort, are given by judges and by the audience. Sponsors provide additional booty. Traditionally we give out between 12-16 awards and about 25 Certificate of Merit. The Awards change from year to year to reflect the changes in content and method of storytelling. The regular awards are the standards - Best Feature, Short Director, Special Effects, Documentary, and more. We also empower our judging team to add additional awards based on the films they have seen. For example, we've added webisodes, music and sound design based on judges recommendations,

Judges, at their discretion, may add additional awards based on merit.

Features and Shorts SUBMISSION Guidelines:

- any film that has a science fiction or science underpinning
- it has been made in the last 18 months. (older films can request consideration)
- works in progress are accepted.
- waivers are rare.
- premieres are welcome
- films should be at least a New England premiere
- non-English films should be subtitled.
- each film is a separate entry.
– BostonSciFi does not use DVDs for screening purposes.
- All films must not have screened online.
- selected films will be delivered on a timely basis
- selected films will assist in social media and traditional marketing
- selected films must be an industry grade DCP
please note: self-made DCPs often have errors & cannot be played

PROGRAMMING Guidelines
- When films are scheduled is Boston SciFi’s sole decision
- Changes to any schedule may occur at any time.
- Missing deadlines may result in eligibility negation.
- Films may screen more than once during the course of the Fest
- Decisions of Boston SciFi and Judges is final.

Judging notes are retained. If any applicant, who is not accepted, wishes to get feedback from the judges, we will make that available, but only after the festival as concluded and we've recovered.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Bev Bliss

    Great Audiences. Great dedicated Team. Thank you so much for making us a part of it. See you next year!

    March 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you for the nice words, Bev. We were proud to screen your film. You and your team are why we are here. Stay well!

  • Carl Hansen

    Thank you so much for selecting "I/O" for the festival! I really enjoyed being a part of it and felt really taken care of as a filmmaker, just wish I could have stayed for the Marathon - hopefully next year. Such a great fest and really great selections all around!

    March 2020
  • Matthew Brdlik

    Boston Sci-fi was a great time with a great set of organizers and filmmakers! I really appreciate that the festival did it's best to connect everyone especially filmmakers and distributors. The 24 hour sci-fi marathon was very fun (made it 15 hours!) and Boston is a great place to visit!
    My biggest complaint was that the shorts were in a microcinema that only sat 32. They used an uncolor calibrated projector that made my actors face look like a tomato lol. Our screening on a Thursday night had people sitting on the floor. I don't know what they expected to happen on Saturday night when they were screening the 'best of' shorts. They literally had to turn away more people than there were seats. Besides that and a few other logistical hiccups the festival was awesome! I recommend you submit. Thanks to Leandra and everyone else for the great time!

    March 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Matthew, thank you for the kind words, and thank you for the criticism. It was solid and thoughtful. It is appreciated and we agree with you. Working on finding a bigger, better place. Look forward to your next project. ~ BostonSciFi

  • David Liban

    Really nice people and really love their filmmakers. I plan on submitting my film when the festival re-opens. Their audience are my peeps.

    March 2020
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you David. We'll look forward to seeing your next. And we couldn't agree more, the Boston audience is a combination of appreciative, intelligent and critical (in the right way). See you soon. ~ Boston SciFi

  • Giorgio Miraflor

    Boston SciFi Film Fest is a must for all Sci Fi submissions! Wonderful communication all throughout, hospitable welcome during my screening/Q&A, and such cool people all around. Also honored to win Best Actor this year for my film uTransfer. Much love to this fest!

    February 2020