The COVEN Film Festival is a Charming Stranger Films, LLC production, devoted to films by emerging women and non-binary filmmakers from the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world. 

Our event features 3 days of films, panels, Q&As with filmmakers and excellent networking opportunities.

Festival passes include: access to all films, Q&As with filmmakers, panels, networking events and awards party. Proceeds to benefit Cinefemme.

This event spotlights women and non-binary storytellers, and recognizes that not every person is young, white, middle-class, cisgender, or able-bodied. Our mission is to amplify these stories -- emphasizing indigenous, differently-abled and people of color -- told by women or non-binary creators.

COVEN Film Festival reserves the right to change our programming without notice.

Grand Jury Awards:
- Best Film (COVEN Award) with a $500 cash prize
- Best Short Film with a $250 cash prize

Audience Award
One Audience Award is chosen by Festival goers themselves through ballots cast at the theaters after screenings.

Please only submit if you are willing to provide a DCP format file for exhibition if accepted to screen at the Festival. 

Our partner SimpleDCP offers a 20% discount to all selected films.


Entering a film into the COVEN Film Festival implies the acceptance of the following regulations. Please completely fill out the Filmfreeway Entry Form. A separate Entry Form is required for each film being submitted. We accept online submissions through FilmFreeway only.

STUDENT FILMMAKERS must complete this submission form to be approved for the student discount rate.

If you are a filmmaker in a country that doesn't allow you to pay submission fees or you're in a bad economic situation, please fill out this submission form to be considered for a waver code for the festival.


Films must be directed or co-directed by a woman or non-binary individuals.
We accept all films of any length and genre that have been completed after September 1st, 2018. We welcome narratives, documentaries, animations and student films.

Rough cuts and works-in-progress are eligible, but must be completed
before Dec 1st, 2019.

Films should not be available on demand or any streaming services prior to the festival.


By entering your film for consideration to the 2020 COVEN Film Festival, you authorise that your work is cleared for festival exhibition and accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. The submitter and all filmmakers associated with the project shall indemnify and hold harmless the COVEN Film Festival and any representative or affiliates from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including, but not limited to, attorney's fees and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.


If accepted to screen at the Festival, the entrant agrees to provide a DCP format file for exhibition. Foreign language films must be subtitled in English. Any costs associated with any subtitling or formatting is the sole responsibility of the entrant. Our partner SimpleDCP offers a 20% discount.

Festival laurels will be provided to all Official Selections and Award Winners. Films should be presented in their original versions with English language subtitles or commentary where necessary.

By submitting, you agree that the Festival is allowed to use film stills, film posters, and trailers, and share them on social media sites and on the Festival website. Prints may be made, including film posters and stills of all selected films.

The Festival does not pay screening fees. Please submit your film via the online submission platforms. By submitting, you agree that your film can be screened without a screening fee.

Terms and conditions updated June 2019.

Overall Rating
  • Foster Wilson

    Such a wonderful festival! Coven brings together all these incredible female directors for a weekend in San Francisco, with an excellent screening venue (The Roxie!), beautiful accommodations at the Phoenix Hotel, packed houses and informative panels. Can't wait to return!

    January 2020
  • Such a wonderful festival! Thank you Coven for the opportunities and curating wonderful work from the many talented filmmakers.

    January 2020
  • Cyprian Films New York

    Proud to be included in a festival with a history of such amazing films. The festival coordination and communication was top tier. I will definitely keep submitting and hope to attend this festival as it grows bigger and bigger! xx

    January 2020
  • Motion Hr

    Amazing initiative and screening, amazing team who are in communication with filmmakers. One of my favorites.

    July 2019
  • Sarah K Reimers

    This is a first-class festival! Thoughtfully hosted and carefully curated. The communication was excellent and I met some wonderful film-makers from all over the U.S. This is a film-festival designed by film-makers who've been to A LOT of festivals and know what works and what doesn't. They also put a lot of energy into building and supporting their community. I can't recommend COVEN highly enough.

    February 2019