The 8th Annual Cinema at the Edge Festival (CATE), founded by Festival Director Michelle Danner, celebrates independent films of all genres that feature a distinct vision, a unique voice, or a challenge to what is expected and accepted in the medium.

Previous years at CATE featured audience favorites from Sundance, Cannes Film Festival and other major festivals, while maintaining a focus on world or regional premieres, challenging films that deserve a second look, and showcasing local artists. CATE has become a platform for artists to showcase their creativity through film and about the voices that need to be heard.

Jury and Audience awards will be given in each category. While the programmers are thrilled to give independent filmmakers a vehicle of expression, an additional commitment is to see that the standout titles at the festival have an opportunity to screen for distributors. Therefore the winners of the jury award in each category will be viewed by industry professionals working in international film distribution and considered for acquisition in addition to a cash prize.
We were also thrilled to have a TEEN CATE Category for the first time in 2020.

Cinema at the Edge is open to independent film of all genres that feature a distinct vision, a unique voice or a challenge to what is expected and accepted in the medium. Each year we select and exhibit narrative features, documentary, and short films. Films previously submitted (and not selected) may be reentered if there has been significant change to the edit. You must complete an entry form for each film submitted.

Foreign language work must be dubbed or subtitled in English.

If you have a link (ie., Vimeo) you must submit via FilmFreeway and send an email to with the link, title of film, director, and FilmFreeway tracking number.

This option is available for all categories.

Entry fees must be in U.S. funds only paid through FilmFreeway. Entry fees are per film entered, and must accompany the entry form for confirmation. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Cost of shipping exhibition prints to the festival is the responsibility of the entrant. Exhibition copies must be sent to the festival prepaid.

Cinema at the Edge
@ Edgemar Center for the Arts
2437 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405

The festival selection committee makes all programming decisions. If accepted we will notify filmmakers by email and phone. Films not selected will receive notification by email. If accepted the DVD or BlueRay of your film will need to be in our office by March 14, 2015. Be sure to indicate aspect ratio of your film as well as any other special screening/presentation information we might need to know.

Please select only ONE category for your entry when completing your entry form. For our purposes 'feature' refers to films 60 minutes and over. We reserve the right to re-categorize submissions as we deem appropriate.

Due to the large number of entries received submission materials and videos will not be returned.

For more information email us at

Cinema at the Edge is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. the individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Cinema at the Edge from and against any an 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 any reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Overall Rating
  • Jaret Martino

    As an artist, I create projects that make a difference and shed light on subject matters deserving of more attentionĀ from society and from the filmmaking community. We are thrilled that "DONNA Stronger Than Pretty" won the Jury and Audience awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress. Cinema At The Edge recognized the importance of including our film as it's more than a Film, it's a movement. Creating a ripple effect that helps change the direction of people's lives. It's such an honor and we appreciate the hard work that goes into putting together a Festival and shining a light for so many. This festival is organized and communicative, and I plan to submit all my upcoming films to this wonderful platform! Thanks so much!

    March 2020
  • Honey Lauren

    Cinema at the Edge is one of the best times I've had at a festival! The staff and filmmakers I met there are among the most supportive I've encountered. This was a wonderful experience and I will always hope to screen here. Michelle Danner has created a family here and I am blown away by her and her work and will always be in touch with her and hope to have the opportunity to work with her. Thank you so much. WIVES OF THE SKIES was honored with an audience award. Thank you with all my heart.

    March 2020
  • Alana de Freitas

    Great festival! Very inclusive, with networking events. Will enter again!

    March 2020
  • Gary Janks

    What a wonderful experience! The CATE Team were so helpful and encouraging too. Although I couldn't attend it, my film still won the Best Documentary in the Audience Award section and I was given the privilege of sending a video to the audience thanking them for this prestigious award for the award ceremony. I will always be sincerely grateful and retain very happy memories of this great film festival. Many thanks CATE!

    February 2020
  • Miguel Duran

    A wonderful and professional staff and excellent films. A fun, well organized weekend that also included a chance to meet other great filmmakers.

    November 2018