The 7th 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 to the best film in each category. All selected filmmakers will benefit from networking opportunities, packed screenings and the festival's signature pub crawl. Our Panels and Juries have included executives at film distribution companies which will give each filmmaker the opportunity to get distribution.

Located in the heart of Santa Monica, Edgemar Center for the Arts is a two theatre and art gallery complex designed by Frank Gehry, just minutes away from the beach. Cinema at the Edge offers plenty to see and experience. At the center's inaugural ceremony Steven Spielberg welcomed cinema fans and noted, "Here we have a venue that can turn out some extremely experienced, daring and resourceful artists."

Jury 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.

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.


Early Deadline: February 1st - April 1st , 2019 (postmarked by) - Entry Fee: Features $45, Shorts $30

Regular Deadline: May 1st - August 30th, 2019 (postmarked by) - Entry Fee; Features $55, Shorts $35

Late Deadline: September 1st - January 26th, 2020 (postmarked by)- Entry Fee: Features $65 , Shorts $45

Entries must be submitted by NTSC DVD or through a secure online screener (FilmFreeway, Vimeo, etc.). Region free NTSC DVD's are preferred for screening purposes. We do not accept VHS or video data files for screening purposes.

Foreign language work must be dubbed or subtitled in English. Please do not send elaborate presentation materials, press kits, binders, etc. with your entry. All that is necessary to send is a clearly identified DVD or digital file. If your film is selected for the festival we will contact you about images and press kits.

DVD's and cases must be labeled (preferably using permanent marker/ink) with film title, filmmaker name, phone, email and FilmFreeway tracking ID number. Please place DVD's in a DVD sleeve, no hard plastic cases of any kind.

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
  • 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
  • Catherine Haun

    A sweet niche festival with a social conscience. Greatly enjoyed the films and the other filmmakers.

    November 2018
  • Koura Linda

    we had a wonderful time at cate 2017! the staff were professional and friendly and the films screened were really excellent!
    my only down vote is that the speakers went out before my screening and we were delayed for about a half hour and the sound when we screened was still a bit off.
    i did attend other screenings before mine and they had great a/v!
    we met some really wonderful people, the venue was great and there was convenient and inexpensive parking nearby. the parties and networking were awesome! but closing night they took the award winners for photos and then when we got to the reception all the food was gone :/
    i think they had way more people in attendance then they anticipated which is a good problem!! and they later brought out additional food. but running out of food was an issue during the weekend.
    over all though it was such a wonderful experience i give it 5 stars as an over all rating! i suggest submitting to this festival and take it as a high honor if you get selected as they really do screen many high quality and well made films!

    May 2017
  • Paolo Monico

    Honored and humbled that my film screened CATE and was awarded the Audience Award for Best Short Film! With Love and Gratitude. Paolo Monico

    May 2017
  • Jennifer Townsend

    I left CATE thinking, I'm got to tell my filmmaker friends in Seattle about this special, intimate festival in Santa Monica. My crew and I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it. I felt it was the perfect venue for my film, 'Catching Sight of Thelma & Louise.'

    Michelle Danner, who heads the fest, is a spirit of graciousness. The audiences were enthusiastic and supportive. The volunteers, ever so helpful and accommodating. Long live CATE!

    May 2017