Cinequest was voted Best Film Festival by USA Today Readers. Cinequest programs 85-90% of its festival from paid submissions annually, the highest percentage of the world's most influential film festivals.

"I think the most important thing about Cinequest is it's definitely the first time I've ever come to a festival where my immediate reaction is, 'What do I have to do to be invited back?' and that's not normally my reaction. It's a perfect film festival in a glorious place." - Neil Gaiman, Maverick Spirit Award Winner

Cinequest Film & VR Festival (CQFF) in San Jose / Silicon Valley: Set in the home of the world’s most influential media technology companies (Apple, Cisco, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, LinkedIn, Occulus etc.) CQFF showcases premier films, renowned and emerging artists, and breakthrough technology—empowering global connectivity between creators, innovators and audiences. CQFF has led the world in its showcase and implementation of the technologies that have revolutionized film making, exhibition and distribution. CQFF’s blend of the artist and innovator gains focus through its Maverick Awards. Its Maverick Spirit Awards recognizes artists (Harrison Ford, Nicolas Cage, J.J. Abrams, Tatiana Maslany, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ben Kingsley, Rosario Dawson, Spike Lee, James Franco, Neil Gaiman, and Sir Ian McKellen are among the guest recipients). Its Maverick Innovator Award recognizes technologists (including Martin Cooper, father of the cell phone). A Maverick stands apart from the crowd willing to create and innovate from a place of personal yet global vision.

Cinequest CONNECTS artists and innovators, as film lovers converge annually to experience a potent mix of immersive stories from around the globe and breakthrough technologies. Yet, Cinequest’s stellar reputation not only hinges on its knack for creating a powerful line-up, but also for securing distribution for many of its honored filmmakers. Netflix, IFC Films, Amazon, MSNBC Films, Oscilloscope, Sony Pictures, Magnolia Pictures, Kino-Lorber, eOne, Lionsgate, PBS, and HBO are just a few of the many that have signed deals with some of Cinequest's success stories.

Also, as an Academy-qualifying festival for the short film categories, Cinequest is proud to honor the winners of its Best Short Narrative and Best Short Animation prizes with a shot at every filmmaker's dream...Oscar gold.

"This festival is one that sets the trends and is actually ahead of the trends. Other festivals are copying Cinequest; I see it all the time."-- Chris Gore (Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide)

Exhibiting unique social and artistic visions from around the globe, Cinequest’s dynamic festival engages audiences in thought-provoking dialogue, giving film artists and film lovers alike an opportunity to connect. Furthermore, Cinequest provides cutting edge technology and movie-making forums to empower professionals and students.

Just a few of the Cinequest Premieres which have received distribution:
Fixed, dir. Alonso Mayo (narrative, Gravitas Ventures)
I Love You Both, dir. Doug Archibald (narrative, Magnolia Pictures)
East Side Sushi, dir. Anthony Lucero (narrative, Sony Pictures)
Temps, dir. Ryan Sage (narrative, FilmBuff)
A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff, dir. Mitch Altieri (narrative, Indican Pictures)
Dear Zachary, dir. Kurt Kuenne (documentary, Oscilloscope Pictures)
Buddy Solitaire, dir. Kuang Lee (narrative, Gravitas Ventures)
Love Is All You Need?, dir. Kim Rocco Shields (narrative, Genius Produced)
Dependent’s Day, dir. Michael David Lynch (narrative, Freestyle Digital)
Lost Solace, dir. Chris Scheuerman (narrative, Raven Banner Entertainment)
Friends Effing Friends Effing Friends, dir. Quincy Rose (narrative, Gravitas Ventures)
Sherman's Way, dir. Craig Savaadera (narrative, Int'l Film Circuit)
Search Engines, dir. Russell Brown narrative, (Indican Pictures)
ToY, dir. Patrick Chapman (narrative, Gravitas Ventures)
We Go On, dir. Jesse Holland, Andy Mitton (narrative, Lightyear Entertainment)
Twenty Million People (narrative, Factory Film Studio)
The Necessities of Life, dir. Benoit Pilon (narrative, IFC Films)
Wake, dir. Ellie Kanner (narrative, E1 Entertainment)
Blood Car, dir. Alex Orr (narrative, TLA Releasing)
Midnight Clear, dir. Dallas Jenkins (narrative, Lionsgate)
The Hamiltons, dir. Mitch Altieri, Phil Flores (narrative, Lionsgate)
Love in the Time of Monsters (narrative, Indican Pictures)
All About Dad, dir. Mark Tran (narrative, Cinequest Distribution)
The Art of Travel, dir. Thomas Whelan (narrative, First Look)
The Skeptic, dir. Tennyson Bardwell (narrative, IFC Films)
On the Doll, dir. Thomas Mignone (narrative, Peace Arch)
Witch Hunt, dir. Don Hardy, Dana Nachman (documentary, MSNBC Films)
El Camino, dir. Erik Weigel (narrative, Lifesize Entertainment)
Family Inc, dir. Emily Ting (documentary, Seventh Art Releasing)
Monster Camp, dir. Cullen Hoback (documentary, Lifesize Entertainment)
Critical Condition, dir. Roger Weisberg (documentary, PBS)
The Nature of Existence, dir. Roger Nygard (documentary, Walking Shadows)
The Harsh Light of Day, dir. Oliver Milburn (narrative, Left Films)
I'm Yours, dir. Leonard Farlinger (narrative, Entertainment One)
The Brainwashing of My Dad, dir. Jen Senko (documentary, Gravitas Ventures)
God Knows Where I Am, dir. Jed Wider, Todd Wider (documentary, BOND360)
Invisible Strings: The Talented Pusker Sisters, dir. Agnes Sos (documentary, HBO)
Bel Borba Aqui, dirs. Burt Sun, Andre Costantini (documentary, Oscilloscope)
Portrait of a Zombie, dir. Bing Bailey (narrative, Canal +)

Festival Awards include:
* Best Feature Film: Drama
* Best Feature Film: Comedy
* Best Documentary Feature
* Best Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror Feature Award
* Visionary Award (for the New Visions category)
* Global Vision Award
* Audience Award for Feature Narrative
* Audience Award for Feature Documentary
* Best Short Narrative Film
* Best Short Animated Film
* Best Short Documentary Film
* Best College Short Film
* Best High School Film
* Best Long Form Television Episode or Webisode
* Best Short Form Television Episode or Webisode
* Best Music Video
* Virtual Reality Awards (see VR section for more information)

REGULATIONS & REQUIREMENTS: Cinequest continues to present and discover hundreds of international films and filmmakers. This prestigious event gives emerging filmmakers an opportunity to gain the recognition necessary to launch distribution and promotional campaigns.

ROUGH CUTS OR WORKS-IN-PROGRESS FOR SUBMISSIONS ARE ACCEPTED AS LONG AS THE COMPLETED FILM WILL BE READY IN TIME FOR THE FESTIVAL DATES.

SCREENINGS: If selected, filmmaker authorizes Cinequest to conduct up to four (4) theatrical screenings during the Cinequest Film & VR Festival.

FESTIVAL SECTIONS: By submitting to Cinequest, filmmakers will be submitting for consideration to all of the following sections for which their film qualifies with one submission: * Maverick Feature Competition * New Visions Competition * Global Landscapes Competition * Documentary Feature Competition * Short Film Competition * College Short Film Competition * High School Film Competition * Virtual Reality Awards * Television Episode OR Webisode Competition (Long Form and Short Form) *Music Video Competition.

All films qualify for Audience Awards.

MARKETING AND PUBLICITY: Cinequest’s publicity and marketing teams will craft a specific promotional campaign for the film program. To assist in this campaign, filmmakers will be responsible for providing the following materials by January deadlines to Cinequest, if selected to participate:
* Digital images
* EPKs
* Secure Online Screener OR NTSC DVD media screeners of their film
* Trailers and film clips
* Any other marketing materials you wish to be used to promote your film (NOTE: The publicity team
will send a more specific list once films are selected)

FILM FORMATS AND SHIPMENT: Filmmaker must provide one of the following screening formats for the Cinequest festival screening:
* DCP

If a film is selected, the participating filmmakers will be responsible for covering the costs of the shipment of the film to Cinequest. Cinequest will cover the return shipment costs to the filmmaker. If a film is being shipped to another festival, the receiving festival must pay for shipping.

RELEASE: Cinequest Film Festival (San Jose) 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 Cinequest Film Festival (San Jose) 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.