We're excited to announce the 6th Annual Coast Film & Music Festival will be November 13 - 17, 2024 in Laguna Beach, CA.

The event is a five day showcase of non fiction and documentary films from the mountains to the sea and the places in between. The films and topical discussions are curated to entertain and inform audiences of all ages and inspire positive change through the power of film and storytelling.

The event includes screenings, speaker panels and networking opportunities with filmmakers, athletes and change makers. Each program is organized around themes and important topics ranging from inspiration and stoke to conservation, mental health, adventure, cultural awareness, social equality, climate change, ocean plastics and more.

We are committed to recognizing and promoting filmmakers and their important stories. We give 8 awards after the event including the CFF MacGillivray Freeman Environmental Filmmaker of the year $3,000 cash prize. For students grade 6 - 12 we have the Coast Student Filmmaker program at the Festival and give a scholarship to a graduating Laguna Beach High School student focusing on studying film.

We accept films from around the world by new and seasoned creators from 60 seconds to 90 minutes. Most selected are short films under 15 minutes. Foreign films must have English subtitles that are embedded. Past program themes have been:
Mountains & Snow, Dirt, Get Outside, Ocean & Surf, Our Public Lands, Healed by Nature, Wanderlust, Our Oceans, Any Day Wonders, Laguna Legends. We include a wide range of topics that relate to human connections with self, each other and with nature, the environment and the power of the human spirit.

A portion of event proceeds are raised for the Coast Film Foundation to promote documentary filmmaking and support future documentary filmmakers. We also donate to select local environmental non-profits committed to conservation and getting people outside. Past recipients include 1% For The Planet, Surfrider Foundation, Protect Our Winters, Stoked.org, Chill foundation, Laguna Canyon Foundation and others.

For questions, comments or ideas please contact Ben Warner at Benw@coastfilmfestival.com.

Thank you for your interest.

Each selected film gets recognized in the event program and marketed through event promotions and is given an "Official Selection" laurel for marketing.

Award-winning films will be announced after the event. Awards include;

Best Documentary Feature ( over 40 minutes)
Best Documentary Short (under 40 minutes)
MacGillivray Freeman Environmental Filmmaker
Audience Choice
Best Stoke
Outdoor Spirit
Wave Maker
Best Student Film High School, Best Student Film Middle School

Submission Agreement

This Agreement is made by and between the ("Film Owner") and Coast Film & Music Festival (CFMF) a division of The Coast Film Foundation, a California-registered 501 C3 nonprofit company, in connection with CFMF's official selection of your film as a film entry ("Film") for the Coast Film & Music Festival Program (“Festival”). It is subject to the following terms and conditions:

We accept documentaries about adventure, action sports, human interest, conservation, and the outdoors. We welcome being able to nationally premiere films and films with limited exposure in Southern California.

Due to the volume of submissions, we can only guarantee to notify applicants when the film is accepted.

Selected films will be screened at times and venues which will be at the discretion of the Coast Film programming staff. CFMF reserves the right to schedule additional screenings of the film on a to-be-announced basis during the festival dates. The scheduling and Q&A panels are at the discretion of the CFMF programming team. CFMF also reserves the right to screen all or parts of the Film within marketing and promotions before the festival. We encourage filmmakers and people in the film to attend the festival.

All selected Films could be included in the CFMF Encore festival if you want to be. Films will also be considered for additional in-person events after the festival throughout the year. Coast Film Foundation produces shows at the Rivian South Coast Theater in Laguna Beach, The Ecology Center Summer Series, and other shows nationwide. We do a separate licensing agreement for those events.

CFMF may promote your film before, during, or after the festival in conjunction with our promotion media and industry partners. We may ask to conduct interviews with you and people in your film about your film that will be live or recorded and archived on our website.

Except for a Festival pass and an award, if selected, the Film Owner will receive no monetary compensation for the showing of the Film during the Festival or additional screenings at this time. We hope you will appreciate the value of being able to promote your film to our audiences and the opportunity to win an award.

The signer represents and warrants that the Film Owner has the full and sole right and authority to enter into this Agreement and make the grant of rights made herein, that the person signing this Agreement is fully authorized to do so by the Film Owner, and that CFMF may rely on the terms of this Agreement if the Film is selected and Film Owner does not object to this Agreement but fails to sign and return it; that the Film is wholly original with Film Owner; that no claim or litigation exists relating to the Film or purporting to question or adversely affecting the rights granted herein; and that, to the best of Film Owner’s knowledge (or that which Film Owner should have known in the exercise of reasonable prudence), the Film does not violate the rights of privacy of, or constitute a libel or slander against, or violate any common law or other rights of, any person or entity. Film Owner agrees to defend, indemnify and hold CFMF and its successors and assigns harmless against and from any and all liability, loss, cost (including reasonable attorneys' fees), causes of action and damages incurred as the result of any breach of any representation, warranty, or agreement made by Film Owner under this Agreement.

By submitting your film here on FilmFreeway you agree to these terms concerning Coast Film Foundation and Film Owner’s respective licensees, successors, and assigns.

This Agreement is the parties' final, complete, and exclusive agreement concerning the subject matter hereof and supersedes. It merges all prior or contemporaneous representations, discussions, proposals, negotiations, conditions, communications, and agreements, whether written or oral, between the parties relating to the subject matter hereof and all past courses of dealing or industry custom. No modification of or amendment to this Agreement shall be effective unless in writing and signed by each of the parties.

This agreement is to be construed following the laws of the State of California without regard to the choice of law rules.

All disputes under this Agreement shall be settled by arbitration in California before a single arbitrator under the commercial law rules of the American Arbitration Association. The arbitration may be commenced at any time by any party hereto giving written notice to the other party to a dispute that such dispute has been referred to arbitration. Any award rendered by the arbitrator shall be conclusive and binding upon the parties hereto. This arbitration provision shall be specifically enforceable by the parties and the arbitrator's decision in accordance herewith shall be final and binding without right of appeal.

If any provision of this Agreement shall be held to be illegal, invalid, or unenforceable under present or future laws, such provisions shall be fully severable, this Agreement shall be construed and enforced as if such illegal, invalid, or unenforceable provision had never comprised a part of this Agreement; and, the remaining provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.

The waiver by either party of a breach of or a default under any provision of this Agreement shall not be effective unless in writing and shall not be construed as a waiver of any subsequent breach of or default under the same or any other provision of this Agreement, nor shall any delay or omission on the part of either party to exercise or avail itself of any right or remedy that it has or may have hereunder operate as a waiver of any right or remedy.

If any action at law or in equity is brought to enforce or interpret the provisions of this Agreement, the prevailing party will be entitled to reasonable attorneys’ fees in addition to any other relief to which that party may be entitled.

The headings used in this agreement are for convenience only and shall not be used to limit or construe the contents of any of the sections of this Agreement.

Overall Rating
  • Santino Martirano

    This festival was all time. An amazing venue, amazing films, and it was an honor to have Still Alive screen in the Healed by Nature block. Thank you Ben and the whole team for putting it on!

    November 2023
  • Andrew Rurik

    Ben and the whole Coast Film Festival team have put together a unique, exciting event. If you've got the type of film for it, get here.

    December 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your review Andrew! We enjoyed sharing your film and message - it resonated really well with the audience. Thanks for sharing and for being there!

  • Andrea Pierpont

    Coast Film and Music Festival's heart for storytelling and enthusiasm for all things outdoors is at the core of this experience - from an array of fascinating/meaningful/entertaing films, to music and mingling with industry professionals, this Laguna Beach treasure of a film festival is an experience to be had! Would attend even without a film featured, it's that good!!

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your kind review Andrea. We were proud to show Pasang and share such an important and inspiring story! Thank you for coming and celebrating your birthday with us and so wonderful to meet Dorjee!

  • We were thrilled to be included in Coast Film Festival in 2021. The festival was thoughtfully curated, staff were personable and the mission of the event is very positive. We were honored to receive the "MacGillivray Freeman Environmental Filmmaker Award" for our film Understory. Thanks for the generous award and we can't wait to join again next year!

    January 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your review Colin. It was an honor to share Understory to our audiences. It is a great film about a very real and relevant topic - Several members of our audience admitted to not being aware the problem existed and took immediate action to support the Tongas National Forest. We look forward to your next film project.

  • MacGillivray Freeman Films

    The definition of cool.
    During a year when everything shut down, the organizers found a way to make a spectacular and safe event that celebrated high-quality films and brought the community together.
    In 2020 MacGillivray Freeman Films entered "Into America's Wild," and screened the film in the socially-distanced outdoor theatre with a panel discussion with Director, Greg MacGillivray and film star, Ariel Tweto, which made the stories come that much more alive to audiences.
    We were also blown away by the quality of all of the films and the programming that accompanied them. The content captured the soul of what makes life along the coast and atop mountains so thrilling and enriching. Getting to network with other filmmakers, athletes, influencers and thought leaders in the industry has allowed us to make lasting friendships that continue to inspire our work.

    The team is also top notch! Not only do they make the submission process simple, but they go the extra mile to ensure that our content looked great and impactful.

    We look forward to participating year after year!

    September 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your review Shauna. It is such an honor to show MacGillivray Freeman films and really fun working with you and the whole staff! See you at the next CFF.