Now in its third year, Coronado Island Film Festival (CIFF) again invites filmmakers everywhere, from aspiring student to seasoned pro, to join us in the seaside village of Coronado, California (a bridge ride away from San Diego) for a destination festival weekend unlike any other.

Coronado’s enduring love affair with Hollywood began back in the earliest days of filmmaking, when “movie people” were irresistibly drawn to the still-legendary hospitality of the iconic Hotel del Coronado (the Festival’s Presenting Sponsor), built right on the sand in 1888. Coronado’s world-class beaches, perfect weather, and proximity to Hollywood have made it a favorite go-to spot for the stars since those halcyon days when Errol Flynn, Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin strolled the Avenue. That same avenue, with its unique shops, blooming gardens and alfresco dining, has been named one of America’s five “Most Romantic Main Streets” by the National Trust for Historic Places.

“This festival is really special and different from anything I’ve ever experienced. You take the time to listen to the people who are being recognized, to appreciate the work of artists and craftsmen and filmmakers, and the details of their lives. I thank you for the format and I’m privileged to be here.”

- Andy Garcia, 2017 Actor Award recipient

Five of the films screened at CIFF 2017 festival have been nominated for 2018 Oscars, an outstanding achievement for a fledgling festival.

What we're looking for is excellence in filmmaking: films that are smart and beautifully written; films that entertain us, surprise us, teach us, thrill us, inspire us, make us think, make us mad, make us laugh or make us cry. We're partial to films that take the human spirit to a higher place. Categories include narrative features, short films (narrative, documentary, and animated), and documentaries. An important part of CIFF's mission is to recognize and encourage talented students and emerging young filmmakers. Student films in all categories will be evaluated separately.

We’re an intimate, pedestrian-friendly festival, with most of our venues an easy walk from one another. We promise you a weekend to remember: films of every genre, many introduced by their makers, memorable panel discussions (a festival highlight), a welcoming Hospitality Lounge, live performances, parties, kicked off by the Opening Night Party, an After-Hours Filmmakers Bash in a hip Coronado art gallery, a “Meet the Jury Reception,” and our signature Celebrity Tribute at the Hotel Del Coronado, hosted by renowned film critic and author Leonard Maltin, back for his third year as our Festival Host and Honorary Jury President.

CIFF is a non-profit 501(c) 3 tax-exempt corporation whose mission is to celebrate the magical art of visual storytelling. The entire community of Coronado will once again warmly welcome makers and lovers of movies for a holiday weekend to remember. We will seek and celebrate talented new filmmakers and pay tribute to those whose contribution to the world of film has already inspired us, amazed us, and touched our hearts in so many ways. We want you to be part of it.

SCREENERS AND JURORS

Every film submitted will be viewed by a team of screeners and jurors comprised of filmmakers, writers, actors and other industry pros, in addition to veteran film aficionados. We are pleased to announce the return of our impressive team of Head Jurors: acclaimed film critic, historian and author Leonard Maltin (Honorary Jury President); Lisa Bruce, producer of The Theory of Everything and Darkest Hour (Head Juror, Narrative Film); Academy Award winner/Documentaries Ira Wohl (Head Juror, Documentaries), and Jim Gallagher, Head of Theatrical Marketing, Dreamworks Animation SKG (Universal/Comcast) (Head Juror, Short Films). Head Jurors for our three cash awards of $5000 each are respected studio marketing exec Terry Curtin (Dale St. Denis Female Filmmaker Award), Nancy McRae, Coronado School of the Arts (The Emerald Award), and AP History teacher and former Coronado Mayor Casey Tanaka (Dr. George M. Sanger Student Film Award).

SUBMISSION CATEGORIES

Narrative Feature: Any genre. Must be at least 40 minutes and no longer than 180 minutes in length including credits.

Narrative Short: Any genre. Must be under 40 minutes in length including credits.

Documentary Feature: Non-fiction, any genre (historical, military, political, environmental, cultural, you name it). Must be at least 40 minutes and no longer than 180 minutes in length including credits; should be inspired by real people and/or events and should contain some actual footage or photography to further the telling of your story.

Documentary Short: Non-fiction, any genre. Must be under 40 minutes in length including credits; should be inspired by real people and/or events and should contain some actual footage or photography to further the telling of your story.

Animated Short: Any genre. Must be under 40 minutes in length including credits.

STUDENT SUBMISSIONS

Student work will be judged separately in each category. All student filmmakers must have been enrolled as a student in high school or college at the time the submitted film was made, and the film must have been completed within the last two years.

Student Narrative Feature: Any genre. Must be at least 40 minutes and no longer than 180 minutes in length including credits.

Student Narrative Short: Any genre. Must be under 40 minutes in length including credits.

Student Documentary Feature: Non-fiction, any genre (historical, military, political, environmental, cultural, you name it). Must be at least 40 minutes and no longer than 180 minutes in length including credits; should be inspired by real people and/or events and should contain some actual footage or photography to further the telling of your story.

Student Documentary Short: Non-fiction, any genre. Must be under 40 minutes in length including credits; should be inspired by real people and/or events and should contain some actual footage or photography to further the telling of your story.

Student Animated Short: Any genre. Must be under 40 minutes in length including credits.

THREE CASH AWARDS

The Dale St. Denis Female Filmmaker Award: A $5,000 cash award. Any category. Excellent film achievement by a female filmmaker. Donated in memory of Dale St. Denis, Coronado architect, artist, and staunch supporter of the women who brought CIFF to life. Donated by his friends and family.

The Emerald Award: A $5,000 cash award. Any category. Awarded to the film that best portrays the following: a person (or persons) who identifies a need or wrong, takes a risk, and works selflessly to support peace, education, freedom from oppression, well-being, and/or protection of the planet and all that lives upon it. A film that reminds viewers that each of us can be a force for good in the world.

The Dr. George M. Sanger Best of Fest Student Film. A $5,000 cash award. The jurors will select the one student film that stands out above the others. Donated in memory of the beloved Coronado physician who "always loved encouraging young people," by his adoring family.

COMPETITION AWARDS

Awards may include, but are not limited to, the following categories (categories are subject to change at the discretion of the juries):

Best Narrative Feature

Best Narrative Short

Best Documentary Feature

Best Documentary Short

Best Animated Feature

Best Animated Short

Audience Favorites (in all categories; ballots available at individual screenings)

STUDENT AWARDS

In addition to the Dr. George M. Sanger Award, each student whose film is accepted into the festival will receive a Certificate of Recognition, suitable for framing.

We are only receiving online submissions and all materials must be viewable online, as we want to remain as green as possible. We do not accept submissions via DVD. We make the process simple: you submit to our festival through FilmFreeway, pay your fee, and send us a link to your film. We prefer streaming services such as Vimeo or YouTube. THIS WILL SAVE YOU MONEY! You will be notified via email when your film has been received, and updated by email throughout the judging process.

Student work will be judged separately in each category. Filmmaker must have been enrolled as a student in high school or college at the time the submitted film was made, and the film must have been completed within the last two years. When submitting film online, student filmmaker must provide name and address of school, name, email, and telephone number of teacher, and grade level or year when film was completed.

All non-English films must have English subtitles.

By submitting to the festival, you agree to allow your film (or other artistic work) to be screened by the festival during the festival run for which you are submitting, at no charge to the festival. If there are to be any additional screenings, we will come to a mutual agreement between the filmmaker and the festival.

All films selected by the festival will be asked to provide promotional materials, but we ask that no promotional materials be sent until selection. Promotional materials and information about your film may also be uploaded to FilmFreeway with your online film submission. By submitting to the festival you are admitting copyright ownership of everything submitted. The festival reserves the right to disqualify any submission at any time, if there is any question of ownership, copyright infringement or any sign of disrespect (in any form of media) to the festival or its representatives.

All fees are non-refundable. Dates and venues are subject to change.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Jermey Pair

    Fantastic festival hosted in a beautiful setting by the kindest people. The great array of films screened was of top notch caliber. Was honored to have our short film "Golden Age" featured in this prestigious festival. Can't wait to attend future events.

    May 2018
  • Mitra Sen

    Coronado Island Film Festival was one of the best festivals I have attended! The festival organizers and volunteers were the most welcoming, warm and gracious hosts, who made every filmmaker feel so special. The kind of recognition and honours we received were incredible and the networking opportunities were amazing! It's so hard to believe that this was only their second year. Fabulous, inspiring and such a memorable festival! Thank you CIFF!

    March 2018
  • Jierel Almario

    This is an amazing festival! Comminication was top-notch, the selection of films was great, and the festival staff/volunteers really care about the filmmakers. They plan many events throughout the festival with a diverse guest list of well-known actors and industry professionals. The screening venues are also very nice. Not to mention, the festival takes place in a beautiful city. Highly recommend submitting!

    February 2018
  • Amy Steward

    Fabulous! My students were thrilled to be part of this incredible festival.

    February 2018
  • Gabriele Hayes

    Amazing festival. The festival staff was so accommodating and welcoming. Had a great time.

    February 2018