The Coronado Island Film Festival launched in 2016 to great acclaim, featuring 83 films from 16 countries, memorable panels and live performances, and a full weekend of spectacular parties. Renowned film critic Leonard Maltin, our festival Honorary Jury President, wrote on Indie Wire shortly afterwards that the inaugural Coronado Island Film Festival was "an out-of-the-park home run!"

Once again, we invite filmmakers, from aspiring student to respected pro, to join us in the historic seaside village of Coronado, California for a festival weekend like no other. "Movie People" first graced our shores more than a century ago, drawn to the still-legendary hospitality of the iconic Hotel del Coronado (our Festival Presenting Sponsor), built right on the sand in 1888. Our world-class beaches, perfect weather, and proximity to Hollywood have made it a favorite go-to spot for the stars since the days when Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin strolled the Avenue. That same avenue, with its unique shops, blooming gardens and alfresco dining, was recently named one of America's five "Most Romantic Main Streets" by the National Trust for Historic Places.

Movies have been an integral part of Coronado's fascinating history dating back to the silent film era. Film classics such as Some Like it Hot, The Stunt Man and My Blue Heaven were filmed in Coronado, featuring our beloved "Del." Scenes from the compelling Act of Valor and American Sniper were shot in Coronado, home of the elite US Navy SEALs. Lisa Bruce, producer of the Academy Award winning film The Theory of Everything, and the new Focus Features release, Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, grew up in Coronado and once again will be a part of our 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. We especially want to recognize and encourage talented students and emerging young filmmakers. Student films in all categories will be evaluated separately.

Every film submitted will be viewed by a team of at least three members during our judging process. Screeners and jurors will be 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 Head Juror team: 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).

CIFF is a nonprofit 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 foster talented new filmmakers and pay tribute to those whose contributions to the world of film have already inspired us, amazed us and touched our hearts in so many ways. We want you to be a part of it.

Awards & Prizes

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

The Dale St. Denis Women in Film Award: Any category. Excellent film achievement by a female filmmaker. A $3000 Cash Award. 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: The Emerald Award celebrates the film that most inspires and reminds viewers that each of us can be a force for good in the world. The film may be any genre and considered films should depict stories of human dignity, courage, and sacrifice that foster awareness and understanding, justice or greater peace in our world.

Best Narrative Feature (Student and Non-Student awards)

Best Narrative Short (Student and Non-Student awards)

Best Documentary Feature (Student and Non-Student awards)

Best Documentary Short (Student and Non-Student awards)

Best Animated Feature (Student and Non-Student awards)

Best Animated Short (Student and Non-Student awards)

Dr. George Sanger Best of Fest Student Film. The jurors will select the one student film that stands out above the others. A $5000 Cash Award. Donated in memory of the beloved Coronado physician who "always loved encouraging young people," by his adoring family.

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

Rules & Terms

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. We are only receiving online submissions and all materials must be viewable online, as we want to remain as green as possible.

Student work will be judged separately in each category. All student filmmakers must have been enrolled as a full-time student 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 school name and address, teacher's name, email address and phone number of teacher, and student's grade level and 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 media selected by the festival will be asked to provide promotional materials, but we ask that no promotional materials be sent until selection. 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.

1 Review

Overall Rating
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    Johanna Watts

    This is a relatively well funded festival. They offer refreshment and a green room for film makers. The screening venues vary in quality. You might end up in a beautiful theater or a high school auditorium. That said, for their first year, they did draw some good talent.

    May 2016