Thank you all for coming out and submitting to the 21st Annual FILMOUT SAN DIEGO LGBTQ FILM FESTIVAL held September 9-12, 2021. We had a very successful festival because of filmmakers like you. We'll let you know when we open submissions for our 2022 festival.


FilmOut San Diego will be presenting the 21st Annual FILMOUT SAN DIEGO LGBTQ FILM FESTIVAL September 9-12, 2021.

We are one of the longest-running film festivals in Southern California and the only LGBTQ film festival in the San Diego area. Our festival is well-respected in the film community and often have World and U.S. premieres. People from around the world attend the festival as we offer filmmakers Q&A sessions after most films. Interviews with filmmakers and talent are uploaded to social media platforms for maximum exposure. We also have a fantastic Opening Night gala and Closing Night party each year.

This year our annual San Diego LGBTQ Film Festival will be a four-day event that includes international, documentary, short and feature films shown in two different locations. As always, we strive to show the newest LGBTQ themed film selections available.

FilmOut San Diego annually affirms the ongoing integrity and boundless imagination of our community and the artists who tell our stories. We believe our work is part of an ongoing effort to build a vibrant, affirming and sustainable LGBTQ community in San Diego County. We hope you will join us and submit your project!

Please Note: Although we plan on holding the film festival in a theatre setting in 2021 with at least 50% capacity (or as allowed per state and local COVID-19 guidelines), the 2021 LGBTQ Film Festival will be subject to change to a possible online virtual format or pushed back to a later date if we are locked-down per government COVID-19 restrictions at the time of the scheduled 2021 festival.

• Best Narrative Feature
• Best (First) Narrative Feature
• Best International Feature
• Best Direction
• Best Actor in a Feature Film
• Best Actress in a Feature Film
• Best Actor in a Supporting Role
• Best Actress in a Supporting Role
• Best Ensemble Cast
• Best Overall Short
• Best Short Film (Male)
• Best Short Film (Female)
• Best International Short
• Best Comedy
• Best Documentary
• Best Screenplay
• Best Cinematography
• Best Soundtrack Audience Awards, Festival Awards, and Special Programming Awards including:

• Freedom Award
• Outstanding Emerging Talent
• Outstanding Artistic Achievement

The mission of FilmOut San Diego is to enlighten, educate, and entertain San Diego, California and its outlying communities through the exhibition of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer-themed films. FilmOut San Diego seeks to recognize, promote, celebrate and support the important diverse artistic contributions LGBTQ filmmakers make to our community.

• FilmOut San Diego is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) film festival. All submissions must be relevant to that community or your entry will be disqualified. Please do not submit any films without clear LGBTQ content.
• Film screeners are only accepted digitally through FilmFreeway.
• There are screening fees required to submit to FilmOut San Diego paid through FilmFreeway.
• Our submission period is from December 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021.
• If you are unable to submit via FilmFreeway, please contact either (or)
• There will be no refunds once a project has been submitted.
• If your film is selected to the festival, you will be expected to provide your film (format to be determined by Program Director) by March 22, 2021.
• Films that are available to the public via VOD, have played in San Diego (theatrically or featured in another San Diego film festival) are not eligible.
• Additional materials will be requested once your film has been selected: jpegs, synopsis, posters, film clips, etc. We request all items be transferred via Dropbox, if possible.

All selected entries do hereby grant FilmOut San Diego the right to use footage, stills, and/or titles and information from the film for promotional purposes to include, but not limited to, cable, TV, Internet, radio and print sources.

Overall Rating
  • Kelly Walker

    Michael and the FilmOut team were so helpful, communicative and welcoming. Our filmmakers had a great time at the festival and were inspired and grateful for the community.

    October 2021
  • They did everything they can to be up this year, really enjoyed their updates, hope they could come back next year

    September 2020
  • January Jones

    Although I wasn't able to attend, I was so honoured to be included in the FilmOut San Diego LGBTQ ShortFest. Michael and Jeff were wonderful to deal with and I highly recommend this festival.

    May 2019
  • Gabriel Oliva

    What a fantastic festival this was. The theatre was packed and everyone was so kind and responsive. I HIGHLY recommend submitting to this festival. Thanks again!

    -Gabriel Oliva
    "Gay Camp"

    May 2019
  • The FilmOut SD LGBTQ ShortFest is one of the best in my opinion. When I started making film, it was my goal to be included in the festival. 5 years later, I'm so proud to have been accepted. Communication is great, the films they chose to be in the festival were spectacular, and it was just an all around great experience. I would urge any and everyone to submit a film. If you're accepted, it'll be a wonderful experience.

    May 2019