The Hemet Film Festival is an annual celebration of independent films hosted at the Historic Hemet Theatre, a beautiful 100-year-old movie palace located right in the heart of downtown. All films and parties will be hosted at the theater so filmmakers and guests can experience this one-of-a-kind location.

Each year, there will be designated screening blocks to highlight films made in Southern California’s Inland Empire region. We will also screen works from across North America and around the world to bring a taste of international independent cinema to our community. A mix of formats are welcome, including short films, features, animations, documentaries, and the work of local students.

We are looking for creative, scrappy, and resourceful films made by filmmakers with unique visions. Our motto is: "Necessity breeds creativity." This is something the fine folks of Hemet understand well!

The inaugural Hemet Film Festival will be one day of screenings on November 11th, 2023. Beginning in 2024, the festival will be held over three days in early October. For this first year, we are only accepting short films under 25 minutes long. Once the festival expands to multiple days in 2024, we will be accepting longer-format and feature films as well.

If you are a filmmaker in Southern California, please keep us in mind as a possible venue for premiering your feature film next year!


FRIDAY, November 10
Opening Night Gala

SATURDAY, November 11
Short Film Blocks followed by Filmmaker Q&As

Cartoons and Animations | 10 AM - 11 AM

Documentary Shorts | 11:30 AM - 1 PM

Narrative Short Films | 1:30 PM - 3 PM

Southern California Filmmakers | 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM

5:30 PM - 7 PM

6 PM -7 PM

Student Showcase and Q&A | 7 PM - 9 PM

9 PM - Midnight

Free Midnight Screening of a Cult Classic or Local Favorite

There are no awards and prizes at this time. For this first year, our hope is to screen as many films as possible. In the future, when the festival expands to multiple days, we will consider having a closing night awards ceremony.

Filmmakers retain all rights to their work and agree only to show their films during the in-person run of the festival. At this time, there are no online screenings and everything will be shown live at the Historic Hemet Theatre, a 100 year old movie palace in Downtown Hemet, CA.

Part of our mission is to buy the abandoned Gary's TV and Video building in Hemet and make it a functioning video store once again. We hope to have a "Hemet Film Festival" section of the video store. At a future time, filmmakers will be given the option to have their films FOR RENT at the video store. This is completely optional and a few years down the line. If you are accepted to the inaugural Hemet Film Festival, we will reach out at a later date if this is something you want to participate in.

By submitting to the film festival, filmmaker's work will be reviewed and scored by our team of screeners. When programming, we are looking for a diverse selection of films that will be enjoyed by the fine folks of Hemet. If you have a connection to Hemet, the Inland Empire or Southern California region, please include that in our cover letter. We are hoping to create relationships with filmmakers in the community. We want this to be a venue for filmmakers to show their work for years to come.