Due to the unpredictable nature of the global pandemic, and the state laws governing safety, live screening dates for our live event are subject to change. In order to keep everyone safe. Social distancing and mask-wearing will be mandatory at all our festival events, including film forums, screenings, and panels. Anybody not wearing a mask will not be given entry to the festival. There will be limited seating at all screenings and events. We will be holding both indoor and outdoor events.

The festival will begin at 12 pm each day with film forums, guest speakers, panels, and live screenings of our jury-selected films followed by awards. The final day of the festival will include a poolside salon in Santa Monica

NOTE: We are expanding our film festival music program. Musicians may be male and female but video directors must be women. ALL films must be directed by women. Our top prize winners will also be interviewed on our show SHE TALKS CINEMA.

We are the women of New Hollywood. In Their Footsteps: Women Pioneers of Old Hollywood Light the Way

The Hollywood Women's Film Institute is a Los Angeles-based non-profit feminist arts and education organization, bringing together women in film, music, TV, Academia, and media, from all over the world through our Global Sisters Program. The Institute provides all-inclusive platforms for women in the arts. The Hollywood Women's Film Festival is a program of the Hollywood Women's Film Institute. We were established to provide a forum for women from all countries to come to Los Angeles and show their films. Our goal toward change is to engage both men and women in raising awareness through working together and participating in panel discussions and workshops to balance the power scales and end gender and racial inequity. Our panels and workshops are focused on filmmaking, directing, writing, producing, composing, costume design, artistic support, financing, distribution, activism in the arts, and ending the systemic culture of sexism in our industry.

Our board members are writers, directors, producers, activists, professors, actors, attorneys, artists, authors, and journalists. It is our goal to bring together the film and Television industries with academia, music, and media, in order to facilitate substantial and lasting change for women in the arts. Our educational programs include panels, lectures, workshops, and a student filmmaker program.

The Women of New Hollywood are keeping the vision of the women pioneers of Hollywood’s golden era alive by re-inventing Hollywood. The success of women in film is an homage to their genius. We invite you to join us. Walking in the footsteps of the women pioneers in writing, directing, and producing, Mary Pickford, Alice Guy Blache, Dorothy Arzner, Ida Lupino, Hedy Lamarr, Lucille Ball, Marion Davies, Tressie Souders, Marion Wong, and all the women film pioneers, we bring you The Hollywood Women’s Film Institute and The Hollywood Women’s Film Festival.

In addition to our various jury awarded filmmaker awards, our special awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award, Humanitarian Award, the Dorothy Arzner LGBTQ Director's Award, and our Activism Awards. We also have a foreign film program, a student film program, and our new music program.

For the most outstanding US film, we offer access to our fiscal sponsorship, for the filmmaker's next film. Awards and prizes vary.

All film submissions for our film festival must have a woman at the helm. A woman writer, director, and at least one woman producer. A male co-producer or co-writer is acceptable, but not a solo male director.

We are expanding our music program. Musicians may be male and female but music video directors must be women. We may make exceptions depending on the project. We are very interested in filmmakers who take risks and have a global inclusive view. We will reject films that discriminate against anyone on the basis of. race. sex gender identity, ethnicity, sexual preference, sexual identity, or religion.

Our submission refund policy does not extend past one week after your original submission.

Overall Rating
  • Allen Ling

    Extremely responsive communications, and easy process to enter your festival via FilmFreeway.

    Notification of the selection process was smooth and timely and winning was a welcome surprise.

    Thank you for being the first festival to acknowledge our message and hard work!

    January 2021
  • Richard James Allen

    We were thrilled that I WANT TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT WOMEN won Best LGBTQ Short Holiday Documentary at theHollywood Womens Film Institute: Hollywood Womens Film Festival . Thank you so much and keep up this important work!

    January 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful film.

  • Bee Pedersen

    What a great experience! Well conducted. Very Professional and supportive.

    November 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for being part of our festival. Please come. back.

  • Aline Jewell

    My experience at HWFF 2020 was transformative, to say the least. I was impressed with the curating of excellent short films, documentaries, music videos, and feature films and thoroughly enjoyed watching the program during the period of the festival as well as listening to the podcasts and forum interviews. HWFF is a unique, inspiring and empowering festival for female filmmakers and creatives in the industry. I salute the Festival Director J.R. Niles for her decision of not canceling the festival this year due to the pandemic and going ahead with the festival online for two great weeks. It was an honour to be part of HWFF 2020. I'm also immensely honoured for my film being awarded Winner Best Dark Comedy Short Film and I'm looking forward to HWFF 2021!

    October 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for sharing your art and for your thought-provoking film. We hope to see you this year.

  • Sylvio Rocha

    Amazing opportunity to watch and present quality content covering subjects rarely addressed on the main stream film industry. Lovely initiative from Hollywood Women's Institute to support such initiative. Looking forward more and more years ahead of more inclusive and gender equal industry!

    October 2020