Be a part of film festival history! Welcome to the internationally recognized "Longest Student-Run Film Festival in the World"!

What began as a way to show their own films, two Humboldt State University students--here in the beautiful redwoods on the coast of northern California--began the festival way back in 1967.

For 55 years, the student-body of Humboldt State University has been inviting independent filmmakers (working in traditional and experimental modes) to enter their film shorts for the event.

The students enrolled in the university's unique film festival course are trained and certified to pre-screen and judge the wide variety of domestic and international entries from sent in from May through the end of February. The finalists in each category are screened in April at the historic Minor Theatre in Arcata, California for guest industry judges (such as Frank Capra, Walter Murch, Marcia Lucas, Alexander Payne, Patricia Cardoso, and Udi Aloni) as well as community film enthusiasts. Winners are announced and awarded at the Best of Fest by the judges at the fun and exciting final night.

HIFF is proud to promote the art of film, not only as a means of entertainment but also as a vehicle for self-expression and a stimulus for dialogue about social, political, and cultural issues. The Humboldt State University community as a whole invites and embraces the voices and stories of diversity and inclusion. It's a venue where the hidden faces and stilled voices can be seen and heard.

The Best of the Fest
Best Narrative
Best Documentary
Best Animation
Best Experimental

Best Experimental Technique
Best Film with an Immigration Theme
Best Film Celebrating Local or Environmental Sustainability

Laurel Awards for:
All finalists, Audience Choice in Best of Fest, Narrative, Documentary, Animation, and Experimental

-Entries must be 30 MINUTES OR LESS
-Films must have been completed after January 2018
-Films entered once may not be re-submitted in subsequent years
-Finalists must submit their film in DCP format NO LATER THAN Mar 31, 2022 to compete in April 2022 fest.
-All films must include English subtitles in order to be inclusive to all viewers
-Must include entry fee and a brief synopsis
-No Refunds
-Press Kits are not required right away but are helpful and make things a lot easier later. If able, please include a digital press kit when you submit including a synopsis, running time, country of origin, director name, and still image from your film.

Humboldt Int'l Film Fest is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Humboldt Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Overall Rating
  • Marin Sander-Holzman

    Great fest. Very responsive and all around good vibes.

    July 2021
    Final pictogram green
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the kind words, Marin! We always aim to get back to our awesome filmmakers in a timely manner. Hope to see more of your films in the future!

  • Wow, love the Humboldt Int'l Film Fest crew. Put on a great virtual program. Will be submitting my next work here. Great feedback and attention to these beautiful films. Thank you so much! Look forward to the next one. :)

    May 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the love Kelsie and for joining us during the Filmmaker Q&A night. Pumped to see what you have in store next!

  • The Recess was a nominated entry for Best Narrative at the 54th Humboldt International Film Festival, we sincerely thank the Humboldt International Film Festival for having 'The Recess', and for having the opportunity to have our cause, voice, and message heard by the American and International audience. It was an honor and prestige to be present at the 54th edition, thank you.

    May 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks, Navid for your feedback, and we are honored to have had your film in the line-up for the 54th Fest. We look forward to seeing more of your films in the future!

  • Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu

    This festival is highly worthwhile for the quality and diversity of the programming. They selected a really interesting slate of films, many of which I hadn't seen before despite being on the circuit at over 150 festivals over the past year. Mahalo for putting stogetehr such an interesting program.

    May 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Thanks for your feedback and kind words Hinaleimoana! With our fest being 100% student-run it's always fascinating to see how the line-up develops and we loved what the 54th had to offer. Thanks again for being a part of this year's fest!

  • Mark Street

    These folks are great. I've been showing films with the HIFF for some 30 years; they are gracious, warm, organized and fun.

    May 2021
    Final pictogram green
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for your kind words Mark! You are always welcome at HIFF, and we look forward to seeing your films here for years to come!