The Chabot Theater is excited to host its 3rd annual ‘Local’s Only Short Film Festival’!

We love connecting with local, Bay Area filmmakers (like yourself) and putting your work on the big screen. Our festival is small - growing, but small - and its mission is to highlight the filmmakers of The Bay, and connect them to each other and an audience. Your film deserves to be seen, and our community deserves to see and celebrate local art.

Local’s Only takes place over two evenings, each with their own focus. Friday night is dedicated to music videos, while Saturday night is dedicated to narrative and documentary shorts (including all the experimental and/or weird stuff.) Whichever category your film may fall into, you can submit through this page.

There will be a live Q&A following the last film of each night.

Here’s a little bit about The Chabot:

Since The Chabot opened in 1950, it has been a pillar of art, entertainment, and culture within Castro Valley and its surrounding areas; long-time residents and recent transplants alike have a story or memory of time spent in its auditorium. For some, a movie at The Chabot was the first date with their now longtime spouse. For other community members, The Chabot is where they began their everlasting love affair with cinema.
Our goal is to tell stories and create experiences that connect us to ourselves, each other, and our world.

There are several awards to win at Local’s Only, and they apply to both film categories.

The Marquee (Best overall, based on a combination of scores from all other award categories)
Judges Choice (Best picture as ranked by our judges)
Audience Choice (Best picture as ranked by the audience)
Best Performance (Best acting and/or musical performance as ranked by our judges)
Most Local (Closest related to The San Francisco Bay Area, with a bias towards the East Bay)

We have a judging body that includes filmmakers, artists, musicians, critics, and cinephiles who carefully watch each film and submit their votes to us.

Prizes include: items, experiences, and gift cards from local businesses, movie tickets and merch from The Chabot, and more!

Every filmmaker who submits receives 2 free tickets to each night of the festival.
Every selected filmmaker receives 3 free tickets to each night of the festival.
Films must be made within or about subject matter relating to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Films of any age are welcome, but preferably they’ve made within the past three years.

Overall Rating
  • Peter VanOosting

    Excellent local festival. Terrific venue. The hosts truly valued and featured the filmmakers

    March 2023