Cristiana DiPietro and Matthew Kalamane founded the Monarch Film Festival. Both are Independent Film Makers who grew up in Pacific Grove, CA. Their goal is the bring cutting edge, artistic and original content to their beloved hometown from all over the world.

This year's objective is to celebrate all local media mediums on the big screen; this is the goal behind the "Local's Corner." Whether you are a student, amateur or professional, if you are local to the Monterey area, we want to showcase your film, show, music video, commercial, etc. All filmmakers know the thrill of having your content seen on the big screen, and we want to give that back to the community, and it's artists — all in good taste of course.

We will be opening up International submissions for 2020 soon.

It is knowing how the Industry works that gives Cristiana and Matthew a unique perspective on the Festival Circuit. They hope that by experiencing the Festival world themselves as filmmakers, it will not only ease the submitter into choosing the Monarch Film Festival but to also reflect their commitment to the film industry in every aspect and will continue to be fair and encouraging to all Independent filmmakers alike.

As Pacific Grove's only festival dedicated solely to Cinema art, The Monarch Film Festival's mission is to be a catalyst for greater appreciation of Cinema as art, build the local film-making community and work with Hollywood and independent filmmakers alike to showcase Northern California as a dynamic place to shoot and screen movies.

A glass award, gift and official rights to the Monarch Film Festival Wreath to use, for best film in each of the following categories:

Best Local Film
Judges Choice

Please make sure that you have specified which category your film falls under in your cover letter with your digital content or DVD. A genre helps our judges to identify the film's content. All styles of media will be accepted for review.

Please note that all entries, in addition to their own genre's prizes, are automatically eligible for the "Judges Choice Award."

All projects must not have played previously at the Monarch Film Festival. Film's having premiered in other cities are always welcome.

The Festival holds no responsibility for lost tapes or films. Preview tapes are nonreturnable. Exhibition films or tapes will be returned only with proper return postage or arrangements made at the filmmaker's expense.

Unless otherwise arranged, the deadline for final exhibition media for accepted films is September 15. The exhibition copy must be the same film as was submitted for consideration.

Overall Rating
  • Max Everett

    This was a fantastic festival to attend. The people who run it are some of the nicest people I've ever met, and the other filmmakers were rather nice too and very social. As the first film festival I've ever attended, this left a wonderful impression on me! I will definitely submit my next film to this festival again! Highly recommend.

    December 2018
  • Wonderful festival in beautiful Pacific Grove. Great hospitality from super friendly folks. The program is eclectic, and I got to see a worthwhile mix of local and international films. It was a top notch experience, and I would recommend submitting (and attending) to anyone.

    December 2018
  • Eric Palmer

    EXCELLENT festival in a charming downtown just steps from the beach. Festival organizers are very available and responsive and friendly. I love the classic downtown theater setting and a great selection of quality films to watch.

    September 2018
    944919 449925198435223 169906406 n
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, so much, Eric! It is always a pleasure hosting your beautiful documentaries. We hope to continue to have the honor.

  • Ilia Antonenko

    I couldn't attend the Festival, but the communication was fantastic! And the Festival invites distributors to the screening - this is very helpfull. I'm happy that my fim "Just words" won the award at the Fesival and I absolutely reccomend this festival for filmmakers!

    December 2017
    944919 449925198435223 169906406 n
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Ilia!

  • Great fun. Nice venue and setting in Pacific Grove is great. Hospitality was well planned and helpful to get acquainted. Event planners get an A+ for communications prior, during and after event.

    December 2017
    944919 449925198435223 169906406 n
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much, Jim!