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 its 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 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:

Monarch Award
Judges Choice
Best Short Narrative
Best Student Film
Best Feature Narrative
Best Documentary
Best New Media

Please make sure that you have specified which category your film falls under in your cover letter with your digital content. 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 (if applicable as a deliverable). 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 August 11. The exhibition copy must be the same film as was submitted for consideration.

Overall Rating
  • Great group of people. Fun event.

    October 2019
  • Aleksandr Korolko

    EXCELLENT festival in a charming downtown area. Festival organizers are very available and responsive and friendly. I would recommend every Indie film director to work with a Monarch Film Festival.

    September 2019
  • Wonderful film festival! Thank you so much for selecting our movie. So wished I was there, hopefully, next time. Thanks again. Means so much to me.

    September 2019
  • Kevin Molohan

    Great festival in a great location with great films. I would definitely recommend submitting and attending this festival!

    June 2019
  • 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