Welcome to the NatureTrack Film Festival (NTFF). Situated just 25 miles inland from the seaside beauty of Santa Barbara lies the bucolic Santa Ynez Valley; home to world class wineries, race horses, Danish pastries, award winning breweries, famous split pea soup, majestic oak studded hillsides, and scenic Lake Cachuma. Within this stunning valley, the NatureTrack Film Festival will present its third year of outstanding nature cinema in the charming town of Los Olivos. Located at the gateway to the Los Padres Forest, Los Olivos offers visitors and filmmakers the best of small-town experiences with easily accessible wineries, unique shops, galleries, and gourmet dining - all within walking distance! The perfect community to mix and mingle during a film festival.

With each film selected to the competition program one person – director, producer, cinematographer, distributor or official representative – will be invited and comped to attend the NatureTrack Film Festival with a +1. The organization will obtain and cover the cost for one accommodation (the +1 will be expected to share the accommodation or arrange their own at their own expense Fri-Sun, Mar 20-22, 2020. In addition, 2 invitations to a Spotlight event and 2 filmmaker passes will be provided. Filmmaker passes grant access to opening/closing receptions, all films, and all panel discussions.

NOTE: Santa Barbara County residents are not eligible for complementary lodging, however, discount rates may be passed on to any local filmmakers wishing to stay in the Valley. Contributions to traveling expenses are not included. Filmmaker passes may be requested for others closely associated with the film but are not guaranteed.

Custom designed awards are given to all Best of Festival category winners feature and short.

Cash prizes awarded in the following areas:
$1,000 cash prizes for: “Best in Festival Overall - Feature” and "Best in Festival Overall - Short”
$500 cash prize for: “Igniting Passion for Nature”
$500 cash prize for: “Audience Favorite"
$500 cash prize for: “Dan Conaway Award” – Kids Connecting with Nature

Note: Cash prizes are paid via check. If wire transfer is preferred, additional fees will apply.

Rules & Terms:
Formats accepted for festival screening are as follows: Blu-ray and streaming files in most formats.
• Films that have been submitted for consideration in previous years are NOT eligible, even if the film has changed significantly since the last time is was submitted.
• Films submitted should focus on “igniting passion for nature through film.” Films containing overly political content are discouraged and may not be accepted.
• Entrant guarantees that third parties have no claim on the submitted films.

Each submission must include:
• An Online Screener.
• Completed entry form (signed and dated).
• Indication of the award category, or categories, in which entrants wish their film to compete. Filmmakers may enter a film in multiple categories, however NTFF reserves the right to ultimately assign placement in the appropriate single category for jury consideration.
• Student-produced work must include a copy of a current student ID, or evidence of work being completed while entrant was a student, with the application.
• Non-English language productions must be narrated or subtitled in English.
If accepted:
• Participants must provide a minimum of three (3) production stills from your film and a head shot for promotional use at high resolution (300 dpi and/or 1MB) suitable for print.
• Participants must provide a public screener by February 1, 2020, at the latest.
• Participants must confirm invitation to attend the Festival by February 15, 2020.
- Participant will be invited to participate in Q/A session after their film screens.
- Participant may be invited to participate in a panel discussion with other filmmakers.
• A self-addressed stamped envelope should be included with any correspondence requiring a reply.
June 1-August 30 Fees: $0
September 1-30 Fees: $10
The competitive films are judged by a jury of film industry professionals and nature experts. The jury will award the following prizes: Best in Festival Overall - Feature, Best in Festival Overall - Short, Igniting Passion for Nature Award, and the Dan Conaway Award. They will award Best in Festival Category (feature) and Best in Festival Category (short) Awards.
Entrant may provide a link to download film suitable for public screening.
Public screening prints of entries selected for exhibition must be shipped in a suitable pre-paid container. Entrant is responsible for shipping insurance.
Exhibition prints selected for screening at the NTFF will be returned at no charge to the entrant. Return shipments will be insured for $100. Other arrangements may be negotiated if necessary. Return of prints to owners will occur within two months after the NatureTrack Film Festival.
• I state that I am authorized to submit this film/video to the NatureTrack Film Festival (NTFF) for consideration and have read, understand, and agree to all entry requirements.
• I hereby release the NTFF from all liability resulting from its exhibition of my film/video.
• I agree that if my film is selected for exhibition at the NTFF, I will make it available for that purpose without requiring the payment of a screening fee.
• Participant shall not withdraw his/her film from the NTFF once the selection has been confirmed.
• All films selected will be screened only at official NTFF events. Any additional screenings outside the NTFF shall require a separate prior consent expressed by the producer or distributor.
• All preview copies will remain in the NTFF archives and will be exclusively used for NTFF promotional events and/or educational purposes.

Overall Rating
  • Cory Trepanier

    Great atmosphere, wonderful location, fun and passionate group of people and a great film festival sharing a timely message about the importance of nature to all. Congratulations to Sue and the team. Thank you for sharing my "Into the Arctic: Awakening" film, and allowing me to be your keynote dinner speaker. Look forward to coming back down from Canada at some point in the future!

    June 2019
  • Although I was sadly unable to attend, the festival organizers were excellent at communicating and well organized. I was thrilled that my film received an award, which was beautifully and thoughtfully crafted.

    April 2019
  • What a wonderful event. Sue and her team made this 2nd annual festival a well-oiled machine. Great location and hospitality. A well curated list of very interesting and topical films made this one of the most memorable festivals we have ever attended. The social events were well done and we met a lot if interesting new friends. The Festival team were extremely good with all communications - before, during and after the event. We were honored to be part of this great festival and hope to return next year.

    April 2019
  • Chris Smead

    A VERY well organized event! The staff were amazing and treated us like family. Everyone we met was so kind. We met lots of other great film makers and made some new friends. Such a beautiful area too! We are definitely looking forward to next year!

    April 2018