Welcome! The Rita House Film Festival, Los Angeles (RHFFLA) is a monthly short film screening series hosted at Rita House, a historic hybrid space for coworking, events, and filming located in West Hollywood/ Park La Brea. Our festival namesake Rita Riggs, an award winning costume designer, worked out of this very building with film legends such as Norman Lear and Alfred Hitchcock. Founding partners, architects Tash Rahbar and Scott Strumwasser, created and named Rita House in 2017 to honor Rita’s legacy. Now, we’re bringing the cinema back home, to Rita House, a vibrant community of artists and creators.

Our mission is to present thought-provoking and compelling shorts from filmmakers of all backgrounds and experience levels, in any genre, from across the planet. We seek to expose great work to great audiences and get conversations started. Film submissions are accepted year-round and programming is built as the work comes in.

Each screening runs roughly 90 minutes, showcasing 9-12 films (with each short running between 10 and 25 minutes) plus an intermission and Q&A. Filmmakers as well as cast and crew are encouraged to attend and participate in the Q&A.

All submissions will be notified of the selection status via Film Freeway /direct email.

Accepted submissions will receive a festival laurel and are eligible for the "Audience Choice" award, which goes to the top two vote-getters in each session. Audience Choice Award recipients will receive a separate unique laurel.

Rita House is a multi-use coworking, event and filming space for multi-hyphenate people to work and make passions come into being. Originally built in 1926 as a Prop Design Studio for film and television, the Spanish Colonial style building then became a violin factory producing thousands of violins and violas for schools throughout the country. In 1967, Award Winning Costume Designer Rita Riggs purchased the building using the top floor as her studio and created a creative coworking space on the other two floors. Rita passed the building to Tash Rahbar and Scott Strumwasser, who had been operating their film there for over thirty years. After restoring and transforming the nearly 100 year old building they created the sanctuary for creative exploration and pursuit it is today in Rita's honor. Learn more: www.ritahouse.com

Festival Director Matthew Dunehoo previously ran The First Friday Film Festival, Kansas City, a monthly screening series occurring on the first Friday of the month at a theater in downtown KCMO during the open gallery walks for five years. Dunehoo is also Writer, Director, Producer and Podcast Host. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm4087192/

A note about the neighborhood: Park Labrea/West Hollywood is at the cultural and geographical heart of the Los Angeles region, surrounded by must-see hotspots in every direction.


RHFFLA is a monthly film festival. Though FilmFreeway does not have a specific system in place for recurring festivals yet, the submission procedure is pretty straightforward. Submit your film to us anytime for consideration, regardless of premiere status, year of completion, budget. All submissions will be notified of the judging status via email. Accepted submissions will receive a festival laurel and are eligible for the "Audience Choice" award, which goes to the top two vote-getters in each session.

Fee Waiver: Our submission fee covers production expenses but we don't want it to inhibit your submitting. If you are a filmmaker facing financial hardship but you feel it's important to submit your work, please get in touch. We will consider granting a fee waiver.

Thanks, and we look forward to reviewing your submissions!

AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS - Two laurels awarded monthly for the top two vote-getting films as recorded by the audience.

RHFFLA Submission Guidelines
*Please carefully read these guidelines before filling out the entry form.

A) Guidelines
1 – Competition open to anyone wishing to enter.
2 – Films are limited to 25 minutes or less. (DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILMS MUST BE 10 MINUTES OR UNDER FOR CONSIDERATION)
3 – Multiple submissions are allowed, each submission accompanied by the $30 (USD) entry fee.
4 – There are no date-of-completion or budget restrictions.
5 – Foreign language films must be subtitled in English for festival exhibition.
6 – All films must be submitted through FilmFreeway. No mail applications please.
7 – Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authorization to submit the entry into the festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry.
8 – Entrant permits usage of clips from the entry for promotional use on television, radio, in print and at live Festival events.
9- There are NO PREMIERE STATUS RESTRICTIONS. Your work may have premiered anywhere at anytime before the your screening with us.

B) Notifications
1 – All entrants will be notified by email when their film or video has been received.
2 – For publication purposes, entries selected will be required to supply three high-resolution stills from the film and at least one high-resolution photograph of the film’s director. Publicity and press materials will not be returned and become property of the film festival. RHFFLA has permission to use excerpts from any accepted film for promotional purposes.
3 – If accepted, entrants will be notified by email one month prior to their dedicated screening session. The filmmaker will need to provide a downloadable .mov or mp4 via a Google Drive or downloadable Vimeo link.

C) Entry Fees
1 – Submission Fee is $30 (USD) per entry.

D) Returns
1 – As we only accept digital files there are no guidelines on returns.

E) Categories and Awards
1 – RHFFLA reserves the right and has discretion to change submission category for an entry.
2 – RHFFLA will be juried and competitive. Payment of the entry fee does not guarantee a screening.

F) Travel and Accommodations
1 – Travel and accommodation expenses for attending filmmakers are the sole responsibility of the entrant.

G) Festival Dates, Locations, and Times*
Screenings take place on the first Thursday of every month barring any necessary blackout dates which come up due to venue availability conflict.
*Subject to change.

Festival Screening Sessions with Q&A discussion will run from 7:30pm-9:30pm PST including an intermission and concluding with a Q&A session.

Venue Location:
Rita House
5971 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Free Parking in front of the building on West 3rd

Questions/Inquiries? Please e-mail us: mdunehoo@gmail.com
We look forward to reviewing your submissions, thank you!

Overall Rating
  • Always a great mini fest to get into! Always meet good people and an opportunity to get your film out there in the publics eye a bit more.

    February 2021
  • Gabriel Angulo

    Great Festival! Thanks for the Opportunity!

    January 2021
  • This festival is very professional and the communication is open. Thank you.

    January 2021
  • Ji ber ku we kurte filmè min hilbijart ez gelek keyfxweş bum û sipasiya we dikim.

    November 2020
  • The festival is great! They are to be congratulated! Very attentive and answered me quickly.
    Thanks for everything!

    November 2020