The SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival is a nonprofit 501(c)3 that serves as an accessible and inclusive platform for film artists, providing cinematic culture to a diverse audience. SAFILM showcases films from across the globe while nurturing, fostering, and developing filmmakers of all ages.

Highlighting the 2023 SAFILM - San Antonio Film Festival was the Texas Premiere of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe directed by Aitch Alberto - in attendance - who addressed the audience in a heartfelt Q&A session, moderated by Ernie Zuniga. Based on the book by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, the film is set in 1987 El Paso, Texas, and tells the tale of two teenage Mexican-American loners, as they explore their friendship and the difficult road to self-discovery - starring Max Pelayao, and Reese Gonzales, alongside Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) and native San Antonian, Kevin Alejandro (Lucifer, Fire Country). Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe opens nationwide on September 8th by Blue Fox Entertainment.

Academy Award Winning Editor: Paul Hirsch (Star Wars, Mission Impossible, Carrie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Footloose, Planes Trains & Automobiles) and author of A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away, joined SAFILM to discuss the power of film editing, while SAFILM Programming Director and Award-Winning Filmmaker Cedric Thomas Smith hosted from Script to Screen: Screenwriters Table Read to support writers and the stories we tell on film.

SAFILM is proud to be partnered with the City of San Antonio’s World Heritage Office, and UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy with the Food Film Festival programming films that celebrate the culinary arts. In 2017, the City of San Antonio was designated as a Creative City of Gastronomy by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), becoming the 2nd city in the United States to receive this designation. In 2019 SAFILM partnered with the World Heritage Office which manages the designation in the creation of its Food Film Festival event. We rekindled that partnership in 2022, and 2023 showcasing several local chefs and their food for audiences that reflected the cuisines, themes, and edible elements from films in the Food Film Festival category. This activation fulfills a promise the City of San Antonio made in its successful bid to be designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy and is also sanctioned as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy event.

Call for Entries for the 2024 SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival is NOW open for the 30th Anniversary celebration. For more info: www.safilm.com.

Since 1994 SAFILM attracts film lovers, and our audiences include the press, filmmakers, industry leaders, and die-hard fans. The San Antonio Film Festival sets up an amazing, creative innovative environment for just a few days every year where opportunities for one-on-one networking abound, connections are forged and filmmakers have a slew of unique opportunities to share ideas and advance their careers. As an accessible and inclusive platform for cinema artists, the San Antonio Film Festival also brings together scores of new and original films from across the country and around the world to delight, elevate and edify cinema lovers as well.

As a platform for filmmakers to express the full diversity of their cinematic voices, SAFILM provides aspiring and veteran filmmakers the opportunity to present their work in a competitive, energizing environment.

Every year, we also highlight independent films and filmmakers from around the world that help generate an even more inviting atmosphere for cultural exchange and continued creativity. We nurture, foster and develop filmmakers of all ages. Filmmakers of all ages from every corner of the globe participate every year.


SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival brings independent films and film industry professionals to San Antonio from across the nation and around the world, nurturing filmmakers of all ages and increasing appreciation of the arts through cinema for local audiences and guests in San Antonio. They work hard to capture the creative spark and sizzle of the Alamo City with screenings in downtown at the Tobin Center and spectacular after-parties in the heart of downtown San Antonio to offer a variety of experiences that showcase all the unique cultural offerings our city offers.

The film festival accepts films from artists at every level – and provides arenas for student competitions at high school and college levels to work from seasoned industry pros. Both aspiring and veteran filmmakers get to present their work in a friendly, competitive, and energizing environment.

A special feature of this film festival is the emphasis on education and mentoring. Free workshops to educate new filmmakers about how to succeed in the business, about acting, writing, directing, and marketing indies and practical information about legal issues and how to get funding are a huge part of SAFILM every year – and SAFILM finds qualified industry pros to share their wisdom. Festival panels cover past success stories, with script-to-screen advice. Because the staff is comprised of filmmakers themselves, SAFILM understands the importance of educating about all aspects of filmmaking.

Celebrities who believe in independent film abound at this Film Festival – offering unparalleled networking opportunities for all attendees. Numerous film industry professional producers, directors, writers, and actors attended

SAFILM including 2019 Honorees: Cheech Marin (Cheech & Chong), Cybill Shepherd (Taxi Driver, Moonlighting), Jackie Earle Haley (Bad News Bears, Little Children) and Kevin Alejandro (Lucifer, True Blood), plus Alex Wolff (Hereditary), C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders), Lisa Niemi Swayze, Disney Animator Davy Liu, Producer Marion Rosenberg (The Deer Hunter, Revolutionary Road) and Editor Anne Goursaud (Bram Stoker’s Dracula), just to name a few.

SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival is already accepting film submissions for all categories of the 2024 San Antonio Film Festival. Save money by submitting early through filmfreeway.com, where you can find the actual entry fees for each deadline:

August 7, 2023 Opening Date - call for entry
October 6, 2023 (Early Bird) $25 Entry Fee

December 8, 2023 (Regular) $35 Entry Fee
March 15, 2024 (Late Deadline) $75 Entry Fee

April 26, 2024 (Extended Late Deadline) $90 Entry Fee, Call Ends
May 1–July 1, 2024 Film’s Curated
July 6, 2024 Filmmakers Notified

Be part of the 2024 SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival and take advantage of one of the most accessible and inclusive platforms for cinema artists in the seventh-largest city in the U.S.

Get your work of art noticed by high-profile media and showcased to diverse audiences and industry pros from around the world and network with today’s best artists and the next generation of cinema pros. For more information, visit www.SAFILM.com.

INSIDE INFO FOR OUR READERS: SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival is a volunteer-powered nonprofit and cannot offer waivers for entry fees.

Those who attend and filmmakers who get the chance to screen their films at SAFILM enjoy SOLD OUT SCREENINGS, SPONSORED AFTER-PARTIES, and STRONG COMMUNITY SUPPORT because the San Antonio Film Festival is still grassroots -- but recognized as the place to find the newest talent.

Remember the San Antonio Film Festival is an affordable film festival - SAFILM works with the top local hotels for special rates for our guests so that attendees can take advantage of DISCOUNTED FESTIVAL HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS within walking distance of our busiest venues.


Join us in San Antonio this AUGUST for the most memorable summer with 2024 SAFILM!


1) FEATURE screenplays must be between 65 and 145 pages in length. No exceptions.

2) SHORT screenplays must be between 1 and 49 pages in length. ..No exceptions.

There is no limit to the number of different screenplays you may submit.

Please note:

All entries must be uploaded in PDF format. Substitutions of corrected pages or (gasp!) new drafts of the entry screenplay will not be accepted under any circumstances. Screenplay titles cannot be changed once submitted.


Submitted scripts must be original screenplays and the sole property of the applicant(s). All ages are eligible. All entries must be in English. Screenplays that have previously won any contest, competition, grant, lab, fellowship, mentorship, reading, or award of any kind, are not eligible. Screenplays submitted under a pen name will be immediately disqualified. If a submitted screenplay becomes optioned, produced, or purchased between the time of submission and the end of the judging period, that screenplay will no longer be eligible. SAFILM- San Antonio Film Festival Screenplay/Teleplay Competition judges and readers are not eligible to enter.

The San Antonio Film Festival will give 19 FILM awards this year.

1. Grand Prize 

2. Jury Prize for Best Performance 

3. Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short 

4. Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short

5. Jury Prize for best Historical Documentary 

6. Jury Prize for Best Animated Short

7. Jury Prize for Best MUSIC VIDEO 

8. Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature

9. Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature

10. Best College Filmmaker 

11. Best High School Filmmaker 

12. Best San Antonio Filmmaker 

13. Best San Antonio High School Filmmaker 

14. Best Actress in a Leading Role

15. Best Children’s Film
16. Best Food Film
17. Best Short Script
18. Best Screenplay
19. Lifetime Achievement Award


Each applicant will receive an e-mail notifying them of the writing competition results.

SCRIPT Competition Results Announcement Schedule:
Semi-Finalists will be announced the weekend of July 6, 2024.

The FEATURE screenplay Winner & The SHORT screenplay Winner will be announced at the SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival Awards ceremony (August 4, 2024).


Accepted FILM entries will be announced via the website www.safilm.com by weekend of July 6, 2024. ***As the review process is quite extensive, please do not call our office regarding the status.

Are fee waivers available for students and struggling artists? No. Unfortunately, we cannot offer fee waivers.

When you submit your film to San Antonio Film Festival, you agree to the following statement and SAFILM terms and conditions:

I represent and warrant that the materials represented as examples of my work are original with me, that I am the sole owner and author of the materials, and that I have the exclusive right and authority to submit the materials to SAFILM - San Antonio Film Festival upon the terms and conditions set forth herein and to grant all rights in and to the materials. In the event of an award shared by two people (ie director) then if a second award is requested then the second award must be ordered through safilm.com (Duplicate Award Order Form). Furthermore, I represent that I have the right to submit the materials in which I collaborated as defined in my application.

I have retained at least one copy of the materials, and I understand that the materials and sample works submitted WILL NOT BE RETURNED. I hereby release SAFILM - San Antonio Film Festival of and from any and all liability and responsibility for loss of, damage to, preservation, or return of the copy submitted to SAFILM - San Antonio Film Festival here under.

• More than one entry may be submitted. The official submission form and entry fee must accompany each entry.

• If your film is selected, you will be asked to provide stills from the film; press materials; headshot and filmography of the director; video trailer link. Please do not send in press materials until asked to do so by the festival.

• All film entries selected for the Festival grant SAFILM the rights to use footage, stills, and/or titles and information from the film for promotional purposes.

• All films submitted must be free from any legal disputes and the filmmaker must have cleared all rights for music and exhibition. I am the owner of this said entry and/or I grant permission to submit and/or screen this entry to SAFILM - San Antonio Film Festival. I grant permission to use clips of my film if accepted, for promotional purposes of SAFILM - San Antonio Film Festival. This is not a contract for distribution. All entries will be considered and judged by professionals. I have read, understand, and will comply with the guidelines of the festival. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless SAFILM - San Antonio Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.


Does the writer maintain rights to the screenplay?
 Yes, all screenwriters who submit to the SAFILM-San Antonio Screenplay Competition maintain the rights to their works.
 Can anyone have access to the screenplay once submitted?
No, submitted screenplays are only accessible to the reader assigned to that specific screenplay and our staff. We do not own the rights to the submitted screenplays, so we do not distribute them publicly in any way.
Does my script have to be registered? No, however, we do recommend registering your work with the WGA and/or the Library of Congress Copyright Office.


Do you accept adapted screenplays? 
Yes, we accept and welcome adapted screenplays. However, screenwriters who wish to submit an adapted screenplay must possess all rights to the source material or use source material in the public domain.
 My screenplay is based off of a work in the public domain, may I still enter it in your competition?
Yes, we allow screenplays adapted from works in the public domain. 
NOTE: All screenplays must be original works and the sole property of the applicant(s). Scripts containing fictional characters, settings, or other aspects gleaned from another author’s work are ineligible for our competition.

Must I provide documentation that I own all the rights to the source material?
 We reserve the right to ask for verification that you own all the rights to the source material of an adapted work. Failure to provide verification if requested will result in the screenplay becoming ineligible for our competition.
 Can I base my screenplay on historical events? Can my screenplay be based on a true story? 

Can one writer submit multiple scripts to the competition?
 Yes, writers may submit as many different scripts as they'd like. 
Can I submit both a feature-length script and a short script? 
Yes, writers may submit to both categories.
 Can I submit two versions of the same screenplay as two separate entries?
 No. We will only accept one version of the script as a regular submission

*The San Antonio Film Festival reserves the right to switch screening rooms for films, (this is to ensure available seating for attendees).

**Award winners not in attendance for the award ceremony can purchase the trophy through the award order form which is available via the website www.safilm.com.

Do you allow screenplays with multiple authors?
 Yes, we allow screenplays with more than one author.
Can I submit a script that has previously been optioned? 
No. If a submitted screenplay is optioned, produced, or purchased at any point before the end of the judging period, that screenplay is ineligible for our competition.

PEN NAMES are a no-no ... 
Can I submit a screenplay under a pen name? 
No, we do not accept pen names.
 If I were to win the competition and do not want my real name publicized to protect my privacy, can I request that SAFILM use only my pen name in association with any publicizing of my winning script? 
If your screenplay advances in the competition and appears published on our site, you may inform us of the name you would like to use. However, we stress that for our application process, we do not allow pen names under any circumstances – all screenwriters must use their legal name on all submitted materials and applications.


Do you have to be over the age of 18 to submit a screenplay? No, writers of all ages are encouraged to enter our competition.
I am under the age of 18. Can I submit my screenplay to the competition for free? 
No, all entrants must pay the entry fees for their screenplays.
 Can beginners join the competition or is this just for experienced writers? We welcome submissions from screenwriters at all levels of experience – from beginner to veteran. Whether this is your first screenplay or your fifty-first, we look forward to reading your work.

To submit your film for consideration to SAFILM - San Antonio Film Festival, please follow the instructions below:
• Complete the FilmFreeway Submission Form (the “Submission Form”): https://www.FilmFreeway.com

• Successfully pay the submission fee.


I. To be eligible for consideration, all films must be available in one of the following theatrical presentation formats if selected to be screened at the Festival: DIGITAL COPY. ONLY NTSC is accepted and there is no recommendation or restriction on frame rate.

II. Films must not have been previously screened in San Antonio, Texas, or available on the Internet prior to JULY, 2024.

III. Films must be in their original language with English subtitles if the original language is not English.

For programming consideration, SAFILM accepts Online Screeners submitted via FilmFreeway.

The Festival programming team selects and schedules all films presented at SAFILM - San Antonio Film Festival. Filmmakers selected to participate will be notified during the weekend of July 6, 2024.

For more information regarding SAFILM - San Antonio Film Festival, please visit safilm.com, contact Film Submissions by phone at 210-885-5888, or email us at safilm@gmail.com


ADAM ROCHA (Festival Director), Jennifer Petrini (Managing Director), Cedric Smith (Programing Director), Lennon Maldonado (Film Programmer), Roberto Soto (Development Director), Aidan Villareal (Conference Coordinator), Teghan McCartan (Production Coordinator), Zandrea Evans (Operations Coordinator), Josh Collins (Technical Manager), Olivia Lunsford (Hospitality Liaison) Jennifer Petrini (Social Media Director), and Maddox Stockton (Social Media Coordinator).

Mailing Address:
SAFILM - San Antonio Film Festival
8452 Fredericksburg Rd., PMB #264
San Antonio, Texas 78229


Feature Length Films

The San Antonio Film Festival is looking for narrative, animation, documentary, or experimental feature films and accepts feature-length submissions more than 40 minutes in length for consideration for inclusion in our 2024 program.

Short Films

The San Antonio Film Festival is looking for narrative, animation, documentary, or experimental feature films and accepts short film submissions less than 40 minutes in length for consideration for inclusion in our 2024 short film program.

College Films

San Antonio Film Festival seeks narrative, animation, documentary, or experimental features or shorts made by College Students.

High School Films

Films made by high school students.

Films made in San Antonio

San Antonio Film Festival seeks films made in Bexar County.

Overall Rating
  • Michael W. Roth

    What a great time! Honored to be a part of it!

    August 2023
  • Eric Bomba-Ire

    Although I was unable to attend the festival at the last very minute due to family emergency. The organizers communicated with me and showed a lot hospitality prior to the festival. I am sure I missed a well organized looking forward to years to come.

    August 2023
  • My plans to attend this amazing festival fell through however I cannot say enough about their detailed communication, organization and attentiveness to questions. It was an honor for our film, BY MY SIDE, to to be selected. Thank you SAFILM.

    August 2023
  • Hal LaCroix

    I am very pleased to be an Award Winner for my screenplay Grynszpan/Thompson. (Alas, I wasn't able to attend the festival.) Herschel Grynszpan and Dorothy Thompson fought bravely against fascism in the 1930s. Their stories, like many others from that tumultuous era, are just waiting to be told on the big screen.

    August 2023
  • We were honored to be selected by this wonderful festival. It is held in a beautiful city and everyone was extremely welcoming! I had the chance to meet many great filmmakers and make many new friends. The films are first rate and the Tobin Center and Radius Center are wonderful venues. Definitely worth attending in person!

    August 2023