Thank you for considering our festival for your film!

We are looking for the best features, shorts, docs and animation we can find to present in San Francisco. For 26 years SF IndieFest has developed a great reputation for eclectic, adventurous programming, getting great press for our films and filling theaters with enthusiastic film fans. Dozens of festivals and distributors have requested and received industry accreditation to view SF IndieFest titles at our festivals over the years.

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“I’m certainly happy that IndieFest exists, because it is a celebration of films that don’t necessarily get distributed widely,” HITS director David Cross says, “I’m happy to be a part of it with my film, which is very much in the category of a low-budget, little indie movie. I’m glad there’s a place for it.” – SF Chronicle

“Sundance may have sold out, but SF IndieFest keeps it real” – Annie Lo, Flavorpill

“While the Bay Area is flush with festivals, this one remains an under-the-radar standout.” – Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News

“The San Francisco Independent Film Festival, the Bay Area’s version of Slamdance, provides a showcase for edgy cinematic work — and a great excuse to do some serious partying.” – David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle

"The movie business is in a perennial state of constant tension between ambition and collaboration, joyful inventiveness and jaw-dropping paydays. This roiling undercurrent, usually invisible to the public, gushes to the surface in the run-up to the Academy Awards ceremony. There is an antidote, however, to Hollywood’s annual backslapathon: SF IndieFest. The San Francisco Independent Film Festival is a beacon to anybody excited by the basic impulse of making movies. In its heart of hearts, IndieFest is a celebration of the minor miracle of finishing a film and getting it up on a screen in front of a live audience." - Michael Fox, KQED

“For many independent filmmakers, festivals such as SF Indiefest—aka the San Francisco Independent Film Festival–are the only way to bring their works before an audience. For filmgoers, SF Indiefest is the place to see original cinematic works created by directors who want to tell edgy stories which come from their hearts and souls. While some have bemoaned the death of cinema, the curators and filmmakers at SF Indiefest are keeping the craft of film alive.” – David Elijah Nahmod, SF SOUNDS

“SF IndieFest is the one festival of the year where you should throw a dart at the program and take a chance. Not because you’re guaranteed a masterpiece, but because it’s the best fest to see something that would never, ever breach your filter otherwise.” -Michael Fox, KQED

Our SCREENPLAY COMPETITION can be found here:

Press Coverage for past year's festivals:


"Hey Jeff: Just want to shoot you a quick note of thanks on hosting us at IndieFest and giving us our World Premiere. We had a great time and really enjoyed our time at the fest and in SF; it's a great vibe and the diversity of features and shorts in the program made for a really exciting and energized atmosphere. "- Max Gardner, Go/Don't Go

"Festivals bring unexpected benefits. Festivals are essential for brand creation. Premiering at Tribeca was enough to convince people to at least listen to me, but surprisingly it was the San Francisco Indie Fest that was just as crucial for our theatrical release. Our press from this festival helped convince the Red Vic to book us in April (I thank the amazing S.F. publicist Karen Larsen for convincing me of this in advance). We also incorporated festivals into our broader theatrical release, and while we did not claim them as cities in our 17-city count, they helped give us something to crow about."

"I've got to tell you that Indiefest was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I tell all filmmakers - and festival organizer friends of mine - how you run your fest and how you run each film twice. Every single time people look at me with shocked disbelief. Truly, Bonnie and I loved being a part of the event.
Thanks again for including us. SF Indiefest really made me feel that making YEAR was worth the whole effort.

"We LOVED San Francisco, meeting other filmmakers, seeing their films, participating in your screenplay panel and of course our awesome sold-out screening. You have one of the most engaged, passionate cinephile audiences I’ve ever seen at a film fest — they were incredible." - Warren Sonoda, THINGS I DO FOR MONEY, IndieFest 2020

"You have a great and engaging festival and one that draws on extremely passionate indie film audiences you are rabid for amazing content for which you definitely provide in bunches! You support of us and our film is greatly appreciated and we hope we are privileged To be welcomed back again in the future!" - Avi F.

"Thanks for these amazing photos (kudos on composition, lighting, and hyping up the crowd - what a great gift to filmmakers!). A million thanks to you both for pulling off an amazing event. We love the ethos of SF IndieFest and we're so honored to have participated. Thanks for your dedication to uplifting local filmmakers and for putting our all-female team (and our unexpected and important story) in the spotlight. Looking forward to seeing and working with you both again in the future!!" - Leslie Tai, How To Have An American Baby

"Thank you for a wonderful experience. The festival was a blast, the people so kind, the films inspiring, and great vibes all around. I'll be back to catch more films in the coming days." - Kerry Muir, Madame

"Thank you so much for having us and all that you and SF IndieFest do to champion independent film." - Anna Moot-Levin, Matter of Mind

"Thank you all for such a fun festival! You all really did a wonderful job all around and we were honored and grateful to be a part of it!" - Liz McBee, Finding Lucinda

SF IndieFest is a founding member of the FILM FESTIVAL ALLIANCE

Films: Audience Awards, Jury Prizes

Screenplays: Finalists and Semi-Finalist prizes for both shorts and features
Submit a screenplay here:

Best Feature and Best Short Screenplay Winners and Finalists
Winners receive a Delegate Badge to the Festival, recognition at the festival's Screenwriter Panel/Reception/Live Read, print and media coverage; name inclusion in Festival program materials as a competition finalist.

Any feature or short completed after January 1, 2023 is eligible for consideration. We have no premiere requirements.

Screenplays in every genre, budget, and theme are invited to compete.
Submit a screenplay here:

LEGAL STUFF: Submitters understand that submission of their work authorizes the Festival to use the work for exhibition, education and/or publicity purposes related to the festival; that the Festival will handle the prints and drives with a maximum of care but cannot be held liable for any damage or loss during shipping, preview, or screening; and that the Festival is also not responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, or royalty infringement related to the work. Submitters may receive future correspondence from the Festival. The festival will never publish your film online under any circumstances.

Overall Rating
  • Jacob Seigel-Boettner

    We have screened several of our short docs at SF IndieFest over the last few years, and have been continually impressed by the thought and quality that goes into their programming. They really value filmmaker participation, and put together great Q&As that give you a chance to engage with both fellow filmmakers and always-thoughtful audiences. A true supporter of independent film!

    April 2024
  • Our last two documentaries have premiered at SF Indie Fest, and this festival has become a favorite festival to participate in. As local filmmakers with long histories in San Francisco, it has been a great honor to receive the recognition from SF Indie Fest and screen in the Roxie Theater which is an incredibly fulfilling experience!

    Chris Metzler and Jeff Ross who run this festival are helpful and interactive. They truly know how to support independent filmmakers and run this festival without a hitch. We also received the best press from SF Indie Fest hands down over any other festival we attended. If you want to have a rich San Francisco screening experience, we highly recommend applying to SF Indie Fest. - Co-Directors, Adriana Marchione and Kirk Goldberg

    April 2024
  • SF IndieFest was a great time. The opening night screening of Fight Club to a packed house was so much fun. We saw some amazing indie films and met some other wonderful filmmakers. The Roxie's a cool theatre, the city's amazing, can't miss. It was an honour to be part of the 2024 programming!

    April 2024
  • Kanako Fujita

    It was a very inclusive and friendly film festival. Thank you very much for selecting us!!

    April 2024
  • Anna Moot-Levin

    Our team loves SF IndieFest and had such a great experience with our film’s world premiere in February 2024! The programmers really care and give their all to support independent filmmaking. We found the program thoughtfully curated and the filmmaker experience truly wonderful. We had a fantastic turnout for our screening and couldn’t have been happier! Thanks to Chris, Jeff and the team for all their work putting this filmmaker favorite fest together!

    April 2024