For 25 years San Francisco IndieFest has presented the best new independent films from around the world live in theater to thousands of San Francisco film fans and as of a few years ago, we now have an annual program of all short films: short shorts, long shorts, cool shorts, comedy shorts, weird shorts, music shorts, documentary shorts, experimental shorts, genre shorts, student shorts.

Not only do we love shorts programs, but our long standing loyal audience in San Francisco REALLY loves shorts. The shorts programs at SF IndieFest, SF DocFest and Another Hole in the Head are consistently some of our best attended programs so we created a festival to showcase the best short films we can find. AND the best rated film in the festival, as decided by the audience, will win a $500 cash prize.

SF IndieShorts Film Fest is consistently listed in FilmFreeway's Top 100. Please check out our filmmaker reviews!

SF IndieFest is a founding member of the FILM FESTIVAL ALLIANCE.

Best US Narrative
Best Foreign Narrative
Best Local Narrative
Best US Documentary
Best Foreign Documentary
Best Local Documentary
Best US Comedy
Best Foreign Comedy
Best Local Comedy
Best US Drama
Best Foreign Drama
Best Local Drama
Best Music Video
Best Dance Film
Best Genre Film
Best Animation
Best Experimental Film
Best Single Take Film
Jury Prize for Best Narrative
Jury Prize for Best Documentary

Any short film under 30 minutes and no more than 18 months old is eligible for consideration.

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
  • DEFINITELY NOT WORTH THE ENTRY FEE! My film won and I was asked to write a review, so I will quote my full email correspondence with the founder of the festival.

    Hello, dear Jeff Ross! This is Arti Savchenko (director of 'Vlada goes to London'). Thank you for this wonderful news! I'm happy to win and to be a part of your history! I wanted to ask a question. If one line (out of 21) on your list of winners is my only reward? No trophy? No certificate? No laurels that relate to my category? I want to declare victory, but there is nothing to present. Best regards, Arti.

    Full answer from Jeff Ross:
    Well, you are welcome to make yourself some award laurels if you'd like....

    December 2022
    Response from festival:

    Hi Arti, Thank you for taking the time to share a review. Yes, it is true that we do not create trophies to send out to winners. You are the first filmmaker out of the maybe 5000 films we have shown over the last 25 years to find this objectionable, but that's ok. We are a bit of a DIY festival and so many people make laurels for themselves all the time, I did not think that reply would be so wrong but I see you were expecting more from us. My apologies.

  • Kate Weare

    The SF Short Film Festival was a fantastic experience in so many ways, but especially at communications and in providing means for filmmakers to connect with each other. Even though we weren’t able to attend the festival screenings in person, we were so happy to be involved in email & online discussions with other filmmakers facilitated by the festival and felt very connected to this festival and its participants. Thank you SF Short Film Festival for your intelligence and caring curation. This was truly a special festival, and we will definitely be applying again!

    November 2022
  • John Carter

    5 Star experience across the board! This was our crew's first year with SFSFF and we could not have been made to feel more welcome or right at home. Jeff and Jason are the real deal and we HIGHLY recommend this festival to anyone considering submitting. Just a blast all around. We greatly look forward to our next opportunity to submit. Thanks again!!!

    October 2022
  • Great festival and wonderfully organized! I really enjoyed being a part of San Francisco Short Film Festival! What an honor!

    October 2022
  • Obadiah Baker

    Thank you for the beautiful experience of connecting with filmmakers across America and featuring our documentary film, Inside Out.

    October 2022