Be part of a festival that is changing urban planning, making it more engaging, accessible, and equitable. The SF Urban Film Fest is for anyone with a story to tell about the issues in a city: from where and whether people have a place to sleep, to the quality of the air they breathe, to the identities they form and the empowerment they seek.

The SF Urban Film Fest is part of a growing movement in the urban planning community that is leveraging the power of storytelling to create just and equitable cities. The core of our work takes place in the overlapping spheres of narrative, spatial, and social justice. SFUFF sparks discussion and civic engagement around urban issues, framing important policy decisions with our themes. We draw a large audience from the Bay Area and beyond, and our post-screening panel discussions include activists, urban planners, academics, artists, and students. SF Urban Film Fest collaborates with cultural, academic, grass-roots, and civic organizations including the Roxie Theater, SPUR, the University of San Francisco, SFMOMA, Tenderloin Museum, BAVC Media, Young Community Developers in the Bayview, SOMA Pilipinas Cultural Heritage District, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

We are seeking submissions for captivating and thoughtful short films (<30 min) and feature films (<90 min) that address urban issues. Documentaries constitute approximately 75% of our programming, but we are open to any format or genre so long as it addresses urban issues in the broad categories listed below. While these are just a starting point and not definitive, please select an area that best fits your film; specifying this will increase the chances that your film will be selected.

- Housing
- Public Health
- Transportation / Mobility
- Economics / Community Development
- Equity / Social Justice
- Environment / Climate Change
- Culture / Community Identity
- Politics / Governance
- Design for Disability Justice

We aim to amplify voices that are often unheard and encourage filmmakers with diverse identities, backgrounds, and experiences to submit.

Pending public health directives, we expect most programs will be in-person this season. So please don’t forget to join us at our festival in San Francisco, CA April 15th-21st, 2024!

- Films are viewed and rated by at least 2 members of our volunteer programming committee, which is made up of urban planners, filmmakers, community activists, and scholars.
- Films will only be reviewed if we are provided with a full-length version, and the film is applicable to our stated themes.
- Films are judged on quality, unique perspective, and most importantly their fit in our program themes.
- Decisions are final and feedback for submissions is not currently available.

-We are seeking short films, with a maximum length of 30 minutes, and feature length films, with a maximum length of 90 minutes. If you would like to appeal to submit a film with a longer running time, contact
- Submissions should be made available digitally in one of the following formats: MOV, H264, QT, WMV, MP4. If these formats are not available, please submit a link to the film on Vimeo or YouTube with any applicable passwords. DVD and VHS copies will NOT be accepted.
- We have no limits on the year of completion.
- Entrant confirms they have required legal authority to submit and to use all the music, images, and content of the entry.
- Festival reserves the right to utilize publicity materials (stills, descriptions, posters) of accepted films in promoting the festival.

2024 SUBMISSION FEE: $15 per film
We strive to keep our festival submission process as accessible as possible by charging a low submission fee. However, if the $15 fee presents a financial hardship and you would like to request a fee waiver, please email

Overall Rating
  • Truly was a privilege to be apart of this festival. I will be coming back again. Loved it.

    March 2023
  • spencer i. wilkinson

    SF Urban Film Fest created an incredible experience for our panelists and for the film. They met with us several times in advance to curate a unique event and even though it was virtual, the presentation was seamless and engaging. Loved the whole team and honored to be part of it!

    March 2021
  • Ryan Stopera

    One of the most intentional, mission driven, and well organized festivals I've been a part of. I really appreciate the team's communication, engagement with community, and overall message of social change. If you share stories rooted in community then I highly recommend submitting your film to SF Urban Film Fest.

    February 2021