COVID-19 Update

The current pandemic has changed how many things are done, including film festivals. The Seattle True Independent Film Festival for 2020 will continue on but with a different structure. This year, STIFF will consist of an array of different presentation formats including online screening, small pop up theaters, on demand personal kiosks, and conventional screening as part of a season wrap up event when it is again safe for large gatherings.

Please check out and our social media for the latest information.


Submissions are now open for STIFF 2020! Submit your film early for the lowest rates and to qualify for early acceptance!

What is STIFF?
The Seattle True Independent Film Festival is a filmmaker-focused festival dedicated to finding today's emerging independent storytellers and helping them develop into the filmmaker that they want to become.

Where is STIFF?
The festival will be held at the Seattle Film Institute just north of the downtown Seattle core.

Why is STIFF?
In 2005, the Seattle True Independent Film Festival was started by a group of local filmmakers as a way to showcase independent films which were typically ignored by traditional "independent" film channels.

What types of submissions are you looking for?
The categories listed on this page indicate the genres we typically build film blocks around, but we are always open to screening quality content, even if it defies easy categorization. Feel free to submit anything you feel strongly that we should look at. If your submission can fit into more than one category, pick the one that you think it best represents and we will make sure that it is placed in an appropriate block if accepted.

What about emerging media projects?
After its first ten years of existence, STIFF began to incorporate projects such as virtual reality, augmented reality, video games, and other alternative media. In 2020, STIFF will return to its roots as a film-only festival. The proper presentation of both film and emerging media projects are equally demanding, and they have vastly different requirements and skill sets to present. In order to make sure that each is given the attention it needs, we have split them into two separate events. We will distribute more information about the emerging media festival as it becomes available, so be sure to follow us on social media and sign up for our newsletter.

How much does it cost to submit to STIFF?
The submission fees vary depending on the type of project. Please see the prices in the category listing on this page. The earlier you submit, the lower the submission fee, so make sure to enter your film before the next deadline passes. Submitting a film entitles you to a filmmaker festival pass, allowing you into any screening on a space available basis. We periodically run specials which discount the price of submission so keep an eye on your social media and newsletters.

If I don't get into the festival, can you tell me why?
As filmmakers ourselves, we understand the value of feedback. Please send an email to after the festival is over and we will be happy to provide feedback from our screening team.

STIFF is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless STIFF 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.

Overall Rating
  • I loved the STIFF. I am so grateful that my film was selected for screening. I will definitely submit my future projects and hope for another screening.

    January 2020

    One of Baobab's explorations in Film as a medium is examining the liminality and relationship between live performance and film media and so we were obviously thrilled to be finalists in the Extreme Cinema category at this year’s S.T.I.F.F festival in Seattle. The eclectic programme of diverse and progressive filmmakers was wonderful to be a part of. The S.T.I.F.F team are friendly and responsive with a passion and a clear vision for what they want to achieve in promoting artists from around the world.

    September 2019
  • Excellent communication; personalized laurel banners... as my producer pointed out, you can tell a lot about a festival's integrity when they go that extra mile for their filmmaker submitters.
    I look forward to submitting to them again...

    August 2019
  • susana weingarten

    I am sure the hospitality would have had been excellent if I would have attended, unfortunately could not, however communication was excellent . My best to all and each person in the organisation.

    August 2019
  • Friendly, quirky and kind, this festival felt like home.

    August 2019