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
  • They did nothing for festival, completely nothing. Not even laurals. Website was taken down.

    January 2021
  • Steven Hasse

    Was not able to attend sadly but I am so grateful my film was selected and they were very good at keeping me updated on what was goin g on

    January 2021
  • 도회 박

    best festival in the world!!

    January 2021
  • Ruth Murai

    Was so excited my film was chosen for STIFF and I was super prompt in providing any information they asked for, but I never heard from them after initially being accepted and then being told the festival would be postponed only slightly. But that was many months ago and I feel sad that I paid fees for submission and never was contacted again. Would totally be understanding if it was postponed many months or even a year, but STIFF made specific promises they were unable to keep and didn’t even communicate about it.

    January 2021
  • Scott Milam

    Nothing true about it. Did it ever happen? I get how covid changed everything for everyone. But after my short film was accepted I never heard from them. Claiming they were figuring out a virtual version of their fest, it never happened. They still took my money. And never followed up with me on the status. Completely unprofessional. Very disappointed in what was in the past an awesome festival. Other fests successfully had virtual fests, so there's not really much of an excuse here. I hope they do better next time.

    January 2021