San Diego Art Film Festival is passionate about arthouse filmmaking, indie artists and aims to promote and recognize art film projects of all genres in various sections of the festival.

Every online edition, the committee of the festival recognizes and promotes independent artists working in media. Film critics and film studies scholars typically define an art film as possessing "formal qualities that mark them as different from mainstream Hollywood films".

These art film cinematic qualities can include (among other elements): a sense of social realism; an emphasis on the authorial expressiveness of the director; and a focus on the thoughts, dreams, or motivations of characters, as opposed to the unfolding of a clear, goal-driven story.

Film scholar David Bordwell describes art cinema as "a film genre, with its own distinct conventions". We are dedicated to art cinema and seek to promote art film projects and artists with U.S. and international projects. The festival is a firm believer in indie filmmaking's potential.

Artists and film projects are encouraged to submit their work to our committee.

Best Narrative Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary short
Best Experimental
Best Animation
Best Science Fiction
Best Horror
Best Director
Best Producer
Best Cinematography
Best Editor
Best Actress
Best Actor
Best Script
Best Unproduced script
Best TV Series/Pilot/Web
Best Comedy
Best Student Film
Best Music Video
Best Thriller
Best Trailer
Best Composer
Best First Time short Filmmaker
Best First Time feature Filmmaker
Best Female Filmmaker
Best Independent feature Film
Best Independent short Film
Best feature Film Director
Best short Film Director

All genres and nationalities are welcome to participate.

To submit, you must own the rights or have permission from the owner.

To be eligible, films must have been completed after 2018.

Any non-English language foreign film must include English subtitles.

Overall Rating
  • Karinthal McCray

    I humbly appreciate the San Diego Art Film Fest for the Official Selection for my script "The Warden's List."

    April 2023
  • Thank you to the festival for the award for Best unproduced script for Fertility. Excellent and timely communication and reasonably priced entry fee.

    April 2023
  • So proud to be a part of this festival! Thank you San Diego Film Festival!

    March 2023
  • German Velasco

    It was an honor to be selected by San Diego Art Film Festival. A well organized event. The experience was good for us at the team of the documentary Tracking Ceci.

    January 2023
  • Brad Catherman

    Thank you so very much for selecting my script Weatherman as the Winner of the Best Unproduced Screenplay competition!
    Brad Catherman

    January 2023