The San Diego Italian Film Festival (SDIFF) announces the third annual SDIFF Ristretto Awards, dedicated to short narratives either by Italians or about Italian culture, Italian-American identity, or more broadly for the Italian community.

For its 15th annual feStivale in October 2021, SDIFF is seeking innovative, original, and thought-provoking works that have been completed not before 2019.

Works may focus on Italian culture, either as fiction, documentary or experimental movie, up to 30 minutes in length, and with English subtitles if not in the English language.

We welcome stories told through new perspectives, that appeal to all audiences, and inspire creativity and discussion. Particular interest will be dedicated to social justice themes, such as migration, education, environmental and eco struggles, women's rights, and so on.

A special focus, section, and award will be dedicated to movies submitted by high school and college students.

The Golden Ristretto
The Silver Ristretto
The Audience Ristretto
The Student Ristretto

Submissions to the 15th Annual San Diego Italian Film Festival are now open.

SDIFF 2021 is seeking innovative, original, and thought-provoking works that have been completed between 2019-2021. Works may focus on Italian culture, either as fiction or as documentary, up to 30 minutes. We welcome stories told through new perspectives, that appeal to all audiences, and inspire creativity and discussion.

Please register your films through our submission platform FilmFreeway. Do not send screening link directly to the Programmers’ inbox, unless instructed to do so. We use our platforms to keep track of our entries, and links sent directly to our inboxes may be hard to locate. If you decide to forego the registration, your film will not be placed into consideration.

Fees must be paid before festival programmers screen your work and must be paid by the deadline.

All entries will be pre-screened for eligibility by curators and selection committee; however, not all entries will be programmed.

The festival will not pay an exhibition fee for any accepted entries initially submitted through our general Call for Entries.

There are no refunds for submission fees for either selected or declined entries. The SDIFF may screen any accepted entries up to three times during the festival dates (October 2021). The section or program the film is scheduled for is at the discretion of Festival Programmers.

Films must be submitted with English subtitles if the dialogue is in a language other than English. Films must have been completed after January 2019.

It is the responsibility of the submitter to ensure that the screening link or physical screening copy they submit work properly. We will make an attempt to connect with you if we experience difficulties screening your movies and expect a working copy in a timely fashion. Failure to comply will render your film ineligible from being placed under consideration.

Please note: DVD screeners, press kits, and any other physical materials you may submit during the Call for Entries period will not be returned.

Upon acceptance to the festival, the following is required:

Press Kit containing 50 word synopsis in English, 3 hi-res film stills (300 dpi, CMYK and/or RGB color, digital trailer with English subtitles if available.

Information regarding exhibition copies:

In digital format via e-mail. Formatting specifics will be included in the acceptance letter. Exhibition files must be received by September 1st, 2021.

*Submitters will be notified of entry status in July 2021. Programmers’ decisions are final.

An additional panel of filmmakers, film critics, and local luminaries will sit on this year’s Awards Jury. Awards are given for excellence in form and content. Films to be considered for competition will be determined by the Festival Curators.

For questions, please contact Artistic Director Antonio Iannotta: antonio@sdiff.net.

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