San Diego Movie Awards is an IMDB qualifying festival in its second year as a Quarterly Film Competition – Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer – in addition to an annual in-person festival celebrating the very best films from our quarterly competitions. The festival is held in the very heart of America’s Finest City -Balboa Park- at the Museum of Photographic Arts.
Our mission is to recognize and honor films, filmmakers and screenwriters from across the globe, recognizing each type of artist involved in the filmmaking process.
At our annual festival, we will present the winner of the very best short and feature from the winners of our quarterly competitions. Best features will be considered for distribution by IndieRights, the premiere distribution company for independent films
San Diego Movie Awards accepts films of all lengths and genres and seeks to honor new and unique voices and stories from our global community. San Diego, with its close proximity to Los Angeles, is a thriving city for independent filmmakers with a long tradition of celebrating the spirit of indie film and their creators. It is a great movie-making city in its own right, with its rich, diverse population and every landscape imaginable – from the beach to the mountains to the desert.
San Diego Movie Awards judges are also filmmakers – directors, actors, writers, producers, cinematographers, editors, composers – and we know the innumerable struggles that existing in creating and completing a film– and the struggles to be accepted at festivals or picked up for distribution! We understand the financial struggle – and sacrifice – that often goes into getting a film made. Which is why we have created a festival that will give you and your project the respect and exposure you so richly deserve!

Awards of Excellence
Awards of Prestige
Awards of Merit
Honorable Mention
Grand Jury Awards
Certificates with Laurels in All Winning Categories
Consideration of Distribution of Best Features by IndieRights, the premiere distribution company for independent films

Films must be submitted via an online screener ONLY. We do not accept films submitted on DVD.
Your film will be privately screened and evaluated by international filmmakers and producers with expertise in the specific categories for which you submit.
Make sure to fully enter your project on FilmFreeway, including downloadable posters and names of the candidates for additional categories.
By submitting your film, you agree to the following terms:
A MAIN category must be selected for each submission.
Multiple categories may be selected for additional submissions,
All non-English films must have English subtitles in order to be judged,
All submissions must have been released after January 1st, 2017,
You are providing San Diego Movie Awards a nonexclusive limited license to use segments of your film (including trailers/film posters/press kits/teasers) for promotional purposes,
Entry fees are non-refundable,
Waiver codes are currently not available,
Judging decisions are final,
Poor quality film standards (e.g. bad sound, lack of subtitles/lack of captions for non-English films, video resolution below 720p) will not be accepted,
Entrants confirm and warrant that they have the required legal authority to use all music, images, and content in the entry submitted,
No restrictions on premiere or online statuses.
A DCP copy of the film is required for the annual gala screening.
PLEASE NOTE: Unfortunately we are not able at this time to accept unsolicited requests for a full fee waiver to the festival.

Overall Rating
  • Malgorzata Saniewska

    We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to participate in your esteemed film festival. It is an honor to receive the awards for Best Documentary Feature and Best Director Documentary Feature. Your recognition means a great deal to us, and we are thrilled to have our film celebrated among such outstanding company. Thank you for your support and acknowledgment of our work.

    March 2024
  • Jonathan Sawyer

    Thank you very much, San Diego Movie Awards, for awarding our film, "Remember" - Concept Trailer. We had a blast in your selection! We will see you soon with this film, "Remember"!

    February 2024
  • Leon McConnell

    We're so thankful and honored to be a part of this festival.

    February 2024
  • edward vincent

    Thank you San Diego Movie Awards for having our feature film Road ToTerzetto in your festival. We are so honored and thankful for winning Best Actor and Best Director at your Awards show.

    February 2024
  • Neill Barry

    Was sent an email from them that my short film was “Selected “ then never heard from them after that.Disappointing.

    February 2024