Underwater Films Only!

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, our "in person" event may not be held this year, so please stay tuned to our website for further details. We do however plan to hold a virtual film festival, and details will be available soon.

Please keep submitting your films!!

The first San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition was first organized in 2000 by a small group who had been meeting at Chuck Nicklin’s dive shop to share information on shooting and editing underwater video. In the past twenty two years, it has grown into one of the most prestigious underwater film festivals worldwide. Help us make the 22nd festival the best ever by submitting your underwater film!

Our approach includes the opportunity to share your work with an appreciative audience, no entry fees, and a panel of independent judges who are distinguished in their fields.

Among the renowned videographers whose work has been displayed are Howard and Michele Hall, Flip Nicklin, Leandro Blanco, Terry Maas, Shawn Heinrichs, and Simon Spear.

The films should be submitted in 1920 x 1080 resolution with 20 – 30 Mbps encoding in H.264 in .mov or .mp4 format. The film(s) submitted will be the exhibition version that will be screened as uploaded to FilmFreeway if your film(s) is/are selected. Please keep your audio from peaking over -6 dB, as the sound system will distort audio that goes above this volume level. Should your video be shot in 4K or higher, please submit an HD (1920 by 1080) down-converted exhibition version of your video.

Please provide relevant info, including the following:
1. The name of the film.
2. The name of the filmmaker(s).
3. A brief introduction of the film (100 words or less).
4. A brief introduction of the filmmaker(s) (100 words or less).
5. Photo of the filmmaker(s).
6. A Contact email for the filmmaker(s)

By submitting the above information along with your film to the 2021 San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition, you will be declaring that all the included information is true to the best of your knowledge and that you have all legal rights, including legal rights to the music, to submit this film for public screening at the 2021 SDUFEX film exhibition. Your submission of the film is your affirmation to the truth of this declaration, in lieu of a signature.

Additional information, deadlines, and rules are listed below:

• Films must be submitted through FilmFreeway no later than June 15th 2021.
• Maximum of two films (total) per filmmaker can be submitted.
• Films can be submitted in two categories:
• 5 Minutes Max. Up to 5 minutes in length with at least 50% of the footage be shot underwater. The majority of films selected for SDUFEX will be in this category. We encourage film makers to submit the best version of their film, even if it is well under 5 minutes. Many of our best films are only 2 or 3 minutes long – longer does not always mean better.
• 10 Minutes Max. 5 to 10 minutes in length with at least 50% of the footage shot underwater. In this category, the films MUST tell a story. We strongly encourage submissions with more substance in this category, and these will be judged accordingly. Films will only be selected for this category if they are narrated. Please note that a maximum of three films in this category (up to 10 minutes) per evening may be selected, and so film makers will stand a much greater chance of being selected if they submit in the under 5-minute category.

• Black Video Lead-In: Record or add a one (1) second black lead-in at the front of your video.
• You must have the legal right to use all visual footage, images, audio, and music contained in your film. You will be required to certify this in your entry email.
• Judges will not be permitted to submit films for consideration.
• Films should not have commercial content, for example promoting destination hotels or dive-boats.
• Films that have previously been submitted to SDUFEX will not be considered unless significant changes have been made.
• The San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition reserves the right to use up to thirty seconds from your film(s) for the promotion of this event and future events. All rights will remain with the producers of the films.
• Based upon our experience, judges do not like watermarks that appear during the whole film. It is recommended that all credits and acknowledgements appear either at the beginning or end of your film.

Questions or Assistance: sdufexfilm@gmail.com

Overall Rating
  • As every year this year's festival (20th anniversary) was a gala of high quality films from many different film makers, with a variety of subjects and areas in the world. I had the pleasure of attending this year's edition and hope to be there again soon.

    October 2019
  • Mike Johnson

    I really enjoyed the event and look forward to next year!

    October 2017
  • Awesome group of people, only wish i could have been there in person.

    October 2017
  • Roy Davidson

    Really helpful people, great communications

    October 2017
  • Marleia Alfaro

    Everyone there was just so nice. I was so honored to be a part of it and see all the wonderful work. The effort it took to get all the under water footage is incredible to me! It's like seeing them go on these amazing adventures and being with them to see what happened!

    October 2017