*Selected MovieMaker Magazine Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in 2019*

San Diego Underground Film Festival (SDUFF) is San Diego's premier showcase of experimentation in video, film, and audio based mediums. A strong DIY ethos, combined with an art school brain and a punk rock heart makes the San Diego Underground Film Festival a unique place for films, videos, and audio pieces that strive to push the boundaries of accepted form and content. Films and videos that dissent radically in form or technique will be our priority in selections. Narrative films and documentaries that expand on narrative structure, or cover subjects related to subcultures or esoteric topics; animations both narrative and experimental; experimental films and video art; all will be considered for selection. Films and videos must show a strong sense of authorship.

Lo-fi films, punk rock films, skate/surf films, cooking shows, NO WAVE, glitter pop. Surprise us.

"In a middlebrow city like ours, such an event challenges the soft and conventional programming that has become the status quo. Yet Betschart and Nakawatase seem downright positive about their radical objective ...Ambition runs deep with these two, and it shows in their programming." - San Diego City Beat

**** Beyond Categories ****

※ If you are looking to submit an installation or expanded cinema performance, please see "Rules & Terms" for more information.

※ If your film is finished on film, please visit <https://www.sdundergroundarts.org/call-for-entries> for more information.

"Most Metal" Award

※ Filmmakers are required to fill out a completed application form via FilmFreeway.
※ The festival only accepts online submission links for preview (Vimeo, Youtube, etc.) Film links may be private or public. 
※ All films submitted must be fully completed as works in progress will not be considered.
※ Productions must be independently produced, with the maker retaining complete editorial control and copyright.
※ Submission of an entry indicates acceptance of all regulations, guarantee that a screening copy in the format specified will be made available for the dates of the event, and authorization to publicly exhibit the work at San Diego Underground Film Festival 2019.
※ If screening copy is to be provided by a distributor or agent then entry must be submitted by that distributor/agent, along with any criteria or conditions.
※ Submission of entry grants San Diego Underground Film Festival use of materials and images related to the project for the marketing purposes of San Diego Underground Film Festival and its parent company San Diego Underground Arts.

※ There is no submission fee for installation or expanded cinema submissions. 
※ Applicant must submit a complete proposal and narrative of proposed installation/expanded cinema along with images and documentation.
※ All proposals must include technical specifications and equipment needs. 
※ Installation formats include projection, films on monitors, video sculptures, and interactive works.
※ Deadline to submit installation, performance, or expanded cinema proposals is April 1, 2018.
※ Selected applicants will be notified on May 1, 2018. 
※ Please submit applications to <contact@sdundergroundarts.org>

This category is for works that have been finished on film only.

※ There is no submission fee for this category.
※ Accepted formats are Regular 8, Super 8, and 16MM.
※ There is no restriction on duration, completion date, or premiere status.
※ Films must be exhibited on film stock.
※ Selected applicants will be notified on July 1, 2018.

※ Accepted screening formats are Apple ProRes HQ422, Regular 8, Super 8, or 16mm print.
※ No DCP will be accepted.
※ No 5.1 soundmix will be accepted.
※ Films with dialogues in a language other than English must have English subtitles.
※ San Diego Underground Film Festival reserves the right to refuse a screening copy of poor technical condition that may be detrimental to the screening.
※ San Diego Underground Film Festival reserves the right to revoke a selection status if a file or print is received after the asked deadline.

※ The party responsible for sending film materials bears the cost of transporting selected films. The festival incurs the cost of the films return. If sent via mail, the sender must provide the festival with necessary information regarding its return (date needed by/address/phone number). International parcels should be marked ‘For Cultural Purposes Only/No Commercial Value'. The copy will be returned within three weeks after festival completion.

Please note:
※ The festival does not promise transportation or lodging accommodations at this time.

Overall Rating
  • melissa ferrari

    SDUFF is the best. The directors have a wonderful philosophy on curating experimental work, and the range of experiences at the festival are so diverse and dynamic (installation, film, performance, expanded cinema, and music!)! I am so grateful for the space that SDUFF provides to promoting experimentalism and community. I've met some of my favorite people here, and everyone is so friendly, talented, and wonderful. Rachel & Ryan are so thoughtful, kind, and dedicated in their curatorial mission. I have left every SDUFF that I've attended extremely inspired, and I am eternally grateful for the SDUFF family <3

    January 2019
  • samantha gurry

    Radically weird and wild. I'm biased but the performances are some of my favorite at any festival. Always happy to be included and see what's strange beautiful worlds are screened. A happy home for cinema

    December 2018
  • Jamie Wheeler

    We had a lot of fun screening at San Diego Underground Film Festival. The location was in a great art space in San Diego and although acoustics maybe weren't the best for screening, it was a great place to gather with friends and check out some great films. Communication with the festival was good and they were very helpful and enthusiastic to be showing our film. I would love to screen here again, thank you for everything!

    October 2018
  • Benjamin Capps

    Thank you to Rachel and Ryan for being continued proponents of my work in screening my new Sci Fi short, CIVET this year. SDUFF, in combining film screenings with live music and expanded cinema performances sets a new standard in the vision of what defines film festivals. I look forward to screening with SDUFF again.

    September 2018
  • This was an amazing festival! There's so many great people to meet and everyone is so welcoming. There were numerous amounts of films that left me in awe.

    September 2018