San Diego Underground Film Festival (SDUFF) is one of the West Coast's premier showcases of video, film, and audio based mediums. Selected MovieMaker Magazine Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in 2019, SDUFF has quickly risen the ranks to become one of the nation's most challenging, nurturing, and down to earth film festivals. Known for taking risks on young talent alongside showcasing legendary film makers, SDUFF prides itself on being a festival by and for disciples of the moving image.

"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 ****

※ Installation & Expanded Cinema category have been placed on hold until further notice

※ Finished on Film category has been placed on hold until further notice.

"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 2021.
※ 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.

※This category is on hold until further notice.

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.

※ 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.
※ All donations are final. No refunds will be given to submissions after 24 hours of purchase.
※ Festival dates are subject to change due to availability of venue rentals.

Overall Rating
  • Leonardo Pirondi

    Even though the festival was impacted by COVID and had to adapt to go online, they managed to do such an amazing job live streaming it on Twitch. Great program and great people hosting and organizing it. I look forward to going to the (hopefully) in-person edition next year.

    December 2020
  • Phoebe Jane Hart

    Despite the festival being hit by Covid-19, the online version definitely made up for it! The line up was awesome, the hosts made incredible pre-shows, bumpers and performances between segments. Great programming, awesome vibes all around. Can't wait to go in person next year!

    December 2020
  • Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea

    It was a great experience overall!

    December 2020
  • Jeremy Moss

    One of my favorite festivals. Love their vision, energy, programming.

    December 2020
  • Dena Springer

    Amazing crew, fun festival! They're super friendly and had a really great selection of filmmakers and animators. I think this would've been a really accessible and friendly environment if it weren't for the pandemic. Despite that, however, I had a great time with the festival.

    December 2020