San Francisco Dance Film Festival (SFDFF) is a multi-day international event showcasing the best in dance film from around the world. In 2020, we presented our festival almost entirely online with great success, attracting a record-breaking global audience.

Looking ahead to our November 2022 festival, we intend to return to hosting as many in-person programs as possible, building back the much-missed excitement of film on the big screen and live interactions among artists and audiences. We may also offer virtual programming and bonus material to include our international community who may not be able to attend in person. The exact structure is TBA and will depend on current health guidelines.

SFDFF has become one of the most respected and influential dance film festivals in the world. A non-profit organization operating year round, SFDFF has the mission of supporting independent artists through screenings, panels, filmmaking workshops, and original film productions that bring together professionals from the communities of dance, filmmaking, and music in unprecedented collaborations.

Entering its thirteenth season in 2022, the festival continues to seek groundbreaking work in the field of screendance, and welcomes submissions of dance-based narrative shorts and features, documentaries, live performance captures, installations, and music videos. All forms of dance are welcome.

Filmmaker Benefits:

— Eligibility for filmmaker cash awards up to $1,000
— Free Festival Pass providing admission to programs and events during the festival
— Industry networking and discovery opportunities. Several of the films screened at SFDFF have gone on to receive distribution offers.
— Opportunities for further exposure via our “Encore Shorts" spotlight series, "On the Road" touring reel and other educational outreach programs
— Inclusion in our permanent digital archive.
— “Official SFDFF Selection” laurel to help promote your film

All films selected for the Festival are eligible for the following awards. Winners will be chosen by independent award jury.

— Best Documentary ($1,000)
— Best Live Performance Capture ($500)
— Best Screendance Film
• Under 10 minutes ($500)
• Over 10 minutes ($500)
— Best Student Film ($500)
— Best Art/Experimental ($500)

Audience Favorite awards, selected by audience survey, will be announced the week following the festival. In addition to receiving the cash prize, award winning films may be presented at an encore screening during SFDFF's spring festival.

FILM COMPETITION GENERAL RULES & GUIDELINES

— All dance-based films of any style or length will be considered.

— Films must have a production date of 2019 or later.

— Filmmakers must Include high-resolution film stills and/or production photos with each submission, including photo credits.

— Films with dialogue or music lyrics must include a closed caption .srt file if selected

— Student filmmakers must submit a current, valid student ID or proof of enrollment at the time the film was made, with your submission.

— As fellow artists we take to heart the amount of work put into each film. Therefore, we are careful to ensure that each film is screened by at least three reviewers.

EXHIBITION FORMATS
Selected films will be requested in their native frame rate in QuickTime format using one of the following codecs: ProRes, ProRes HQ, or ProRes 4444. Blu-ray may be requested as an additional option for films over 20 minutes ONLY. A ProRes file will also be required as backup.

RELEASE
— The individual or production company submitting the film hereby warrants that they have cleared all necessary copyrights, including any underlying rights, to submit this film and its supporting materials to SFDFF and will hold SFDFF harmless from and against any and all third party claims.

— By submitting your film, SFDFF is hereby granted the right to utilize any submitted materials, including video and still images for purposes of promotion of the 2021 Festival and for future institutional promotion of SFDFF.

— If selected, filmmakers agree to participate in SFDFF’s "Encore Shorts" program.

— Once submitted, a film cannot be withdrawn for any reason.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Honored to have taken part in such an amazing lineup!
    Thank you so much, SF Dance Festival!

    December 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Danielle! We loved sharing "I Had a Ball."

  • The festival has a great selection of dance films from around the world - super thankful to be part of it with my short film "Rite of Passage". Grateful for the complimentary pass to watch other films! Communication and festival updates are excellent. We also had an opportunity to meet online other filmmakers whose films are selected by the festival. Thank you SFDFF team for all your hard work in putting together the festival!

    December 2021
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    Response from festival:

    These comments are so kind, thank you Olivia! We're glad you could join us virtually.

  • Conni McKenzie

    It was such an honor to have my film Set Me Free featured in the Bay Area shorts program of 2021 SFDFF.

    Being able to watch the film live on screen was a dream come true, and the entire festival was very organized and well put together. Thank you to the SFDFF team for hosting a wide variety of talented filmmakers and giving us the chance to connect over our art! I enjoyed being able to participate in everything the festival had to offer and thought it was a really great experience.

    November 2021
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    Response from festival:

    It's always special to give filmmakers the chance to see their work on the big screen. Thanks for joining us Conni!

  • Angel Kaba

    So happy to be able to share my work with the world! Thank you

    November 2021
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    Response from festival:

    "Exploring the Rise of Afro Dances in America" is such a joyous film! We're grateful that we could help share it.

  • Anna-Lena Ponath

    Being selected for the SFDFF 2021 was a great honor for me and my film "Snaps for Momo".
    Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the festival in person from overseas. However, I would like to say that I was really impressed by the communication with the SFDFF team, I think it is really extraordinary and made me feel very included! As a filmmaker, it was especially meaningful to me to hear from the SFDFF team that everything went as planned with the live screening of my film. I can really recommend to submit to SFDFF. Thank you for curating such an amazing event, it was very inspiring to watch all these high-quality dance films!

    November 2021
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much Anna-Lena! And congratulations again on winning Best Student Film.