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 October 2021 festival, we intend to host an in-person opening night program alongside our virtual festival. The exact structure is TBA and will depend on current health guidelines.

With the recent additions of live performances, gallery installations, and screenings of live captures from the world's great stages, SFDFF has become one of the most respected and influential dance film festivals. The festival awards cash prizes and produces a touring reel to expand the reach of its programming.

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 twelfth season in 2021, 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.

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.
— Inclusion in our permanent digital archive.
— Opportunities for further exposure via our “On the Road” touring reel and other educational outreach programs
— “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)
— Best Music Video ($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 will be presented at an encore screening during SFDFF's spring festival.


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

— Films must have a production date of 2018 or later.

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

— Include high-resolution film stills and/or production photos with your submission. Remember to include photo credits.

— 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.

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.

— 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.

— Once submitted, a film cannot be withdrawn for any reason.

Overall Rating
  • Emelie Boman

    So happy to be a part of this lovely festival. Even though it was the year of Covid-19 I think you made a really good work with the online screenings and events. Well done, I hope I will have the opportunity to be able to visit some time in the future.

    May 2021
  • I had an amazing experience with SFDFF. all the directories and communication were well and on point.

    April 2021
  • Kate Mitchell

    I was very honored that my film, GOLDEN, was included in the 2020 festival. As we all know, 2020 was a terrible year for film festivals because of the Covid-19 pandemic, so live festivals were almost impossible, which is why I haven't commented on hospitality and networking. But the SFDFF team worked hard to figure out some solutions and the online event went smoothly. Although I missed the opportunity to meet other artists and people in the community in person, on the other hand, the films were undoubtedly seen by more viewers. I've attended this festival many times and highly recommend it. Thank you, SFDFF!

    February 2021
  • San Francisco Dance Film Festival is a top quality Dance on Camera film festival with film of exceptional quality. They brought filmmakers together in a virtual arena and did a great job of creating panels and events to substitute the live events. Congratulations SFDFF!

    November 2020
  • Alonso Segura

    Everything was way better than expected. It was great to be a part of such an amazing and talented group of people, from festival's organization group to filmmakers and dancers. Hope it won't be the last!

    November 2020