SF IndieFest is a founding member of the FILM FESTIVAL ALLIANCE

We screen the best documentaries from around the world for two weeks at the Roxie Cinema, the oldest art house theater west of the Mississippi. Many of our titles end up with calendared runs at the Roxie later in the year. We get great coverage in San Francisco, the second largest film market in the country, plus industry reviews.

San Francisco is a very receptive town for documentaries and our fest has built a passionate following over the past 19 years.

LAST YEAR'S PRESS COVERAGE: https://sfindie.com/press-coverage

SF DocFest is an annual festival devoted to documentary cinema. Since 2001, this two week-long event has brought the most weird and wonderful aspects of real life to the big screen.

“Docfest offers a zippy blend of politics, music, social issues and youth-oriented subcultures. The good news is that DocFest promotes documentaries as a vibrant, irreverent form of entertainment to a younger demographic, blasting the notion of educational films to smithereens. There’s no room for anything approximating — watch it, I’m about to blaspheme – the obsessively measured and utterly somnambulant musings of Ken Burns.” – Michael Fox, KQED

“Since its inception, DocFest (May 31-June 15 at the Roxie and the Vogue, with opening night at Alamo Drafthouse) has compiled a colorful scrapbook of genuine characters in contrast to the current events survey, educational seminar or social-issue forum that defines many documentary series… There are one or two people in Off the Charts you won’t soon forget, which could be said about nearly every film in DocFest. That’s one of the pleasures of scrapbooks.” – also Michael Fox, KQED

Comments about SF DocFest parent organization SF IndieFest:

"Festivals bring unexpected benefits. Festivals are essential for brand creation. Premiering at Tribeca was enough to convince people to at least listen to me, but surprisingly it was the San Francisco Indie Fest that was just as crucial for our theatrical release. Our press from this festival in February ‘08 helped convince the Red Vic to book us in April (I thank the amazing S.F. publicist Karen Larsen for convincing me of this in advance). We also incorporated festivals into our broader theatrical release, and while we did not claim them as cities in our 17-city count, they helped give us something to crow about."


"I've got to tell you that Indiefest was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I tell all filmmakers - and festival organizer friends of mine - how you run your fest and how you run each film twice. Every single time people look at me with shocked disbelief. Truly, Bonnie and I loved being a part of the event.
Thanks again for including us. SF Indiefest really made me feel that making YEAR was worth the whole effort.

Audience Awards and Jury Prizes

LEGAL STUFF: Submitters understand that submission of their work authorizes the Festival to use the work for exhibition, education and/or publicity purposes related to the festival; that the Festival will handle the prints and drives with a maximum of care but cannot be held liable for any damage or loss during shipping, preview, or screening; and that the Festival is also not responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, or royalty infringement related to the work. Submitters may receive future correspondence from the Festival. The festival will never publish your film online under any circumstances.

Overall Rating
  • Cheryl Jacobs Crim

    DocFest was fabulous even during this difficult pandemic year. Jeff Ross reached out to the filmmakers and made us feel welcome. The "Filmmaker Feud" segment of the festival was great fun and the only time this year I actually got to rub "virtual" shoulders with other filmmakers. I highly recommend this DocFest. I just wish I could have met everyone in person.

    December 2020
  • Leo Zahn

    Excellent festival. Very good communication with programmers. The platform chosen for the virtual screenings was perfect.

    September 2020
  • Rob Christopher

    SF DocFest hosted the Bay Area premiere of ROY'S WORLD: BARRY GIFFORD'S CHICAGO. Amidst a very challenging set of circumstances because of the pandemic, SF DocFest did a really fantastic job pivoting to a virtual film festival. Promotional/marketing support was stellar. Our Q&A was wonderful. Also, the quality of the other films in the festival was extraordinary--felt very fortunate to be in their company!

    September 2020
  • laura gamse

    Jeff and Fay at the SF Docfest made everything as simple as possible for filmmakers despite the pandemic. Quick responses, good Q&As and an understanding of the struggle that faces filmmakers releasing films in the virtual world. Thank you Jeff & Fay!

    September 2020
  • James Kennard

    I miss checking out previous iterations of SF DocFest at the Roxie theatre but the team did a great job making this year's virtual fest fun all the same. They were great communicating how it was all going to work. I also enjoyed humiliating myself in the Filmmaker Feud game via Zoom. I'm hoping the streaming platform they used, Eventive, gets more traction with people installing it on their streaming devices.

    September 2020