Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema is a niche film festival specializing in films that integrate the aesthetics of dance and cinema. Based in Boulder, Colorado (USA), we've been screening films in our hometown, across the United States, and around the world since 2004. Our mission is to provide a space for the community to share an experience of dance cinema and to elevate the ever-changing nature, culture, and field of dance cinema. See the 2022 article in DANCE MAGAZINE to hear more from our directors (

The integration of dance and cinematography is the heart of our work. When choosing works for exhibition and installation, we consider thoughtful forms and themes, investigative / innovative / experimental approaches, production values, audience appeal, choreographic creativity, virtuosic performance, and program fit. None of these criteria is a must; none is more important than the others; excellence in any one or two areas may be sufficient for acceptance. Cinematic elements must be an integral part of every entry. We encourage submissions from all artists regardless of credentials and affiliations.

Sans Souci Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Learn more:

Audience Choice Award
These awards are voted on by audience present at screening events throughout our season, and are announced at the end of the season. See our 2022 Audience Choice Awards trailer here:

We are interested in dance films that integrate the aesthetics of dance and film, and are an appropriate length in relationship to their treatment and style. Please carefully note the length limits on each category, and if you have questions on which category best fits your film, please reach out to us by email. SSF reserves the right to adjust or change a film’s category according to the curation team’s prerogative. For example, if we feel a film submitted as a dance film fits better with our hybrid category, we reserve the right to screen it in that category if accepted.
Films with spoken word must have English subtitles, or be in English. Multiple language subtitles encouraged. Audio descriptions and closed captions enthusiastically accepted.
If your film has music, it MUST have one of the following: music created as an original score for this film, a music license you purchased from the copyright owner, or uncopyrighted music. In case it's helpful, YouTube has a list of copyright free music, and environment sounds can be of inspiration, as well. This rule applies to all categories except for music videos. All music videos must be official music videos, having secured the rights to the music for this submission and subsequent screenings, with the ability to provide documentation if requested (please reach out with questions).
If your film is accepted, we will ask for a still frame from your film to illustrate your work in our programs and/or promotional materials; if you would like to select stills yourself, please have them uploaded to FilmFreeway by the final deadline. They should have the same pixel dimensions and aspect ratio as your film's frame and clearly convey movement or dancing in the image. Physical support (posters, etc.) of films is sent at the artist's own risk. The festival is not responsible for any damage the physical support may suffer, and there will be no refunds. After the festival, Sans Souci will not return any materials.
If your film is accepted, we may reach out to you in the future to share your work for our touring program. While we usually don't have the budget to fund screening fees for these events, we deeply appreciate your generosity in sharing your work to help us develop a wider audience for screendance. PLEASE NOTE: Selecting the first option when submitting (which says "I'd like SSF to screen my work as much as possible, so I grant permission now for all future screenings.") will greatly increase the likelihood of your work being invited to our touring program after initial acceptance. However, this line item is not taken into account when judging for initial acceptance into the festival, and we may still ask you for permission to bring your work on tour.
If your film is accepted for screening this year, it is automatically a part of the Sans Souci Archive, listed on our website. Your film itself will not be published nor distributed to any other person or organization, but if you provide a trailer, we will include that link in your listing on our website. Your film may be exhibited completely or partially during educational events organized by Sans Souci and its campus affiliates (Screening Partners), for example as part of lectures on screendance at universities and conferences.
If the submission fee creates a financial barrier to your entry, Sans Souci may be able to help. We offer a limited amount of fee assistance to those with financial hardship, with a preference for artists from historically or currently marginalized communities. If you’d like to apply for this program, please submit an application form (to find the form, please visit our website and see the Submit page) by the Early Deadline. You’ll be notified shortly after the Early Deadline whether or not you’ve been selected for a waiver. If not, you’ll still receive the Early Deadline price for submission. As stated in our mission and values, increasing equitable access to dance cinema festivals is a high priority for us. If you have questions about this, please feel free to email us at Submitting the form does not guarantee receiving a waiver. Receiving fee assistance does not grant acceptance to the festival. All films submitted must go through curation, and may or may not be accepted for screening. Due to the limited amount of fee assistance available, artists selected will only be able to submit one film. If you are looking for help with the cost of covering multiple submissions, please email us requesting a bulk submission discount.
When choosing works for exhibition and installation we consider thoughtful forms and themes, investigative / innovative / experimental approaches, virtuosic performance, production values, audience appeal, and how the piece will fit with or complement others we are considering. None of these criteria is a must; none is more important than the others; excellence in any one or two areas may be sufficient for acceptance.
In the Performance Documentation / Hybrid category, we are looking for films that feature a original or unusual method for documenting a live dance/movement performance, or films that began as a dance project for a stage, site-specific location, or other live performance, but were re-crafted into a film. In this category we are interested in unique and creative approaches to documentation, and the use of cinematic elements in transforming the work from live performance into film/video art. Cinematic elements may include multiple or moving perspectives, editing techniques, etc. We are not looking for a single still camera documentation of a performance.
In the Jazz Dance Film category, submitted works must explore jazz and American social dance ideas from forms including but not limited to jazz, tap, and hip-hop styles. We encourage you to join the ongoing conversation around “what constitutes jazz and American social dance," and the sociocultural histories of and innovations in these styles by submitting. Artists 21 and older at any point in their careers are welcomed to submit to this category.

Overall Rating
  • Sans Souci is a very forward thinking festival and a great contribution to the development of dance on film! I was delighted that our film, "Fight the Fear," was a part of Sans Souci's virtual line up. I appreciated the curation and the opportunity to meet other filmmakers on-line and share resources. I got so much from participating and think their on-line model by rotating theme is wonderful.

    December 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for this lovely review, Shyamala! We are delighted to have been able to share your film with our community. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • Paul Rabinowitz

    Loved it, and Boulder is wonderful!!

    December 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much, Paul! So glad to have you, and happy you enjoyed our fair city!

  • This is my second experience with the Sans Souci Festival and I consider myself very lucky. This festival is run by people passionate about dance cinema and we are honored that our film GUEST was part of an impressive film lineup. Thank you!

    December 2022
    Response from festival:

    Dear Regina,
    Thanks so much for your review. We are so glad to have shared your films in the festival, this year and in the past. We are so grateful for your generosity in sharing your work!
    Take care,
    the SSF Team

  • Bárbara Malavoglia

    It was wonderful to be part of the festival! The program was very interesting, I hope next time I can join in person, but anyway I was very happy that our film "abracavala" was there!

    December 2022
    Response from festival:

    Dear Bárbara,
    Thank you for your review! We were so glad to be able to share your film. Hope you can make it next time!
    With gratitude,
    the SSF Team

  • Cia Dual

    Participei do Sans Souci Brasil. Foi uma experiência muito incrível, a equipe é formidável e nosso filme esteve ao lado de muitos filmes incríveis! Parabéns!

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much! We appreciate you! Obrigada!