The Santa Cruz Film Festival supports and promotes film arts for the local community and for filmmakers and their audiences world-wide. Through the production of an annual film festival and year round events and educational activities, the Santa Cruz Film Festival engages the entire community in the appreciation of the film arts, and is becoming a national leader in the film festival industry for communities of our size.

Now in its 18th year, the Santa Cruz Film Festival celebrates innovative and original filmmaking in and for the Greater Monterey Bay community. Since 2002, SCFF has screened over 1800 independent films and videos including scores of quality, locally produced works to tens of thousands of enthusiastic and dedicated film lovers.

The Santa Cruz Film Festival celebrates the diverse art of talented filmmakers. SCFF presents artists who create films and videos in all genres from around the world in one of the most thought-provoking, entertaining, fun-filled regional film festivals in the country.

The Festival has been proud to not only showcase new creative talents, but also to provide an interactive experience where filmmakers, musicians, performers, artists and the community can come together to share their art and ideas and to have an enlightening and fun time.

Honoring today's most creative independent films, SCFF presents awards in 17 categories:
Audience Award
Best Animated Work
Best Documentary Feature
Best Experimental Feature
Best Experimental Short
Best Locally-Produced Work
Best Narrative Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Short Documentary
Best Student-Produced Work
Director’s Award for Artistic Merit
EarthVision Environmental Feature Award
EarthVision Environmental Short Award
Evan Kuhn Youth Film Award
Visionary Women in Film Award
Spirit of Action Prize (Feature)
Spirit of Action Prize (Short)

Films may be screened more than once during the Festival.

The Festival may use images and clips from accepted films for promotional purposes.

Student produced work please include either proof of enrollment - copy of student ID, etc.

Santa Cruz/Monterey local produced work please include proof of residency in Santa Cruz/Monterey County - driver's license copy, etc.

Youth works please include proof of age.

SCFF alumni may submit for free. Please email for a code.

Overall Rating
  • We were thrilled to have our final festival screening in Santa Cruz where our project originated. Hats off to Logan and James for running (literally) an in-person event after two years on hiatus. SCFF is a smaller, regional festival that champions indie projects so audiences will reflect accordingly if you don't put some effort into promoting your screening. Although the star of our film couldn't attend due to health reasons, we were still able to enjoy an intimate screening with close friends, family, and Santa Cruz locals. The closing night party was a great time to meet and greet other filmmakers and mingle with festival goers, though we wish there were more official events like this sprinkled throughout the weekend. Thank you SCFF for including us this year!

    October 2022
  • Thank you for choosing my movie!
    I'll be back!

    October 2022
  • Charles Hall

    We had a wonderful time at the SCFF. The directors of the festival were in constant communication and were very accommodating to our needs.

    October 2022
  • Mary Trunk

    Fantastic place to screen a film!

    October 2022
  • Marc Cartwright

    We had such a great time at the festival! Communication was amazing and everyone was very supportive. We look forward to submitting our next project!

    October 2022