The 15th Annual Santa Fe International Film Festival takes place October 18th-22nd, 2023. Dubbed “Toronto, but on a much smaller scale ” by Deadline Hollywood and “a young Sundance” by indieWire, SFiFF is a creative center for film in Santa Fe, allowing filmmakers to connect with industry and distributors. SFiFF showcases emerging and established filmmakers by screening features and shorts in one of the greatest art cities in the world. SFiFF provides over $100k in cash and prizes, filmmaker travel, juried awards, and all-access passes to the festival.

SFiFF has been named one of MovieMaker Magazine’s “50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” in 2023. “Located in the No. 1 town on our list of the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker, SFiFF gives back to its thriving film community in every sense — from programs for students to some of the most generous prize packages of any festival in the world," says Tim Molloy, Editor-in-Chief of MovieMaker. "It's a great way to link up with distributors and to learn from masters like Catherine Hardwicke, and we're certain that anyone who visits Santa Fe will find it as artistically inspiring and rejuvenating as we do.”

Partnerships with stunning local movie theaters like Violet Crown, George R.R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau, the historic Lensic theater, and the Center for Contemporary Arts ensure films are presented with the utmost high quality projection and sound.

SFiFF is New Mexico's foremost attraction for cinephiles -Pasatiempo Magazine

Recent guests have included Godfrey Reggio, Catherine Hardwicke, Oliver Stone, Shirley MacLaine, Robert Redford, Gena Rowlands, Ethan Hawke, Wes Studi, Jay Roach, Ali MacGraw, Jane Seymour, Tantoo Cardinal, and John Sayles.

Feature Film Categories : Narrative, Animated, Documentary, Experimental, Indigenous, Student, New Mexico and International.
Short Film Categories (under 40 minutes): Narrative, Animated, Documentary, Experimental, Indigenous, Student, New Mexico and International.

Santa Fe International Film Festival (SFiFF) is the premiere forum for international and independent cinema in the area. Focusing on artistic excellence, SFiFF serves as a creative center for film year-round, and as a presentation of the year's top films each October. SFiFF provides professional opportunities for artists, and unmatched audience participation in the world’s greatest little film city.

Santa Fe International Film Festival provides over 100k in cash and prizes. 2023 SFiFF winners will receive:
• Narrative Feature Award presented by Panavision: Includes camera package courtesy of Panavision valued at $60,000, a post-production package from Light Iron valued at $30,000, and $1,000 cash prize from the Santa Fe Film Institute.
• Best Documentary Feature: $1,000 cash prize from the Santa Fe Film Institute.
• Best Narrative Short: Includes camera package courtesy of Panavision valued at  $15,000, and $500 cash prize from the Santa Fe Film Institute.
• Best Documentary Short: $500 cash prize from the Santa Fe Film Institute.
• Best New Mexico Short: $500 cash prize from the Santa Fe Film Institute.
• Best Short Film by an Indigenous Filmmaker: $500 cash prize from the Santa Fe Film Institute.

All award winners receive a special artisan-made SFiFF Statue Award.

Non-Cash Awards:
Audience Choice Best Narrative Feature
Audience Choice Best Documentary Feature
Audience Choice Best Short
Best New Mexico Narrative Feature
Best New Mexico Documentary Feature
Best Experimental Short
Best Animated Short


The following is an explanation of the Rules and Guidelines governing film submissions to the 2023 Santa Fe International Film Festival. Compliance with these Rules and Guidelines is necessary in order to participate in the Film Festival. Submission of a film implies unconditional acceptance of the Rules & Guidelines, therefore, please carefully read through the Rules prior to submitting your film. If you have any questions, please contact the Santa Fe International Film Festival: or 505-397-0371.

1. The Santa Fe International Film Festival accepts submissions for films in the following categories:

Features Films: Narrative, Animated, Documentary, Experimental, Indigenous, Student, New Mexico, and International.
Shorts Films (under 40 minutes): Narrative, Animated, Documentary, Experimental, Indigenous, Student, New Mexico, and International.

2. The Entrant/s submitting the film must hold all legal rights for the submission, as well as all necessary clearances for public exhibition.

3. The Filmmaker/s retain/s all submission and intellectual property rights.

4. To be eligible, your film must not have played in person or online in the state of New Mexico, USA. Please contact SFiFF office with any questions.

5. Films must be submitted electronically via FilmFreeway.

6. The Filmmaker/s is/are responsible for making sure all submission materials are submitted by the submission deadline indicated. If your film does not arrive or is not uploaded by the deadline for which you have registered, you may be required to pay the higher submission fee or withdrawn.

7. Each submission must be accompanied by the appropriate fee. Submission fees are in are U.S. Dollars per submission and is non-refundable. Cash is not accepted.

8. If a film received 50% or more of its funding from sources outside of the United States, the film may be submitted as an International Film.

9. Subtitles must be in English.

10. Please keep screener links and passwords up-to-date and notify the SFiFF office promptly with any changes. Please test your media prior to submission to make sure they run properly and are not damaged.

11. Filmmakers are allowed to submit more than one film for the Festival provided that each film is submitted separately and meet SFiFF guidelines.

12. Filmmakers are allowed to re-submit a film that was previously submitted provided significant changes were made and all eligibility requirements are met. When re-submitting the film, include a brief letter detailing the changes made.

13. A student submitting a film must provide a photocopy of a current and valid student ID or a letter from his/her school verifying enrollment.

14. If you would like your materials returned after the festival, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

15. Entrants may contact the SFiFF to find out if the Festival received the submission: or (505) 397-0371. Filmmakers submitting through FilmFreeway can check their status through the website.

16. The Filmmaker is responsible for all inbound shipping costs, domestic or international.

17. All personal contact information is to remain confidential and not to be shared with any third parties.

18. SFiFF reserves the right to use images from films selected in the Festival for marketing purposes.

19. All decisions regarding award winners are considered final and incontestable.

20. All films submitted must have been completed between September 2021 and July 2023.

21. Applicants acknowledge that SFiFF reserves the right to change the nature of screenings and events due to circumstances related to public health and welfare or at the direction of local, state, or federal authorities. In such cases, no submission refunds shall be issued.

Overall Rating
  • James Kleinert

    Santa Fe International Film Festival was Amazing! Thank you so much for putting on a incredible film festival and hosting our film Native Horse.
    James Anaquad Kleinert - Director/Cinematographer/Writer

    January 2023
  • I am very grateful to the SFiFF Team in welcoming me with open arms and believing in my film, Can I Love You? This was my first ever narrative short I've written & directed, so being selected alongside seasoned filmmakers already in the industry, allowed me to see where I fit in and boost my confidence in storytelling. Ahéhéé (thank you)!

    December 2022
  • Freedom Hopkins

    I am a local filmmaker and had a wonderful time at SFIFF! If you are accepted to this fest you should be proud. It's a great festival run by wonderful people!

    December 2022
  • Julian Rubinstein

    This is a great small festival with a dedicated staff and great connection to the city. Events and screenings were all easy to get to and the people that come have important and moving stories to tell. Don't overlook it.

    November 2022
  • Thank you, SFIFF for another great year. Festivals like yours make me want to make more fils!

    November 2022