Deaf Spotlight is excited to host the sixth Seattle Deaf Film Festival (SDFF) in Seattle, WA from April 8-10, 2022. Deaf Spotlight believes in cultivating a vibrant community of emerging and experienced Deaf filmmakers, actors, writers, and producers; and welcome any film makers from the Deaf community to participate. Deaf Spotlight hopes to see more BIPOC filmmakers/actors of all experience levels to submit their film(s) for SDFF.

There has been no decision made yet as to the format (online or in-person) for the film festival. Please check Deaf Spotlight website frequently at for updates.

Please read the below film criteria guidelines to learn about how to submit your film(s) to be considered for SDFF. If you have questions, please email with the subject line: SDFF 2022 FILM SUBMISSION. Thank you!

Best of (per Genre) Award

SDFF attendees will vote for best films within genres. Awards will be given based on votes.

Short and Feature films within the following five genres: Documentary, Drama, Action, Comedy, or Other may be accepted for possible consideration. If you are unsure where your film(s) may apply one of these genres or wish to request an exemption, please contact

To qualify for SDFF consideration, all individual film submissions must include a completed entry form within FilmFreeway ( and an accompanying non-refundable entry fee. In doing so, all applicants certify that they have the legal right to submit and exhibit their work. The applicant is hereby responsible and liable for any breach of rights or the law in the submission and exhibition process.

There is no limit to the number of submissions per submitter, provided separate submissions and the required submission fee is paid for each film.

All films MUST be subtitled in English for every signed, spoken, and background audio. It is the responsibility of the filmmaker to provide subtitles within their submitted work. SDFF will not be responsible for subtitles.

Please complete an official entry form for each film submitted. Along with your film, please upload the image descriptions of the summary, photos, and trailers (if available) for SDFF marketing purposes. SDFF reserves the right to edit your summary for grammar, clarity, and brevity.

General Submission Criteria:
Deaf* includes Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, and Hard of Hearing

While the SDFF emphasizes premieres and new works, SDFF will consider all works including vintage and archival.
Films will be considered for inclusion in SDFF 2022 if it meets at least 2 of the following criteria:
- The film is made by a Deaf* filmmaker;
- The film must feature at least one authentic Deaf* character**;
- The film is about the Deaf* experience.

**For authenticity, this means having true representation of Deaf* actors. The Deaf* roles must be performed by Deaf* person. Hearing actors acting as a Deaf* person in a film will not be considered authentic.
***If you have questions whether or not your film satisfies the first 2 criteria, please contact us at***

Other Criteria:
- Fits under one or more genres allowed by SDFF
- Has not been exhibited at previous SDFF
- Film format is submitted via FilmFreeway
- Film work is submitted by November 30, 2021
- Previously submitted work may be eligible for re-submission, please contact SDFF first if you plan to re-submit your film. SDFF has the right to ask clarifying questions on the film submission.
- Please do not submit films with product placements that are not germane to the story, these will be automatically disqualified.

Evaluation Process:
SDFF Film Screening Committee retains sole discretion to accept or decline submissions for any reason. The above criteria form the basis for evaluation. Submission of a film does not guarantee exhibition at SDFFl. SDFF may be able to provide individual feedback upon request. SDFF decisions are final.

Film Selection for SDFF 2022:
The SDFF Film Selection Committee selects the films for public presentation at SDFF. If a film is selected for screening, SDFF will notify the entrant via email by the end of January 2022.

The film lender declares that they have the rights to the submitted film and commits to refraining from withdrawing the film from SDFF. The lender further commits to and agrees with the following statements:
The number of screenings, days and venue are at the sole discretion of SDFF.
Acceptance of this film for SDFF does not guarantee airline or hotel accommodations for talent or production crew.
SDFF reserves the right to complete any information not supplied by the filmmaker from whatever source available and will not be responsible for incorrect information.
All films submitted will not be returned, regardless of acceptance into SDFF 2022.
SDFF reserves the right to edit summaries for grammar, clarity, and brevity. SDFF will try its best to inform the film lender of the changes for approval ahead of time.
The film lender confirms that the film has not been shown at SDFF before.
The SDFF program will be announced during March 2022 and published through Deaf Spotlight's and SDFF’s websites and social media.
Nominees for the SDFF 2022 will receive ONE complimentary weekend pass ticket (regardless of how many nominations they received)

By submitting the work, I state that I am authorized to submit this film/video to the Seattle Deaf Film Festival (“SDFF”) for consideration and have read, understand and agree to all entry requirements. I hereby release the SDFF from all liability resulting from its exhibition of my film/video. The SDFF reserves the right to remove a film from the festival program for any reason or for no reason, and shall not be liable for any refund or claims of any kind. I agree that if the SDFF accepts my film for exhibition at SDFF, I will comply with these terms and conditions.

Submission of an entry gives the SDFF permission to use the work or excerpts of the accepted work, including trailers, visuals and audio, photos, graphics/art or any information provided in promotional documents and activities related to SDFF. Past promotions of submitted works included SDFF website, Deaf Spotlight website, Deaf Spotlight Facebook, Deaf Spotlight Instagram and Deaf Spotlight Twitter.

Although every possible care will be taken with tapes, films, drives and files while in SDFF possession, SDFF cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage. Please do not send original or master prints, tapes, files or drives. Please keep SDFF notified of any physical address/email address/phone number changes.

Overall Rating
  • Kiki Tsakalakis

    Thank you for selecting SILENT NOTES to be part of the 2022 SDFF! We felt privileged to be a part of such special film fest.

    May 2022
  • Lemaine Brigitte

    Thank you to give my film a Deaf audience

    May 2022
  • Hrysto .

    Merci je suis content ! Bonne continuation !

    April 2022
  • Thank you for selected FAITH on your festival. It was wonderful to see all the films online. I enjoyed.

    April 2022