The Seattle Film Festival, an qualifying awards event, is about the independent filmmaker. We are small enough so that your film does not get lost in our submissions or schedule. But we are large enough to offer a historic screening venue to display and showcase your films and get media coverage. The opening night of our festival starts with a boat cruise on Lake Union, Seattle and concludes with an awards show gala at a local Seattle venue (see the official GETTY Images photos of the event and interviews) here:

Seattle Film Festival attendees, official selection nominees and winners have included: Gus Van Sant, Susan Sarandon, Mark Polish, Sean Astin, Gary Busey, Paulina Porizkova, Xander Berkeley, Jennifer Beals, Ice-T, Krista Allen, Kevin Bacon, Michael Madsen, Bonnie McKee, Jeffrey Combs, Kristen Johnston, Yorick van Wageningen, Maxim Roy, Jeremy Sisto, Kellen Lutz, Amy Gordon, Kenny Hotz, Celine Abrahams, Amber Rose Revah, Kevin Guthrie, Goran Bogdan, Steve Spiers, Margaret Cho, Fabien Caleyere, Michael Gross, Mark Webber, Fedja van Huêt, John Capodice, Mick Fleetwood, Rocky Burnett, Christopher Backus, Michael Ironside, Patrick J. Adams, David Sullivan, Bill Heck and many more.

The festival was founded in 2013 with a focus on short films and documentary shorts. We grew over the next few years by word of mouth running annually through 2016.
It was to our surprise in 2019, when a collective of local filmmakers who had been involved in our festival in previous years inspired us to relaunch the festival and this time with the addition of narrative feature films, documentary features, web series, music videos and various other categories.
While working with local filmmakers, we found they preferred a larger choice of categories to submit to at the Seattle Film Festival to fit the growing number of submissions and a better chance to receive a meaningful award. We have expanded the Seattle Film Festival to not only present your films in a historic Seattle movie theater in front of a live audience and jury but also, with the new addition of a concurrently running online festival, are able to give a large number of films International exposure.

The Seattle Film Festival also offers Q & A sessions and film industry networking opportunities.

This year's judges include:
Bill Kucera - Creative Director at Method Fest Film Festival

Bobby LePire - Critic at Film Threat Magazine

John Capodice - Actor, portrayed Aguado in Ace Ventura, Bob in Speed, Jerry in The Doors, Sally Molars in Honeymoon in Vegas.

Francesca De Luca- Actress in theater and award winning films including the 2022 Seattle Film Festival Best Ensemble Award for Storage.

Indie film critics, reviewers and industry insiders have attended our festival and we are part of a solid network of other film festivals so submitting your movies to us may open up many more opportunities for you.

E-certificates (and with certain awards) physical trophies are awarded free. Physical trophies may also be ordered in all categories.

Our award categories are:

Grand Jury Award Best Feature Film
Best International Feature Film
Best U.S. Feature Film
Best Director U.S. Feature Film
Best Director International Feature Film
Seattle Film Festival Outstanding Performance Award in a Feature Film
Best Visionary Award Feature Film
Best Emerging Director Feature Film (Must be First-Time Feature Film Filmmaker)
Best Actress in a Feature Film
Best Actor in a Feature Film
Best Supporting Actress in a Feature Film
Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film
Best Ensemble Cast Feature Film
Best Acting Duo Feature Film
Best Young Actor Award Feature Film
Best Young Actress Award Feature Film
Seattle Filmmaker Award (Filmmakers from Seattle Area only are eligible)
Best Screenplay Feature Film (Unproduced)
Best Screenplay Feature Film
Best Achievement in Filmmaking (Best Indie Feature made for under $100,000.)
Best Horror Feature Film
Best Rogue Feature Film
Best Rogue Director Feature Film
Best Thriller Feature Film
Best Comedy Horror Feature Film
Best Sci-Fi Feature Film
Best Animated Feature Film
Best LGBTQ Feature Film
Best Student Feature Film
Best Student Director Feature Film
Best Cinematography in a Feature Film
Best Editor Feature Film
Best Soundtrack in a Feature Film
Best Original Song Feature Film
Best Documentary Feature Film
Best Director Documentary Feature Film
Best Environmental Documentary Feature Film
Best Sports Documentary Feature Film
Best LGBTQ Documentary Feature Film
Best U.S. Short Film
Best International Short Film
Best U.S. Director Short Film
Best Director International Short Film
Best Actor in a Short Film
Best Actress in a Short Film
Best Young Actress Short Film
Best Young Actor Short Film
Best Screenplay Short Film
Best Cinematography Short Film
Best Editor in a Short Film
Best Soundtrack in a Short Film
Best Original Song in a Short Film
Best Animated Short Film
Best Thriller Short Film
Best Horror Short Film
Best Comedy Horror Short Film
Best Sci-Fi Short Film
Best LGBTQ Short Film
Best Rogue Short Film
Best Rogue Director Short Film
Best Student Short Film
Best Student Director Short Film
Best Documentary Short Film
Best Director Documentary Short Film
Best Environmental Documentary Short Film
Best Sports Documentary Short Film
Best LGBTQ Documentary Short Film
Best TV/Web Series Comedy
Best TV/Series Web Drama
Best Director Comedy Web Series
Best Director Drama Web Series
Best Actor in a TV/Web Series
Best Actress in a TV/Web Series
Best TV/Web Documentary Short Film
Best TV/Web Documentary Feature Film
Best LGBTQ Web Series
Best Music Video
Best Director Music Video

In addition, we have also added new awards to keep up with our growing number of submissions.


You may submit your movie for consideration in multiple categories.
To do this, simply check the box of each category you wish to submit to (you will see the fee due next to each individual category).
We do not accept any films completed earlier than 2019.

All submissions will be judged for the categories they are submitted for.
However, our jury may decide that your film should be considered for alternative categories which it was not submitted for originally. This assures extra consideration and can substantially increase your film's chances to qualify for an award.

​You must own the rights to your film, including the music and have permission of release from everyone appearing in your film.

Non-English language films will be accepted but must have English subtitles. 

Please note that, by submitting your film you agree to the following:
The Seattle Film Festival may use parts of your film for promotional purposes.
These may include trailers, scenes, still photographs etc.
Entry fees are non-refundable.
We categorically do NOT accept X-Rated  or extremist propaganda material.


All films will be screened by film industry professionals.
The semi-finalists will be personally reviewed by our festival directors.

Overall Rating
  • Tony Hall

    This is the most dynamic and amazing festival there is. The venue is excellent. The curation is top notch and every film that was showcased was a gem, with many masterpieces sprinkled in the lineup. Each day there are networking events that will ensure your success as a film-maker – whether it is to learn from others; or to expand your network for future projects. Also, the care and fanfare they give your screening is immeasurable. In addition, the social media presence that they put out and continue to hype your film even after the festival is over, is unmatched from any other festivals out there. Lastly, they top off the festival with the most brilliant awards gala that you could ever attend. Michael, William, Michael, and Michelle - thank-you for everything that you do. The Seattle Film Festival is an absolute unrivaled experience.

    December 2022
  • Sarah Shively

    We loved this festival! Such a kind reception. Really enjoyed the films and the people we met.

    October 2022
  • Eduardo Lytton

    Many good things to say about this film festival. Though I was not able to attend in person, it seems Michael and William do a great job welcoming and highlighting up-and-coming filmmakers both in their programming, awards, networking events and personal touches. If not this time, I want to go on that boat trip! I hope to have the whole Seattle Film Festival experience maybe with another film... We appreciate the recognition for our web series @geraldinethemovie #losersclubseries. THANKS!

    October 2022
  • Andy Wolf

    Thank you so much for selecting us at Seattle Film Festival! It was a lot of fun and being part of the online festival, having an episode of Strings Attached being displayed there for an audience to watch, means the world to us. Thank you for the constantly kind communication - we are looking forward to submitting in the future and attending in person!

    October 2022
  • Leonardo Nussenzveig

    A very nice and welcoming festival! An amazing way to experience Seattle for the first time. Very cool venue and extremely kind and supportive programmers.

    October 2022