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 beautiful screening venue to display and showcase your films and get media coverage.
The festival was co-founded by George Williams and Jason Anderson in 2013 with a focus on short films and documentaries. 2020 was our most successful year date as we had twice as many submissions than in 2019. In his second year as Executive Director, David Harrington opened up more categories to submit to at the Seattle Film Festival to fit the growing number of submissions. Therefore the filmmaker with a limited budget has a better chance to receive real prestige and win meaningful awards. This is a legitimate festival, not just an awards show; we actually display and premier your films in a historic Seattle movie theater in front of a live audience and jury. We had 12 jurors in 2020 which consisted of veteran filmmakers, screenwriters, producers and actors.
The Seattle Film Festival also offers Q & A sessions, real networking opportunities with other independent filmmakers as well as press coverage.
We are part of a solid network of other film festivals so submitting your movies to us will open up many more opportunities for you.
Numerous indie film critics, reviewers and industry insiders have been attending and contributing to our festival.
In 2021 and beyond we are looking to expand our festival with exciting new categories and awards.

***Due to the global 2021 pandemic all movie theaters in Seattle are currently still subject to limited indoor gatherings until further notice, therefore showings of the films selected at this year's festival will be virtual. We will be having a selection of winning films showing at next year's physical event in Seattle. ***

E-certificates and with some 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 Documentary Feature Film
Best Short Film
Best Documentary Short Film
Best Student Film
Best Director Short Film
Best Director Documentary Feature Film
Best Director Feature Film
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
Seattle Film Festival Outstanding Performance Award
Best Cinematography Short Film
Best Cinematography Feature Film
Best Original Song
Seattle Film Festival Filmmaker Award

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, you must fill out and submit the form each time you submit to another category, stating the category you wish to submit to.
The submission fee is due for each category you submit to.
We do not accept any films finished earlier than 2018.

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 that it was not submitted for.

​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. 

Our 2020 Seattle Film Festival does not screen films online- it is a live festival.
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
  • Adrian B

    Our entire team was very honored to be nominated by the Seattle Film Festival. Even through the complexities of the current pandemic, they did an excellent job running the festival with all the involved challenges.

    March 2021
  • Christos Kotsovos

    Excellent festival, it was an honor for North By Freaking West to make it to the finals and represent Seattle filmmakers.

    January 2021
  • Michael DiBiasio

    Really great experience. We were thrilled to receive so many nominations for The Sleepless and the team clearly worked hard to support filmmakers despite the challenges of the pandemic.

    January 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Michael, we loved "The Sleepless" and look forward to following your film and watching your future movies.

  • Great communication, great information, great people.
    We had the unusual experience of submitting to festivals during a pandemic, and while most film festivals fell into disarray, SFF pushed through and rose to the occasion with professionalism, vision and grace, celebrating cinema, their audience and filmmakers. Fantastic festival and fantastic team!

    January 2021
    Response from festival:

    Congratulations Devon! Thank you for your kind words.
    "The Love That Would Not Die" is a pure joy ride that all our judges hoped would never end.

  • Thank you for your nomination and recognization of our short documentary film, A Line Unbroken: The Charles Forrester Story! We appreciate your prompt communication and making the best of the pandemic during 2020.

    January 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Winifred! We loved the story on sculptor Charles Forrester! Congratulations on a great documentary.