The Sedona International Film Festival celebrates current independent film from around the world. The festival strives to bring the best in narrative features, documentaries, short subjects, animation and foreign language films in all genres to its indie audience. It provides a rich educational opportunity to filmmakers, students and the general public alike through its on-site workshops, panel discussions and seminars.

The Festival's mission statement: "Bringing people together to broaden the understanding of the human condition and celebrate the power of independent film through cinema and the Sedona experience. To educate and inspire filmmakers and audience members to make a difference around the world through film."

The 29th Annual festival features nine days of independent films: February 18-26, 2023.


Now celebrating its 29th season, the Sedona International Film Festival prides itself on bringing the best in independent film to its ever-growing audience of indie film lovers. From features to documentaries, short subjects to animation, and an impressive lineup of foreign films, the Festival screens more than 140 films at the state-of-the-art Harkins Sedona Cinemas, the Mary D. Fisher Theatre and Alice Gill-Sheldon Theatre (the festival's own art house theater venues) and the Sedona Performing Arts Center, located in beautiful Sedona, Arizona .

In addition to all of our incredible independent film programming in all genres, the festival also features a "Family" film series, a "Green/Sustainable" series and other exciting themed series tracks each year. Additionally, the festival features a "Docs That Make a Difference" series and World Cinema Showcase. The festival has also introduced a new initiative: "Art into Activism — Turning Movies into Motivation" that inspires and encourages audience members to "act" on topics they've seen in our films when they leave our theaters.

The Festival features a gala with an annual celebrity tribute, filmmaker dinners/events each night and an awards ceremony.

Past festival honorees have included: Susan Sarandon, Rob Reiner, Marc Shaiman, Bob Mackie, Tom Skerritt, Richard Dreyfuss, Luis Valdez, Jane Alexander, James Brolin, Cybil Shepherd, Elliott Gould, Mariette Hartley, Michael Moore, John Waters, Peter Bogdanovich, Nicholas Cage, Gary Sinise, Jonathan Winters, Paul Sorvino, Lea Thompson, Phil Rosenthal, Rip Torn, Rita Rudner, Tim Daly, Richard Schiff, Jamey Sheridan, James Karen, David Rasche, Jane Seymour, James Keach, Doris Roberts, Giancarlo Esposito, Nick Nolte, Joe Pantoliano, Mary Stuart Masterson, Diane Ladd, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, along with classic movie icon Robert Osborne from Turner Classic Movies. Additional tributees have included Ned Beatty, Alan Cumming, Lainie Kazan, Peter Masterson, Carlin Glynn, Elizabeth Banks, Ed Asner, Rick Schroder, Elmer Bernstein, Ted Danson, Ann Miller, Donald O'Connor, Mary Steenburgen and Sean Young.

While every festival has its celebrity honorees, the Sedona International Film Festival prides itself on honoring the FILMMAKER first and foremost. The FILMMAKERS are the true celebrities and are given the most attention, focus and accolades at the Sedona festival. This includes Q&A discussions after every screening, complimentary hotel accommodations at one of Sedona's incredible hotels, complimentary meals in the Filmmaker/VIP lounge every day of the festival plus top "All-Access" passes to all festival activities and films. The filmmakers are our "STARS" and we treat them as such!

The Sedona International Film festival boasts a stellar lineup of some of the best independent films from around the world in all genres.

Don't just take our word for it ... here's just a sampling of what some filmmakers had to say about the Sedona International Film Festival:

"Twenty-nine film festivals later, there is really only ONE worth going to ... SEDONA"

"What an unbelievable, wonderful, inspired and inspiring event you ALL just put on."

"Flawless! The atmosphere breathtaking and the films were magnificent."

"I have been to a good few film fests and yours was the nicest experience that I have had. I think all the filmmakers I spoke with share this sentiment."

"I have to tell you, of all the film festivals I've been involved in, yours stands head and shoulders above them all! Somehow, you were able to make our visit a class act and, at the same time, keep your film festival a film festival."

The Sedona International Film Festival awards Audience Choice Festival Favorite honors to Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short, Best International Film and Best Animation. In addition, Director's Choice Awards are given in each category, as well as other categories to be determined each year.

Awards are presented to filmmakers at the awards ceremony at the end of the festival.


First Place — FEATURE SCRIPT: One VIP pass, up to 4 nights in hotel, a TABLE READ by actors of portions of the winning script, awards brunch, an engraved festival award, a festival TV interview, full script coverage and feedback.

First Place — TV PILOT (1/2 hr. or 1 hr.): One VIP pass, up to 4 nights in hotel, a TABLE READ by actors of portions of the winning script, awards brunch, an engraved festival award, a festival TV interview, full script coverage and feedback.

First Place: — SHORT: One VIP pass, up to 4 nights in hotel, awards brunch, a TABLE READ by actors of portions of the winning script, an engraved festival award, a festival TV interview, full script coverage and feedback.

*** EACH First place winner above will be given a plaque at the awards brunch in front of hundreds of industry creatives. Who knows? Maybe they’re looking for an award-winning writer!

We understand how fees can add up for film makers. We also understand that a not-for-profit film festival needs to stay in business. As a courtesy, Fee Waivers will be granted to filmmakers IF you have had one of your films selected for the Sedona Film Festival in the past. Otherwise, WE DO NOT GRANT FEE WAIVERS. Please refrain from requesting one.

For entries paying the Student Fee, a copy of a current student ID MUST be included with the submission.

Participation in the Sedona International Film Festival implies understanding and acceptance of festival regulations.

For the Screenplay Competition rules, please see the screenplay category listings.

Overall Rating
  • Sedona Film Festival is by far one of the best film festivals around! I can’t say enough about this wonderful place. And they’re constantly expanding their brand! This is the first film festival that recognized me as a writer and filmmaker. They take care of people on a level I’ve never experienced. The town and the people are beautiful. The staff is incredible… the networking events were a perfect for new film makers to break into the world of festivals and also meet quality networking opportunities. I made countless friends and even got writing jobs. The interview and Q&A really prepare you. I can’t wait to go back, I love Sedona Film Festival.

    June 2022
  • Adam Ruiz

    This was my first year at the Sedona Film Festival and was without a doubt one of the best film experiences. The festival committee made sure filmmakers were taken care of and communicated every step of the way for screenings, interviews, etc. The quality of the film selections as well as the presentations, made the programs one of the best I have seen in a festival. The added bonus was being able to explore the beauty of Sedona, whether hiking or visiting the shops on main street. Highly recommend this festival for serious filmmakers. You will not be disappointed.

    May 2022
  • Linda Parisi

    What an honor and delight it was to be chosen to participate in the Sedona Film Festival. I heard other filmmakers say "Sedona spoils you", and it's true. The way the community has come together to create this event directly translates into a felt experience of love, support and hospitality. Sedona, you truly made us feel valued and celebrated. Thank you!

    March 2022
  • Eric Ronn

    Amazing place! Had a great time.

    March 2022
  • Kelcey Edwards

    Sedona International Film Festival was an extraordinary experience. They provided the most wonderful accommodations, and treated their filmmakers very well! Great community, screenings, parties, events & food. A great combination of talent and good times. I highly recommend this festival!

    March 2022