- You attend(ed) a Los Angeles County High School (plus Simi Valley)
- Your film was completed after March 2020
- Your high school graduating class is 2019-2020 or later

The 2021 Sierra Canyon Film Festival is presented by Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, California, 20 miles from the heart of Hollywood. While our festival is sponsored and promoted by Sierra Canyon School, the festival typically takes place in a screening room on the backlot of a major Hollywood studio. In 2020-2021, the pandemic has majorly affected students and student filmmakers across the globe. Despite this massive hurdle, many filmmakers have overcome this challenge to produce extraordinary films under extraordinary circumstances, and it is our goal to highlight these talented artists this year.

Sierra Canyon School is an independent, college preparatory school that maintains an exceptional performing arts program with a wide variety of film courses. The Sierra Canyon School Film Festival is focused on short films in any genre produced by student filmmakers and provides a forum for young filmmakers to display their work, network with other young filmmakers, and to learn more about the world of filmmaking from our industry guest speaker.

The Sierra Canyon Film Festival is typically held at a major Los Angeles area film studio in the spring of each calendar year. Past festivals have been sponsored by Final Draft, The New York Film Academy, Avid, T&T Capital, and Tanner Films. However, this year the festival will operate as a drive-in experience alongside a streaming simulcast. The location has yet to be announced but will take place in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Each year, we welcome an industry guest speaker to kick off the festival and to conduct a private 30 minute Q&A session with the filmmakers. Past speakers have included producer and director Jon Turtletaub (National Treasure), Allison Abbate (Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie, The Lego Movie), Ruth Vitale (Founder and Co-President of Paramount Classics and President of Fine Line Features), and Tom Nunan (Bullseye Entertainment).

Our mission at the Sierra Canyon Film Festival is to showcase and promote student filmmakers from around Los Angeles.

Learn more about our festival at

Awards and prizes vary from year to year and have included film academy scholarships, video editing software, and cash prizes.

All winners receive an engraved trophy and the opportunity to screen their film in front of an audience of student filmmakers and industry professionals.

Filmmakers are highly encouraged to attend the event if possible. A one-on-one discussion with a high-level industry professional is included for every entrant in the evening program.

Last year, the Sierra Canyon Film Festival began giving out cash prizes to its festival winners. In 2021, we will continue to do the same, with even bigger cash payouts!

The 2021 festival will also include the following prize package from InkTip, a popular industry networking site: Winners of the Sierra Canyon Film Festival will receive an InkTip Script Listing to promote themselves and their scripts to InkTip’s entire network of producers, managers, and agents. Companies who are InkTip members include: ABC, Anonymous Content, APA, CBS Films, HBO Films, ICM, Paradigm, Paramount Pictures, Hallmark Channel, FX, Universal, WME, Echo Lake, Zero Gravity, Bad Robot, 20th Century Fox, and many more.

Other prizes include software downloads of Final Draft, scholarships to the New York Film Academy, and personalized trophies.

Here is a list of our current awards we will likely be handing out on the day of the festival (depending on the films we select):
- Best of Fest
- Trailblazer Award
- Best Editing
- Best Sound
- Best Screenplay
- Best Cinematography
- Best Animation
- Best Documentary

All films submitted must have been started after March 11th, 2020.

All films submitted must have been started and completed by a high-schooler enrolled in a school in Los Angeles County (both public and independent schools are acceptable). Film do not need to be a part of a school project. College freshmen are allowed to submit, so long as their film was completed while they were still in high school.

The Sierra Canyon Film Festival/Sierra Canyon School is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The individual submitting the film hereby warrants that he/she is authorized to commit the film for screening and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

Sierra Canyon Film Festival reserves the right to refuse entries for any reason.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Sierra Canyon School/Sierra Canyon Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

The Festival is not responsible for the damage to tapes/video elements incurred in shipping. All preview tapes/video elements and submitted press materials will not be returned. Absolutely no exceptions will be permitted.

Filmmaker's must provide a photocopy of their student ID to prove their student filmmaker status.

Overall Rating
  • They had a really nice outdoor screening on campus. Glad I went. It was fun to meet other filmmakers and get feedback on my film.

    April 2021