Welcome to the SIMI Film Fest!
SIMIFF exists to connect independent filmmakers with studio pros to maximize their chance for exposure in advancing their careers. We are bridging gaps and opening doors, offering 1-on-1 meetings after panels with Oscar winners and nominees, Emmy winners and nominees, studio execs, and professionals whose craft is recognized through Box Office and television success.
We are delighted to officially accept submissions for the 2023 SIMI Film Fest, which will screen the best features and short films from all over the world, at the luxury, full-service Studio Movie Grill Theaters in Simi Valley, California on September 17 - 19, 2023.
What Films Are We Looking For?
We are seeking films of the highest caliber that exhibit exceptional skill and artistry, and that push the boundaries of creativity and storytelling. Our goal is to showcase the most innovative and daring films that captivate and inspire audiences. If you believe that your film meets this criteria then please... send it! We're interested in your film. No matter the genre, whether comedy, drama, action, thriller, animation, sci-fi, if you're inventing a new genre or any combination of the above, as long as you are compelling and tell your story well then you may just be a perfect fit for screening at SIMIFF.
What makes SIMIFF Different?
SIMI Film Fest is for the indie filmmaker with drive and talent, who isn’t comfortable staying where they are. At SIMIFF, filmmakers will experience unique opportunities that support and elevate their careers.
Our festival goes far beyond screenings. We are about giving you tools, inspiration and access to the highest level industry professionals who can help you take the steps you need to further your career.
SIMIFF is dedicated to promoting and highlighting the distinctive creativity and cinematic contributions of filmmakers from across the globe. We strive to offer valuable panels and opportunities for filmmakers to connect with industry experts, with the goal of elevating their careers. Additionally, we provide a platform for advancing public interest in cinema within Simi Valley and Ventura County.
At SIMIFF, we are committed to revolutionizing the film festival landscape. We offer a dynamic and innovative festival experience that challenges traditional norms. Our festival is designed to be a source of enrichment for filmmakers, providing invaluable insights, inspiration, and resources to elevate the quality of their next film. In addition to our exceptional film programs, SIMIFF also hosts a range of engaging filmmaker events and offers numerous innovative opportunities to network and get involved both within and beyond the festival. At SIMIFF, filmmakers will experience the following benefits:
- Learn from industry pioneers and hone your craft with expert panels covering all aspects of filmmaking, including financing, producing, directing, acting, post-production, and more. Seize the opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with top studio executives.
- Embark on exclusive studio field trips in Ventura and Los Angeles counties designed to cater to the needs of independent filmmakers, providing access to facilities that are typically difficult to find. Unlock opportunities to elevate your craft and advance to the next level.
- Experience a curated selection of films that showcase the finest talents in local, national, and international cinema, pushing the boundaries and inspiring creativity. Don't miss the opportunity to showcase your own film to our discerning audience.
- We offer exclusive red carpet interviews tailored specifically to your production, which you can use to promote your film to your audience during and after the festival. These interviews are a valuable tool for filmmakers seeking to extend the reach of their work and connect with audiences beyond the festival walls.
SIMIFF accepts submissions of shorts and features of all genres. Submissions are open from April 17 to August 4, 2023. The final selection of films will be announced in August, and the event takes place in September. All the films that end up being part of our final lineup come from submissions only. All selected films are eligible for awards.
ABOUT SIMI VALLEY
Southern California’s best kept secret located just minutes from Los Angeles, Simi Valley is in the southeast region of Ventura County, California. The city features beautiful rolling hills, historical landmarks, and an abundant scene of cultural arts. Los Angeles International Airport, Van Nuys Airport, and Hollywood Burbank Airport are all within 40 miles of Simi Valley to make the city easily accessible from anywhere in the world.
All selected films/filmmakers are eligible for awards, however a selection or nomination does not guarantee an award. Awards will be presented at the SIMIFF Award Ceremony on the last day of the festival.
Jury trophies will be awarded to competition films in the following main categories:
Best Short - Drama
Best Short - Comedy
Best Short - Action
Best Short - Horror/Thriller
Best Short - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Best Short - Documentary
Best Short - Experimental/Musical/Dance
Best Short - Animation
Jury awards will also be awarded to competition films in the following additional categories:
Best Actress - Short
Best Actor - Short
Best Supporting Actress - Short
Best Supporting Actor - Short
Best Directing - Short
Best Production - Short
Best Cinematography - Short
Best Screenwriting - Short
Best Hair/Makeup - Short
Best Editing - Short
Best Sound - Short
Best Score - Short
Best Song Placement - Short
Best Visual Effects - Short
Best Actress - Feature
Best Actor - Feature
Best Supporting Actress - Feature
Best Supporting Actor - Feature
Best Directing - Feature
Best Production - Feature
Best Cinematography - Feature
Best Screenwriting - Feature
Best Hair/Makeup - Feature
Best Editing - Feature
Best Sound - Feature
Best Score - Feature
Best Song Placement - Feature
Best Visual Effects - Feature
Best First-time Filmmaker (Short or Feature)
Ventura Film Award
Our SIMIFF Ventura Film Award celebrates and recognizes the outstanding work of filmmakers in our local community. Feature and short films made by Ventura County-based directors will be eligible for consideration upon inclusion in the festival. Ventura film submissions are also considered for non-Ventura competition categories as applicable. Ventura County filmmakers may submit with a discounted submission fee for projects that were both shot in Ventura County and come from a director with a current Ventura County address. Projects that meet both qualifications can submit at a discount of 20%. To obtain the discount code, applicants will need to email email@example.com before submitting with the following information: the city the director resides in and where in Ventura County the film was shot. Films that are not live-action are also eligible for the discount if the director resides in Ventura County and partially produced the film in Ventura County.
*Additional prizes may be announced. Current award categories and prizes are subject to change. Festival organizers reserve the right to change the categories listed.
We strongly encourage you to review the following carefully. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that you have the authority or permission from necessary rights holders to submit the film to SIMIFF, and have read and agreed to all of the following rules and terms. All projects that have been submitted by our final deadline and that adhere to the following terms will be considered for inclusion in the 2023 SIMI Film Fest.
Due to the volume of entries received, we regret we cannot give individual feedback on submissions. All selection decisions are at the sole and absolute discretion of SIMIFF, and are final and unreviewable.
All submissions will be viewed in their entirety and are fairly considered by our festival programmers. The date of entry bears no relation to the selection decision.
Submissions are reviewed and selected under the following criteria: strength of story, quality of production values, and creative innovation in independent cinema.
SIMIFF reserves the right to change submission deadlines, programming, and rules with or without notice.
All film entries selected for the festival grant SIMIFF the rights to use footage, stills, titles and information from the film for promotional purposes, which may include the event program, SIMIFF website/social media, and any promotional purposes which SIMIFF deems appropriate.
SIMIFF and/or vendors, employees, contractors, or anyone related to the film festival is not responsible for travel related losses, travel costs or any costs associated with attending the festival or any costs or expenses related to changes in programing, including change in venue and dates and times.
SIMIFF reserves, at any time and in its sole discretion, to: cancel the festival, and revise dates, location, and format of the festival, including moving the festival entirely online.
All tickets are non-refundable.
Applicants are responsible for obtaining any necessary licenses, royalties, release forms, clearances, and permits necessary to present their film. SIMIFF is not responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, or royalty infringement related to the film.
If your film is officially selected for the festival, all selected films must supply SIMIFF with an exhibition copy of the film by August 25, 2023. All selected films will screen on DCP unless otherwise mentioned. Simple DCP is our DCP vendor. If selected, you will receive further instructions on how to create/submit your DCP.
SIMIFF holds no responsibility for lost or damaged prints/files (DCPs). While the utmost care will be taken with regard to prints/files, it is solely up to the filmmaker to take full responsibility.
If your film is selected, be prepared that you will be asked to provide press kit materials, which may include: head-shot and filmography of director, high resolution color and/or B&W stills from the film, screeners for press, and a video trailer (cleared for broadcast).
SIMIFF does not pay screening fees for submitted films. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that SIMIFF will not pay to present your work.
Award categories and prizes are subject to change. Festival organizers reserve the right to change a film’s award category from their original submission category to a different category, and include the film in additional award categories. Submission for an award does not guarantee a nomination for the award.
Competition is open to U.S. and International entries.
There is no film completion date requirement, and there is no premiere policy to submit. Films that have screened in other festivals but not received distribution are encouraged to apply.
Films not in the English language must be subtitled in English.
We do not accept works in progress. Only final projects will be considered. No updated cuts will be accepted after the final submission deadline.
A film will not be eligible for consideration and should not be submitted if: the film has been for sale on DVD/Blue-ray/VOD, or if the film has major theatrical releases or television distribution.
Submissions will be accepted from April 17, 2023. The Earlybird deadline is May 31, 2023. The Regular deadline is July 15, 2023. The Final deadline is August 4, 2023. Early entry is encouraged but in no way guarantees acceptance. All applicants will be notified of acceptance status on or around August 10, 2023.
All films must be submitted to SIMIFF as online screeners via FilmFreeway before midnight Los Angeles time on July 31, 2023, and all submissions are final. No refunds are available.
All submitted projects must have complete specifications on their FilmFreeway page, including the film’s logline, runtime, and credits.
By submitting your work you are giving permission for SIMIFF to showcase your work at the festival and for promotional purposes.
Feature films are 40 minutes in length or longer (including credits). Short films are under 40 minutes in length (including credits).
Your film may be moved to a different category than the one(s) you submit to.
If you have more than one film to submit, you must submit them separately along with separate submission fees.
There are no refunds for double submissions or submissions that are not accepted.
No refunds will be given for any submission that asks to withdraw, regardless of reason.
Cover letters are not required with submissions, however are appreciated.
Applicants should test their online screeners thoroughly before submitting them, and ensure their online screener remains active on FilmFreeway until September 21, 2023. The applicant has sole responsibility for ensuring that the submitted online screener plays in its entirety. The screener must contain English subtitles if the original language is not English. If SIMIFF is unable to view the online screener, SIMIFF may attempt, but is under no obligation, to contact the applicant in order to obtain a replacement online screener.
We offer submission fee discounts for the following circumstances:
Ventura County filmmakers may submit with a discounted submission fee for projects that were both shot in Ventura County and come from a director with a current Ventura County address. Projects that meet both qualifications can submit at a discount of 20%. To obtain the discount code, applicants will need to email firstname.lastname@example.org before submitting with the following information: the city the director resides in and where in Ventura County the film was shot. Films that are not live-action are also eligible for the discount if the director resides in Ventura County and partially produced the film in Ventura County.
We do not have a student film competition category, however if you are a student filmmaker, you may be eligible for a discounted submission rate. To obtain a discount code, applicants will need to email email@example.com with a copy of your valid, current student ID before submitting.
Please note that we do not offer fee waivers.