The Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) is presented by the Sonoma Film Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, as a welcoming, entertaining and inspiring cinematic experience that supports and promotes independent films, celebrates the cultural diversity in the Sonoma Valley through film, and funds visual arts in education.

5 days, 100+ Films, 1 Unforgettable, Magical Environment ~ Sonoma!

We welcomed in 2018: 200+ Filmmakers - 26 countries - 110 films

Named one of America's "Top Ten Destination Film Festivals," Sonoma prides itself on giving every filmmaker the royal treatment. Celebrated as one of the friendliest and most uplifting festivals on the circuit.

The Festival takes place March 27-31, 2019 in the heart of America's world-renowned wine country, Sonoma Valley, California, just 45 minutes north of San Francisco. At the Sonoma International Film Festival, we value the filmmakers as much as our industry leaders and celebrities. All are treated to our unique accommodations program and have the opportunity to interact with industry professionals and audience members in one of the most intimate, relaxed and inspiring settings in the festival circuit. Great networking opportunities with industry professionals have lead to distribution.

High profile actors and celebrities have included Bruce Willis, Michael Keaton, Robert Patrick, Matthew Modine, John Ratzenberger, John Lasseter, Blythe Danner, Saul Zaentz, Alexander Payne, Mark Romanek, Danny Glover, Mare Winningham, Christopher Lloyd, Hal Holbrook, Ray Liotta and, David Arquette.

In the past, 1 in 10 films that were submitted to us through were selected for our Festival, making Sonoma an unusually accessible forum for participating filmmakers. Films are shown at least twice to engaged, film-savvy audiences representing a broad range of ages and tastes. 2019 films are open to Jury competition and winners will be given cash awards. SIFF welcomes a stellar array of panelists, media, and industry guests, all very accessible to our talented filmmakers and rising talents.

The 2019 Film Festival will feature the finest films from all countries and continue to show case films that run the gamut from World Cinema to our local high school student program. SIFF continues to grow its reputation in screening powerful films that also focus on social causes, LGBT issues, design and the environment. Many films have gone from early screenings at SIFF to significant success and distribution. We look forward to screening your films and upon acceptance, welcoming you to a unique film festival located in the wine country known for being a launch pad for independent filmmakers.

Jury Awards:
Best American Independent Feature
Best World Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Short

Audience Awards (Cash prize of $1,000 for each):
A3 Award - Best Documentary
Cash Award Value: 1,000 U.S. Dollar
Stolman Award - Feature
Favorite feature film (either live-action or animated) as voted by the Festival Audience.
Cash Award Value: 1,000 U.S. Dollar
SIFF Audience Award: Best World Feature
Cash Award Value: 1,000 U.S. Dollar

Online submissions are accepted through FilmFreeway.

All submissions arriving via mail post must be in DVD region 1 or 0 format NTSC.

Submissions will NOT be returned. Please use appropriate packaging to prevent DVD damage.

Please be sure to write the FilmFreeway Tracking # and Film Title on the disc itself in case the disc becomes separated from its box.

For international submissions (outside U.S.) - filmmakers MUST write on the package, "NO commercial value - for cultural purposes only."

SIFF is NOT responsible for the customs fee and other charges.

Good Luck, we're looking forward to seeing your film, and upon acceptance, welcoming you to one of our country's most unique and filmmaker friendly festivals where we celebrate the very best in film, food & wine!

Program decisions will be made by February 15, 2019 or sooner.

Overall Rating
  • Roxanne Holman

    Sonoma is just a wonderful festival - probably the most fun you could have at a film festival, along with an amazing atmosphere and a true appreciation for the films. Every screening feels like an event, every programme and selection respected. Loved playing my short film NEON here in 2017, and met some lifelong friends among the other filmmakers. Everyone should attend this festival and try to get in their programme! Many thanks to Kevin and the whole team - 'til next time :)

    July 2017
  • Was the best I have been to. They embrace filmmakers. Parties sponsored by wineries, beer companies, catering companies. A tour of the the oldest winery in California. And wonderful people. Could not more highly recommend it. Beautiful.

    February 2017
  • Rajesh Naroth

    One word. Hospitality. I had the honor of being invited to the festival. The location was spectacular. The whole town turns out for the festival. The organizers are warm and wonderful folks.

    My film Max has been selected to over 50 festivals so far. I would place Sonoma International festival on top of my list. The festival felt like a dream.

    As a filmmaker you get free access to backlot tent and after parties. I don't think I spent a penny on food outside. The welcome bag of goodies was great. There was even an ILM tour!

    May 2016