The Sonoma International Live & Virtual Film Festival (SIFF), an entirely walkable, AND clickable, five-day festival, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the best in independent film and filmmakers from around the world, inspiring savvy film lovers, and introducing the power of film to student filmmakers.

Named “One of the 25 Coolest Festivals” by MovieMaker Magazine and one of America’s Top Ten Destination Film Festivals by USA Today, SIFF takes place March 24-28, 2021 in the United States’ renowned Wine Country, just 45 minutes north of San Francisco.

SIFF is noted for its participation of film and media industry jurists and panelists, and continues to grow its reputation in finding and cultivating new talent from around the world, creating a significant platform for networking and distribution opportunities. SIFF programs full length features and documentaries, as well as shorts programming in Animation, Comedy, Culinary, Documentary, Dramatic and Foreign categories. SIFF is committed to the 50/50 gender parity industry initiative, as well as films that cover the gamut of human experience from environmental, LGBTQI+, social justice and other diverse viewpoints.

The five-day festival offers the best in film, food, wine and fun, both live and online. SIFF supports filmmakers with generous cash award prizes and an accommodation program providing the opportunity to interact with industry professionals, community members and our astute film audience in one of the most intimate, engaging and inspiring settings on the festival circuit. In 2019, SIFF showcased 125 films by 250 filmmakers from 26 countries, and awarded more than $15,000 in Audience awards, including a $10,000 Bay Area filmmaker production completion award. SIFF has funded more than $650,000 to its signature initiative — the Sonoma Valley High School Media Arts Program started in 2002 — which introduces students to the process of storytelling and provides resources to further their film education.

In addition to being a festival for and about film and filmmakers, SIFF also showcases the best of the Sonoma Valley region with several high-end culinary and wine events, namely the SIFF | Devour! Chefs & Shorts dinner featuring celebrity chefs, the SIFF Screen & Cuisine lunch, the SIFF Sip Trip Tours, and our SIFF Backlot Tent experience featuring industry panels, parties, wine and food pairings, and live entertainment. And in light of the unprecedented global situation of 2020, and in the spirit that is #sonomawoodstrong, we launched SIFF 2.0, our first virtual online film festival, which featured 100+ films from 20 countries, and reached an international audience which consumed the equivalent of close to 4,000 hours of media in just four days!

Notable festival attendees include: Robin Williams, Bruce Willis, Michael Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Alexander Payne, Robert Patrick, Matthew Modine, John Ratzenberger, John Lasseter, Blythe Danner, Saul Zaentz, Karen Allen, Julia Ormond, Mark Romanek, Danny Glover, Mare Winningham, Christopher Lloyd, Hal Holbrook, Ray Liotta, David Arquette, John Waters, Lauren Hutton, and Meg Ryan.

2021 Jury Prizes:
Best U.S. Independent Feature
Best Foreign Feature
Best Documentary
Best Narrative Short
Best Documentary Short

2021 Audience Awards:
Bay Area Filmmaker Award ($10,000 production completion package)
Stolman Award—Best Feature ($1,000)
A3 Award—Best Documentary ($1,000)
SIFF Audience Award—Best Feature ($1,000)
SIFF Audience Award—Best Documentary ($1,000)

Online Submissions:
Submissions are only accepted through FilmFreeway

U.S. Mailed Submissions:
Must be in DVD region 1 or 0 format NTSC
Please package with care to protect DVD/DCP media
Mark both the package and the disc with your Film Title and FilmFreeway tracking number
Submissions will NOT be returned without appropriate postage paid return packaging and only upon request

Internationally Mailed Submissions:
Must be in DVD region 1 or 0 format NTSC
Please package with care to protect DVD/DCP media
Mark both the package and the disc with your Film Title and FilmFreeway tracking number
Submissions will NOT be returned without appropriate postage paid return packaging and only upon request
Package MUST BE MARKED: “No Commercial Value—For Cultural Purposes Only”
SIFF does not pay Customs fee or other charges

You will be contacted if your film is selected for SIFF2021 on or before January 31, 2021.

Good Luck! We're looking forward to seeing your film, and upon acceptance, welcoming you to one of the most unique and filmmaker friendly festivals.

SIFF2021: The best in independent film, food, wine and fun!

Overall Rating
  • Lucy Houlihan

    Such an amazing festival!! So much wine, kindness, and fun! Would absolutely recommend. It was the best place to have a world premiere that we could have asked for.

    April 2019
  • WOW! What a great festival. Of course Sonoma is a beautiful setting which only added to the great venues, wonderful hospitality and the surprising interest and support from the town peoples. We met some wonderful new folks and only wish we could have screened more that one film at time-- too many good films! We hope to return next year if so lucky to do so.

    April 2019
  • Noah Wagner

    I first attended Sonoma in 2014 with a film, and it was as special of a festival experience as I've ever had -- the hospitality, communication, and international collection of filmmakers and locals alike made for an intimate setting to make genuine connections with others.

    So I truly thought that experience couldn't be beat... and yet, in my return this year, they somehow outdid themselves! That unpretentious, relaxed, contagiously social spirit lives on, and I can't recommend this festival enough. And having won the Jury Award this year, I can attest that the awards they give out - a magnum of Rose in our case - is particularly special (and practical). Lightning doesn't usually strike twice, but in Sonoma it seems to every year :)

    April 2019
  • Rob McAllister

    Fun festival with a great small-town feel in the heart of wine country. Very intimate venues.

    April 2019
  • Jeff Witzeman

    If there is a more generous, well run festival with a wide appeal and selection I don't know about it. These folks do everything right. AND they stand up for free speech. When trolls tried to have my film removed by flooding the festival's social media sites, these savvy film aficionados shut them down in a hurry.

    April 2019