The Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) is, (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization), is a five-day, entirely walkable festival that supports and promotes independent films, celebrates the cultural diversity in the Sonoma Valley through film, and funds visual arts in education.

5 days, 120+ Films, 1 Unforgettable, Magical Environment ~ SIFF The First And Longest Running Wine Country Film Festival !

We welcomed in 2019: 250 Filmmakers - 26 countries - 125 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 25-29, 2020 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. SIFF films have secured distribution during the festival.

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, David Arquette, John Waters, Lauren Hutton, and Meg Ryan.

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. 2020 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. SIIF is regarded as the top culinary film festival. Which is highlighted by the "Chefs & Shorts" dinner which features celebrity chefs paired with culinary shorts.

The 2020 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, arts & design, sports action, culinary, 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
Bay Area Filmmaker Award ($10K production package)
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 ONLY through FilmFreeway.

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

Submissions will NOT be returned unless requested and postage paid. Please use appropriate packaging to prevent DVD/DCP 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 January 31st 2020 or sooner.

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