2020 Call For Entries is officially closed.

We have moved the date of our workshop, screenings and awards party for the 2020 festival to late summer at this time (tentatively scheduled for July 24th & 25th). We would still like to have a public screening but are playing it by ear as the situation changes. We will however be announcing award winners on April 10th.

The Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival is a family oriented festival designed to solicit entries from all levels of experience, age groups and genre interests ensuring that opportunities are broadly available to anyone creating visual stories. We screen G and PG rated short films (under 15 minutes). The festival is geared towards the student filmmaker but fully embraces the work of Indie filmmakers as well.

2020 has great for films at the festival with some really incredible work submitted

Congratulations to all of our Official Selections for 2020

“KADDISH” (Advanced Student) – Razid Season – Astoria, New York
“Salting the Fly” (Indie) - Craig Mooneyham and Jacob Reynolds – Conroe, Texas
“It’s Nothing” (Indie) – Nicholas Mourgere – Paris, France
“Cmd-Del” (Student) – Sara Yen, Jason Lin and Amar Karoshi – San Jose, California
“Soaring Beyond Silence” (Advanced Student) – Jessie Greenberg – Sarasota, Florida
“The Sand Castle” (Indie) – Eliezer Katzoff – Newton, Massachusetts
“Tonight” (Indie) – Mark Roush – West Lin, Oregon
“Moon Reaching” (Advanced Student) - Victoria Partika – Los Angeles, California
“7 Minute Storytelling II: Captain Unicorn Saves the Day” (Indie) – Adam Cadena – Mesa, Arizona
“Beautifully Invisible” (Advanced Student) – Alyssa Wiesen – Aliso Viejo, California (U of A student)
“Box and Me” (Advanced Student) – Stephen Lee – Shanghai, China
“A House of Cards” (Advanced Student) – Denis Pejovic – Vienna, Austria
“Almost Will” (Student) – Richard Li – Concord, Massachusetts
“Pitch Black” (Student) – Bouzlemt Manele – Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
“A Man Named Butterfly” (Indie) – Wesley Schofield – Willcox, Arizona

The 2020 Festival is scheduled for Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25, 2020 at the Historic Willcox Theater at 134 N. Railroad Avenue in Willcox, Arizona, 85643 (USA).

All winners and screened films will receive respective Laurels for promotional purposes.

We award our top winners with cash awards paid out via PayPal. All winners receive a signed, printable PDF Award Certificate (via email) that is suitable for printing and framing.

The following categories are awarded cash and certificates:
Best of Fest
Audience Favorite (Saturday only)
Best Student Film
Best Advanced Student Film
Best Independent Film

Other award categories recognized for certificates:
Best Directing
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Sound
Best Performance
Best Story

Stan Robinson Memorial Award of Excellence
(Individual contribution to the festival)





By entering your film for consideration, you agree that you have read, understand the accept the ratings guidelines for admissible films in this festival. Please see our webpage at http://www.willcoxfilmfest.com/SAIFF/submissions.shtml for ratings guidelines (PDF) to ensure that your film is acceptable. Blatant disregard for the guidelines will result in immediate disqualification and no future entries from the violating party will be accepted for future festivals.

Entries will be accepted for the 2020 Festival beginning August 1, 2019.

Early bird submission deadline ($10.00 entry) is: 5:00 pm (MST) on Thursday, October 31, 2018. Regular submission deadline ($15.00 entry) is: 5:00 pm (MST) Friday, February 7, 2020. Extended deadline ($20.00) is: 5:00 pm February 28, 2020

All submissions must go through this site and must include a downloadable file or download link. Extra large files may be made available via ftp (Dropbox, etc.)

All fees must be paid before an entry will be considered for acceptance. No refunds as fees help to off-set the cost of staging the festival including prizes.

All films submitted must have a downloadable version of the file available for festival screening use. Recommended file type is either MP4 or MOV with a preference to HD (4K files are acceptable). All foreign language films should include English sub-titles for the judges and festival screening audience.

Participation in Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival is open to everyone.

No films completed prior to 2018 will be accepted.

No commercially available films will be accepted.

No refunds will be given for films that do not make the final screening list (All films are important though not all make it to the screening list).


Maximum Running Time: 15 minutes from opening through end credits.

Divisions: We have a “Student Division” for high school and under, an "Advanced Student Division" for under-graduate and post-graduate level work and an “Independent Division”. A cross competition will occur for “Best of Fest” and “Audience Favorite”.

Genre: All genres are permitted (horror, drama, comedy, action, suspense, etc.).

NO ATTRIBUTION OR MUSIC VIDEOS WILL BE ACCEPTED. We do not consider music videos as a genre of narrative storytelling. If you have someone singing as part of a dramatic story in a “Musical” fashion (as part of a scene), that might be acceptable. If your story is about the making of a music video and includes the music video, we will consider it to be a music video and it will not be accepted for judging or screening.

No previous Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival submissions are permitted.

Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival reserves the right not to accept offensive or obscene material.

Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival reserves the right to accept or decline any films based on the discretion of the organizers.

By submitting your film to this festival, The entrant has read, understands, accepts and agrees with each of the following provisions:
1. Entrant has read and fully understands the “Film Rules” listed above.
2. To the best of entrants knowledge, all of the following statements are true.
3. This film is not subject to litigation nor is threatened by any litigation and entrant accepts all licensing responsibility for any copyrighted material contained in the film (Entrant must own the copyright or have the necessary rights for any content that is contained in the film. This includes: video, film, pictures, graphics and music. Entrant must also have signed releases from any and all talent or persons who appear in the film).
4. Entrant is duly authorized to submit this film to the Festival and understands that the Festival holds the right to screen said film for Festival screening and promotional purposes.
5. Entrant is authorized and/or empowered by all parties to legally represent the film.
6. Entrant understands that any adult content including violence, language or other adult themes may cause the film to be eliminated from screening consideration at the “Festival” organizers discretion.
7. Entrant understands that even though the film will be juried, it may not receive a screening based on final judging scores and ranking.

Overall Rating
  • Guilherme Gehr

    It was a great pleasure to be shown in such a place like that.
    I could not be there, but the nice organizers make me feel so good, that i realy want to attend the festival on the next opportunity.

    Thanks for all SAIFF staff!

    May 2018
  • AJ Scherkenbach

    I wasn't able to attend the Festival but the SAIFF was great about participating. I was very privileged to have my short film shown here!

    April 2018
  • Robert Belinoff

    The small up and coming festival not far from tucson az. is big in community involvement, especially concerned with teaching, students and young people, great little theater, wonderful screening and local participation...was honored to have been selected and awarded...definitely on my submit list for next year.

    August 2017
  • Kelly Van Shaar

    Hey look, first of all it's a free two-day festival with workshops taught by industry professionals who are making their living doing this stuff. Secondly, it's small enough that you'll get the opportunity to talk one on one with anyone you meet. Third, students get their films personally reviewed. Fourth, free food is provided at the evening reception. Fifth, film entry fees are only $10!

    This is one of those festivals you ought to attend in person, and if you live anywhere in Southeast Arizona or Southwest New Mexico, it's one worth submitting a film to. The smallness is what makes it great.

    April 2017
  • Jim Politano

    I've been in many festivals over the years all over the country. It seems the really big ones in big cities screening in big theaters get all the attention. But there is something about seeing my film in a small historic theater in a small town in a small festival that makes the overall experience much more enjoyable. I love how the festival director introduced each film before it screened. This one scores a big thumbs up. Spend a few days in the area and visit Tombstone, or head over to Old Tucson Studios.

    May 2016