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.

Our 2023 screenings took place on Saturday, April 8, 2023

We had some really great entries that came in this year.

The following films have been recognized with awards at this year's festival:

Best of Fest
"Anagnorisis" - Arturo Duenas Herrero (Valadolid, Spain)

Best Advanced Student Film
"Papers For Superman" - Jay Hubbard (Columbus, OH)

Best Student Film
"Players' Hands" - Nicole Lease (Sierra Vista, AZ)

Best Indie Film
"Anagnorisis" - Arturo Duenas Herrero (Valadolid, Spain)

Best Director
Pierre Gaffie - "Apocalypse Notes"

Best Cinematography
Paul Meyers - "Dark Blue"

Best Editing
"The Last Wild River" - Isaac Dudley (Cottonwood, AZ)

Best Sound
"Anagnorisis" - Arturo Duenas Herrero (Valadolid, Spain)

Best Performance
Joel Romero - "That Time of Year ; Black Haze"

Best Story
"The Aftermath" - LaChelle Joy Hunt (Buckeye, AZ)

Congratulations to all our award winners and great thanks to all those who entered.

We will be open for 2024 submissions beginning on June 1, 2023

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

We award our top winners with cash awards paid out via check.

The following categories are awarded cash and certificates:
Best of Fest
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





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 for ratings guidelines 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 2023 Festival beginning August 4, 2022.

Early bird submission deadline ($10.00 entry) is: 5:00 pm (MST) on Friday, October 28, 2022. Regular submission deadline ($15.00 entry) is: 5:00 pm (MST) Friday, January 27, 2023. Extended deadline ($20.00) is: 5:00 pm (MST) Friday February 17, 2022.

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 2019 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
  • Nicole Lease

    It was such an honor to attend this festival! Everyone was very friendly and the experience was one of the best I've had. I'm looking forward to submitting my future films here. Amazing job.

    April 2023
  • Bryan Huynh

    So thrilled to be part of this terrific festival. Thank you for the official selection of the short film Yesterday Never Ended.

    April 2022
  • 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
  • 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