The Sundial Film Festival offers a new experience to filmmakers. The top 12-15 films are shown on the night of the festival with each filmmaker invited to attend. Instead of your film being shown in an empty school classroom somewhere, it will be on the big screen at the beautifully restored Cascade Theatre in downtown Redding, California. Filmmakers of past years have said this is the most exciting festival they have attended because their film is shown to a packed theater of nearly one-thousand guests, with all the other filmmakers in attendance. Filmmakers are interviewed on stage, with awards and cash prizes handed out during the festival.

Filmmakers who make the festival showing are also invited to a swanky VIP party the night before (Friday), where food and drinks are provided. The party is hosted by the Active 20-30 Club with sponsors, photographers, and filmmakers attending by invite only.

Films are limited to 20 minutes and all finalists are shown in either an afternoon or evening show.

Awards & Prizes

Best of Festival – $1,000 and a SFF trophy
Best Narrative – $500 and a SFF medallion
Best Documentary – $500 and a SFF medallion
Best Animation – $500 and a SFF medallion
Best Local School Annual Production – $500 to the school and a SFF trophy
People's Choice Award – $100 and a SFF medallion
Best Invited Film - a SFF medallion
*Medallions will be presented to the runner-up in each category, "People's Choice", "Invited Film", and "Best Local School Annual Production" (runner up for Best Local School Annual Production will receive a trophy)

Rules & Terms

OFFICIAL RULES
The Sundial Film Festival (SFF), in its ninth year, showcases the talent and diversity of filmmakers in the North State.

One of the guiding objectives of the SFF is to educate and foster film production among people who hope to discover an interest or career using these media.

Organizer – The Sundial Film Festival (SFF) is presented by:
Active 20-30 Club of Redding Foundation
PO Box 991566
Redding, CA 96099 (530) 255-4911

OFFICIAL RULES AND GUIDELINES
- An individual or the subject of the film must have an "association" to the Far Northern California Region. Association is defined to include, but is not limited to, residence (or former residence) of any of the film's cast, crew, actors, musicians, editors, writers, or other production members. Association shall also include the subject matter, filming location, or topic of the film. Any film not having such an "association" shall be deemed and categorized as an "Invited Film". An Invited Film is eligible to win "Best Invited Film" and a medallion.
- The Sundial Film Festival Film Committee has the final discretion in all films selected and awarded.
– Short films, up to 20 minutes in length, will be accepted for competition in the following categories:
• Narrative
• Documentary
• Animation
– Movies up to a minute in length will be accepted for competition in the "one minute movie" category.
– Movies up to 30 minutes in length may be accepted for competition in the “Invited Film” category.

GENERAL RULES:
1. FILM ENTRIES MUST:
• Include a properly completed online entry form and payment with filmfreeway.com by January 4th, 2017.
• Not exceed 20 minutes in length, except as otherwise noted.
• Not be a winning film from a previous SFF.
• All persons submitting a film for entry will be notified no later than February 5th, 2017 of film acceptance for showing at the SFF.
• Video files intended for use in the festival must not exceed 720p resolution.

Film entries may use any visual medium and/or digital manipulation technique.
– Sundial Film Festival organizers reserve the right to:
• Change the category of any submission in adherence to respective guidelines.
• Reject any entries not meeting the criteria in these Official Rules and Guidelines.
• Exclude entries from the public display element of the SFF due to limitations in screen time and/or other resources.

2. OWNERSHIP
• All entrants must own all rights to the material and be authorized to submit it to the SFF. All material must be the original work of the entrant and must not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, rights of publicity, intellectual property rights or any other rights of any person or entity.
• If the material submitted contains elements not owned by the entrant and/or is subject to the rights of third parties, the entrant is responsible for first obtaining all releases and consents necessary to permit use by the SFF as set out in these Official Rules and Guidelines.

3. GUIDELINES
– The SFF is a contest and a public display of creative filmmaking. All entries must be useable as such. The SFF organizers reserve the right to make final determination on the acceptability and/or presentation of any film submitted. Guidelines for acceptable entries include:
• Films must not make unauthorized use of copyrighted property or material from any other film, song, composition, artwork, drawing or photograph.
• Films must not exploit children or animals.
• Films must not contain material the SFF, in its sole discretion, deems offensive, including but not limited to explicit and gratuitous violence, nudity, language, sexual content or political content.
• Films should adhere to the MPAA's guidelines for PG-13 material. To read the guidelines, please visit the MPAA website on ratings.
• Films must not contain materials that are hateful, defamatory, slanderous, libelous or that expose others to harm, ridicule or other tortuous conduct or that promote any of these things.
• Films must not contain materials that are unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws and regulations of the United States of America or the State of California.
• Films must not contain materials that can be considered advertising for a specific product or organization.
• Film quality must be sharp and have good contrast.
• Films must be in English, or must contain English subtitles or must be dubbed in English.

4. JURY SELECTION AND AWARDS
• Awards will be determined by independent juries selected by the SFF organizers, comprising filmmakers, critics, educators, and interested others.
• Finalists and winners will be selected by judges on their technical quality, creativity, and originality. Decisions are at the complete discretion of the judges and are final.
• The SFF organizers reserve the right not to issue an award in a category with an insufficient number of suitable entries or to change the category if appropriate.
• Winners will be announced either before or on the night of the SFF. Prizes will be delivered subsequent to announcement of the winners.
• Cash prizes and awards will be granted as follows:
FILM
• Best of Festival – $1,000 and a SFF trophy
• Best Narrative – $500 and a SFF medallion
• Best Documentary – $500 and a SFF medallion
• Best Animation – $500 and a SFF medallion
• Best "One Minute Movie" – a SFF medallion
• Best Local School Annual Production – $500 to the school and a SFF trophy
• People's Choice Award – $100 and a SFF medallion
• Best Invited Film - A SFF medallion
• Medallions will be presented to the runner-up in each category, except "One Minute Movie", "People's Choice", "Best Invited Film", and "Best Local School Annual Production". The Best Local School Annual Production Runner Up will receive a trophy.

5. FEES AND RETURN OF ENTRIES
FILM
• A $35.00 entry fee is required for each film submitted. There is no limit on the number of entries by the same individual.
• Copies of all accepted entries will be retained in the SFF video library.

6. TERMS AND CONDITIONS
• Entrant agrees and grants the SFF permission to use names and entries in all media in perpetuity without compensation or payment to entrant. Except where legally prohibited, submission of an entry into this festival contest constitutes permission for the SFF to use the entrant's films, photographs, names, likeness, voice, address (city and state), and testimonials, in print media, broadcast media, or new media, in perpetuity, in any manner the SFF deems appropriate to promote the submission or the SFF without further compensation or payment to entrant. Entrant agrees to waive the right to inspect or to approve the finished product(s) and/or advertising copy or other matter used by the SFF to promote the film, photograph, SFF, or prize. Entrant waives all claims to royalties or monetary compensation connected with recordings, creations or photographs, or the advertising, publication or distribution of same to promote the film, photograph, SFF or prize awarded.
• The SFF assumes no responsibility or liability for loss of or damage to DVDs, CDs, or framed photographs hanging at the SFF or at the Cascade Theatre.
• Entrants warrant that they have sufficient right, title, and interest in their entry to convey these rights to the SFF and that the entrant has not previously conveyed any rights or entered into any licenses that conflict with the rights conveyed herein.
• Entrants warrant that their entry does not infringe any copyrights or other proprietary rights of third parties, is not the subject of any notice of any infringement(s), is not in litigation or subject to threatened litigation and is not the subject of any license or arrangement with a third party that would conflict with entrant's copyrights in the entry.
• Entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and Guidelines and by the decisions of SFF, which are final and not subject to appeal. Prizes are not transferable. Prize fulfillment will be arranged by the SFF. Receipt of prize requires compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules and regulations. Prize winners are solely responsible for payment of all taxes incurred as the result of any prize awarded.
• This contest is void where prohibited by law and is subject to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. In the event of a winner's noncompliance with the Official Rules and Guidelines, an alternative winner may receive the respective prize.
• The SFF is granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the SFF or promotional purposes of any kind or type.
• The entrant shall indemnify, defend, release and hold harmless the SFF, The Active 20-30 Club of Redding, The Active 20-30 Club of Redding Foundation and their agents, members, legal representatives, volunteers, sponsors, vendors, affiliates, successors, and assigns from and against any and all claims, demands, losses, damages, judgments, liabilities and expenses, including but not limited to attorney fees and costs, arising out of anything related to the SFF or to the possession and/or use of the film entry and/or in connection with any breach of the terms and conditions of the Official Rules and Guidelines, the film entry form and certification and any claims of third parties related in any way to the foregoing.

4 Reviews

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
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    Luke Van Mol

    Overall, the films are good and I am glad to see the local short films showcased at this festival.

    It is well worth mentioning that the communication between the organizers and filmmakers is excellent. They have always responded to any questions I sent them within a day.

    As always, I enjoy their VIP galas and have a great time meeting the other filmmakers.

    I have been submitting and going to the Sundial for two years, and during that time they have fixed many of the issues they had the year before. First, their film selection for the afternoon section has gotten much better. They also fixed when they would call the filmmakers backstage. Last year they would call us backstage right at the start of the film, preventing the maker from getting to see any audience reaction. In 2017 they would call us a back few minutes before the film was over instead. Another change I am happy about is the how they send us the questions ahead of time. In 2016 the organizer would send 6 possible questions we could be asked on stage. Since I like preparing ahead of time, I would have to memorize my answers to every single question, only to be asked two on stage. In 2017 the organizer only sent the two questions they knew I would be asked.

    However, they are many things I think still need fixing.

    First, the announcers need to work on their public speaking. They always sound very monotone and robotic. When you are on stage I recommend acting like you are talking to a friend, not like you are reading off a script to an audience.

    They advertise the 20-30 club way more than needed. I understand this festival is a fund raiser for that club and I am glad they are doing so much for the community, but we do not need to know every single time a new announcer comes on stage that they are a former member or chairman of the 20-30 club. Their video that showcases photos of what the club has done does not need to be two songs long, and does not need to be shown at both the VIP gala and the morning section. Nearly everyone who goes to those are already going to the evening section and it becomes annoying when we have to see the video three times.

    The judging system is not well put together. I don’t understand why they show who won awards in the program. Simply telling us who won from the very beginning and handing them the award after their film is shown does not give anywhere near the climatic impact as keeping the winners secret until the very end of festival.

    Most festivals I have been to judge audience choice by having the audience rate every film from 1-5 on a pamphlet or a QR link. At the Sundial, they do audience choice by having the audience text to a certain number the one film they thought was best. This method might not be such a problem if the announcers did not tell the audience to vote before the section is even over. When you tell the audience to vote after every film, the shorts at the end are never chosen because by then nearly everyone has already voted.

    Lastly, it seems that for the two years I have gone, the judges always choose the worst films for best narrative. In 2016 the film with the most VFX, but very little story won. In 2017 the film with a lot of forest spectacle, but one of the weakest stories of all the films won. They say the films are sent to judges who are in LA, but many of us have gotten very skeptical of exactly who they are.

    Overall it is a very good festival, well worth contributing to and attending. However, there are some areas that need fixing that I hope to see resolved soon.

    April 2017
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    Response from festival:

    Luke: Thank you for your detailed review. We are always looking for ways to improve the Festival experience, and I can tell you that some of the points you bring up are changes we have already discussed among our internal team and plan to implement for the 2018 film festival. We've really enjoyed your films the past two years and hope to see more films from you in the future! -The Sundial Film Festival Organizers

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    Jessica Foss

    I had a great time! Thank you!

    March 2017
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    Ryan Gardner

    Excellent experience and great entertainment! Nice to see some local talent. Thanks!

    March 2017
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    Sabrina Hofkin

    The one thing I would change about the festival is this: The festival chairs should allow the filmmakers to watch their entire movie before being called backstage to wait to be called onstage. It may be the only time the filmmakers see their film on a big screen and being a part of the response from the audience in the theater is huge. I felt let down when I was waiting backstage and I missed the audience's interaction while viewing my film. I heard a lot of laughing and I felt like I missed being part of their laughter. Being called onstage at the end of the viewing will not use that much time and I think the filmmaker will get more out of their festival experience if they get to see their entire film in the audience before being called onstage to answer questions about their film.

    September 2016
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    Response from festival:

    Hi Sabrina: Thank you for the good review! We've tried the Q&A a few different ways over the years, and having the Q&A following the showing of the film seems to be what the audience likes the most. That being said, if a filmmaker wants to watch a film in it's entirety before coming backstage, I think that's a request that could be fairly easily accommodated. We hope to see another film from you this year! - Sundial Film Festival.