The Poppy Jasper International Film Festival (PJIFF) has delighted audiences in the greater San Francisco Bay Area for over 18 years. PJIFF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to promoting inclusion, diversity, and women empowerment. Our mission is to educate people of all ages about filmmaking, encouraging them to find their voice through film, and fostering a strong sense of community around the art of visual storytelling.

The festival takes place in the picturesque towns of Morgan Hill, San Martin, Gilroy, Hollister, and San Juan Bautista, with additional events in Los Altos (Poppy Jasper Asian Film Festival) and San Jose (Poppy Jasper Queer Film Festival). These special events are programmed with films submitted to PJIFF and follow the main festival. PJAFF and PJQFF participants will receive separate notifications for each program.

Last year's festival featured 270 films from 40 countries, alongside six panel discussions and 15 special events. Over 500 filmmakers and 30 industry professionals participated, solidifying PJIFF's reputation as a premier event. Our mission emphasizes inclusivity, diversity, and women empowerment in every aspect. We also offer eight educational programs for youth, high school students, and young adults, as well as specialized programs for older generations, including the 40 & UP, 70 & UP, Veterans, and Music Video programs. These efforts have earned PJIFF several accolades, including the Nonprofit of the Year award from the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce in 2021, the “Best of the Fest” from FestForum in 2019, and two MovieMaker Magazine Awards in 2021 and 2022.

PJIFF programs a variety of unique screening venues across five communities. In addition to showcasing a diverse array of films, tributes, and galas, the festival offers panels with industry professionals, including directors, writers, producers, women in film, emerging technologies, and VFX professionals. We do Q&A’s with all attending filmmakers, and coordinate filmmaker mixers and lounges throughout the festival. Our goal is to elevate indie films and the filmmakers who create them, providing opportunities for success through networking and mentorship.

Testimonials:

I was so honored to take part in this spectacular international film festival. What a joy taking brisk morning walks through storybook-wonderful Gilroy and its equally enchanting sister cities, enjoying the delicious local fare — I still taste the garlic burger, sipping incredible local prime wines and beers, hanging out casually with film legends, ground-breaking, down-to-earth, inspiring industry mavericks, so many sweet and brilliant and diverse filmmakers from literally all around the world. Such powerful new voices and views, truly beautiful labors of love that just embraced and taught and moved me to laughter and tears. I am still glowing. And I might smell a bit still of garlic. I loved everyone and everything. I hope to be invited back. I’m renewed. And so grateful. Jeffrey Sherman, Writer/Director/Producer at Disney

"This is one of the single greatest festival experiences I have been through. It's not one you want to miss. The festival director, Mattie, puts her entire soul into making this whole event go off without a hitch - she made every filmmaker at the festival feel welcomed, seen, and heard. Screening our movie and talking about it with her and the audience afterward was unforgettable. This crew has created a film festival that matters. That’s hard to do, but they did it. It encourages diversity and provides filmmakers with amazing, unforgettable events to network and just have a good time celebrating film. SUBMIT TO THIS FESTIVAL!" Braden Swope, filmmaker

"Spent a wonderful six days at the 16th Annual Poppy Jasper Film Festival in Northern California. The dynamic L. Mattock Scariot staged events in 4 neighboring towns. So much strong work. It felt so good to be in an environment where artists were supporting each other and giving voice to their visions. There was a very illuminating woman’s panel as well as industry panels, good brunches and parties, good discussions, and lots of laughs. There was even a block of films made by local youth. It was amazing to see local businesses and people from these 5 areas donate their time and businesses to support this effort to bring a cultural event to their community. I was touched by the community goodwill of the people in these towns. " Janet Chamberlain, filmmaker

Before You Submit

Please submit your film to the category in which you would want your film to be considered for selection and “Best Of” honors.

If submitting in a Student or Local category, your film will be considered for selection for Student or Local filmmaker showcases. Remember to include proof of student status or contact address with California zip code for the local filmmaker category. If as a student or local filmmaker, you prefer to be considered for selection and honors in the main festival, please submit in a genre / type-specific category instead.

We are committed to inclusion and diversity and strive to select films that honor that ethic. We typically have a program of shorts and feature-length films. English closed captioning and audio descriptions are encouraged. Foreign-language films must have English subtitles.

Learn more about our communities by visiting their websites: https://visitgilroy.com/, https://www.visitmorganhill.org/, and http://www.discoversanbenitocounty.com/

Awards & Prizes
Poppy Jasper makes "Director's Circle" and “Jury’s Choice” awards unlinked to the genre, and chooses "Best Of Fest" awards in over a dozen categories, including:
Action
Animation
Comedy
Different Abilities
Drama
Feature Fiction
Feature Documentary
Feature Narrative
Horror
LGBTQIA
Music Video
Sci-Fi
Short Documentary
Student - Youth, High School, and College

The film's completion date should be between 2023 -2025.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Upstream Films

    Poppy Jasper is one of the most unique festivals on the circuit. They really engage their local community, and we had the honor of inviting Luis Valdes, the director of La Bamba, to our screening of Underground Orange. The venues are so original like a towering old barn or the Teatro Campesino, which Luis created alongside Cesar Chavez in the 1960's. I really loved the intimate parties each night with the filmmakers and festival organizers, the panel discussions, and all the love and passion that the festival founder Mattie Scariot puts into this wonderful event. Thank you so very much for this profoundly meaningful experience.

    June 2024
  • Donna Bonilla Wheeler

    Such a warm, inviting, and connecting film festival! Honored to have screened our short film. A lovely, memorable experience all around, with wonderful films to watch, events to attend, people to meet. Thank you!

    May 2024
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you Donna, it was wonderful to have you and your film at our festival!

  • Lowri Palfrey

    Couldn’t recommend enough! We were thrilled to be able to attend and stayed with a wonderful host family.
    We had a great time at the Poppy Bash and the Mimosa Brunch. Thanks so much for including our Welsh film Hêri.

    May 2024
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Lowri for the kudos and for sharing your wonderful film with us! We loved meeting you!

  • Nadine Wilson

    Thank you for screening my debut short film, Wuss. The communication and value was excellent. I wish we could have been there to take part in all the wonderful things that you laid on. Many thanks!

    April 2024
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Nadine! We wish you could have been here too. We are so happy you shared your film with us and our communities!

  • Bryan and Vita Mei Hewitt

    The organizers at Poppy Jasper Film Festival are really wonderful and supportive of filmmakers. They go out of their way to connect with us and help promote our work. Attending the festival was a good time with some lovely people. I highly recommend going!

    April 2024
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    Response from festival:

    Thank you both for coming and sharing your film with us, we were happy to have you!