The Santa Fe Film Festival is a 10-day celebration of the best in cinematic arts, the 23rd Annual Santa Fe Film Festival will run in February 2023 with a program of over 100 screenings, panels, juried awards, Q&As for all films with filmmakers or representation, workshops, red carpet, press interviews, networking, and after-parties.

Voted as the best place for filmmakers to live by MovieMaker Magazine, there's a reason for that, not only because of the partnerships with Universal, Netflix, and others but because of our tax credits for filmmakers... and quality of life.

AND we are a quick flight from LA and a bit longer from NY or the East Coast but once you land you will find yourself transported to a place rich in history, culture, amazing food, and people.

Our jurors are also a mix with in-state local professionals to Hollywood, NY, and International professionals who appreciate all aspects of storytelling and independent film.

Our History

Long before New Mexico received statehood, artists have found our diverse landscapes, light, and culture integral for sharing their stories.

New Mexico has been a key part of filmmaking since the first ‘short film’ entitled “Indian Day School” was shot by a crew sent by Thomas Edison in 1898. Filmmakers found that shooting in the light in our state added more drama, depth, and atmosphere to the story.

With a rich history in film, it’s not surprising that over 300 feature films from Westerns to Action genres and everything in between has been shot here since 1911. Select titles include 3:10 to Yuma, The Astronaut Farmer, Silverado, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Grapes of Wrath, Red Dawn, Independence Day, Young Guns, and Wild Wild West.

In the 1920s, Film Festivals became popular with independent filmmakers as an alternative to Hollywood-controlled theaters, allowing them to share their important stories from documentaries to avant-garde films; allowing them to show their work to audiences, film distributors, critics, and fans.

The Santa Fe Film Festival’s beginnings started to grow organically forty years ago with an off-shoot from a festival in the region creating a “New Directors/New Film” program in partnership with MOMA (NYC) which attracted many notable Hollywood directors and film stars. From this start as a hub for celebrating filmmakers, the Santa Fe Film Festival was officially created in 1999 as a nonprofit and awarded “The Cider House Rules” as the first Best Feature.

Over the years, the Santa Fe Film Festival has garnered international industry acclaim receiving submissions from all over the globe by bringing together distinguished industry professionals and film-lovers alike with the diverse categories of cinema. We welcome you to join us.

Come experience the beauty of Santa Fe's culture and outdoors (skiing, hiking, biking, etc) and join us for our upcoming celebration of cinematic arts.

The Santa Fe Film Festival has concluded its 22nd edition with an in-person and online event featuring 168 films from 36 countries. At this year’s festival, filmmakers were honored at the two filmmaker luncheon combination awards ceremonies held on February 5th and 12th. We also had 4 after-parties to celebrate the winners and network on both weekends too. The festival team wanted to make sure that the over 90 filmmakers from the US, Viet Nam, England, Mexico, and Iran, and their teams could be present to receive their awards.

2022 Santa Fe Film Festival Award Winners

Best US Narrative Feature: The Falconer
Best in Show: The Falconer
Best Feature Documentary: The Sound of Us
Best Story: The Brilliant Darkness!
Best Short Documentary: Yupiit: Eye of Both Worlds
Best Short Film: What We Find in the Sea
Best International Narrative Feature: Oliver and the Pool
Best New Mexican Produced Short Film: Breathe
Best 1st Time Filmmaker (documentary): Hello Sunshine
Best First Time Feature: Samland
Best Student Filmmaker: The Island
Best Director: Oliver and the Pool
Best Performance (male): Pedro Correa “Lucas” - My Dead Dad
Best Performance (female) : Nha Uyen Ly Nguyen "Song" - The Brilliant Darkness!
Best Cinematography: The Roommate
Best Costume Design: The Machinery of Dreams
Best Editing: The Long Isolation
Best Production Design: The Machinery of Dreams
Best Sound: Alchemy of the Spirit

Audience Choice Award - Feature: "No More Goodbyes"

Casting Society’s 2022 Casting Director Santa Fe Film Festival Awards

Best Casting Director for a Feature Film: Rick Montgomery and Thomas Sullivan for “My Dead Dad”
Best Casting Director for a Short Film: Emily Schweber for “Undercut”

Highlights from our 22nd Edition

The Santa Fe Film Festival’s opening night film “The Art of Making It” included a curated private tour of Site Santa Fe along with a reception at “Charlotte Jackson Fine Art” before the screening at the Center for Contemporary Arts.

The Gala Screening on Saturday, February 5th, “The Tricky Part” based on the book from the award-winning performer, Martin Moran, who won the OBIE for his one-man show, had director, Raphael Sbarge and Matthew Ennis, executive director of the non-profit, to talk about the film which touches on childhood abuse of men and how to normalize the conversation. Not in attendance at the screening but was at the filmmaker luncheon earlier in the day was producer, Anthony Edwards, who is also the spokesperson for and who also received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his wide body of work and philanthropist.

Chris Gero, 12-time Emmy Award winner and Grammy Award-nominated record producer, founder of Yamaha Entertainment Group of America and Chief Artist Relations Executive for Yamaha Artist Relations Group, won Best Director for his documentary “The Sound of Us.”

First-time feature documentary filmmaker, AJ Martinson’s film, “The End of Blindness” was screened with a special presentation about Dr. Samuel Bora, the only ophthalmologist for 3 million people in Ethiopia who does free cataract surgery, following which was so well-received that audience members donated to the charity Tropical Health Alliance Foundation involved helping this important work continue.

Cinema lovers were out in force as there were many sold-out screenings including two World Premieres for New Mexicans. Santa Fe native and Los Angeles filmmaker, America Young and her film “Back to Lyla” and local Albuquerque filmmaker, Doug Montoya’s film “Third Act” also played to a packed house.

America Young was also honored with the first “Spirit of New Mexico” award for her work as a director, producer, writer, stunt-coordinator, and philanthropist with her The Chimaera Project, a non-profit, which helps female-identifying filmmakers with finishing funds for their projects.

We look forward to having your project at our festival!

1. The submitted film must be the original work of the Filmmaker. The Festival does not investigate rights or authorship, by entering the competition, you represent that you have secured the necessary rights.

2. A student submitting a film must provide a photocopy of a current and valid student ID or a letter from his/her school verifying enrollment.

3. The Filmmaker is responsible for all shipping costs, domestic or international of requested media and for the return if requested. The filmmaker is also responsible for meeting the required deadlines for submitting the materials requested if selected or they will not be programmed for the live festival. You can include a self-addressed, stamped postcard for each submission if you wish to confirm receipt of your entry.

4. The Festival cannot provide feedback and/or additional correspondence to films that are NOT selected.

5. Filmmaker submissions should be "locked" for the consideration process. Technical changes in color or sound will not affect the overall story which is the focus of our team in screening films. Should the festival accept the film, then the filmmaker has the opportunity to send an updated version before the deadline posted by the programmer in advance of the live festival.

6. If your film was made in New Mexico, has a New Mexican cast or crew, or was shot in New Mexico (all or part), PLEASE make note of it in your submission as we don't want to miss your film.

7. The SFFF is championing inclusion for our hearing impaired filmmakers and audience. We are asking that our filmmakers submitting their films to the Festival work to include a SRT file for closed-captioning or have Burned In Subs. Thank you

8. If you are in need of an ASL interpreter for the Q&A after your film, we request at least a 30-day notice so we can make arrangements for you to have one to support you and your film screening.

Selected Entries and Winners

1. SFFF has no obligation to disclose any of the following information (except for the rules as posted in our profile): 1) notes, feedback, or ratings on submissions, 2) identities of judges or screeners, 3) details regarding our review or selection process.


1. I, the representative of the project being submitted (the "Film"), acknowledge and agree as follows in connection with the Film's submittal to Santa Fe Film Festival (SFFF or Festival):

2. I hereby represent and warrant to the Festival that (a) I am duly authorized, on my own behalf and on behalf of all other persons or entities who have any ownership rights in the Film, to exhibit this Film at the Festival, (b) this exhibition will not violate any law or any right or consent of any person or entity and (c) the Film is not subject to litigation nor is it threatened by any litigation.

3. I further represent and warrant that, to the best of my knowledge, the exhibition of the Film at the Festival will not violate or infringe any copyright, patent, privacy right, publicity right, trademark, service mark or any other personal or property right of any person or entity and that my Film does not constitute defamation of any person or entity. I have paid and will pay in full all license fees, clearance fees, and other obligations, of any kind, arising from the exhibition of the Film in connection with the Festival.

4. If accepted, I acknowledge that the Festival's presentation of the Film does not create any confidential or fiduciary relationship between the Festival and me. I understand that I will not receive any compensation for such exploitation, although some prizes at the Festival may include cash awards. I acknowledge that no obligation of any kind is assumed by or may be implied against the Festival or the official sponsors of the Festival because of the Festival's selection of the Film. I understand and acknowledge that the selection of my Film by the Festival does not in any way constitute an express or implied endorsement or approval by the Festival of the content of the Film or any opinion expressed therein.

5. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless Santa Fe Film Festival, the affiliate, subsidiary and parent entities of each, and the officers, directors, employees, attorneys, advisers and agents of each of the foregoing from and against any and all claims, losses, or liabilities (including reasonable attorneys' fees) that may be asserted against any of the foregoing or incurred by any of the foregoing at any time in connection with the Film or the Festival's use thereof, and/or arising from any breach or alleged breach of any representation made by me to the Festival.

6. If accepted, I hereby grant without reservations, to the Festival, and their related entities (a) the right to use footage, stills and/or titles, and information from the Film for promotional purposes and (b) the right to issue and authorize publicity concerning the filmmakers and the Film and to use all associated names, likenesses and biographical information. I also agree to provide contact information for the director and producer(s) of the Film and grant the Festival the right to provide this information to film industry organizations sponsoring Festival events at its discretion.

7. I represent that I am 18 years of age or older, or that if I am younger than the legal age to enter into contracts in my state, I have provided written consent from my parent or legal guardian. I agree that any controversy arising out of or in connection with my Film and the Festival will be governed by the internal laws of the State of New Mexico and conclusively determined by arbitration in the City of Santa Fe in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association before a single arbitrator mutually agreed by the parties. I hereby waive any and all rights and benefits which I might otherwise have or be entitled to litigate any such dispute in court, including without limitation a trial by jury.

8. I acknowledge that I have read and understood the rules and regulations for submitting a film to the Festival, located at

9. By submitting the Film, I constitute my full and complete acceptance of the terms hereof. I acknowledge that no oral representations of any kind have been made by Santa Fe Film Festival. Filmmaker grants the Santa Fe Film Festival the right to use a clip or clips from the film or any press materials submitted for publicity and promotional purposes.

10. The Santa Fe Film Festival reserves the right in its sole discretion to reject or disqualify any ineligible entries, without a refund.

11. For accepted titles, the Festival should receive the exhibition print (requested file in the accepted format) no later than January 7, 2023. The filmmaker is responsible for the expense of shipping their exhibition print to the Festival.


Overall Rating
  • Really enjoyed the SFFF experience! The programmers aren't afraid to bring non-traditional cinema to Santa Fe and make admirably bold selections. The festival crew were very hospitable and a number of new industry contacts were made. Great people, great town!

    May 2022
  • Milko Luis

    Perfect excuse to know Santa Fe, nice town with a lot of character. It was a great experience for Oliver & the Pool. JD and Stephanie do an amazing job at the festival. Great program, great venues. Thanks a lot.

    April 2022
  • Farzin Taheri

    It`s an honor to be part of this festival.

    March 2022
  • Stephanie Alton

    It was a great experience "Yupiit: Eye of Both Worlds' won best short documentary!

    March 2022
  • The festival was wonderful! Communication was easy and responses were swift. Absolutely honored to have been selected! The whole team was lovely and professional!

    March 2022