The Santa Fe Film Festival is a 10-day celebration of the best in cinematic arts, the 24th Annual Santa Fe Film Festival will run in February 2024 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 23rd edition with an in-person event featuring 90 films from all over the world. At this year’s festival, filmmakers were honored at the two filmmaker awards ceremonies held.

2023 Santa Fe Film Festival Award Winners

Lifetime Achievement Award
Karen Allen

Best Score
Eden River

Best Production Design
Problem of the Hero

Best Feature
Kasturba Gandhi

Best Documentary
Land of the Free (Out of the Shadows)

Best Cinematography
The Warm Season

Best International
Solo Adventures Around the World

Best Short
Last Breath

Best Short Story
Eden Rivera

Best Supporting Actress
Beth & Jeremy & Steve

Best Film
The Art Whisperer

Best Feature Documentary
Sloane: A Jazz Singer

Best Actor in a Short
Robert McKeon for Footnote

Best Director for a Short
Andrew Crawford for In Wake

Best Narrative Feature
When Time Got Louder

Best Score

Best Screenplay
Good Doctor

Best Music Video

Best Comedy
The Wrong Guy

Best Locally Made Short-Ryan Rox
Shipping Them

Best International Film
Mariupol Survivors

Best Screenplay Adaptation-Samuel Davey

Best Actor in a Feature
Matt Page for Cop vs. Killer

Visionary Award-Nathanial Fuentes
New: Art is Culture, Culture is Art

Best Director-Tomas Sanchez
End of the Santa Fe Trail

Special Humanitarian Award
Genizaro Experience

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 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. SFFF does not generally pay for screening fees or filmmakers travel and accommodations. Exceptions to this may be in the case of an honoree or special screening such as an opening night film. This is at the discretion of the SFFF staff.

6. 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.

7. 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 cover letter as we don't want to miss your film.

8. Your film does not have to be a premiere of any kind for inclusion in our festival. However, it cannot be available currently on a streaming site, broadcast, or VOD.

9. 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.

2. Once your film is accepted and digital copy sent to us, you cannot withdraw the film from festival programming.


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 20, 2024. The filmmaker is responsible for the expense of shipping their exhibition print to the Festival.


Overall Rating
  • Kurt Jacobsen

    Aaron runs a tight and welcoming ship. Pleased to be back and hope to return again with a new project.

    April 2023
  • Flemming Fynsk

    Premiering our film at SFFF was life-changing. Couldn't have asked for a better experience for our team. World-class. What a launch pad for indie film!

    March 2023
  • Charlene Golightly

    Definitely the best festival in Santa Fe! Great screenings, selection of films and after parties. Everything was close to the plaza so it was very easy to walk around, event to event.

    March 2023
  • Faith Strongheart

    This film festival is struggling after Covid 19 and the start of a new festival in Santa Fe. It's really too bad because it was started with such great intentions and with fabulous people running it. It has really gone down hill. The team is great - but they clearly have very little support. There was terrible communication about the festival and there is no technical director or filmmaker's contact. They did the best they could and I hope the find their way but my fear is that this festival will go by the wayside as the other Santa Fe Film Festival takes over. I asked why they can't work together and why another one was started at all and apparently it is a branch of people who used to work at this festival who felt it was not going the way they liked. They tried to work together but it proved too difficult. I am grateful that I got to screen my film in Santa Fe as I am from there and I shot the film in NM, but the venue was not great and the films it played with were terrible. The projectionist didn't have my file - despite me confirming with the festival that they had it. Luckily we could quickly download it.

    March 2023
  • Cynthia Lukas

    This is a wonderful Film Festival, which I have had the good fortune to experience twice, this year and back in 2007! Their quality is still excellent. There couldn't be a more hospitable group, and there are many opportunities for networking. Of course, the venue of Santa Fe is beautiful, as always.

    March 2023