The Shawna Shea Film Festival (SSFF) is a fringe independent international film festival. We love quirky and experimental films as much as we love straight narratives.

Our philosophy is best explained in the 2005 version of Amos Vogel's book "Film as a Subversive Art."

In it he writes explaining the importance of independent cinema and festivals, "Not those fake 'independent' films whose makers only aspire to become the next Hollywood stars, but those true iconoclasts and independent features, avant-garde or documentary filmmakers-who even under today's bleak circumstances audaciously continue to 'transgress' (i.e. subvert) narrative modes, themes, structures, and the visual/aural conventions of mainstream cinema."

Our goal is to give as much exposure to these kind of films that push those artistic boundaries.

Established in 2012 the SSFF is a fundraiser for the Shawna E Shea Memorial Foundation Inc, a 501(c)(3), to honor Shawna's unique independent spirit by highlighting truly independent films that share the same quality.

The funds raised from the festival go towards scholarships and fellowships, including a Women in Film Fellowship.

Every year we have an opening night networking party and on the closing night we have an awards ceremony and party with food and a band. It is a party!

Every year we give out Best of Awards in many categories including the Women in Film Award and the William Gerrity Award.

We also offer a Female Fellowship Award every year to aspiring female filmmakers from around the world. Go to the Shawna E Shea Memorial Foundation website for more details.

All films must have been produced in the past three years. We accept digital files only for screening purposes. No fee waivers are offered. We reserve the right to screen accepted films at festival events throughout the year. All films that are not in English must have subtitles. For our screenings we require MP4 files.

All screenplays must be under 110 pages for features.

No Waivers. Please don't ask for waivers. This is a fundraiser for our foundation. That would defeat the purpose.

We are not responsible for travel or accommodations.

Overall Rating
  • Jessie Renslow

    We were so happy that our film was accepted and shown at this festival. Communication with the organizers was wonderful. We were not able to attend in person due to our director getting marred, so we cannot speak to the hospitality and networking opportunities, but all of our experience with this festival was great.

    November 2022
  • A great venue, the communication/schedule was great- never had to ask about anything. The films were amazing. Skip does a great job- I submitted my screenplay as a first-time writer and I am happy I did because of what his festival stands for true artists that have passion and want to share art with everyone!

    November 2022
  • Skip and Anna and the entire team at Shawna Shea have created something really special with this festival. I have been so fortunate to be included in SSFF over the last few years I look forward to joining them again, either as a represented filmmaker or simply as a fan. A festival well worth the submission; beautifully produced and curated. A festival filled to the brim with heart and support for our community of artists and creators.

    October 2022
  • James J. LaBonte

    One of my favorite festivals!

    October 2022
  • Rakefet Abergel

    I am so honored to have been a part of the Shawna Shea festival this year and to win the Shawna Spirit award for my short screenplay was just icing on the cake! The personal note from Skip about my project, and the continued support through social media and otherwise, is an invaluable occurrence in this industry. I even made new friends online, without being able to make it to the festival! Which I think really speaks to the kind of people that gravitate towards the kind of special event that this is. Keep up the amazing work and I hope I can make it out there next time. I’m so proud to have been included and acknowledged and celebrated by SSFF! Thank you!

    October 2022