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!


As you are all aware these are challenging times for film festivals and the filmmakers we try to support. With Covid-19 we are all trying to navigate this pandemic and do what is best for all involved. And for us safety is our primary concern.

We are confident that by the Fall we will be able to successfully run a live event. Which is what makes SSFF so special, the networking that takes place after each screening and at our final night Awards Ceremony and Party.

In 2022 we will continue to keep an eye on how we progress and do what we belive is proper to keep everyone healthy and safe.

We look forward to your submissions.

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
  • Daisy Weaver

    Venue was flat but company was great!

    October 2021
  • Maria Picar

    I wasn't able to attend this festival due to work on another production, but Skip Shea has was absolutely stellar in welcoming our film "Silent Voices" to this event and remaining in constant communication on updates of the festival due to COVID. I hope we can come back and meet him in person in the near future.

    October 2021
  • A great film festival! Excellent standard competition. Good level in films selection. Amazing communication. I recommend it!

    October 2021
  • This was a blast to return with my new short film [Within the Frame]. Skip and the SSFF team are just amazing and they make you feel like you mean the most to the fest. I was honored with my award for Best Director of a Horror Short Film and it was the cherry on the top of a festival that just cares on every level! I look forward to the next trip and all filmmakers should submit because it more than just film with festival, its about people, creative, and love!

    October 2021
  • Amanda Rodriguez

    This was my first time submitting to the Shawna Shea Film Festival, and it was a great experience! The festival was very well organized and they were great with communication. The organizer, Skip is so friendly and you can tell he's very passionate about the festival and local film community. They also had great safety protocols in place for COVID. I plan on submitting to this festival again in the future! Oh, and an added bonus.. my film won Best Short! Thank you Shawna Shea Film Festival!

    October 2021