The 2022 festival will be in person, Nov 11, 12, 13, 2022.

We screen almost 100 movies a year, and more than the majority of selected artist actively participated in the event.
We reached more than 21,000 audience members overall in 2020 and almost 30,000 in 2021.
We're a small fest but our community LOVES movies!

$2.000 PRIZE MONEY every year
Best Short Film: ---> $250
Best Feature: ---> $250
Yucca Valley Award: ---> $200 (for local artists only)
Best Animated Short Film: ---> $150
Best Script: ---> $150
Best Music Video: ---> $150
Best Dance Film: ---> $150
Best Student FIlm: ---> $150
Best Documentary: ---> $150
Best Experimental /Visual Art: ---> $100
Best Music Composer: ---> $100
Audience Award: ---> $100
Best Photography: ---> $50
Best Drone Video: ---> $50

(2020 numbers, may be updated by the Town Council later in 2021).


Yucca Valley is the economic hub for the Morongo Basin is the natural gateway to Joshua Tree National Park (2.4M visitors in 2020).

The Town already lives to the rhythm of artists and creative minds, coming to Yucca Valley in search of the perfect spot to create and find a receptive audience.

In 2019, the Town offered its first Film Festival, generating a buzz with local audiences (3 packed screening nights with red carpet), attracting attendance by international talented filmmakers, and benefiting from a large press coverage.

The Film Festival was listed as the main cultural event for the Town in the Hi-Desert Star, and got covered by NBC, Z 107.7, Spot on California, Desert Road Trippin', Greater Palm Springs... (See PRESS albums on Facebook and FilmFreeway).

The Yucca Valley Film Festival became a recurring, family friendly annual rendez-vous for all the Hi-Desert Community, film lovers and art lovers. 2020 was a digital edition reaching more than 30,000 viewers and interactions through screenings, QnAs, roundtables, a Masterclass with William BALDWIN...
2021 will once again be a celebration of movies and visual arts in the heart of the Mojave Desert, wether in person or hybrid.

Yucca Valley also carries a vast movie heritage in itself, and also with the historic movie sets of Pioneertown. In 2016, TIM BURTON shot scenes of โ€œMiss Peregrineโ€™s Home for Peculiar Childrenโ€ on Old Woman Springs Road.
More than 50 titles are listed on Imdb with scenes shot here.


Each filmmakerโ€™s presentation will include a short introduction, film screening and opportunity for brief Q&A with the audience.


Our typical program includes:

Kick off event - Yucca room
- Event presentation
- Red Carpet
- Mayorโ€™s opening speech
- Opening short film(s)
- Feature film Yucca Valley premiere

Screenings & talks
- documentaries in competition
- followed by talk with artists and audience
- Audience vote

- Script roundtable with script writers talking about their work

โ€‹Screening & talk
- Animated films in competition

Screening & talk
- Student films in competition
- followed by talk with artists and audience
- Audience vote

Screening & talk
- Short films in competition
- followed by talk with artists and audience
- Audience vote


Screening & talk
- Visual Arts in films (experimental and visually creative audiovisual work)
- Music Videos
- followed by talk with artists and audience
- Audience vote

Closing event with
- Red Carpet
- Result of the week-end drawing lots
- Result all official winners (every category)
- Result of the audience votes (every category)
- Screening of the winning movies with artistsโ€™ introduction & followed by talk with filmmakers
- Closing speech by the Mayor

Program is subject to change, check our website for final and updated program at all times.


Your film, music video, art video, art film, documentary... Shot scenes in Yucca Valley? Features a local landmark? Features a local talent? Or you ARE a local talent based in Yucca Valley, the Morongo basin, along Highway 62 or the larger San Bernardino County?

Please contact us by email for a special discount. We'll consider your work for a the Yucca Valley Award, with prize money and special event.

Every category winner listed below will receive a cash award (all screening films are eligible to their category AND the Audience Award).


Best Short Film: ---> $250
Best Feature: ---> $300
Best Director: --> $200
Yucca Valley Award: ---> $200 (for local artists only)
Best Animated Short Film: ---> $200
Best Script: ---> $150
Best Music Video: ---> $150
Best Dance Film: ---> $150
Best Student FIlm: ---> $150
Best Documentary: ---> $150
Best Experimental /Visual Art: ---> $100
Best Music Composer: ---> $150
Audience Award: ---> $100
Best Photography: ---> $100
Best Drone Video: ---> $50
Keep Mojave Free Award and Festival pick may also apply and benefit from a prize money.

(2022 estimate numbers, may be updated by the Town Council at any time).
Prizes money are only wired to a US bank account after a W9 form is complete.

In addition to the prize money, every participant will receive
---> an Award Certificate (digital if online, in person if live event)
--> official laurels,

and based on secured sponsorship, the festival may announce more prizes and gifts.

ONLY FILMMAKERS PARTICIPATING IN PERSON WILL BE GRANTED THEIR PRIZE MONEY, and other prizes. Participating meaning taking part in presentation, after-movie talks and QnAs, in a person if the festival is in person, or in a digital manner if the festival is online.

Laurels and certificates are sent by email on a digital form, some are handed to the filmmakers participating in person.

IMPORTANT: all selected filmmakers agree to participate and present their film in person -or at least digitally -, and take part in AMA or QnAs with audience.

In case of a live event, travel and accommodation expenses are the responsibility of each filmmaker.

The film should have been completed after January 1, 2018.

Submitters grant the Yucca Valley Film Festival all necessary rights, free of charge, to screen use and promote the submitted materials, for public performance, with or without entrance fee. Applicant further declares their work has taken care of all necessary permission use of any copyrighted material (e.g. music) used in their film.

ONLY FILMMAKERS PARTICIPATING IN PERSON WILL BE GRANTED THEIR PRIZE MONEY, gift bag and cash awards. Laurels and certificates are sent by email on a digital form.

Any submission stands for a full acceptance of the Festival rules.
A withdrawal does not void the fact a submission has been made.
Festival decisions are final.

We accept all genres and nationalities and language for all international categories.
You are allowed to have multiple entries and submit to multiple categories, with the same or different films. Each category requires its own fee.
Entries are non refundable.
We do not provide free submissions.
We do not review movie submissions sent directly to us by email, unless we requested it. We only accept online digital submissions via selected platforms.
Each entry and submission category must have its own submission fee. โ€จ
If you submitted to the wrong category, contact us (there may be a fee).
Your submission grants the Festival and the Town of Yucca Valley the right to use and utilize any image, excerpt, titles, words you submitted to us, for promotion purposes.
The festival organizers may refuse any illegal, non-artistic, fake, false, incomplete entries.
The festival and the Town of Yucca Valley shall pick the submissions of their choice to create the festival program.
The festival and the Town of Yucca Valley reserve the right to cancel, change any part of the program or revert selected submissions without notice.
Each student film submitted has to provide proof of studies. If you do not provide, your entry may not make it to selection and be set to incomplete or end up disqualified.
Animated short films (even student made) must submit to animated category.
Animated features (even student made) must submit to feature category.
A documentary (even student made) must submit to the documentary category.
Works in progress are not accepted unless local work made in the Hi-Desert area and San Bernardino County.

You FilmFreeway profile must include :
- your country
- a poster of your project (whether it is a film, a script, or any piece of work. You donโ€™t have one -> We can recommend a couple of designers).
- minimum 5 lines about your project (synopsis)
- a biography of the director or the artist.
- at least 2 pictures from the film with no watermarking.
- a trailer. Your trailer will be used. Your trailer must be on YouTube OR any other platform so we can embed it to our website and to our press releases. If you have no trailer: we can recommend several editors.

If an element goes missing: contact us.

Your FilmFreeway profile must NOT include
- the type of work next to the title of your film.
Examples : โ€œASTONISHING CLIFF EDGE -Music Video-โ€œ is wrong.
โ€œTHE LIFE OF JAMES I a short film by Benny Lugosiโ€ is wrong.
โ€œASTONISHING CLIFF EDGEโ€ and โ€œTHE LIFE OF JAMESโ€ are correct.

The names, title, country and all elements you fill your FilmFreeway profile with will be used if you get selected to the festival. Fill your profile fully and careful.
ALL communications are sent to the email address you provide. The festival is not responsible for any lost communication whatsoever.

Your FilmFreeway profile must provide a direct access to your work (video, film, photo) at all times. If your film or video disappears from your profile, your submission may be set to incomplete or even disqualified, if the incident happens after the official selection.

We strongly recommend you have a Facebook and/or Instagram page for your project or film so we can fully promote you.

Screenings will require a HD digital file, sent by WeTransfer Google Drive... NO DROPBOX unless direct download without signup.
Specifications : .mp4, H264. Films below 5 minutes : less than 500MO. Films 5 to 10 minutes : less than 1G. Films 10 to 30 minutes : less than 2G. Feature films : less than 5G.
NO .mov will be used.
Regarding 2K, 4K: we welcome these formats. Please send us an email to arrange good reception of the files.
It is your responsibility to provide with the proper screening file. If you do not provide, you will be disqualified.

If your film raises some concerns about potential or actual copyright issues, illegal copy or plagiarism, submissions may be NOT SELECTED or DISQUALIFIED without notice.
The Festival has a no tolerance policy for fraud, with regards to any form of influence toward a biased tentative outcome.

Audience Vote take place after the screenings or block screening. Only audience members are allowed to vote for competing films.
Any identified fraud will have consequences, from cancelling the fraudulent vote to disqualifying the film.
Be it known that some participants were disqualified from the audience vote in 2020 due to vote fraud. The votes we receive are verified. Any suspicion leads to a closer examination and the festival reserve itself the right to disqualify from the votes or from the festival any movie or filmmaker that would benefit from an established biased system or any form of fraud destined to influence the results of the audience vote.

Prizes money are only wired to a US bank account after a W9 form is complete. NO OTHER OPTION WILL BE CONSIDERED AT THE TIME. DO NOT REQUEST ANY FORM OF EXCEPTION.

If you are selected or win, you are expected to attend the festival and the Award Ceremony. If you cannot attend the ceremony, you must find someone to represent you and claim your award and prize money, on stage.
Only attending or represented filmmakers will be awarded, with no exceptions.
We do not ship trophies.

Is at the charge of the participating filmmaker.

We may announce the first nominees before the notification date. This does not mean the selection is complete, this means we may make a first wave of selection to facilitate attendance.
When you receive the first platform update as a selected submission, that means you are selected, and you get an Official Selection Laurel. The selection does not grant a screening in every case, please check our website.
We cannot give each submitter a personal answer regarding their selection.
The selected talents receive an email with a link to the laurel center and all information about the festival.
If you're not selected, your movie status will be updated on FilmFreeway, and the platform will send an automatic notification at due date.

Accepted scripts are un-produced and produced, 2017 or later. If your film is produced, you have to send us the script, not the film.

Short Films (1 to 30 Minutes)
Feature films (31 to 150 minutes)
Documentaries (1 to 120 minutes)
Scripts (1 to 150 pages)
Animation (1 to 30 Minutes)
Student short films (1 to 30 Minutes)
Visual Art (video form, 1 to 25 Minutes)
Music Video (under 10 minutes)

Overall Rating
  • Kassy Mahea

    The Yucca Valley Film Festival was a pleasure to be acquainted with. I am certainly glad I submitted.

    January 2022
  • Jameson DeSantis

    The Yucca Valley Film Fest was an absolute delight! Matt was very communicative and the panels he hosted were fun and lively. It attracted a great group of filmmakers. Would love to participate again in person! Long live YVFF.

    November 2021
  • Brian Katona

    A wonderful festival experience! Matt and the whole team helped create a unique and fun environment for everyone to share their work and talk about their creative process. A true honor to be included in this year's festival!

    November 2021
  • Ian Montgomery

    Seems to be a pretty good festival. They run lots of events like filmmaker panels and work to promote those involved.

    November 2021
  • Joey Clift

    Great fest run by great people!

    November 2021