$2.000 PRIZE MONEY in 2020
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


Yucca Valley is the economic hub for the Morongo Basin is the natural gateway to Joshua Tree National Park (+3M visitors in 2019).

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 now become a family friendly annual rendez-vous for all the Hi-Desert Community, film lovers and art lovers.

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 “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” on Old Woman Springs Road.
More than 50 titles are listed on Imdb with scenes shot here.


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


2020 program will be listed here as soon as possible.
Below is our 2019 program for reference.

The 2020 festival, due to current circumstances, may happen online depending on local regulations at the time.

If such, QnAs, masterclass, speeches, interactive talks, virtual presentations will take place in a digital manner and be promoted accordingly, and screenings shall take place on a secured, protected, professional streaming platform unless a live event is allowed by October.

FRIDAY 11.15.2019
7pm > Kick off event - Yucca room
- Event presentation
- Red Carpet
- Mayor’s opening speech
- Opening short film(s)
- Feature film Yucca Valley premiere

SATURDAY 11.16.2019
9-11am > ​Screening & talk
- documentaries in competition
- followed by talk with artists and audience
- Audience vote

11am > ​Talk
- Script roundtable with script writers talking about their work

2-3pm > ​Screening & talk
- Animated films in competition

3-4pm > ​Screening & talk
- Student films in competition
- followed by talk with artists and audience
- Audience vote

7pm > ​Screening & talk
- Short films in competition
- followed by talk with artists and audience
- Audience vote

8pm > ​Screening & talk
- Visual Arts in films (experimental and visually creative audiovisual work)
- Music Videos
- followed by talk with artists and audience
- Audience vote

SUNDAY 11.17.2019
9-10am > ​Quizz
- Musical quiz, music from movies, @Senior Center

10am-4pm > ​Movie Fair​ with
- Vendors (main theme being items related to movies and audiovisual)
- Animation stand playing Music, announcing the drawing lots game, the
- Costume contest

7pm > 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 artists’ 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: ---> $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

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 PARTICIPATING FILMMAKERS WILL BE GRANTED THEIR PRIZE MONEY, and other prizes. Participating meaning taking part in presentation, after-movie talks and QnAs, in a physical or digital manner.
Laurels and certificates are sent by email on a digital form.

IMPORTANT: all selected filmmakers agree to participate and present their film in person -at least digitally via Zoom-, 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.
Accommodation can be partially worked out on a case-by-case basis.

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)

The film should have been completed after January 1, 2017.

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 PARTICIPATING FILMMAKERS 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.

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. 

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 don’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 : “ASTONISHING CLIFF EDGE -Music Video-“ is wrong.
“THE LIFE OF JAMES I a short film by Benny Lugosi” is wrong.

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.

Prizes money are only wired to a US bank account after a W9 form is complete.

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.

The festival may help with accommodation in Yucca Valley, based on a one night stand.

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.

Overall Rating
  • Nick Luciano

    The Yucca Valley Film Festival was a great time and very supportive of all of the filmmakers who submitted, as well as the Yucca Valley community. It was great to participate in the panels and Q&A last year and to be considered for the Audience Awards. I would submit to this fest again!

    August 2020
  • Matty Jorissen

    The festival is organized by very friendly people with whom I had pleasant communications via e-mail. Thank you for inviting us to submit our little music video to your festival, wish we could've been there in sunny California-nya. Maybe at a next edition?

    December 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Matty, and congrats for the win... Amazing work with "Johny...".

  • Jon Wilson

    We were excited that our film Winter's Blight was selected for the Yucca Valley FF and then when it won an award was fantastic. A great festival thanks from the team

    December 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Jon for this review and for this incredible film that touched everyone's heart here...

  • Yucca Valley Film Festival was great! Matt communicated information very clearly before and throughout the festival. I enjoyed speaking with the other filmmakers in the Filmmakers Lounge and had a lot of great conversations with other attendees. The town is also quite nice and the people very friendly. It was an honor to be part of the inaugural year of the film festival!

    December 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Andrew. Very happy you liked the Lounge and that you had the chance to make so many connections. Keep rockin' with GHOST IN THE GUN!

  • Jessica Janos

    What a fantastic experience. I love Yucca Valley and it was great to be a part of this festival. So well run.

    December 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Jessica! And good job on Social Media Promotion!