Located in the heart of California wine country, AVFest is a filmmaker-friendly celebration of the best new cinema from around the world. Championing the work of first-time filmmakers and underrepresented artists, the festival welcomes original voices and innovative storytelling. Our slate includes domestic and international features and shorts as well as new media. Committed to the notion that cinema fosters belonging, connection, empathy, and growth, AVFilm aims to be an accessible forum for community engagement and film education that facilitates thought-provoking conversations between local residents, film students, and industry professionals and nurtures future storytellers.

ATTENTION ALL STUDENTS: For student rules, regulations, and awards, please visit: https://www.avfilmpresents.org/student-film-competition

Short films are curated in cooperation with Film Fest Petaluma.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (J.E.D.I.) AWARD
This juried prize will be awarded to a feature or short film that (1) rights a wrong, corrects revisionist history, or brings a new or underrepresented perspective to light; (2) amplifies a traditionally marginalized community; and/or (3) deals with themes of justice, equity, diversity, or inclusion. Cash value: $1,000

AVFest Audience Award - Feature Narrative
This prize will be awarded to the narrative feature that receives the highest marks from AVFest audiences. Cash value: $1,000

AVFest Audience Award - Feature Documentary
This prize will be awarded to the documentary feature that receives the highest marks from AVFest audiences. Cash value: $1,000

AVFest Audience Award - Short
This prize will be awarded to the short film that receives the highest marks from AVFest audiences. Cash value: $500


ATTENTION ALL STUDENTS: For student rules, regulations, and awards, please visit: https://www.avfilmpresents.org/student-film-competition

When you submit your film to AVFest, you agree to all screen Entry Rules and Regulations below.


* Entrants accept all rules and regulations of AVFest and must be 18+ yrs old or have written adult consent by a parent or guardian.
* Films that are not in the English language must be subtitled in English or dubbed.
* The filmmaker represents and warrants that the submitted material is an original work and that there are no disputes regarding ownership of the submission. The filmmaker represents and warrants that the submitted material does not defame or invade the rights of any person living or dead, and he/she fully indemnifies the Festival against any claim made for such violations of the law. The filmmaker understands that failure to adhere to the Festival rules and regulations will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee. The filmmaker agrees to hold AVFest harmless from and defends them against all claims, demands, losses, damages, judgments, liabilities, and expenses arising out of or in connection with any and all claims of third parties, whether or not they are groundless, based on any film submitted to the Festival.

Entry Protocol

* AVFest only accepts online submissions.
* Films submitted for selection will be considered as final.
* For multiple entries, each film must be submitted separately on FilmFreeway. Fees for multiple entries may be combined through the FilmFreeway system.
* By submitting your film to AVFest, you agree to abide by our community agreement: https://avfilmpresents.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/AVFILM-COMMUNITY-AGREEMENT.pdf


Films may be re-entered in subsequent years provided that significant changes have been made to them and that they still meet all rules, regulations, and eligibility requirements.

If your work is accepted into AVFest 2024:

* An email agreement will be emailed to you. You must confirm and accept all conditions by replying to the email upon acceptance.
* A DCP and/or .mp4 file must be provided upon acceptance.
* The filmmaker must provide a trailer or clip of the film under two minutes in length as a digital file or online link that can be embedded or downloaded.
* One comprehensive digital press kit must be provided, which includes film stills, photo of director, synopsis of film for marketing material, full cast and crew credits, and bio of director. AVFest reserves the right to secure alternative materials from other sources.

Exhibition Guidelines:
* Transportation and insurance costs of DCPs, related documents, photographs, and publicity materials from the country of origin to the AVFest office shall be borne by the applicant. AVFest will pay for the return of any hard drives to the filmmaker via FedEx.
* AVFest will be allowed to use all photographs and publicity materials received along with the entry and with all accepted films for marketing material. These photographs and publicity material will not be returned to the filmmaker.
* For promotional and publicity purposes, trailers or brief clips of any film entered into the Festival may be shown on any television network, the Internet, or related media throughout the duration of the Festival.
* Films selected for the final screening, once the offer is accepted by the filmmaker, will not be allowed to be withdrawn from the Festival under any circumstance.
* Decisions of the festival authorities regarding all matters not expressly provided for in these regulations or which require interpretation of the clauses mentioned above shall be binding on all parties.
* Submission in the festival implies acceptance of these regulations.

ATTENTION ALL STUDENTS: For student rules, regulations, and awards, please visit: https://www.avfilmpresents.org/student-film-competition

Overall Rating
  • We were so pleased to screen our film BY MY SIDE at the AVFest. The sold out venue with hardcore film viewers was super exciting. We were also grateful to have cast members, Veteran Emilio Gallegos and his service dog Samson, included on the panel. Mike Traina’s moderating was excellent. It was an honor to be on the program with the other talented filmmakers. Thank you !

    June 2023
  • Peter Ferriero

    Wow! The AVFest is amazing. They are top notch. They treated all of their films and experience with such class, and respect. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed it. The area, the food, the films, everything was fantastic. But, the team was even better! Thank you all for a wonderful, engaging, and thoughtful experience. More to come for sure!

    May 2023
  • It has been great that our film PUZZLE had the chance to be accompanied by its director Ricardo Muñoz, who assures us that this experience in AV festival has been tremendously beautiful and enriching and we believe him because from the very moment we submitted the film we have felt the professionalism and warmth of this beautiful festival that is well worth it. Thanks to Michael Traina and all the fantastic team of the festival!

    May 2023
  • Chihiro Wimbush

    Can't say enough good things about AVFest. A wonderfully welcoming film festival put on by warm friendly people who truly care about film and creating a great experience for filmgoers and filmmakers alike. The festival was so generous with travel, including a car to make the 2 hour drive from the airport, as well as accommodation (a lovely cottage with a view), and the screening itself was in a wonderful cinema with an engaged audience. Only wish I had more time to actually take in more of the festival myself. Hope to make it back for a future festival when their film center with screens and education center is complete!

    May 2023
  • Eric J. Adams

    What a warm welcome for filmmakers! Excellent film lineup and so many wine-country based activities and events. AVFest has a home-town feel and everyone associated with the fest is enthusiastic and helpful. Only drawback is that the festival is spread out over two towns (Cloverdale and Healdsburg) but who cares -- the divine drive between the two wine-country towns are worth a million drives. Can't wait to come back!

    May 2022