Albany FilmFest is an annual international juried short (and very short) film festival that takes place each year in Albany, California. We invite creative, fresh, and compelling independent short film submissions from emerging and established Bay Area, national, and global filmmakers, and offer two youth filmmaker categories. Our selection panel watches every film that is submitted.

During our week of special screenings we present a mix of specially curated and juried films, and offer a format that leaves plenty of room for audiences and filmmakers engage in conversation. Filmmakers consistently praise Albany FilmFest as friendly, warm, and well-organized, calling our event "one of the best festival experiences I have had." "Of all the festivals we attended this year, Albany FilmFest was the most personable and enjoyable."

Albany FilmFest screens at Landmark's deco-era Albany Twin Theatre in Albany's Solano Avenue Business District. Our quirky little 1-square-mile city is in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area — right next door to Berkeley, directly across from the Golden Gate Bridge, and a short drive from the Wine Country. Our ongoing mission is to build community, communicate across diverse borders, and encourage free creative expression and communication.

Albany FilmFest is a true filmmaker's festival, and we take your work seriously -- our screening team watches every film that's submitted before selecting finalists. Our stellar panel of judges is composed of award-winning filmmakers and industry professionals. Past jury panels have included the late, great documentary filmmaker Les Blank and Academy-Award-winning animator GeeFwee Boedoe.

Filmmaker panels in which audience members can engage with filmmakers are a highlight of our screenings. We’ve had winning films from all over – including filmmakers from Spain, Singapore, New York, Ferguson, Missouri, and, yes, Albany. We are especially proud that visiting filmmakers from around the world continue to reference our friendly, personal vibe.

AFF is a volunteer project of the City of Albany’s Community Media Access Committee in conjunction with the City of Albany and cable channel KALB. Albany FilmFest works to encourage creative storytelling through filmmaking in our community, and we share our films on KALB, both on cable television and streaming online.

Our two Albany categories (one competitive, one non-competitive) showcase just how creative our community can be. Our two Youth filmmaking categories, special Albany FilmFest children's screenings, and youth filmmaking outreach to schools underscore our goal to support and encourage youth media arts education.

Awards & Prizes

Amusing trophies! Cash prizes!

Narrative Short = $250
Documentary Short = $250
Animated Short = $250
Tiny Movie = $250
My Own Private Albany = $250
Best in Show winner = $250
Youth 6-12 = $100 or equivalent in merchandise
Youth 13-17 = $250 or equivalent in merchandise

Please note: Only filmmakers with valid US tax ID are eligible for cash prizes.

Rules & Terms

In submitting this film, the filmmaker represents that s/he is authorized to submit this film for screening at the 2017 Albany FilmFest and acknowledges and agrees to the following:
(a) All films submitted to the Albany Film Festival and selected for screening may be screened more than once during the festival and may also be screened at our Best of the Fest events, on the KALB public access channel, at promotional screenings, and on any associated online outlets. Filmmakers may opt-out to the replaying of films in writing to KALB (1249 Marin Ave. Albany, CA 94706) before March 25, 2017.
(b) Filmmaker grants Albany FilmFest, KALB, and the City of Albany the nonexclusive right to use any content from films accepted for screening and their accompanying materials (such as stills and biographical data) as well as media from the Opening Gala and Festival for publicity and promotional purposes.
(c) Filmmaker warrants that the submitted film does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of any person or entity and agrees to hold harmless and fully indemnify and defend Albany FilmFest, KALB, City of Albany and their representatives against any and all claims made for such infringement or any other violations of law.
The filmmaker acknowledges that the film submission fee does not guarantee acceptance and no refund will be provided if a film is not selected.
To be considered for the Albany Filmmakers Showcase category, filmmakers must be residents or former residents of Albany, California, and must indicate the nature of their Albany connection in the cover letter section. Submissions not meeting these specifications will be ineligible for screening.


MADEINALBANY: Filmmakers whose films have 50% or more of the footage shot in Albany, California, are eligible for a 50% submission fee reduction.

AFFFF50: Filmmakers whose films were accepted and shown at previous Albany FilmFest screenings are eligible for a 50% submission fee reduction for new films.

AFFSTUDENT: $10 discount on submission fees for college/film school students. MUST provide proof (valid current student ID)

No other waivers or exceptions will be granted.


Upon a film’s selection for screening, Albany FilmFest will ask for the following deliverables:

(1) 1 high-quality digital file for judging:

* File type: 1 hi quality h.264 file: 1920x1080 .mp4. We can accept other file types, but please contact us first. Letterbox if necessary.

*Name the file using this format: AFF_2017_CATEGORY_Title_Filmmaker

* Use the following codes for category type: NS = Narrative Short, DS = Documentary Short, AS = Animated Short, TM = Tiny Movie, MOPA = My Own Private Albany, Y612 = Youth 6-12, Y1317 = Youth 13-17, AFS = Albany Filmmakers Showcase

(2) 1 high-quality digital file for screening:

* File type: 1920x1080 24fps .mov (Apple ProRes 422 HQ, Apple ProRes 422, Apple ProRes 422 LT). We can accept other file types, but please contact us first. Letterbox if necessary.

* Name the file using this format: AFF_2017_CATAGORY_Title_Filmmaker

* Use the following codes for category type: NS = Narrative Short, DS = Documentary Short, AS = Animated Short, TM = Tiny Movie, MOPA = My Own Private Albany, Y612 = Youth 6-12, Y1317 = Youth 13-17, AFS = Albany Filmmakers Showcase

(3) Digital images for promotion:

* Send 1–3 promotional stills (the images you want associated with your film): 300ppi hi-rez .jpg.

* Name each file using this format: AFF_2017_Title_Filmmaker_1 (2, and/or 3)
Upload these files directly to AFF (up to 10 gigabytes) via Hightail:

For files over 10 gigabytes, use your own preferred file transfer service and send directly to


Deliver a thumbdrive containing all of the above digital files to:
Albany FilmFest c/o KALB
1249 Marin Ave
Albany CA 94706

2 Reviews

Overall Rating
  • false
    Martha Gorzycki

    A thriving film community that supports independent filmmakers. Great party and opportunities to connect with other filmmakers. Well organized, good communication, friendly and welcoming staff. Definitely a fun and worthwhile festival experience!

    May 2017
  • false
    Margaret Costa

    This festival was fabulous and very well organized. I was honored to have my film shown there.

    April 2017