Housed at the Edgemar Center for the Arts, nestled in the Frank Gehry designed complex on bustling Main Street in the beach town of Santa Monica, California, the Cinema at the Edge Independent Film Festival presents films of all genres that feature a distinct vision, a unique voice or a challenge to what is expected and accepted in the medium. Cinema at the edge gives new and recognized films and filmmakers the chance to ignite audience buzz, gain acclaimed exposure, and provide global distribution opportunities.

The Edgemar Center for the Arts is well known on the West Side of Los Angeles as a venue where up and coming talent share quality work, and Artistic Director Michelle Danner is thrilled to now invite the global independent film community to experience this vibrant beachside collective at the 5th Annual Cinema at the Edge Independent Film Festival. Cinema at the Edge programs films with a unique voice and a clear vision, that blend genres or break conventions of the medium, with an added focus on life in the beachfront communities of Santa Monica and Venice and the talented group of independent filmmakers who make LA's West Side their home. Previous festivals featured audience favorites from Sundance, SXSW and other major festivals, while maintaining a focus on world or regional premieres, challenging films that deserve a second look and showcasing local artists.

Previous iterations of the festival have welcomed Brett Ratner as an Honorary Chair, as well as a celebrity jury that included film veterans such as Susan Sarandon and John Singleton. The 1st Annual Cinema at the Edge Independent Film Festival took place over four days in the spring of 2012, and was the natural expansion of these prior events. Narrative features, documentaries and programs of short films screened for packed theaters at the Edgemar Center, and festival-goers also enjoy access to opening and closing night parties, an awards ceremony, a filmmaker's breakfast and and a series of panels focused on the various stages of the filmmaking process. Our panels are made up of prolific LA-based producers, development executives, entertainment attorneys and distribution professionals, joined by filmmakers screening their work at the festival. Awards are given out by the jury in the narrative, documentary and short film categories. Each screening at the festival is followed by a Q&A, even if it has to take place over Skype from countries away.

Awards & Prizes

Jury awards will be given in each category. While the programmers are thrilled to give independent filmmakers a vehicle of expression, an additional commitment is to see that the standout titles at the festival have an opportunity to screen for distributors. Therefore the winners of the jury award in each category will be viewed by industry professionals working in international film distribution and considered for acquisition in addition to a cash prize.

Rules & Terms

Cinema at the Edge is open to independent film of all genres that feature a distinct vision, a unique voice or a challenge to what is expected and accepted in the medium. Each year we select and exhibit narrative features, documentary, and short films. Films previously submitted (and not selected) may be reentered if there has been significant change to the edit. You must complete an entry form for each film submitted.


Early Deadline: October 31, 2016 (postmarked by) - Entry Fee: Features $45, Shorts $30

Regular Deadline: January 20, 2017 (postmarked by) - Entry Fee; Features $55, Shorts $35

Late Deadline: March 15, 2017 (postmarked by)- Entry Fee: Features $65 , Shorts $45

Entries must be submitted by NTSC DVD or through a secure online screener (FilmFreeway, Vimeo, etc.). Region free NTSC DVD's are preferred for screening purposes. We do not accept VHS or video data files for screening purposes.

Foreign language work must be dubbed or subtitled in English. Please do not send elaborate presentation materials, press kits, binders, etc. with your entry. All that is necessary to send is a clearly identified DVD or digital file. If your film is selected for the festival we will contact you about images and press kits.

DVD's and cases must be labeled (preferably using permanent marker/ink) with film title, filmmaker name, phone, email and FilmFreeway tracking ID number. Please place DVD's in a DVD sleeve, no hard plastic cases of any kind.

If you have a link (ie., Vimeo) you must submit via FilmFreeway and send an email to with the link, title of film, director, and FilmFreeway tracking number.

This option is available for all categories.

Entry fees must be in U.S. funds only paid through FilmFreeway. Entry fees are per film entered, and must accompany the entry form for confirmation. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Cost of shipping exhibition prints to the festival is the responsibility of the entrant. Exhibition copies must be sent to the festival prepaid.

Cinema at the Edge
℅ Edgemar Center for the Arts
2437 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405

The festival selection committee makes all programming decisions. If accepted we will notify filmmakers by email and phone. Films not selected will receive notification by email. If accepted the DVD or BlueRay of your film will need to be in our office by March 14, 2015. Be sure to indicate aspect ratio of your film as well as any other special screening/presentation information we might need to know.

Please select only ONE category for your entry when completing your entry form. For our purposes 'feature' refers to films 60 minutes and over. We reserve the right to re-categorize submissions as we deem appropriate.

Due to the large number of entries received submission materials and videos will not be returned.

For more information email us at

Cinema at the Edge is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. the individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations. The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Cinema at the Edge from and against any an all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by any reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

3 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Alexandra Spector

    They didn't test the projection equipment with either of the screener formats we provided ahead of time, which delayed our screening for nearly an hour while one of the organizers ran out to buy a new blu ray player with a sold-out audience was sitting in the theater.

    We also won the Audience Award for Best Feature, but the Festival never sent us the cash prize we were awarded. This experience was pretty disappointing.

    June 2016
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    Andrés Passoni

    It was an honor to have my film screened in this amazing festival!! Thank you!

    June 2016
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    Erin Brown

    The festival played high quality films, and since it's near LA, many filmmakers attended, making it a quality networking opportunity.

    The screening rooms were intimate. They had food out for the filmmakers. They also put posters up for all the films and had distributers there.

    I especially recommend submitting to this festival if you plan to attend.

    May 2016