IT’S TIME TO SHINE!
The 16th annual San Diego International Film Festival invites you to submit today for a chance to shine a spotlight on your film! With the belief that cinematic storytelling can make a difference in our world, the San Diego International Film Festival is dedicated to shining a spotlight on films that make a difference. Riveting film screenings and networking events are accompanied by great parties, great people and stunning views of sunny San Diego - Chosen the #1 Best Travel Destination in the U.S. by Money Magazine.
SDiFF is a competitive five-day festival for U.S. and international independent films and filmmakers with two “film village” locations including the vibrant Downtown San Diego/Gaslamp District and the iconic beach community of La Jolla. SDiFF offers filmmakers and audiences industry insights, educational panels, exciting discussions at intimate gatherings and opportunities to learn and grow as you explore the art of cinema.
Notable features of the festival include:
- 100+ independent and studio films
- 100's of visiting filmmakers and entertainment industry leaders
- Sneak preview premieres of Oscar-worthy studio releases
- A spotlight on Independent films/ filmmaking
- A celebrity tribute evening & program hosted by VARIETY magazine.
- Jury and Audience Awards in multiple categories
- Walkable villages at different screening venues in San Diego
- Industry panels
- Social Impact Panel and Film Track
- Signature events including: Opening Night Film and Party, Friday Party with a Purpose, Filmmaker Awards and Culinary Cinema.
Just 120 miles south of Los Angeles/Hollywood, the San Diego International Film Festival (SDiFF) has quickly become a favorite of industry insiders and celebrities. Past filmmakers/ celebrities attending include: Annette Bening, Adrian Brody, Kate Beckinsale, Simon Heldberg, Beau Bridges, Judd Apatow, Mariel Hemingway, Alan Arkin, Michelle Monaghan, Josh Duhamel, Denise Haysbert, and many more.
Awards & Prizes
The slate of films that are selected at the festival offers a wide range of programming from creative narrative features to thought-provoking documentaries to engaging and enlightening short films. Topics in film we specifically cultivate include Women in film, American Indian Cinema, film exploring the role of veterans and the Armed Forces, Student Film projects, Sports, Horror, Equestrian, Animation and World Cinema.
Gala Premieres which have been nominated for or won major awards from the festival include: LION, DENIAL, HELL OR HIGH WATER, CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, ROOM, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, THE IMITATION GAME, WILD, ST. VINCENT, WHIPLASH, MR. TURNER, SEPTEMBERS OF SHIRAZ, I SMILE BACK, HE NAMED ME MALALA, ROOM and many more.
Filmmaker Hospitality & Benefits:
- 2 Filmmaker Badges with full access to all screenings and events
- 5 Complimentary Tickets for the filmmaker's screening
- Filmmaker Brunch including networking with industry professionals
- Discounted accommodations for filmmakers
- Industry-oriented seminars and workshops
- Potential for one-on-one meetings with prominent entertainment industry professionals
- Complimentary admission for some of the leading tourist and cultural attractions in and around San Diego.
Rules & Terms
The nonrefundable entry fee must be payable in US dollars to SAN DIEGO FILM FOUNDATION. Entries must be POSTMARKED by the deadline. Submission costs vary depending on category and discounts. When submitting to the festival you are agreeing that, if selected and the invitation accepted, to screen the submitted film during the dates of the festival. SDiFF will not pay any screening fees for presentation of the film during the festival. The only exception would be if there is a negotiated agreement preceding the submission of the film to SDiFF.
The SDiFF is a competitive showcase for domestic and international feature films, documentaries and shorts. The SDiFF reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any project submitted. All films must be a minimum of a San Diego Premiere and NO theatrical, cable, television, satellite, DVD, VHS, VOD, internet screenings or availability of any kind in the San Diego region prior to the SDFF dates. Only works completed in 2016 and 2017 are eligible for selection. There is no limit to the number of entries.
All foreign language entries must have English subtitles. Projects must be submitted for consideration on DVD, BluRay or as an online screener. PAL format will not be accepted. Works in progress will be considered for the SDiFF. Works in progress will not be screened in the festival. Screening material, press and any application materials sent to SDiFF will NOT be returned. If you did not receive a confirmation of submission, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. All features and documentaries submitted must be available in BluRay and DCP for festival presentation.
The San Diego International Film Festival is a competitive event and unless notified otherwise, all films officially selected are eligible for competition. For a list of competitive categories, please see our awards page. All films are nominated and voted upon by an impartial jury of filmmakers, industry professionals, festival programmers and film aficionados.
If selected, the SDiFF will require an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) to include high-resolution production stills, key art, bio and filmography of the director, production notes and full cast and crew credits.
Although every possible care will be taken with tapes, films, drives and files while in our possession, we cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage. Do not send original or master prints, tapes, files or drives. Please keep the SDiFF notified of any address/phone number changes.
The cost of shipping all entries and films to the festival must be paid by the entrant. The SDiFF will not pay the cost of shipping the print back to the filmmaker. SDiFF will not be responsible for expedited or overnight shipping charges to other organizations. Also, SDiFF cannot guarantee shipment of prints to other festivals during the days of the festival. All international entries must be sent 'free domicile' to the SDiFF office with all transportation charges, duties, and taxes prepaid by the shipper.
Submission of an entry gives the SDiFF permission to have excerpts of accepted work, including film trailers, shown in all promotional activities related to the festival.
Films selected for the SDiFF will be notified no later than September 1, 2017.