The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival was named Moviemaker Magazine's "50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017".

Santa Fe Independent Film Festival is invested in Santa Fe as a destination for film. Bringing cutting edge programming, the latest independent films and directors, Native cinema, New Mexico and Student films, and masters discussions with visiting artists and professionals in their field, all in the setting of downtown Santa Fe.

The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival began in 2009 as a fringe festival that took place in a community center. By 2011 it was the biggest event of its kind in New Mexico, screening over 100 films during a 5 day Fest. The 2011 festival honored Academy Award Nominee Kirby Dick (Invisible War), Tony Mark (The Hurt Locker) and unit production manager Alton Walpole (Crazy Heart). The 2012 festival honored Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals, Skins), Rudolfo Anaya (Bless Me, Ultima), and Judy Blume (Tiger Eyes) and included two sold out screenings at the Lensic Performing Arts Center and a Red Carpet event. The festival also organized a historic filmmakers brunch, bringing industry professionals and local filmmakers together for a discourse on the future of filmmaking in New Mexico. At the 2013 festival honorees included Wes Studi (Avatar) and John Waters (Hairspray). The 2014 festival hosted over 10,000 attendees and presented lifetime achievement awards to Shirley MacLaine and George RR Martin. The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival was recognized nationally by IndieWire Magazine as "a young Sundance". Santa Fe Independent Film Festival has grown from humble beginnings to becoming one of the top annual events in New Mexico and has effectively extended the tourism season in Santa Fe into late October. In November 2013 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival was named one of Moviemaker Magazine's 25 Coolest General Film Festivals on the planet. In April 2014 the Festival was named Moviemaker Magazine's "50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in 2014". In addition to the annual Festival, the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival now hosts screenings throughout the year including a free outdoor community screening every summer as part of the annual summer series "Festival de Santa Fe". The 2015 festival presented Gena Rowlands with a lifetime achievement award during A Tribute to Gene Rowlands at The Lensic Performing Arts Center. In 2016 SFIFF presented Jacqueline Bisset with a lifetime achievement achievement award and Jay Roach with an American filmmaker award.

• In 2016, over 100 screenings of films, discussions with filmmakers, Filmmaker Brunch, VIP Gallery Receptions and five after parties.
• Narratives, documentaries, shorts, and animated film submissions are all considered.
• 2016 included 5 local art house theaters.
• 2016 included over 10,000 attendees.
• 2016 Special guests included Jacqueline Bisset (Day for Night, Dancing On the Edge), Jay Roach (Trumbo, Austin Powers), Pen Densham (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), Lee Daniel (Cinematographer Boyhood), Wes Studi (Avatar, Last of the Mohicans), Gary Farmer (Dead Man, PowWow Highway) and Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals).
• Special Events include: Discussions with film professionals, parties at the hottest venues in Downtown Santa Fe, and many more.

Submission Deadlines and Submission Fees
Note, the deadlines are the postmark dates or the dates by which the film must be registered with Filmfreeway. Submissions Open January 17, 2017.
●Early Deadline: March 1, 2017
Shorts: $30
Features: $35
● Regular Deadline: May 1, 2017
Shorts: $45
Features: $60
● Late Deadline: July 3, 2017
Shorts: $55
Features: $75
● Final Deadline: August 1, 2017
Shorts: $65
Features: $90

Rules & Terms


The following is an explanation of the Rules and Guidelines governing the submissions of a film to the 2017 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. Compliance with these Rules and Guidelines is necessary in order to participate in the Film Festival. Submission of a film implies unconditional acceptance of the Rules & Guidelines, therefore, please carefully read through the Rules prior to submitting your film. If you have any questions, please contact the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival: or 505-349-1414.

1. The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival accepts submissions for films in the following categories: Animated, Documentary, Experimental, International, Narrative Feature, Narrative Short (under 45 minutes), Indigenous, New Mexican, and Student Film.

2. The Entrant/s submitting the film must hold all legal rights for the submission, as well as all necessary clearances for public exhibition.

3. The Filmmaker/s retain/s all submission and intellectual property rights.

4. Films may be submitted electronically via FilmFreeway ( OR mail a single DVD with the completed submission form and correct entry fee.

5. The DVDs should be formatted for NTSC and labelled with Title, Running Time, and Tracking Number (if applicable).

6. To submit film via Log onto the website, set up an account, and submit your film to SFIFF. Your fee will also be taken over the internet. After submitting your film through FFW.

7. The Filmmaker/s is/are responsible for making sure all submission material are submitted by the submission deadline indicated. If your film does not arrive or is not uploaded by the deadline for which you have registered, you may be required to pay the higher submission fee or withdrawn.

8. The following concerns submission deadlines and submission fees. Note, the deadlines are not the postmark dates, but the dates by which the submission must be in the SFIFF office or registered with FilmFreeWay. Each submission must be accompanied by the appropriate fee. Submission fees are in are U.S. Dollars per submission and is non-refundable. These fees may be paid by check, cashier’s check, money order, or by Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express) made payable to: Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. Cash is not accepted.

9. If a film received 50% or more of it’s funding from sources outside of the United States, the film can only be submitted as an International Film. If a film received 50% or more of it’s funding from sources within the United States, the film can only be submitted as a Domestic Film.

10. All films must be in English or with English subtitles. Non-English language films without subtitles will not be considered.

11. Please test your media prior to submission to make sure they run properly and are not damaged.

12. The SFIFF is not responsible for any damage to materials that occurred while in transit. If your film arrives damaged, we will contact you to request another copy.

13. Filmmakers are allowed to submit more than one film for the Festival provided that each film is submitted separately and meet SFIFF guidelines. If submitting a DVD, please do not send a compilation DVD composed of films for separate entries.

14. Filmmakers are allowed to resubmit a film that was previously submitted provided significant changes were made and all eligibility requirements are met. When re-submitting the film, include a brief letter detailing the changes made.

15. A student submitting a film must provide a photocopy of a current and valid student ID or a letter from his/her school verifying enrollment.

16. If you would like your materials returned after the festival, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

17. Entrants may contact the SFIFF to find out if the Festival received the submission: or (505) 349-1414. Filmmakers submitting through Filmfreeway can check their status through the website.

18. The Filmmaker is responsible for all shipping costs, domestic or international..

19. All personal contact information is to remain confidential and not to be shared with any third parties.

20. SFIFF reserves the right to use images from films selected in the Festival for marketing purposes.

21. All decisions regarding award winners are considered final and incontestable.

22. New Mexico Premiere is not required but the programing team may consider a films local premiere status when making final decisions.

4 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Michael Goldburg

    Great festival! Jacques, Liesette, Jena, Derek, and the whole staff make SFIFF feel very personal. The programming was terrific, the parties and networking were great, and Santa Fe itself has a lot to offer. I met a lot of great filmmakers, staff, filmgoers, and locals here -- many of whom I'm still in touch with. I'm very proud to be an alum of Santa Fe Independent!

    January 2017
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    Alec Brown

    I met so many awesome filmmakers, each of them having their own style and voice. It's the most inspiring environment, especially for a student filmmaker like myself.

    October 2016
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    Jody McNicholas

    I LOVED the entire experience! Thank you!!!

    October 2016
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    Nimisha Mukerji

    A great festival which celebrates its filmmakers.

    October 2016