The Malibu International Film Festival (MFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization. Over the past 21 years, Malibu Film Festival has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States with a mission to support emerging filmmakers to engage, enrich, and inspire people through the power of film.

In addition to screening numerous films over the years, including countless US and World Premieres, Malibu Film Festival is known for programs such as the prestigious Tribute Honor which counts James Cameron, John Frankenheimer, Seymour Cassell, Malcolm McDowell, Michael Madsen, Stan Winston, Stacey Keach, Loyd Bridges, Charles Bronson, Arthur Hiller, Pierce Brosnan, Shirley MacLaine and Nick Nolte among recipients, and the acclaimed year round film production program, where the festival produces film and television projects with awards winning festival filmmakers, which make the festival a key stop in the award season race.

* Feature length films are preferred to be Los Angeles premieres. Films are eligible for consideration if they have screened or are planning to screen in the Greater Los Angeles area prior to January 2020 - this includes the counties of Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura.

* For short films, there is no premiere requirement (films can have already played in the Los Angeles area and can appear online before the festival and are still eligible for consideration).

* Films that are 50 minutes or longer in length are considered feature films. Anything under 50 minutes is considered a short film.

* We welcome submissions via the FilmFreeway secure online screener system only.

* More than one entry may be submitted. Each entry must be accompanied by an official entry form and entry fee.

* Rough cuts and works-in-progress are eligible for entry if the final cut will be available by December 1, 2019. However, please be aware that our programming department may not be able to re-screen your film if you send a final cut after submitting a rough cut. To avoid confusion throughout the screening review process, we would prefer that you only send us ONE version of your film and preferably the final version.

* The entry fee is non-refundable.

* We offer a limited amount of fee waivers each year for Festival alumni. If you are a Malibu Film Festival alum, you can write to to request a fee waiver before the final deadline. We are unable to offer any other entry fee waivers at this time.

* All film entries selected for the Festival grant Malibu Film Festival the rights to use footage, stills and/or titles and information from the film for promotional purposes.

* All films submitted must be free from any legal disputes and the filmmaker must have cleared all rights for music and exhibition.

* Malibu Film Festival reserves the right to change any information contained in this document (including Festival dates, venues, events, awards and eligibility requirements) without further notice.

* All filmmakers will be notified of their status by November 1, 2019 via email. Please keep us informed of any changes regarding your contact information by emailing

* Due to the number of submissions, Malibu Film Festival cannot provide feedback on any entries.

*I hereby grant the MALIBU FILM FESTIVAL ("Festival"), all rights necessary to exhibit and promote the above-referenced film at the Festival. I represent that such exhibition will not violate or infringe upon any rights whatsoever (including copyright, trademark, musical or contract right) of any person or entity. I further represent that I am authorized to submit the above-referenced film and, if selected, will deliver the screening print to the Festival office no later than Jan 31, 2021.

Additionally, I indemnify the Festival from any and all claims, demands, losses, costs, damages, and attorney's fee arising out of or in connection with third parties in regards to the screening of said film. Further, I hereby agree that I have read and agree to the Rules and Regulations for submissions to the Festival.

Overall Rating
  • Stephen Mills

    Malibu FF shines as a boutique beacon signaling to all the independent boats out there that here is safe harbor. It's a true honor to be selected. David Katz and Nicola Carbonetta love films and their selections reflect their willingness to bring to their audience a wide variety of out-of-the-box fare. They look ahead for the life of your film and I feel stoked to the skies I landed by chance at this cinematic oasis. Stephen Keep Mills, writer/director Love is not Love

    April 2021
  • Christina Zorich

    What an honor to be selected and included with so many wonderful projects. Malibu Film festival has been a lovely event.

    April 2021

    Malibu Film Festival was a beautiful experience. David Katz and Nicola Carbonetta take the time to curate independent unique films. Allowing artists to be heard and their stories to be told. There is a real community and heart around this festival. My film "Greetings From Unicorn California" featuring The Chris Robinson Brotherhood showcased a World Premiere and won Audience Choice Feature at MIFF.

    March 2020
  • Kiran Joshi

    Malibu Film festival is very unique. My short was selected and screened at the festival. Since I was out of the country, few of my friends attended and they loved it. The festival chair was very helpful throughout the process. I highly recommend this festival.

    February 2020
  • Rebecca Carpenter

    As a Malibu resident, this is a very special community event. There is a nice mix of local and non-local films, and it is great opportunity for new filmmakers as the attendees and festival staff are very supportive and it is an intimate sized event. Took me years to discover but I will definitely be back!

    February 2020