Santa Monica Film Festival (SMFF) is an exclusive industry award season event that showcases the years best films from from emerging and established filmmakers.

Established in 2006, Santa Monica International Film Festival (SMFF) is one of the premier showcases for U.S. and international independent film held annually in Santa Monica, CA. Each year, the entertainment community and film fans around the world turn their attention to the Santa Monica International Film Festival. Interest and anticipation builds to a fevered pitch leading up to the SMFF, when movie lovers watch films, attend the glamorous ceremony and learn who will receive the highest honors in independent filmmaking.


Deadline dates and submission fees vary based on category of entry. In order to qualify as a Short Film, the total running time must be less than 50 minutes, including credits. Feature Films must have a total running time of 50 minutes or more.

Please note that the above dates are not postmark deadlines, they are the dates by which your project must be delivered to us! If your project does not arrive by the deadline for which you have registered, you will be required to make an additional payment in order to bring your account up to date.

* All 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 SANTA MONICA FILM FESTIVAL.

* 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 Festival date. 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 SANTA MONICA FILM FESTIVAL alumni. If you are an alum, you can write to to request a fee waiver before the final deadline.

* All film entries selected for the Festival grant SANTA MONICA 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.

* SANTA MONICA 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 4 weeks prior to Festival via email. Please keep us informed of any changes regarding your contact information by emailing

* Due to the number of submissions, SANTA MONICA FILM FESTIVAL cannot provide feedback on any entries.


*I hereby grant the SANTA MONICA FILM FESTIVAL ("Festival") 2020, 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 (1) DCP on hard-drive with (1) DISC backup (1) pre-paid return shipping label to the Festival office no later than (21) days prior to festival. The festival will not return and will recycle any hard-drives and DISCs after festival that did not include a pre-paid return shipping label.

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 SANTA MONICA FILM FESTIVAL.

If selected, Filmmaker must deliver DCP and BlueRay (backup only) to film festival. All content must be delivered no later 21 days prior to festival date. Anything delivered past that date will not have sufficient time to be tested and ingested, and any playback or technical issues that arise are not the responsibility of Santa Monica Film Festival.

**************************IF SELECTED*********************************

SMFF screens at multiple venues so filmmakers are required to provide a DCP and a DISC that meets our theater specifications. Films that provide a DCP and DISC that meets AMC specifications may screen at AMC Broadway 4.

The content MUST be a wrapped DCP file. If may be unencrypted or encrypted if (4) keys are provided. The DCP must be DCI compliant.

Video should be 24 frames per second, here are the resolution options:
Flat 1:85 DCP (1998 x 1080)
Scope 2:39 DCP (2048 x 858)

The hard drive may be a thumb drive and may be formatted in Linux EXT3.
Inodes must be less than 128. Must be PC compatible.

Any encrypted content that requires keys must provide (4) keys (one for each auditorium) to allow film to be moved to another theater, should the need arise. If Key is required please indicate on all labels.

As a back-up, we recommend having a BluRay/DVD copy of your film as well. The best resolution is 1920x1080 (16:9). Screening on disc requires a technician and additional equipment to screen at AMC and filmmaker may be charged for these third party services.

LABEL: (Required)
All DCP hard-drives, covers and packaging must be labeled with filmmaker name, film title, running time. If Key is required please indicate on all labels.

All films must be received by Festival in compliant (DCP and DISC) format on or before October 16 to be publicly screened at Festival.

Filmmakers that supply content that is not labeled and/or configured to the above specifications and/or require additional technician service or additional equipment to ingest and/or screen will be charged for these third party services.

Films with DCP media ("created and stored") by SimpleDCP may only need to provide festival a backup DISC.

Overall Rating
  • Sean Fredricks

    One of the best festivals I've been to. From the quick communication to the perfect projection at AMC to the great networking and awards party with other filmmakers--every aspect of the festival was fantastic. You should absolutely submit and attend!

    December 2019
  • Bonnie Foster

    Beautiful festival, very well-organized. The screening theater was top-notch, and the after-party was a great networking event with an open bar and amazing hors d'oeuvres. Everyone was very friendly, and David Katz is a wonderful festival organizer. The film lineup is carefully curated, creating an intimate and friendly environment for the filmmakers. Would love to participate in this festival again for sure.

    December 2019
  • Hudson Lines

    Very grateful to SMFF that my short film was included in this very special festival. Communication with the organizers was very clear and it was a simple process to deliver the needed materials. This is a very thoughtfully considered festival and a great opportunity for filmmakers across genres. Thank you again, SMFF.

    December 2019
  • Megan Heyn

    Was so honored to have screened at SMFF! My short was part of an amazing block of films that I was very proud to be a part of. The location at AMC was great. They set the bar very high for what they selected and it really shows. Will definitely submit my next film. Great experience.

    December 2019
  • Great Festival! Every film I watched was enjoyable. It was a pleasure to be included with such high quality films. Awesome venue at the AMC in the heart of 3rd Street Promenade. Great communication from all the festival staff. Hope to be back again!

    December 2019