Santa Monica Film Festival (#SMFF) is held in state-of-the-art theaters in upscale downtown Santa Monica. SMFF showcases a selection of new films from emerging 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") 2019, 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.

Overall Rating
  • Frank Prinzi

    The Organizers were supportive and enthusiastic. The screening venue was terrific. Santa Monica is a great town with lots of film lovers, so there was much appreciation for the films screened. I can't wait to return with another film. Thank you SMIFF!
    Frank Prinzi ( Short film IT'S A MESS).

    December 2018
  • Teddy Cecil

    Fully recommend! A wonderful team and film lineup... I loved every second of it.

    December 2018
  • Thomas Nolle

    Our film "Hush Hush" got into the festival and we were very excited. David Katz is an excellent festival organizer, and we had a great experience in the heart of Santa Monica enjoying the awards ceremony and screenings. Very lovely fest, good atmosphere, good people!

    March 2018
  • Synnove Godeseth

    Great festival - well communicated, thankyou!

    January 2018