The Santa Monica International Film Festival is an annual film festival focused on emerging filmmakers and artists.

Santa Monica Film Festival takes place annually in the beautiful beachside resort town of Santa Monica, CA. Santa Monica Film Festival offers an intimate community experience in which audience members, filmmakers, festival programmers and industry professionals all mingle to discover the next generation of talent.

The 18th edition of the Santa Monica Film Festival plans to combine an in-person film screenings in Santa Monica, CA and a virtual experience for everyone to enjoy.

Santa Monica Film Festival accepts films in every genre, on any topic, from every country around the world. We do not disqualify any films based on premiere status or date of completion.

INSTAGRAM @santamonicafilmfestival
FACEBOOK @santamonicafilmfestival
TWITTER @smfilmfestival


Santa Monica Film Festival awards for artistic and technical merit in the entertainment industry in recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements.

Cash and sponsored service prizes to be awarded to Award recipients pending availability.

A. Entrants must complete the online submission form located on FilmFreeway site.
B. Dialogue or narration must be substantially in English or the film must have English-language subtitles.
C. All required entry materials, including the digital upload of the film for
voting purposes, must be received by 11:59 p.m. PT on final deadline date.
D. If a film advances to the second round of voting, additional materials may be required within five business days after the shortlist is announced. Shortlisted films must have the necessary Festival clearances.
E. By submitting a film, the filmmaker agrees that the Festival has the
right to make copies and distribute them for voting purposes only.
F. The recipient of the Award will be the individual most directly responsible for the concept and the creative execution of the film. In the event that more than one individual has been directly and importantly involved in creative decisions, a second statuette may be awarded. However, no more than two awards will be given to a winning production.
G. No film may be submitted more than once for Award consideration.
H. Submission fees are non-refundable.

Submissions will be reviewed by members of the Programming Team, who will use a
preferential voting system to produce a shortlist of films. Nominees will then be
chosen by a second round of balloting, again using a preferential voting system.
Final voting shall be restricted to programmers who have reviewed all of
the nominated submissions.

The 2023 Santa Monica Film Festival programmers consist of Emmy Nominated, award winning indy and union filmmakers, artists, technicians and Director Members of the Director's Guild.

Accepted filmmakers will be official notified via FilmFreeway. Filmmakers must confirm their participation by the given deadline, otherwise they might lose their spot in the line-up.
-Accepted filmmakers must be the authors of their submitted work and be ready to sign an agreement stating that they own all rights to their film and its components ahead of screening at Santa Monica Film Festival.
-If accepted, entrants are responsible for delivering their festival exhibition copy, trailer, screener link, press stills and press-kit on time.
-All accepted films must have Closed Captioning in English ready in time for their festival screening. We highly recommend you work on this while you wait for your festival acceptance since it will make your film more accessible to audiences wherever it may be shown.
-If accepted, filmmakers are expected to attend the festival.
-We don't cover filmmakers' travel expenses.
-We don't cover shipping expenses for screening copies and other materials.
-We don't provide screening fees.
-If accepted, will deliver the screening copies and other materials to the Festival office upon request.

If selected for an online screening, filmmaker will have no more than (5) business days from date of notification to upload the required materials to the festival designated dropbox including but not limited to:

1. Video File
Max file size: 30G
File name:

2. Trailer (if available)
Max file size: 30G
File Name:

3. Poster
Recommended dimensions: 4000 x 6000 pixels, (2:3) aspect ratio
File size: Under 25MB
File name: title-poster.png

4. Primary Thumbnail
This will appear in emails, trailers, Facebook, Twitter, and your site.
Recommended dimensions: 3840 x 2160 pixels, (16:9) aspect ratio
File size: Under 25MB
File name: title-thumbnail.png

The festival does not accept content from links that require download.
The festival does not accept content via email.

If selected for an in-person screening, filmmaker will have no more than (5) business days to deliver a DCP file to the festival designated DCP service provider SimpleDCP. DCP must meet AMC theaters DCP specifications and pass quality control by SimpleDCP.

If selected for an in-person screening, filmmaker will have no more than (5) business days from notification date to fill out the required information on festival's SimpleDCP print submission portal for filmmakers.

© Santa Monica Film Festival All rights reserved.

Overall Rating
  • Christopher Vigilante

    Had a great time attending the festival! Honored to have our film shown and appreciate the opportunity!

    March 2023
  • Thank you all so very much for acknowledging our work for the project SOBER as an OFFICIAL SELECTION. It was an easy-breezy experience and we'll be sure to back with new content again in the future. All the best for continued success with your festival. Toni D with Shake The Tree.

    March 2023
  • Thank you Santa Monica Film Festival. Our short film "Out of Tune" considers SMFF to be one of the highlights of our festival season.

    Honestly we can't say enough great things about our experience. First off the screening for our shorts section was sold out. The shorts they selected complimented each other so well-- all we're well done and we felt special to be included in the group. I received a Vanguard Award for writing, producing and acting in our film which was an added bonus. Communication throughout was always timely, kind and informative. I met a lot of dope, talented industry peeps. 5 stars all around.

    March 2023
  • Carlo D'Amore

    Really enjoyed bing a part of this festival!

    February 2023
  • Nevelin Vulchev

    Wonderful film festival with great communication and very well organized. Thank you for the selection of our film "Good Night, Lily" and I hope we have the chance to show our next films at your wonderful festival!

    February 2023