SOFF offers filmmakers the opportunity to have their films screen in the HEART OF LOS ANGELES for an audience that loves independent film. Founded by longtime residents and movie veterans alike, the Sherman Oaks Film Festival looks to showcase the best undiscovered movies in the heart of Los Angeles. The neighborhood that was home the mall in Fast Times At Ridgemont High deserves a world class film festival!

COVID-19 Update - April 2020
We have been in talks with our local chamber of commerce as well as the owners of the theater we rent.  At this time, we expect to be able to have audiences in person for the November festival.  It's our hope to not have audience-size limits, but even if we have to limit the theater to 1/3 capacity or something like that, the show will go on.  

If America really screws this up and we live under the same restrictions in November that we are living under in April, the theater that we rent has a 4k camera setup for live streaming.  Our worst-case-scenario is having screenings and Q&A's with SOFF staff at the theater and with filmmakers and audiences watching remotely.  We can even hold and record live Q&A's this way.  We sincerely do not expect to have to hold the festival this way, but we wanted to share with you our worst case scenario. No matter what, SOFF 2020 will have screenings, Q&A's and awards.

TV Series + Podcast Interviews
Filmmakers who receive Grand Jury Prizes, as well as several Official Selections, receive interviews on the "Discover Indie Film" podcast with head programmer Jeff Howard. This allows filmmakers to talk about their work and their history more extensively than a festival Q&A allows. In 2019 the TV series "Discover Indie Film" premiered on Amazon Prime Video. This series is an anthology of short films selected from the filmmakers he has interviewed on the podcast.

The Sherman Oaks Film Festival is proud to announce the Hollywood professionals who comprise our Board:

Mike Flanagan: Director (Oculus, Hush, Before I Wake, Ouija 2)
Jonathan Stern: Producer (Children's Hospital, Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later)
Michael Lynn : Television Producer (True Hollywood Stories)
Jamie Ball : Television Executive (Disney Channel)
Zac Reeder : Entertainment Executive (Head of Domestic Distribution at Electric Entertainment)
Shannon Makhanian: Casting Director (The Brothers Bloom, Unknown, Mysterious Skin)
Dan Mirvish: Producer/Director (co-founder of the Slamdance Film Festival)
Glen Reynolds: Producer/Manager (Conversations with Other Women, Night Train)

GRAND JURY PRIZES (chosen by selection jury)
Best Feature Film
Best Short Film – Drama
Best Short Film – Comedy
Best Short Film – Horror
Best Documentary Film
Best Music Video
Best Director, Feature Film
Best Director, Short Film
Best Actress in a Lead Role
Best Actor in a Lead Role
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Best Performance by a Full Cast
Best Screenplay
Outstanding Cinematography
Best Art Direction
Best Screenplay (Produced)
Best Screenplay (Unproduced)

AUDIENCE AWARDS (audience selections)
Audience Award, Feature Film
Audience Award, Short Film
Audience Award, Documentary Film

FILMMAKERS AWARDS (Jury of filmmakers from past festivals)
Outstanding Short Films
Outstanding Directors
Outstanding Screenplay
Outstanding Acting, Cast
Outstanding Acting, Individual
Outstanding Cinematography

(festival programmer's discretion)


Film entries must be sent via online digital submission of DVD quality or better.

Script entries must be uploaded as PDF or Final Draft files.

The director and/or producer of each project are welcome to be part of a Q&A session immediately following their screening. Cast are also welcome to participate.

Participants agree that their project and material related to their project may be used and/or published in the Sherman Oaks Film Festival program, website and for promotional purposes related to the Sherman Oaks Film Festival.

Copies of movies, scripts and promotional materials submitted to the Sherman Oaks Film Festival are not required to be returned to their owner.

If selected, all commercial/private property including all trademark/copyrighted materials shown or recorded on the project is the responsibility of the filmmaker. The Sherman Oaks Film Festival does not take responsibility for any infringement of copywritten materials.

The cost of delivery and pick-up of all materials is the responsibility of the filmmakers.

Rules are subject to change at any time without prior notice.


Narrative Feature Films: run time over 45 minutes in length

Narrative Short Films: run time of 45 minutes or less.

Documentary Feature Films: run time over 45 minutes in length

Documentary Short Films: run time of 45 minutes or less.

Music Videos: any length

Screenplays: no page minimum or maximum, standard format and standard title page recommended. Movie and Television screenplays are both accepted.

Overall Rating
  • Denise Karey

    This festival was so much fun. The films were all very original and entertaining. The moderator asked interesting and entertaining questions and kept things upbeat. I would definitely go again and go to more screenings

    January 2020
  • I absolutely loved the Sherman Oaks Film Festival! Jeff and the Festival Staff were awesome. The films screened showed a wide range of passionate and diverse creators who are on their game!

    December 2019
  • Jonathon Gower

    Had a wonderful time being part of this festival. I'd recommend it to any filmmaker, at whatever stage of their career. The organizers are genuinely interested in the art and creative process of filmmakers, which is evident in the quality of the screenings and the energetic and brilliant minds that I had the opportunity to meet.

    December 2019
  • What a GREAT experience! This is truly an intimate festival that cares about creatives. It was a stellar lineup of films and the moderated Q&As were fantastic. From screenings to mixers, it was a wonderful weekend!

    December 2019
  • The Sherman Oaks Film Festival is an excellent festival run by a true film lover, Jeff Howard. The quality of the films was top notch, making us feel very honored to be included. Everything about the festival is top-notch - the Q&As, the marketing, the venue, the crowds, etc. We were very impressed, and plan to submit to the festival with our next film. Kudos to Jeff and the whole SOFF team for an excellent event.

    December 2019