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 available.

SOFF embraces the work of filmmakers from diverse backgrounds and communities. It is our philosophy to honor their work as filmmakers and not place their work in separate categories based on race, sexual orientation, or gender identification. We have been proud to honor films from every community as Official Selections and Award Winners, honoring their work as filmmakers without being balkanized as "Black filmmakers" or "LGBTQ filmmakers" or "Women filmmakers." At SOFF, all of our filmmakers are filmmakers and we honor them equally.

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)
Glen Reynolds: Producer/Manager (Conversations with Other Women, Night Train)

GRAND JURY PRIZES (chosen by selection jury)
Best Feature Film - Arthouse/Experimental
Best Feature Film - Comedy
Best Feature Film - Documentary
Best Feature Film - Drama
Best Feature Film - Horror
Best Feature Film - SciFi
Best Featurette - Arthouse/Experimental
Best Featurette - Comedy
Best Featurette - Documentary
Best Featurette - Drama
Best Featurette - Horror
Best Featurette - SciFi
Best Short Film - Arthouse/Experimental
Best Short Film - Comedy
Best Short Film - Dance
Best Short Film - Documentary
Best Short Film - Drama
Best Short Film - Horror
Best Short Film - SciFi
Best Music Video
Best Director, Feature Film
Best Director, Featurette
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
Best Cinematography
Best Art Direction
Best Screenplay, Feature Film (Unproduced)
Best Screenplay, Short Film (Unproduced)
Best Screenplay, TV Pilot/Web Series (Unproduced)

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

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

Sexiest Film of the Fest
Uniquely Original Filmmaking


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.


Feature Films: run time over 60 minutes
Featurettes: run time between 60 and 20 minutes
Short Films: run time under 20 minutes

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
  • Our team loves Sherman Oaks Film Festival! It is a worth-while LA film festival with great opening and closing mixers. We loved meeting other local (and international!) filmmakers. The QAs are moderated well and there was great communication throughout the whole process.

    March 2023
  • Brittany Smith

    Great festival! The whole team is so friendly and kind. They put together a great selection of films and treat their filmmakers so well. Highly recommend!

    December 2022
  • Anita La Selva

    Thank you so much for including 12 Litres 8800 Steps as an Official Selection in your Virtual Exclusive Category! This is an amazing festival!! You folks are the best communicators by far that I have encountered on the Film Festival circuit - you keep us informed, offer addtional perks and activities as well as staying in touch afterwards with ideas around how to continue promoting the work!! You are the best!!!

    December 2022
  • Duane Andersen

    My new favorite festival. Great group of people in a fun low-key setting. Programmer Jeff Howard's Q&As were top-notch, really making each filmmaker feel like a star. Can't wait to come back.

    December 2022
  • From the very first communication Jeff and the team at Sherman Oaks Film Festival's passion came through with a high level of professionalism. It was a great experience.

    December 2022