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 - Comedy
Best Feature Film - Drama
Best Feature Film - Documentary
Best Feature Film - Horror
Best Feature Film - SciFi
Best Short Film – Drama
Best Short Film – Comedy
Best Short Film – Horror
Best Short Film – Animation
Best Short Film – Arthouse/Experimental
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
  • Cheryl Bookout

    The Sherman Oaks Film Festival is a jewel of a festival. It provided me with networking opportunities and a great overall experience. I was thrilled to have my screenplay as an official selection in the 2021 Festival.

    May 2022
  • Justin Teo

    Words cannot describe how blessed my team and I were to be a part of Sherman Oaks Film Festival. It was an incredible honour and privilege to have our film seen by Jeff Howard, the head programmer, and the opportunity to have had a conversation with him about a film that we had poured our heart and soul into.

    From start to finish, the SOFF team ensured that we had a great experience, and did justice to our film in the way it was screened even amidst the digital platforms in light of Covid-19. In our Q&A session with Jeff, we gleaned so much from our conversation with him and in discussion about what identity and culture meant in increasingly globalised societies.

    We were very satisfied with the way Sherman Oaks Film Festival was run. I would highly recommend without hesitation.

    March 2022
  • So thrilled to have been a part of this wonderful festival. Jeff was warm, welcoming, supportive and such an incredible fan of films - it was so good to connect with him and SOFF from a far. Communication was excellent. Our lead actor was able to attend in person and had an incredible experience. We all hope to be back at the Sherman Oaks Film Fest in the future!

    January 2022
  • Jenny Pill

    I loved being a part of the Sherman Oaks film festival. I couldn't attend because I live too far away, but I hope to go another year, because Jeff and the team made me feel so welcome. One of the best aspects was making a zoom Q&A with Jeff to go at the end of my film: I think this is a brilliant idea and gives filmmakers who can't attend the opportunity to talk about their own films and to listen to other filmmakers talk about theirs.
    I loved watching the virtual festival and felt honoured to be a part of such a high quality event.
    Thanks again Jeff and Sherman Oaks for selecting my film.

    January 2022
  • Alex Kannan

    Fantastic experience! Wonderful communication with the team. It was an honor to be selected. Thank you.

    December 2021