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.


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
  • Absolutely wonderful experience at SOFF. Jeff and his team are top-notch - as a host, moderator and interviewer, Jeff is a cut above. You can just tell he loves what he does, watches each and every film with keen purpose, and above all makes filmmakers feel right at home. Where some other festivals can feel like they're going through the motions, Jeff & Team SOFF care.

    July 2022
  • Byrne Owens

    I submitted our project to many festivals all over the world, and out of all of them, this one felt the most sincere and personable. The administrators have a true appreciation of film and story telling, and will go above and beyond to help bring attention to your story if it truly resonates. Your hard work and dedication to your project will not go unnoticed with this group. They understand the process and are rooting for us all to keep going, to love the journey, and embrace our passion even if there isn't a grand budget to back it. This festival is where we discover that we're meant to be in this industry. Thank you Jeff and team. Thank you for inspiring us all.

    July 2022
  • We absolutely loved being a part of this festival. Jeff was so accommodating and thoughtful and he looked after us through the entire process from start to finish. There was an amazing welcome party which gave us the opportunity to network + our screening night ran so smoothly and it felt really special. Jeff picked wonderful content that looked at a range of social topics and each were truly entertaining films. The standard was really high for content. SOFF is so worth submitting too - Our team cant wait to be a part of it again in the future if we’re so lucky to do so.

    July 2022
  • Jeff is one the best, most knowledgeable, and most gracious host who ever headed a film festival. He truly is excited about every project that gets into SOFF! All the films screened are created by very talented filmmakers and are definitely worth the watch. With the carefully curated schedule and professional accommodations, SOFF has placed itself into the higher class of film festivals!

    July 2022
  • A wonderful meaningful creative melting pot that is open to all people and all perspectives. Truly a festival of the 21st century.

    July 2022