The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (SLO Film Fest) will once again attract stars, great films and film enthusiasts to the Central Coast of California, when it celebrates its 25th Silver Screen Anniversary festival from March 12th to 17th, 2019.

Located half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Luis Obispo's laid-back vibe and serene natural beauty is the perfect setting for this highly regarded annual film celebration. Filmmakers rave about the warmth and attentiveness that is so much a part of the SLO Film Fest experience, as does the swelling tide of industry pros and film critics who are fast discovering the Festival's thoughtful audiences and unique programming sensibility. At the SLO Film Fest, "Movies Matter!"

The deadlines have passed for the George Sidney and Central Coast film competitions, but the Filmmakers of Tomorrow Showcase competition is still open to elementary through high school students from all over the world. College student films are not accepted in this competition.

Filmmakers of Tomorrow:

All Age Levels (High School, Middle & Primary): $100 cash prizes available
Best Film made by an individual
Best Film made by a group
Best SLO County Film
Best Animated Film
Best Wildlife Film – Sponsored by Pacific Wildlife Care (see info at
College sponsorship TBA


This competition is open to elementary through high school students from all over the world. College student films are not accepted in this competition.

Submissions in all categories must be received by January 11, 2019. There is no entry fee for K-12 Student Film entries.

Films can be stories told with photographs, animation, live action, music videos, documentaries…anything goes. The subject matter is open to your imagination but please…keep it clean. Films should be able to be rated G or PG.

All films must be a maximum of 10 minutes. Longer films will not be considered for screening at the SLO Film Fest. All music used should be fully credited at the end of the film.

The SLO Film Fest reserves the right to determine eligibility of any work submitted. All films submitted must have a completion date after January 1, 2018. We prefer to receive screening copies as online links – preferably Vimeo or YouTube.

Films selected for screening at the Festival will be notified by Feb. 15, 2019. All individual student filmmakers with films screening at the festival will be given one Movie Fanatic (six-film) pass, worth $80, to the 2019 SLO Film Fest. Groups of students will be given Fanatic passes to share. If you have any questions regarding film submissions, please email

Important: Don’t forget to include your student ID! This competition is for youth filmmakers only!

Overall Rating
  • Charlie Samuels

    It's impossible to imagine a more friendly group of people/volunteers and area. A super welcoming festival in all respects. SLOIFF obviously loves hosting films and filmmakers and takes immense pride in its festival. Also, I didn't detect a hint of politics here, just an overall sense of good and fair. Don't forget to visit the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum too - it is stellar!

    April 2018
  • Gabriele Hayes

    Great festival. The festival team and the volunteers were amazing. We wish we could have stayed longer.

    March 2018
  • SLO is a town with great food and wine and a fun and friendly film festival. The numerous theaters are right in the heart of town within easy walking distance of each other. Wide variety of entertaining and engaging films. So pleased to have had my film BROKE there this year.

    March 2018
  • Michael McKinley

    As an attendee and filmmaker in competition, I can say that this festival is a real pleasure. The staff and everyone involved with the festival had excellent communication, and it was a joy to bring my film "back to the homeland" of the Central Coast. SLO is an awesome place, and this is an excellent festival!

    May 2017
  • Johnny Kirk

    There's a reason why this considered one of the best film festivals in the country. Even though my film was short, I was still treated like a rockstar. The festival ended a month ago and still telling my colleagues of my festival experience and exploration of the beautiful county. Thank you SLOIFF for making me part of the film family and alumni. We will definitely cross paths again.

    April 2017