Festival Experience


Be A Part of the Scene.

See it First. Party Like A Star. Celebrate the Best.

THE SAN DIEGO INTL FILM FESTIVAL is our region’s premier film event and one of the leading stops on the independent festival circuit. SDiFF offers a totally unique film experience; including world premieres, never before seen studio releases, the best in independent filmmaking and a full schedule of glamorous parties and intimate events with filmmakers.  Thousands of film lovers joined us Downtown at the Balboa Theater for opening night, Regal Cinema and the ArcLight La Jolla for screenings and at our festival headquarters the beautiful Pendry San Diego.

Opening Night Film and AfterParty (Oct 10, 2018)
Our opening night films often go onto win major awards!
Previous films include: Marshall, Silver Linings Playbook, Wild, 12 Years A Slave, Septembers of Shiraz, and many others! PHOTOS

Night of the Stars Tribute-San Diego’s Biggest Night in Film  (Oct 11, 2018)
The Night of the Stars Tribute brings Hollywood to San Diego for a glamorous evening of celebrations and awards. The Gregory Peck Award of Excellence in Cinema, 2017 was presented to Sir Patrick Stewart at the Pendry San Diego, Heather Graham, Kumail Nanjiani, Blake Jenner and Taran Killam were also honored. PHOTOS

Friday Night Party  (Oct 12, 2018)
Friday Night Party in downtown San Diego is a perfect end to a full day of screenings. We kick off the night with a bang! There will be live music and art, entertainment, food trucks, complimentary beverages and games in the beer garden. PHOTOS

Powerful Panels (Oct 12 & Oct 13)
Here from movers & shakers in the film industry and explore powerful topics, trends and practices. Panels include: Social Impact, Unstoppable Women, Business and Actors.  

Filmmakers Award Show & Party (Oct 13, 2018)
Celebrate with Filmmakers from around the world as we present the Jury Awards for the competition films at the Filmmaker Awards Show and Party. Don’t miss out on this amazing night to honor our filmmakers from around the world!  2017 Award Winning Films

Culinary Cinema  (Oct 14, 2018)
Enjoy a cinematic adventure into the world of food and then partake of delicious bites from local sustainable Chef’s and restaurants. PHOTOS

Studio Premieres  (Oct 10-14, 2018)
We premiere some of the biggest films coming out of Hollywood and the independent film circuit. Come to the festival for a chance to see films like: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO, Call Me By Your Name, Lion, Hell or High Water, Silver Linings Playbook, 12 Years a Slave and many others weeks or even months before they hit the big screen. PHOTOS

Meet the Filmmakers – 200+ Filmmakers  (Oct 10-14, 2018)
Stick around after the film and listen to the filmmakers discuss the inspiration and creative process to get their film to the big screen. In addition filmmaker panels and our filmmaker awards show are exciting opportunities to meet the creatives behind the camera. 2017 Award Winning Films    PHOTOS

Unique Film Tracks  (Oct 10-14 2018)
SDiFF features a slate of film tracks that reflect both the unique culture of San Diego and that fulfill our mission to “Make a Difference” with film. Tracks include American Indian, Environmental ,EquestrianMilitary, Women and Film. 2017 Award Winning Films    PHOTOS

Independent and Studio Premieres

With thousands of submissions from independent filmmakers from around the globe, you know the 120+ films selected for the San Diego Intl Film Festival are, the very best independent features, documentaries and shorts in the world.  You will have the opportunity to watch films before they are released to the public, and enjoy discussions with filmmakers after the screenings that provide an intimate understanding of the creative process. 

Premieres Screened at the San Diego International Film Festival:

    • 2017 – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Call Me By Your Name, Killing Gunther, The Upside, Breathe, and The Ballad of Lefty Brown
    • 2016 – Lion, Denial, Julieta, Hell or Hight Water, Hidden Figures, Captain Fantastic and Trespass Against Us
    • 2015 – Room and He Named Me Malala
    • 2014 – The Imitation Game, Whiplash, Wild, Mr. Turner, St. Vincent and The Good Lie
    • 2013 – 12 Years a Slave, The German and August: Osage County
    • 2012 – Silver Linings Playbook, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Quartet

Behind the Scenes Access to the Entertainment Industry

Throughout the San Diego Intl Film Festival, you will have the opportunity to hear from filmmakers, actors, directors and deal makers. You’ll learn the backstory on why a film was produced or the behind the scenes antics of the cast or the struggles of getting distribution deals.

  • VARIETY’s Night of the Stars Tribute
  • Exclusive Q&A and Panel Sessions
  • Mix and Mingle with Industry Experts
  • Connect with Filmmakers from Around the World

The Festival VIP Experience

Enjoy special perks and benefits reserved for our VIP Pass holders. 

  • VIP Advanced Reservations for films & events
  • VIP Priority Line Access for all films and events means no waiting in long lines
  • Valet parking
  • VIP lounges with complimentary drinks & snacks (extra perk the filmmakers hang out here too!) 

San Diego – The Best of Southern California

Imagine Hollywood glitz and glam with the cool vibe of a relaxed beach city and that sums up San Diego.  From beautiful beaches to craft beer to award winning farm to table restaurants and a hopping night life San Diego offers non-stop opportunities to have fun. Our downtown hub allows our guests to attend a screening and walk to the after-party of grab a bite in one of the many restaurants downtown. Head to our festival headquarters the breath taking Pendry San Diego Hotel for drinks and panels, fit in a craft beer tasting and walk to the next party…A 15 minute drive away ArcLight La Jolla is our hub for screenings and Culinary Cinema on Sunday. This central location is also a short drive from the gorgeous beaches of La Jolla. We look forward to welcoming you to America’s Finest City and the San Diego International Film Festival! 

Join Us for the 2018 
San Diego Intl Film Festival

100+ Films. Parties. Celebrities. Awards.

Festival Passes & Tickets