Submit Your Film


You’ve put blood, sweat, tears and money into your film, and it’s time to showcase your film to audiences from around the world. The internationally renowned San Diego Film Festival offers a high profile environment that celebrates the best of independent and film from around the world. 

With the belief that cinematic storytelling can make a difference in our world, the San Diego International Film Festival is dedicated to shining a spotlight on films that make a difference.  Riveting Film Screenings and networking events are accompanied by great parties, great people and stunning views of sunny San Diego –

Chosen the #1 Best Travel Destination in the US by Money Magazine.

The slate of films that are selected at the festival offers a wide range of programming from creative narrative features to thought-provoking documentaries to engaging and enlightening short films. Tracks that we specifically cultivate include American Indian, Military, Environmental, Social Impact (Social Justice Issues), and Equestrian.  Other themes throughout the festival slate include women in film, student film projects, Local SDF filmmakers, LGBT, Sports, Animation, and Horror. 




Mailing Address:
San Diego Film Festival
Programming Department
2683 Via De La Valle, Suite G210
Del Mar, CA 92101

Call: 619-818-2221

Late Deadline For Entries June 18th

Submit on Withoutabox



January 8th  – Submissions open on all platforms.

March 1, 2018 (6pm PST, postmark) – Early Entry deadline for all categories.

May 1, 2018 (6pm EST, postmark) – Official Entry deadline for all categories.

June 18, 2018 (6pm EST, postmark) – Late Entry deadline for all categories.

July 6, 2018 (6pm PST, received by) – Extended Entry Deadline for all categories.

October 10 – 14, 2018 – San Diego Intl Film Festival (the “SDiFF18)

Note: Submissions may be in work-in-progress form; however, works that are not final cuts must be clearly marked “Work in Progress (WIP)” or “Rough Cut” with an indication of what will change or what is missing (e.g., temp sound, Avid output, missing animation, etc.) Also, due to the volume of submissions, only ONE physical replacement version (i.e. final cut) will be accepted and replacement copies will not be accepted after TBA (unless solicited by the Festival).


Entry Fees:

Early Entry Deadline (3/1/2018) – Shorts: US$30; Features: US$40

Official Entry Deadline (5/1/2018) – Shorts: US$50; Features: US$60

Late Entry Deadline (6/18/2018) – Shorts: US$70; Features: US$80

Extended Deadline (7/6/2018) – Shorts: US$95; Features: US$105

Note: Entry fees are in U.S. Dollars, are per film and are non-refundable. The Festival reserves the right to disqualify a submission, without refund of any kind, if eligibility requirements are not met including if eligibility status changes post-submission.

Students: Entry fees for student submissions will be discounted upon receipt by the Festival of a photocopy of a current and valid student ID card or a letter from an accredited school-verifying enrollment. Student Discount is $10 off submission deadline cost.

Local San Diego Resident: Entry fees for local San Diego residents submissions will be discounted upon receipt by the Festival of a photocopy of a current and valid drivers license of residents in San Diego. This can me mailed or emailed to the festival. The Local discount is $10 off submission deadline cost.


Apply online at anyone of the options below on January 8th: FilmFreeway, Withoutabox or Physical Entry.


WITHOUTABOX:Submit on Withoutabox

Submit online materials and Screener or mail all required entry materials (see below).


To be eligible for consideration:

Entrants must fully comply with these Entry Rules & Regulations, including all deadlines, film length, entry material and other requirements.

Non-English language works must have English subtitles at the time submitted. Dialogue lists will not be accepted.

The film MUST maintain at minimum a “San Diego Region” premiere status prior to SDiFF18 (“Premiere”; see criteria in charts, below).

Feature films, short films, documentaries must have been completed after January 1, 2017.


All entries must include the following:

An online official SDiFF18 “Entry Form” properly completed.

The entry fee(s)

TWO DVD OR BLURAY copies of the work, formatted for multi-zone or for Zone 1 (North America) and labeled with the work’s title, running time, format (PAL or NTSC), and director(s) name(s). Entries in any other format will not be accepted for preview. Check that each submitted DVD plays in its entirety on consumer DVD players. Also, do not put adhesive labels on the discs unless it is a professional output job (if burning yourself, use a permanent marker to write necessary information).

Note: It is Entrant’s sole responsibility to ensure all ENTRY MATERIALS arrive at the SDiFF18 shipping destination within the deadline window selected by Entrant. Films submitted for the EARLY or OFFICIAL deadline must arrive in our offices no later than 5 weeks from the postmark date. The Festival reserves the right to disqualify any submission, without refund of any kind, which does not arrive at the SDiFF18 shipping destination within the deadline window selected by Entrant. Up to 5 weeks after the applicable submission window deadline, Entrants may email or call (619) 818-2221 to find out if the Festival received the submission.

*Entry materials will not be returned and will be destroyed or discarded by the Festival.


Each entered film must be submitted on its own DVD(s) or BLURAY(s) and accompanied by its own completed “Entry Form”; please do not send a compilation DVD composed of works for separate entries.


If your work was submitted and considered for previous editions of the San Diego Film Festival, you may re-enter it and if all eligibility requirements are met (see above).


Festival programmers select and invite all the films to be presented at theSDiFF18. Invited filmmakers will be notified by email or phone via the information provided on the submitted entry form. Make sure to update us with new contact information or any other festival invitations prior to theSDiFF18 at If your film is invited, your premiere status will be confirmed with you and locked. Should you accept any other festival invitation that breaches this premiere status commitment, the Festival has the right to rescind the invitation.


If your work is selected, you must fulfill the following requirements by the date(s) designated by the Festival:

You must execute a release agreement wherein you (i) accept responsibility for obtaining any and all clearances necessary to exhibit your film atSDiFF18; (ii) warrant that you have the rights necessary to exhibit your film at SDiFF18; and (iii) indemnify and hold harmless San Diego Film Festival, its parent company, its affiliates, and subsidiaries and any of their respective directors, officers, employees, and representatives against any claim arising out of exhibition of your film at SDiFF18.

You must deliver to the address(es) designated by the Festival (i) one exhibition copy of the invited work; (ii) a second exhibition copy, if your film is in competition (to accommodate juror screenings); and (iii) additional exhibition copies, if requested by the Festival (to allow for multiple screenings at more than one venue). We recommend you ship via courier in order to permit the tracking of your entry once it leaves your hands.

All exhibition copies must be delivered in DCP, or BluRay format.

The Festival will arrange (and pay cost of) return shipping your print(s)/video(s) to one location after the conclusion ofSDiFF18.

You must provide a properly completed and signed officialSDiFF18 “Acceptance Agreement Form” and “Filmmaker Program Information Form” including all press and publication assets as specified in the “Materials Checklist”.

You must provide at least one DVD or BluRay copy of the final, completed film for Festival archives and internal purposes.


Works invited to participate in the SDiFF18 will be shown in the section determined most appropriate by Festival programmers, at their sole discretion. Sections included the following:



Narrative Features

Open to works from all regions, but must be at least a San Diego “Premiere”.

Eligible for: Best Narrative Feature, Chris Brinker Award (1st time directors only), Best International Film, U-T San Diego Award, Chairman’s Award, Kumeyaay Award, Best Animated Film, Audience Choice Award – Feature.

Documentary Features

Open to works from all regions, but must be at least a San Diego “Premiere”.

Eligible for: Best Documentary Feature, Chris Brinker Award (1st time directors only), Best International Film, Military Award, Chairman’s Award, Kumeyaay Award, Audience Choice Award – Documentary.

Shorts (narrative and documentary)

Open to works from all regions, but must be at least a San Diego “Premiere”.

Eligible for: Best Narrative Short, Best Animated Film, Kumeyaay Award, U-T San Diego award, Audience Choice Award – Best Short

Student Shorts must be produced through an accredited educational institution.

Shorts will play either in a Shorts program or before a Feature film.

Programming Spotlights

Some Programming Spotlight categories include: Animated Shorts, World Cinema, American Indian,  Military, LGBT, Student, Women Filmmakers, Social Justice, Health, Equestrian, and Environmental Films.

2 VIP Filmmaker Badges with full access to all screenings and events

4 Additional Complimentary Tickets for the filmmaker’s screening

Filmmaker Brunch including networking with industry professionals

Discounted accommodations for filmmakers

Industry-oriented seminars and workshops

Potential for one-on-one meetings with prominent entertainment industry professionals

Complimentary admission for some of the leading tourist and cultural attractions in and around San Diego.


Award eligibility is subject to any restrictions or conditions imposed by applicable laws and regulations (international, federal, state or otherwise), and the award recipient is responsible for all applicable taxes, customs, tariffs, insurance and similar charges or costs (if any).

All new Features by first time directors atSDiFF18 are eligible for the Chris Brinker Award presented at the Tribute. SDiFF in its sole discretion may also consider North American or International Premieres for the Best New Narrative or Best New Documentary Awards.

All new Features and Documentaries are eligible for the “Audience Award,” regardless of section.

2018 Awards listed in the above Festival sections and Awards sections are subject to change.


All submissions must be sent prepaid (including any applicable customs fees) to:


San Diego Intl Film Festival

Attn: Programming Department

2683 Via de la Valle, Suite G210

Del Mar, CA 92014 USA

For Programming questions:

Or call: 619-818-2221