OCT 15-18, 2020

San Diego International Film Festival Oct 13-18, 2020


2020 Submissions Closed


Dear Filmmakers:
We are indeed living in unprecedented times.  In an increasingly complex and divided world desperately in need of healing, the San Diego International Film Festival is dedicated to using film to create conversations.

Since 2011, this Festival has advocated that cinema is a catalyst for positive change because it provides perspectives that often touch our hearts leading us to help find solutions. The curated independent films presented by this Festival have covered topics such as homelessness, prejudice, pollution of the world’s rivers, animal and environmental extinction, sustainability, sex-trafficking, military life, and so much more. The Festival also presents ‘feel good’ films that inspire and reinforce the best in all of us … as well as fun films that simply provide a much-needed laugh.

Your voice is more important than ever. And your submissions are more important than ever as we navigate these challenging times together.

We thank you for your passion, your perspectives and your creativity.  We hope to see you in October and in the meantime, we appreciate your submissions no later than July 13th to qualify for this year’s Festival. Submit before the next deadline June 26th to save!

Stay Healthy.  Stay Hopeful!
San Diego International Film Festival Team

*The films selected at the festival offer 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, LGBT, animation, sports and horror. Special tracks are included for students and local San Diego filmmakers.

Have Questions?

Mailing Address:
San Diego Intl Film Festival
Programming Department
2683 Via De La Valle, Suite G344
Del Mar, CA 92101

Email: programming@sdfilmfest.com
Call: (619) 818-2221


January 13th, 2020  – Submissions open on all platforms.

March 13, 2020 (6pm PST, postmark) – Early Entry deadline for all categories.

May 1, 2020 (6pm PST, postmark) – Official Entry deadline for all categories.

June 26, 2020 (6pm PST, postmark) – Late Entry deadline for all categories.

July 13, 2020 (6pm PST, received by) – Extended Entry Deadline for all categories. 

October 13 – 18, 2020 – San Diego International Film Festival

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 (3/13/2020) – Shorts: US$35; Features: US$40

Official Entry Deadline (5/1/2020) – Shorts: US$55; Features: US$65

Late Entry Deadline (6/26/2020) – Shorts: US$75; Features: US$85

Extended Deadline (7/13/2019) – 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. Please submit in the designated “Student” category for a discount.

Local San Diego Resident: Entry fees for local San Diego resident’s 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 be mailed or emailed to the festival. Please submit in the designated “Local San Diego” Category for a discount.

Apply online FilmFreeway 

More submission platforms to be announced
*No Physical Submissions Accepted

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 SDiFF20 (“Premiere”; see criteria in charts, below).

Feature films, short films, documentaries must have been completed after January 1, 2019.

Yes we accept more than one entry per filmmaker.  Each entered film must be submitted on its own in the online platform of your choosing.

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 the upcoming years Festival. 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 the Festival, Email: programming@sdfilmfest.com. 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 at the upcoming Festival; (ii) warrant that you have the rights necessary to exhibit your film at the upcoming Festival; 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 the upcoming Festival.

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 format.

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

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

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

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 and brunch

Discounts to attend the Celebrity Night of the Stars Tribute evening

VIP Lounges with complimentary drinks and snacks

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.

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 G344
Del Mar, CA 92014 USA

For Programming questions: programming@sdfilmfest.com

Or call: 619-818-2221