—Submissions are now open—
The San Diego International Film Festival is using film to create conversations in our increasingly complex world. Since 2011, the Festival has presented independent films that cover important topics such as prejudice, environmental issues, and military life, as well as inspiring and fun films.
Your perspective matters now more than ever. Submit your film for the 2024 Festival and let your voice be heard.
As one of MovieMaker Magazine’s ‘20 Great Film Festivals in Vacation Destinations’ and named San Diego’s Best Film Festival for 7 years in a row, the San Diego International Film Festival continues to grow its influence as an important stop on the awards circuit due to its October timing and its proximity to Hollywood.
The 23rd Annual San Diego International Film Festival is pleased to invite all Filmmakers to join in ‘Celebrating the Power of Film’ October 16 – 20, 2024!
With curated screenings that inform, inspire and entertain, the Festival represents the very best in cinematic storytelling from around the globe. The Festival’s programming includes: Social Impact films affecting how we live, work and play in today’s complicated and often divisive world – Human Rights and World Issues, Environment, LGBTQIA+, Diversity & Inclusion – as well as putting a spotlight on key initiatives affecting the Military, American Indians, Women in Film, and San Diego’s BioTech and Life Sciences.
The Festival also presents studio premieres along with a full calendar of high-profile events, panels, parties, networking, the Opening Night Gala, Culinary Cinema and more!
Be a part of the 23rd Annual San Diego International Film Festival – submit your film today then plan to attend the Festival in October to celebrate with industry influentials, film lovers, celebrities and Filmmakers from around the world.
We thank you for your passion, your perspectives and your creativity.
– San Diego International Film Festival Team
January 1, 2024 – Submissions Open
February 16, 2024 – Early Bird Deadline
April 1, 2024 — Regular Deadline
June 1, 2024 – Late Deadline
July 1, 2024 – Extended Deadline
September 1, 2024 – Notification Date
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 & Local SD Residents: Please submit in the designated “Student” or “Local San Diego” Category for a $5 discount.
How To Enter
Apply Online! 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 the Festival (“Premiere”; see criteria in charts, below).
The San Diego International Film Festival is a competitive event and unless notified otherwise, all films officially selected are eligible for competition. For a list of competitive categories, please see our awards page. All films are nominated and voted upon by an impartial jury of filmmakers, industry professionals, festival programmers and film aficionados.
If selected, the SDiFF will require an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) to include high-resolution production stills, key art, bio and filmography of the director, production notes and full cast and crew credits.
Every precaution is taken when handling your film once submitted to us but we cannot accept responsibility for loss or damaged files that are submitted to us.
Submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2023
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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.
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 Filmmaker Virtual Badges which acts as a VIP Pass to attend the Festival
– Virtual Filmmaker Meet ‘n’ Greet networking with industry professionals as well as our CEO & Artistic Director Tonya Mantooth
– Access to panels or virtual events
– Potential for one-on-one meetings with prominent entertainment industry professionals