Join Us For The 2021 Year For 3 Opportunities to Submit to Get Your Work Out There!

Submit Films 2


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.
– San Diego International Film Festival Team


The mission of the San Diego International ShortsFest is to use film to start conversations on important topics affecting our world and our shared humanity. We believe short films tell powerful stories. What’s going on in your part of the world? What are you passionate about? Who are your local heroes? What are you thinking about these days? What’s your dream for the future? 

Share your short film during the 3-day ShortsFest with a global audience of your fellow Filmmakers, Film Lovers and the Film Industry and be a part of what San Diego is creating in the virtual film world. SUBMIT TODAY!


The San Diego International Film Festival invites elevator-pitch style submissions for a short film concept. Finalists will pitch live to industry professionals at the San Diego International ShortsFest on May 22nd. The mission of the San Diego Film Festival strives to champion emerging voices that often go unheard. We are here to give you an opportunity to bring your concept to reality!

Here’s how to submit!
>Record you pitching your movie concept in an up to 2 minute video of yourself
> The Top 10 projects selected will be invited to our pitch event on May 22nd where you’ll be rubbing elbows with industry professionals on the panel, as you make your pitch
> The top 5 chosen will advance to the finals
> where 1 lucky person will walk away with a cash prize and a one-on-one with the industry professionals


Submissions are not currently open for the Fall Festival.

SDISF Logo Horizontal Blue Green CMYK
May 21 – 23, 2021

May 22, 2021

SDIFF Logo Horizontal Color
Oct 14 – 24, 2021
Submissions Open Feb 1st

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

Call: (619) 818-2221

Have Questions?



Dec 21, 2021  – Submissions Open 

January 25, 2021 – Earlybird Deadline

February 22, 2021 – Regular Deadline

March 15, 2021 – Late Entry Deadline

April 9, 2021 – Notification Date

May 21 – 23, 2021 – San Diego International ShortsFest



February 1, 2021  – Submissions Open 

March 1, 2021 – Earlybird Deadline

April 1, 2021 – Regular Deadline 

April 30, 2021 – Notification Date 

May 22, 2021 – PitchFest

ShortsFest Entry Fees:

Early Entry Deadline (12/25/2021) – $28

Regular Entry Deadline (1/25/2021) – $35

Late Entry Deadline (3/15/2021) – $42

Notification Date: 4/9/2021

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.

Apply Online:

ShortsFest (May): SUBMIT

San Diego Intl Film Festival (Oct): SUBMIT

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

Submissions must have been completed after January 1, 2020.

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. 

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: 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.

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 with full access to all virtual screenings

– 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

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:

Or call: 619-818-2221