Aug 26, 2019
63rd SFFILM Festival Runs April 8–21, 2020; Early Submission Deadline October 7, Final Deadline December 9
San Francisco, CA – SFFILM is now accepting submissions for the 63rd San Francisco International Film Festival (April 8–21, 2020), recognized throughout the world as an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country’s most beautiful cities. Works in all genres, forms, and lengths are considered.
- Early deadline – Monday, October 7
- Regular deadline – Monday, November 11
- Final deadline – Monday, December 9
Founded in 1957, SFFILM Festival is the longest-running film festival in the Americas. Refreshingly intimate for a festival of its size and scope, the event combines a range of marquee premieres, international competitions, compelling documentaries, new digital media work, live music performances, and star-studded red carpet events.
An extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery, SFFILM Festival is an internationally renowned cultural event, deeply rooted in the Bay Area values of diversity, inclusion, innovation, and creativity. The 2019 SFFILM Festival, earlier this year, presented 209 screenings of 163 films from 52 countries, hosting more than 300 filmmaker and industry guests from around the globe. Over the Festival’s 14-day run, tens of thousands of enthusiastic filmgoers flocked to San Francisco to celebrate the best in international cinema, new episodic content, and onstage performances.
“[SFFILM] Festival is situated in one of the most culturally diverse and progressive places on Earth, a place that harbors curiosity, creativity, innovation, internationalism and a strong support for the arts…Indeed, beyond diversity and inclusion, one of the guiding principles of the festival is the desire to inspire a more civil discourse about the issues that affect us today.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“The annual flagship event for what is quickly becoming one of the most innovative film organizations in the US.”
SFFILM Festival’s special initiatives for independent filmmakers include Launch, a boutique industry program designed to provide a platform to a select group of exceptional films starting their journey into the distribution world. Spotlighting features from within the official lineup, Launch introduces a new opportunity for debuting films that can benefit from the special audience makeup of the Bay Area as they find distributors and exhibitors to champion them in the months to come. Filmmakers with work in the Festival lineup can also take advantage of industry meetings and networking events hosted by SFFILM Makers, the organization’s artist development arm.
The Festival’s awards and prizes recognize the best of international and Bay Area talent by honoring remarkable innovation in documentary, narrative, animation, experimental, and youth-produced works.
Golden Gate Awards—Juried awards in several categories including the McBaine Documentary Feature Award with a $10,000 prize; the McBaine Bay Area Documentary Feature Award with a $5,000 prize; a New Directors Prize of $10,000 for the director of a first narrative feature; and awards totaling more than $10,000 in other categories of shorts, youth-produced, and family films.
Audience Awards—For Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature
In addition, SFFILM Festival is an Academy Award®–qualifying festival for all three short film categories: documentary, live action and animated, and a qualifying festival for the 13th annual Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction filmmaking, founded in 2007 to honor exemplary craft in documentaries.
“The SFFILM Festival screening experience is one of the best in the nation. There is so much thoughtfulness that goes into the programming and the surrounding events. The staff is incredibly supportive, and the screenings are well attended by a diverse and engaged audience—it’s a filmmaker’s dream.”
—Filmmaker Kelly Duane de la Vega, co-director of The Return
The longest-running film festival in the Americas, the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM Festival) is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country’s most beautiful cities. The 63nd edition runs April 8–21 at venues across the Bay Area and features nearly 200 films and live events, 14 juried awards with close to $40,000 in cash prizes, and upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests.
SFFILM is a nonprofit organization with a mission to champion the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area. Presenter of the San Francisco International Film Festival, SFFILM is a year-round organization delivering screenings and events to more than 75,000 film lovers and media education programs to more than 12,000 students and teachers annually. In addition to its public programs, SFFILM supports the careers of independent filmmakers from the Bay Area and beyond with grants, residencies, and other creative development services.
For more information visit sffilm.org.