The San Francisco International Film Festival 2018 is just around the corner. It is an international film festival that brings together some of the world’s top films and filmmakers through a series of events held in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a non-profit organization that also provides all year around screenings and events for film enthusiasts, students, and academics via its educational media program.

The San Francisco International Film Festival’s Mission

The San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF) supports many independent filmmakers from the Bay area to further their creative development with the aim of advancing their careers. Its mission is rooted in the belief that filmmaking is an art form that needs help to nurture young talent so that we can all continue to watch great movies long into the future.

Jenny Slate – “Landline” Premiere at San Francisco International Film Festival 4/5/2017

The now world famous San Francisco International Film Festival was started on December 4, 1957, by founder Irving “Bud” Levin, a film exhibitor. The festival has been credited with playing a huge role in introducing foreign films to audiences in America. Included with the numerous foreign films that were screened at the first festival were Akira Kurosawa‘s Throne of Blood and Satyajit Ray‘s Pather Panchali.

In March 2014, the former executive director of the Toronto International Film Festival – Noah Cowan, became the executive director of the SFIFF replacing Ted Hope. Before Hope’s term, the festival was led by Bingham Ray, who served as SFIFF executive director until his death after only ten weeks in the job in January 2012.

The San Francisco International Film Festival is among the oldest and longest-running film festivals in America. Organized by the San Francisco Film Society, the festival is held for two weeks during spring and presents around 200 films from over 50 countries every year.

Today, the festival is attended by over 70,000 film lovers from all over the world. Screenings are held in San Francisco and Berkeley.


The New Directors Award

With a cash prize worth $15,000, the New Directors Award provides the winning independent filmmaker with a reward for their innovation as well as critical acclaim for all their hard work.

The Golden Gate Awards

These awards aim to reward the best documentaries, experimental film and video, animation and shorts. To qualify, films must be the director’s first narrative feature and are selected on the basis of their unique vision and artistic quality. For entries to be eligible for this award, films must have a San Francisco Bay Area premiere and must be premieres.

The San Francisco International Film Festival’s current awards and cash prizes:

  • Documentary Feature – prize: $20,000
  • Bay Area Documentary Feature – prize: $15,000
  • Documentary Short – prize: $5,000
  • Narrative Short – prize: $5,000
  • Animated Short – prize: $2,000
  • Bay Area Short, First Prize – prize: $2,000
  • Bay Area Short, Second Prize – prize: $1,500
  • New Visions Short – prize: $1,500
  • Youth Work – prize: $1,500
  • Family Film – prize: $1,500

The San Francisco International Film Festival was recognized by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival for the short films competition. Since the 81st Academy Awards, any film to be nominated by the SFIFF will be considered for entry into the Oscars.

What to expect in 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival?

This year’s San Francisco Film Festival will be another tribute to great films and filmmakers everywhere. Yet again it will combine international films with homegrown talent from the Bay Area. The festival’s line up will feature marquee premieres, international competitions, new media work, live performances, and inspiring talks by guest artists.

Rachel Rosen, Director of Programming at the San Francisco Film Society, left.

Charlize Theron is one of the big-name guests who will attend in this year’s SFIFF. Theron is a multi-award winner who has won an Acadamy Award and appeared in some 54 films to date. Several of her biggest movies include North Country, Mad Max: Fury Road, Atomic Blonde, Young Adult and Tully. Tully will be a focus of this year’s SFIFF tribute to her achievements in film.

The SFIFF’s has also helped support the production of some great films. Boot Riley’s outrageous film Sorry to Bother You received financial and creative support through SF FILM artist development program. This included a Film House residency and several SF FILM / Rainin Filmmaking Grants.

Peter Debruge said of the fil: “Boot Riley’s film Sorry to Bother You is the kind of debut feature that knocks your socks off, tickles your bare tootsies with goose feathers for a while, then goes all Kathy Bates in the final stretch, ultimately taking a sledgehammer to your kneecaps.”

While Emily Yoshida commended the film saying: “Riley manages to both never come off as taking the thing too seriously, but he also verbalizes his intersectional, anti-capitalist ideas in visually unforgettable fashion.”

The movie will be the centerpiece of the 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival. Tickets for this Sorry to Bother You are still available but you will need to hurry as they are bound to sell out fast. You can visit their website for more information.

How to enter your film?

Entry for the 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival is now closed. However, you can still submit your entries for the 2019 SFIFF via their website. All entries will be reviewed carefully and considered for entry by the SFIFF.

Please remember that entries must meet the festival’s criteria and be entered into the correct category. Make sure you check out the Rules and Regulations on their official website:

The 2018 SFIFF will be on April 4th until April 7th, 2018. You can visit their website for further information. The festival will release this year’s full program on March 14.


Subscribe Us –