June 19, 2002


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Northern California film festivals


IF YOU'RE A filmmaker and want your work to be seen by somebody other than your roommate, you don't have to go all the way to Cannes. Northern California has a growing number of festivals, small and large, that accept submissions. The following, compiled in April 2002, has information on submission deadlines and fees. Most festivals are annual events, but dates change from year to year, so be sure to call for up-to-date information.

Berkeley Video and Film Festival, sponsored by the East Bay Media Center, brings together a variety of independently produced works for a day of screenings. The 2002 festival takes place in November, with a submission deadline of July 5. The entry fee is $40, plus $25 for each additional submission; producers 17 and under pay $30, plus $15 for each additional entry. 1939 Addison, Berk., CA 94707. (510) 843-3699, www.eastbaymedia.citysearch.com/1.html.

Cinemayaat Arab Film Festival draws together strong work from around the globe dealing with the Arab experience. It accepts submissions, with no fee. Previously the fest took place in September, but it was postponed last year because of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Festival directors are rescheduling the next Cinemayaat for an as-yet-unknown date, perhaps in the spring. 2 Plaza Ave., S.F., CA 94116. (415) 564-1100, www.aff.org.

Cinequest San Jose Film Festival is a well-financed festival that brings in large crowds and accepts submissions of features, documentaries, and shorts. The festival includes special categories for digital work, new filmmakers, Latino filmmakers, African American filmmakers, and students. The annual fest takes place in late February and early March. The submission fee is $30; the deadline is in October. P.O. Box 720040, San Jose, CA 95172. (408) 995-5033, www.cinequest.org.

Film Arts Festival of Independent Cinema is organized by the Film Arts Foundation, which has recently invested money in upgrading the festival to a more high-visibility event. It accepts submissions from northern California filmmakers and of shorts (less than 30 minutes) by filmmakers who have joined the organization. The 2002 festival takes place November 13-17; early and late deadlines are June 7 and July 5, 2002, and the fee is $15. Note that it will be moving to a new address in 2002. 346 Ninth St., S.F., CA 94103. (415) 552-8760, www.filmarts.org.

Filmjunkie Underground Film Festival is a growing, local festival. It takes place in early April, and in 2002 screened at the Delancey Street Theater in San Francisco. The projected deadline is around December 10; the submission fee is not yet set for the 2003 festival. 960 Moraga, Piedmont, CA 94611. (510) 521-3131, www.filmjunkie.com.

Hi/Lo Film Festival, organized by the comedy troupe Killing My Lobster, is a fun and popular festival of high-concept, low-budget works. It occurs in late March; deadlines are Nov. 1 (early fee $15) and Dec. 1 (late fee $20). P.O. Box 170309, S.F., CA 94117. (415) 487-9817, killingmylobster.com.

Ladyfest Film Festival, part of Ladyfest Bay Area, a larger multimedia festival with work by women, girls, and trans-folk, takes place July 24-28, 2002. The film festival accepts submissions of works of all lengths and genres. There is no fee for submissions (the 2002 deadline was May 1). C/o Kyle Stephan, 147 10th St., S.F., CA 94103. (510) 496-2740, ext. 6900, www.ladyfestbayarea.org.

Latino Film Festival, now in its sixth year, takes place in November 2002. It accepts films by Latinos or about the Latino experience. Submission deadlines are June 15 (early) and July 1 (late). The fee is $35; free for students with ID. 50 Acacia, San Rafael, CA 94901. (415) 454-4039, www.latinofilmfestival.org.

Lunafest Film Festival is sponsored by the Luna bar company. This festival of films by, for, and about women benefits the Breast Cancer Fund. Selected films will tour the United States in September and November 2002, including screenings in the Bay Area. Entries were due April 30 in 2002 and the fee was $25. Maximum running time for submissions is 75 minutes. 1610 Fifth St., Berk., CA 94710. (510) 558-7855, www.lunabar.com.

MadCat Women's International Film Festival looks for challenging work by female directors and accepts submissions of all lengths and genres. Screenings occur at various venues Sept. 6-27, 2002. The early and late deadlines are April 30 and July 5, 2002. The fee is $10 to $30, sliding scale. 639 Steiner, Suite C, S.F., CA 94117. (415) 436-9523, www.somaglow.com/madcat.

Marin County Festival of Short Film and Video takes place July 3-7, 2002, as part of the Marin County Fair. The competition is open to works with a maximum running time of 30 minutes in the categories of narrative, documentary, animated, experimental, and children/family. Deadlines for 2002 were March 15 (early fee $30), and April 2 (late fee $35). 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael, CA 94903. (415) 499-6400, www.marinfair.org.

Media Alliance Film Festival, organized by a progressive-media support group, was previously held in August, but has been indefinitely postponed because of lack of funds. Check back in 2003. 814 Mission St., S.F., CA 94103. (415) 546-6334, www.media-alliance.org/filmfest.

Mill Valley Film Festival, presented by the well-financed Film Institute of Northern California, is popular with audiences. The 25th annual festival takes place Oct. 3-13, 2002 at the beautiful Rafael Film Center. The early deadline is May 31 (fee $25, $10 for under 18), the late deadline is June 30 ($35, $15 for under 18). 38 Miller, Suite 6, Mill Valley, CA 94941. (415) 383-5256, www.mvff.com.

Nomad Videofilm Festival accepts short films and videos, 20 minutes maximum, and prefers experimental work. The festival screens in May in the Bay Area and also tours Portland and Seattle. In 2002 the early and late deadlines were March 15 and April 15, respectively, with a fee of $20. The festival will be on hiatus in 2003 and return in 2004. P.O. Box 7518, Berk., CA 94707. (510) 464-4640, www.verticalpool.com/nomad.html.

Orinda Film Festival features works by northern California independent filmmakers in the East Bay town of Orinda. The deadline for submissions is June 15, and the 2002 festival takes place Sept. 27-29; the entry fee is $40. P.O. Box 1366, Orinda, CA 94563. (925) 258-0758, www.orindafilmfestival.org.

San Francisco Black Film Festival welcomes features, shorts, and documentaries about the black experience; filmmakers do not have to be African or African American to participate. The 2002 festival is held June 12-16; submissions (fee $25) are due by March 22. There is also a screenplay competition, with the same deadline and a fee of $30. 1749 O'Farrell St., S.F., CA 94115. (877) 467-1735, www.sfbff.org.

San Francisco Documentary Festival showcases San Francisco's favorite form. The event happens in mid May and is presented by the San Francisco Independent Film Festival (see below). The deadline in 2002 was March 22, and the fee was $20. 530 Divisadero, No. 183, S.F., CA 94117. (415) 820-3907, www.sfindie.com.

San Francisco Independent Film Festival, an increasingly popular festival showcasing diverse styles, takes place in late January and early February. In 2001 organizers San Francisco IndieFest also put together a Digital Video Underground Festival, which is now on hiatus. The deadline is late October, and the entry fee is $20. 530 Divisadero, No. 183, S.F., CA 94117. (415) 820-3907, www.sfindie.com.

San Francisco International Film Festival, the major event in northern California's film world, features premieres from around the world. Held in late April, the festival accepts submissions of narrative feature films, with a deadline in early January; the 2002 fee was $55. Put on by the San Francisco Film Society, the fest includes the Golden Gate Awards, an open competition for documentaries, shorts, animation, and experimental works, for film, video, and television, with special categories for Bay Area filmmakers. Entry forms for 2002 will be available in September. Deadlines run Nov. 30 to Dec. 31, and fees vary widely ($15 to $200), depending on the category. The festival is now accepting submissions via the www.withoutabox.com. 39 Mesa St., Suite 110, S.F., CA 94129. (415) 561-5000, www.sfiff.org.

San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, one of the major local fests, is strongly supported by the National Asian American Telecommunications Association. It takes place around the first week of March, and the call for entries comes out in late June. Deadlines are in the second week in September (early fee $25) and second week in October (late fee $35). Note that NAATA will be moving to a new address in 2002. 346 Ninth St., S.F., CA 94103. (415) 863-0814, www.naatanet.org/festival.

San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, sponsored by Frameline distributors, takes place June 13-30 in 2002. It accepts submissions of works in all genres. The 2003 deadline is late January, and the submission fee is $15 to $25, sliding scale. Note that they will be moving to a new address in 2002. 346 Ninth St., S.F., CA 94103. (415) 703-8650, www.frameline.org.

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is a popular, well-financed, and well-attended festival, showcasing works about Jewish history, culture, and identity. It screens at venues around the Bay Area from late July through early August. The festival is now accepting submissions, due March 15, 2003, with no fee, using the www.withoutabox.com Web site. Note that they will be moving to a new address in 2002. 346 Ninth St., S.F., CA 94103. (415) 621-0556, www.sfjff.org.

San Francisco Sex Workers Film and Video Festival is sponsored by the International Sex Workers Foundation for Art, Culture and Education. The event takes place every other year at the Roxie Cinema and will return in May 2003. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2003. Fees are $20 for the first submission and $10 for each additional entry. P.O. Box 210256, S.F., CA 94121. (415) 751-1659, www.bayswan.org/swfest.html.

Sick Puppy Festival, a small fest, shows work that includes violence, profanity, nudity, and mature subject matter. Screenings are in mid February. The deadline for 2002 is Sept. 30; the entry fee is $5. 12 Treanor St., San Rafael, CA 94901. www.sickpuppyfestival.com.

Sonoma Valley Film Festival promotes a relaxed pace, with screenings and wine tastings. The 2002 festival was April 11-14. Submission information for the 2003 festival will be available in fall 2002. 2222 Foothill Blvd., Suite E507, La Cañada, CA 91011. www.sonomafilmfest.org.

Three-Minute Film Festival, an unusual event sponsored by Alice radio station (KLLC 97.3 FM), is for films and videos that are 3 to 5 minutes long. It offers substantial cash prizes to winners and screens in early April at Bimbo's 365 Club in San Francisco. The 2002 deadline was in early March. 865 Battery St., S.F., CA 94111. www.radioalice.com.

United Nations Association Film Festival is a noncompetitive festival of documentaries related to U.N. issues. The fifth annual festival is Oct. 2427, 2002, with screenings at Stanford University. Submission fees are $35, $25 for works under 30 minutes. The 2002 deadline is June 10. P.O. Box 19369, Stanford, CA 34309. (650) 725-0012, www.unaff.org.

West Coast Student Film Festival, a new fest, is dedicated to presenting the best in student filmmaking. It takes place at San Francisco State University in mid April. Last year's deadline was in February, and there was no entry fee. 1600 Holloway, S.F., CA 94132. (415) 469-8165, www.wcsfilmfest.org.

Wine Country Film Festival encompasses a competitive and a noncompetitive showcase of more than 100 documentaries, features, and shorts screening. The 2002 festival takes place July 18-28 in Napa Valley and August 1-11 in Sonoma. This year's deadline was May 1, and the fee was $35. P.O. Box 703, 12000 Henno Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442. (707) 996-2536, www.winecountryfilmfest.com.

Women of Color Film Festival is an annual series curated by U.C. Berkeley students, with assistance from those at the Pacific Film Archives. It accepts films and videos made by women of color and occurs in early March. There is no submission fee, and entries are due in mid December. 2575 Bancroft Way, Berk., CA 94720. (510) 642-5249 or e-mail wocfilmproject@uclink.berkeley.edu.

Zeitgeist International Film Festival offfers a fun atmosphere with an outdoor screening at the Zeitgeist bar in San Francisco. The 2002 lineup features two different programs on July 14. The deadline for submissions is June 7; there's no entry fee. 199 Valencia St., S.F., CA 94103. (415) 786-9967, www.overcookedcinema.com. (Summers Henderson)