2016 George Sidney Independent Film Competition

Named for renowned director George Sidney, longtime supporter of the SLOIFF and indie filmmakers during his lifetime, this film competition is growing fast! Thanks to filmmakers from all over the world submitting exciting new films of all genres, lengths and subject matter, the SLOIFF is able to offer to its audiences a wide variety of contemporary, thought-provoking cinema and over 85% filmmaker attendance at their screenings. Great scenery, friendly, intelligent audiences, industry reps and wonderful hotels await you in beautiful San Luis Obispo. We hope to screen your film here in March 2016!

How to Participate

Entries will be accepted for consideration for the 2016 George Sidney Independent Film Competition beginning on June 22, 2015. Select filmmakers will be invited to present their films before a festival audience, March 15-20, 2016.
Films will compete in several categories:

  • Best Full-length Narrative Film (45 min.+) – Cash Prize $1000
  • Best Full-length Documentary (45 min.+) – Cash Prize $1000
  • Best Short Film (under 45 min.) – Cash Prize $500
  • Best College Student Film (any length) – Cash Prize $500

Competition films will also be eligible for Audience Awards in three categories: Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Short Film and Best in Fest (any length.) Best in the Fest award is a weekend resort package at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort in Avila Beach.

Competition Rules

Submissions in all categories must be received by November 15, 2015. The extended late submission deadline is November 30, 2015. Absolutely no late submissions will be considered after this date.
WE ARE NOW CLOSED FOR THIS SEASON. New entries will be accepted in June 2016. 

For specific contest rules for The Filmmakers of Tomorrow competition for high school, middle and primary school students (not college students), please click here: Youth Contest Rules. Submissions for this competition should be entered directly to the SLOIFF and there is no entry fee.

Filmmakers with films that were produced, directed or written by residents in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara or Monterey counties are invited to submit their films through Withoutabox, for a discounted entry fee, for possible screening in the Central Coast Filmmakers Showcase. The same film cannot be entered in the George Sidney Independent Film Competition however. A separate set of jurists will choose a selection of films to be screened as “local” films. If the “local” film is entered in the George Sidney Independent Film Competition it will be judged by the SLOIFF Programming Committee along with all other entries from around the world.

The SLOIFF reserves the right to determine eligibility of any work submitted. All films submitted must have a completion date after March 1, 2014. Preferred format for screening copies is online link – preferably Vimeo or YouTube.
Films selected for screening at the Festival will be notified no later than January 15, 2016. All George Sidney Independent Film Competition filmmakers will be provided with one night’s accommodation at a hotel in the San Luis Obispo area. They will also be given one all-access pass to the 2016 SLOIFF, good from March 15-20, 2016, as well as a Wine Tasting Pass. Awards will be presented on Sunday, March 20 at the Visitor Center Theatre after a private tour of Hearst Castle and Filmmaker Reception.

SLOIFF Alumni filmmakers are invited to submit a new film with a fee waiver.

Deadlines Student Short Feature
Earlybird: September 1, 2015 GS*: $25.00
CCFS*: $19.00
GS: $30.00
CCFS: $22.00
GS: $40.00
CCFS: $30.00
Regular: October 15, 2015 GS: $30.00
CCFS: $22.00
GS: $40.00
CCFS: $30.00
GS: $50.00
CCFS: $37.00
Late: November 15, 2015 GS: $40.00
CCFS: $30.00
GS: $50.00
CCFS: $37.00
GS: $60.00
CCFS: $45.00
Extended: November 30, 2015
GS: $55.00
CCFS: $40.00
GS: $65.00
CCFS: $50.00
GS: $75.00
CCFS: $55.00
*GS: George Sidney Independent Film Competition (open to all filmmakers worldwide)
*CCFS: Central Coast Filmmakers Showcase
(open to filmmakers in San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Santa Barbara Counties – see more information above)