Announcing Our 2021 Dates and Call For Entries!

This is my first email to you as your new Festival Director. It’s been an interesting and thought-provoking few months as a new leader and I’m humbled by the collaboration and support of our community in SLO County. As we look towards the future of next year’s event, we’re exploring all kinds of possibilities to continue bringing important storytelling to San Luis Obispo. Whatever the format the festival takes, whether virtual, in-person, or drive-thru, we can’t wait to entertain and inspire you. So many of you that I’ve spoken with over the last few months have expressed your support and how much our institution means to you and that is what makes our work worth it.

It is with great pleasure that I announce our film festival dates and that we are open for submissions. We welcome filmmakers from around the world and locally to take part in the future of our festival. We also have two exciting new categories: Best Animation and Best Music Video. We have always had a wealth of incredible animated films and we are excited to bring a special spotlight to their work.  Music also has been an important thread in our county and we can’t wait to see what local and global musicians come up with!

March 9th – 14th 2021

In addition we have joined the SLO Arts Leadership Roundtable, a coalition of local arts organizations and live entertainment venues in San Luis Obispo County. We are working together to determine how we can safely and responsibly return during these times, as well as what we can do better within our  institutions regarding anti-racism and inclusion. This is the first of many collaborations that we look forward to being a part of. 


Wendy & I had the pleasure of attending Sundance this year, and this was a documentary that stole our hearts. Puerto Rican Astrologer Walter Mercado was a force of good energy and a Pisces spirit that warmed Latinx homes and we are sure you will fall in love with him as we did. He also had the best sense in fashion!


DISCLOSURE was one of our 2020 Special Presentation films this year. It’s a thought-provoking documentary about trans lives on screen. If you enjoy film history, this is an important film to watch as trans voices reflect on how certain representations, or lack thereof, influenced their lives and culture.

Our friends at SLOMotion are hosting a series of virtual screening events with live Q&A’s that focus on racial injustice, environmental inequality, systems of oppression, and mass incarceration. Donations go directly to R.A.C.E Matters SLO.


Much of the food on our tables comes from the intrinsic act of pollinating the flowers that become the fruits, vegetables and nuts we eat. But today’s agricultural practices, pesticides and politics are making that simple act of nature more difficult. This cinematic journey around the United States follows migratory beekeepers and their truckloads of honey bees and notes the devastating loss of bee hives and the impact on our food supply. 

Thank you to our 2020 sponsors for their loyal support of the SLO Film Fest and for looking for ways to also support our community in these challenging times.Today’s Sponsor in the Spotlight is one of our 2020 Producers, New Times!

New Times is San Luis Obispo County’s locally owned and operated news and entertainment weekly. Celebrating over 30 years of publishing the largest circulated paper in the region; covering local news, politics, opinion, food, wine, arts, and entertainment each week.  Their publicity coverage of the SLOIFF has been amazing over the years, and a key part of our overall marketing efforts.  Thanks New Times!

See you at the movies!

Skye McLennan & Wendy Eidson 
Festival Director // Artistic Director

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