Call for Entries Now Closed.

The 11th annual Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival brings the best documentaries from around the world along with their filmmakers to Northern California. Twice named “One of the Coolest Film Festivals” by MovieMaker Magazine, it is one of the important and special stops on the documentary festival circuit. Sebastopol is a documentary destination that has filmmakers raving about the hospitality, quality of programming, and wonderful community atmosphere that this festival fosters.

We screen short and feature length documentaries, hybrid docs, and any other type of film that can be described as documentary. We present awards in both short and feature categories: Jury and Audience Awards. Additional awards may be announced.

SDFF 2017 screened 63 films in 4 days with over 100 filmmakers and guests in attendance.

We accept submissions through FilmFreeway!


Deadlines & Fees

Early Deadline: July 16
Regular Deadline: July 30
Late Deadline: August 31
Extended Deadline: September 10

Rules & Terms

Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival programs excellence of craft and storytelling in both short and feature length non-fiction films.

Your film can be considered for SDFF 22 – 25 March 2018 programming if unreleased to public screening by any medium prior to Festival dates.

Any selected and confirmed film cannot be withdrawn from the program after December 15, 2017.

All submitted films are requested, in the entry form, to provide a selection of stills in high resolution (print quality) which the festival will be free to use for promotional and press purposes.

Information required for catalogue and festival website includes the following credits: original title, international title, director, running time, country(ies) of production, year of production, premiere status, production company, producer, and sales contact including email address.

These materials should be submitted as soon as possible upon acceptance of the invitation, but no later than December 1, 2017. Written program notes are entirely at the discretion of SDFF which accepts no liability for inaccuracies in submitted materials.

Foreign language films MUST have English subtitles burned onto picture.

Submissions will be reviewed by Selection Committee between May and December, 2017. Submissions must be provided in electronic form (we prefer Vimeo password- protected screeners). As our judges are geographically dispersed, we cannot accept physical media (i.e. DVD or BluRay) submissions.

There is no preference given to early submissions except the discounted entry fee. There is equal consideration by the Selection Committee for all submitted films and your chances of acceptance are not diminished by a late entry.

Filmmakers will be notified of selection results by Friday 29 December 2017.

This year presents Emerging Filmmakers, a new category of short and feature films. Laurels for the ‘Best New Filmmaker’ at SDFF 2018 will recognize the best of creative and gutsy work from these first time documentary filmmakers.

Awards & Prizes
We give three awards to both feature and short documentaries. Engraved plaques are awarded to the winners. There are no cash prizes.
Critics Award – Feature
Critics Award – Short
Jury Award – Feature
Jury Award – Short
Audience Awards for Feature + Short

By submitting your film through FilmFreeway you acknowledge and agree that, to the best of your knowledge, all of the statements in this form are true and that you are duly authorized to submit this film to the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival. You further agree that if this film is selected, the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival has permission to screen the film during the 2018 Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival event dates of March 22-25, 2018.

With its reputation as a filmmaker’s festival, for four days each March, docs rock this quiet wine country outpost as the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival showcases over sixty films in venues around town. Unique and intimate, the community in and around Sebastopol embraces both festival filmmakers and audience with uncompromising enthusiasm. We look forward to your entry and discovering new points of view.

SebDocs 2015 cover

PDF of 2015 Print Program

SebDocs 2016 cover

PDF of 2016 Print Program

SebDocs 2017 cover

PDF of 2017 Print Program