We stand in solidarity with people of color and anti-racists protesting police violence and other forms of state-sanctioned white supremacy. In support of this ongoing movement, and in-keeping with our belief in the power of documentary to help us look beyond ourselves and to foster critical thinking, we’ve added a permanent, evolving section to this website, dedicated to social justice in documentary media. This section is intended to supplement, not supplant, the inclusion of these issues in the festival’s film selections, news updates and other content, and to provide a central place for our audience to find information and resources. Click Here to see the current iteration of this page.

SDFF 2022 DATES: MARCH 24-27


A Doc Festival for All

In 2020, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named SDFF a Qualifying Festival for the Documentary Short Subject category. Recipients of the SDFF Jury Award for Short Subject and Jury Award for Mini-Doc are now eligible for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category of the Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

An all-volunteer Steering Committee of filmmakers, film scholars and critics, and film lovers run SDFF. MovieMaker magazine named SDFF “One of the Coolest Film Festivals” twice. While that was a nice feather in our cap, seeing the raves of filmmakers, festival attendees, and our community is our greatest satisfaction.

The inspiration behind the founding of the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival in 2007 was an immense curiosity into lives outside of our own. Over the years since, we’ve worked to serve as a bridge for independent non-fiction filmmakers to audiences keen to explore and learn. 

SDFF brings the best documentaries and filmmakers from around the world to northern California for an annual celebration of non-fiction films. We’ll exhibit 70 to 75 films over four days on six screens in Sebastopol. Our audience includes documentary film lovers, industry professionals, filmmakers, and curious bystanders.


SDFF Loses Beloved Volunteer Linda Heath

Volunteer Coordinator Kathryn Davy Remembers A Friend

The Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival lost a valued member of our team this month. The incomparable Linda Heath volunteered all 13 years that the festival was in person and showed up this summer to say hello to us when a few of us got together in June after the long quarantine. From the very first year of the festival and every year thereafter, Linda was a positive, smiling force and I looked forward to seeing her sweet face every year.

What I loved about Linda was her complete glow of light and positivity that could not be ignored. She was willing to work any shift and do any job I asked without complaint. I am glad we were able to acknowledge her longevity at a Volunteer Dinner several years ago in front of her fellow volunteers. To say she will be missed is the easiest thing I can say, but it is the truth and I will think of her every time we open the doors for the film going masses.

News from SDFF

30 NOVEMBER 2021 ALUMNI AWARDS. HONORS. FESTIVALS. Oscar-nominated director and multi-year SDFF alumni, Skye Fitzgerald will mentor Colombian documentarian Pedro Samper Murillo, who was awarded...

23 NOVEMBER 2021 ALUMNI AWARDS. HONORS. FESTIVALS. Congratulations to Valentina Serebrennikova, whose work on I Want To Make A Film About Women won the award for costume...

16 NOVEMBER 2021 ALUMNI AWARDS. HONORS. FESTIVALS. DOC NEWS Unsilenced, Leon Lee’s new feature film that showcases China’s human rights abuses won an 2021 Audience Award...

Multi-year SDFF alumni Ben Proudfoot’s Queen Of Basketball (U.S., 22 mins) won Best Short at the 2021 Critic’s Choice Documentary Awards on Sunday. The film, one in Proudfoot’s ongoing Almost...

9 NOVEMBER 2021 ALUMNI AWARDS. HONORS. FESTIVALS. DOC NEWS Filmmaker Corina Schwingruber Ilić won the Golden Dove audience award for feature-length docs at DOK Leipzig this...

NOVEMBER 3, 2021 ALUMNI AWARDS. HONORS. FESTIVALS. From the Wild Sea (Robin Petré, 2021) is one of 10 features comprising the 2021 Europe! Voices Of Women In...

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