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.


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.

News from SDFF

OCTOBER 20, 2021 LOCAL DOCUMENTARY NEWS Invisible: Gay Women In Southern Music (T.J. Parsell, 2021), a new doc exploring queer female singer/songwriters who have successfully navigated...

Negotiations Stop Hollywood Shut-Down, But Dismayed Workers Discuss Rejecting Deal IATSE-AMPTP negotiations may not have gotten quite the “Hollywood ending” initially touted by the union...

OCTOBER 13, 2021 ALUMNI MAKING NEWS As of Wednesday afternoon, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) had set a strike date of Monday,...

Streaming Contract Negotiations May Auger Future for Other Hollywood Guilds Members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, or IATSE, voted overwhelmingly earlier this...

OUTwatch and Rialto Cinemas® Upcoming Screening — Invisible: Gay Women In Southern Music   OUTwatch and Rialto Cinemas® are partnering to screen Invisible: Gay Women In Southern Music (T.J....

Best Documentary winner ADVOCATE (Philippe Bellaiche + Rachel Leah Jones, 2019) A portrait of Lea Tsemel, a Jewish-Israeli human rights lawyer who has represented political...

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