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

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.

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.

News from SDFF

SEPTEMBER 24, 2021 SDFF ALUMNI FESTIVAL NEWS SDFF 2021 selection The Dilemma Of Desire, directed by Peabody Award winner Maria Finitzo, is opening the Midwest Film...

Recipient of First Filmmakers with Disabilities Grant Julie Wyman’s Untitled Dwarfism Project is one of 20 narrative film projects to win an SFFILM Rainin Grant, and one...

Filmmaker Claims Show Producers + CBS Deceived Him About ADA Compliant Ramp to Stage Following the Emmy Awards show on Sunday night, Crip Camp director Jim Le...

Risks To Female Athletes Heightened Under New Regime Italian documentarian and journalist Stefano Liberti made the news last after helping 3 members of a women’s...

SDFF proudly announces the Inaugural presentation of the Jean McGlothlin Documentary Spirit Award to filmmakers and longtime festival supporters, Vivien Hillgrove and James LeBrecht. While...

SDFF 2020 Selection Gives Insight Into Increasing Restrictions on Women’s Bodily Autonomy, Self-Determination, Citizenship The recent Texas abortion ban granting private citizens the right to...

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