SIFF opens submissions for the 49th Annual Seattle International Film Festival, taking place May 11-21, 2023

8/15/2022 |

Filmmakers are invited to submit now through December 16, 2022

SEATTLE – SIFF announces its call for submissions for the 49th annual Seattle International Film Festival running May 11-21, 2023. The 11-day in-person Festival will be followed by a week of select virtual screenings from May 22-28.

“SIFF is in full swing with preparations for the 2023 Seattle International Film Festival,” says SIFF Artistic Director Beth Barrett. “Once again, we are excited to celebrate new filmmakers and established directors alike, engaging international and independent voices, visions, and creating a space for audiences and filmmakers to come together to discover the best films of the year.”

In 2022, the Festival screened 262 films representing 80 countries at venues across Seattle. Firmly focused on bringing a diverse and engaging lineup of films and filmmakers to audiences in Seattle for nearly 50 years, the Festival has long championed new voices, unique visions, and film-centered experiences. Additionally, the Seattle International Film Festival is an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Qualifying Festival for Short Films.

"As an avid fan, I’m excited to see the Festival from the inside out this year as SIFF’s new Executive Director," said Tom Mara, who joined SIFF on August 1. “As we live and grow in these pandemic times, I'm even more passionate about film as a storytelling platform with the power to strengthen communities, and look forward to building an entertaining and enlightening festival experience for film lovers. Film makes life better!”

Submissions will be reviewed by a team of over 20 programmers for Festival programs spotlighting world cinema, new directors, documentaries and more, including the return of audience favorites such as Secret Fest, ShortsFest, WTF (Wild, Terrifying, Fantastic), and Opening and Closing Night Celebrations.

Filmmakers can submit feature or short length narrative and documentary films now through December 16, 2022.

Seattle International Film Festival 2023 Awards and Prizes

Golden Space Needle Award: Audience-choice awards for Best Film, Documentary Feature, Director, Performance, and Short Film.

Official Competition: An internationally juried award for some of the Festival’s best films.

New Directors Competition: An internationally juried award for best emerging directors.

New American Cinema Competition: An internationally juried award for best American films.

Ibero-American Cinema Competition: An internationally juried award for best films from Ibero-America who are firmly expressing issues, styles, and talent from the area.

Documentary Film Competition: An internationally juried award for best documentary.

Short Film Competition: Internationally juried awards for best live action, animated, and documentary short films.

FutureWave Shorts Competition: A juried award for best short film created by filmmakers younger than 18 years old. (Submission deadline January 27, 2022)

FutureWave Features Competition: A selection of films curated for teen audiences and judged by youth aged 13 to 18.

Films4Families Features Competition: A selection of films curated for family audiences and judged by youth aged 8 to 12.

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About SIFF:
Known for the international festival that takes place in the late spring each year, SIFF has delighted moviegoers for more than 47 years with films from all regions of the world and all genres of film. SIFF offers year-round arthouse screenings, curated mini-festivals, cinema events, and educational programs - to keep up with us, visit and find SIFF on Instagram, Twitter, Letterboxd and Facebook.

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Madison Zimmerman | Marketing Manager |