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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates of the next festival?

Monday, May 6 – Saturday, May 11, 2024


Where is the festival held?

The festival takes place in central San Diego.  Most screenings and events will take place at the Museum of Photographic Arts located in Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, USA


What is the deadline and fee schedule?

Tuesday, June 6, 2023: Submissions Open

Monday, September 4, 2023: Early Deadline ($35 fee, Students $25, Gold $31)

Monday, October 16, 2023: Regular Deadline ($45 fee, Students $25, Gold $40)

Saturday, November 11, 2023: Late Deadline ($55 fee, Students $25, Gold $49)


How can I submit my film?

GI Film Festival San Diego proudly accepts entries solely on FilmFreeway, the world’s #1 way to enter film festivals. Be sure to include  links to view your film along with passwords if password protected.


How long is a short film?  
Films under 55 minutes are considered short films.


How long is a feature film? 
Films 55 minutes and over are considered feature films.


What are the categories of films accepted?

We accept films in the following categories: documentary shorts, documentary features, narrative shorts, narrative features, student narrative shorts and student documentary shorts.


What are the categories not accepted?

Screenplays, music videos, marketing videos, non-profit institutional videos or testimonials that are not independently produced, and PSAs.


How are the films selected for the festival?

Films submitted to the festival are reviewed by our selection team, looking for the best thematic and well-produced films.


Do you accept incomplete films (still in need of color correction, final credits, soundtrack, score, etc.)?

Yes, we will review and consider incomplete films for inclusion in our festival submitted by the Early or Regular Deadlines as long as your film will be complete and the final cut is submitted by the Late Deadline of November 11, 2023. Please note clearly in your initial submission that your film is incomplete and which elements are still being worked on. 


Should I send a press kit now?

If your film is selected into the festival, you will be asked to provide an electronic press kit (EPK) at that time.


Can I submit more than one film?

Yes, but each film must have its own submission form filled out and fee paid.


When will I find out if my film is accepted?

We will notify filmmakers if they are accepted or not into the festival on Thursday, February 1, 2024.


What are the acceptable screening formats for your festival?

If selected for the festival, filmmakers will be required to provide a labeled DCP for festival presentation and a stereo QuickTime file as a backup.  MP4 videos with h.264 codec will also be required to facilitate online rentals during the festival run and/or in the event our festival must go virtual due to health/safety reasons. 

Hard drives, thumb drives and DCPs should be shipped in sturdy, reusable containers or bubble wrap envelopes with return shipping information enclosed.  DCPs and drives provided will be returned after the festival run. The festival will incur the cost of the film’s return.  If available, direct links for download of files can also be provided.


Can I get confirmation that you received my submission?

Your status will be confirmed via FilmFreeway.


What additional information do I need to provide for submission as a student or military filmmaker?

Please email the festival organizer with a photo or scan of the front of your school ID, military ID, or proof of military service, if not already available on FilmFreeway.


What additional information do I need to provide to be considered for the Local Film Showcase?

Be prepared to provide detail on which criteria you meet to be considered for the Local Film Showcase.


If my film is not chosen, may I speak with a member of the selection team for notes or feedback?

Unfortunately, due to time constraints and the large number of submissions, we are unable to provide individual feedback.