Submissions for our 2020 festival are now CLOSED!

Submissions for 2021 will reopen in September!


Short Films


SAIFF’s premier category: Narrative films, of any genre and type, under 20 minutes long.

Fiction Feature


Narrative films, of any genre and type, over 40 minutes long.

Documentary Feature


Documentary films, of any genre and type, over 40 minutes long.

Short Documentaries


Documentary films, of any genre and type, under 20 minutes long.

Stunt Performance


Entry for the “Outstanding Stunt Performance” award. Entry should be a short clip – under 2 minutes run time – from a feature film, short film, TV show, commercial or stunt rehearsal.

Music Videos


Music videos, of any type or genre, under 10 minutes in length.

Virtual Reality


360/180 films and VR/AR/MR experiences of any genre and type. *

* 360/180 films and VR/AR/MR experiences (6Dof interactive or linear, CG or live action, under 20 min) of any genre and type. We accept experiences developed for a number of headsets, handsets and platforms using various immersive technologies, including: Oculus Mobile (Gear VR, Oculus Go), Google Daydream, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Sony PlayStation VR, Windows Mixed Reality, Apple ARKit, and Google ARCore.


Opening Date

Sep 05, 2019

Earlybird Deadline

Dec 05, 2020

Regular Deadline

May 21, 2020

Late Deadline

June 10, 2020

Extended Deadline

July 1, 2020

Notification Date

July 14, 2020


1. Submission Deadlines

 N.B. Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the stipulated deadlines, festival dates and notification dates are subject to change.


Submissions will be accepted from 5 September 2019. The early deadline is December 5, 2019; the regular deadline is May 21, 2020; the late deadline is June 10, 2020; the extended deadline is July 1, 2020. Early entry is encouraged but in no way guarantees acceptance

2. Submission Format

Films must be submitted via online screener ONLY. We do not accept films sent over by DVD.
We do not accept subsequent cuts or more complete versions of submitted films, therefore changing or updating the originally submitted link is not accepted. Only one version of the film will be reviewed by programmers.

3. Submission Eligibility & Premiere Status
  • Films completed at any date before 10 April 2020 are eligible.
  • SAIFF does not require any premiere status for feature films – although national and world premieres will be given preference.
  • There is no premiere policy for short films and music videos.
  • Work-in-progress and films with distribution are accepted
4. Film Classification

All films screened during the SAIFF receive a blank 18 certificate from the FPB. This means we cannot accept anyone underage during any screening of the Festival. Please take this into account when submitting to SAIFF.

5. Submission Fee

All submissions for SAIFF are to be paid through FilmFreeway platform. The submission fee is non-refundable.

6. Shipping - for selected films ONLY

If selected you will receive instructions for delivery of your film.
If the film is selected for the Festival all shipping and postage costs for DCPs and additional materials sent to and returned from SAIFF must be borne by the submitting party. SAIFF will not accept Cash On Delivery shipments. SAIFF will not absorb any fees incurred in SA customs. All charges must be pre-paid.

7. Selection of Films

Submissions are reviewed and selected under the following criteria:
– Quality of narrative and production values.
– Independent nature of the production.

8. Notification

SAIFF endeavours to complete all selection procedures by July 14, 2020 and inform all submitting parties, in writing, if their film has been successful or not after that time. Successful submissions will receive information that will include important information on delivering your film to the Festival, press and publicity, guest accreditation, contact information and how to make the most of participating in the Festival.

9. Festival Screenings - for selected films ONLY

All foreign language films MUST contain English subtitles files.
Blu-ray will be used as backup only. SAIFF aspires to provide the best quality projection possible but will not be held liable for any failure in the technical quality of the projection, nor will fees be refunded in any such case.

10. Scheduling - for selected films ONLY

Screenings are scheduled at the discretion of SAIFF. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, SAIFF reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. SAIFF will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling.
No film may be withdrawn from the festival programme after its selection.

11. Promotion - for selected films ONLY

Selected films must acknowledge that SAIFF reserves the right to promote the films on SAIFF website and social media using both images and video that you provide.
If shortlisted for an award, the online screeners of the film must be made available for the duration of the festival for all the jury members.


Thank you for your amazing work!