Looking Forward To A Vibrant, Refreshed SDFF 2025

June 1 usually opens calls for entries to the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival. Not this year.  As Michael Moore writes, “It is time for us to invent something new, something bold that is progressive and sustainable…”

SDFF 2023 wrapped as a resounding success. More filmmakers attended than ever before; their films were exceptional; the panels engaging, fun and useful. Our core group of volunteers made it joyfully smooth as if by magic. A perfect time to take a breath.

SDFF is taking a year off from the festival circuit to plan and implement a robust film festival and program within the SebARTS organization, of which we are a part. We are excited at the possibilities of collaborations: opportunities for artists, audience and communities.

The website will continue to be an active hub for news about alumni filmmakers, industry conversations and follow-up of topics brought to the festival in films and panels.

Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival is proudly progressive, featuring spotlights on social justice and journalism. With the proliferation of AI, documentary might become our only touchstone for what was ‘real’ at a moment in time. We will continue to provide equal opportunity for filmmakers through open calls for entry; explore what it’s like for any life to wake to its existence. We’re curious, engaged, opinionated and welcoming to all.

Come join us in continuing the ageless tradition of storytelling circles. Looking forward to a refreshed SDFF 2025.


A Doc Festival for All

Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival is driven by an immense curiosity to learn and understand the lives of others, lives different in experience and age from our own. Submissions are open to anyone, from every part of the world. Films are chosen for excellence in craft, character, storytelling and authenticity. Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival is an Oscar® qualifying Film Festival

There are as many ways to tell stories in film as there are filmmakers. Animation, color, music, archival material, silence, laughter, reenactment … all are explored to cross the gaps of unknown, underrepresented, unseen, unfelt experience and truth. Knowing what it’s like for any life to wake to its existence guides us in critical thought.

Get comfy and engage in what’s real.

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.

News from SDFF

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Posters from SDFF alumni who are nominated for the 44th News & Documentary Emmys, including six films that showed at SDFF from 2021-2023: Let Me Be Me, MINK!, Body Parts, Wuhan Wuhan, Sapelo, and Nuisance Bear; and two new projects from filmmakers who showed at SDFF festivals in the past: Flight/Risk and Meltdown: Three Mile Island.

When the nominees for the 44th Annual News & Documentary Emmy® Awards were announced last week, the list included six films screened at SDFF from...

Full Program Unveiled At Aug. 6 Screening During SebArts Open House Event SDFF just released the names of three more titles that will show at...

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