arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Lights, Camera, Action

San Diego film festivals not to miss

Film lovers can find a festival or a movie screening catering to their tastes almost every weekend of the year in San Diego. Hundreds of movies are shown at festivals, showcasing the best cinema from around the world.

San Diego Film Festival

If you enjoy celebrity spotting, the red carpet at the San Diego Film Festival is your best bet. The festival spans five days every fall with more than100 independent and studio films shown in two locations: La Jolla and downtown's Gaslamp Quarter. Acclaimed films like Lion, Denial, Julieta, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures were screened at the festival before becoming Academy Award winners. Interviews with filmmakers and actors also take place throughout the festival run. Like most of the film organizations in town, this group also programs screenings throughout the year.

San Diego Latino Film Festival

The San Diego Latino Film Festival is one of the oldest, most established film festivals in the county, showcasing the best filmmaking by and about Latinos. The juried festival runs for 11 days and includes filmmakers' appearances, workshops, live music, art exhibitions and gala celebrations. The films are also organized in blocks by theme and subject, which makes it easy to plan according to your interests. Recent blocks focused on LGBT issues, comedy, documentary and contemporary Mexico.

The Latino Film Festival now has its own screening facility, called the Digital Gym CINEMA, located on El Cajon Blvd. Independent movies and Latin classics are screened year-round at the Digital Gym, where budding filmmakers can also take workshops on how to make their own movie. The Digital Gym CINEMA has definitely become a hub for film aficionados and independent film in San Diego.

San Diego Asian Film Festival

The San Diego Asian Film Festival has been around for more than 15 years and is one of the leading showcases of Asian cinema in North America and one of the biggest platforms for Asian American media anywhere. Along with narrative features, the nine-day festival also shows documentaries, short films, and animation as well as works from 21 different countries.

SDAFF Spring Showcase

With so much filmmaking talent and so many stories to share, SDAFF just couldn't fit it all into their annual festival, but they found the perfect solution: the Spring Showcase mini-festival in the spring!

San Diego Jewish Film Festival

The San Diego Jewish Film Festival is the largest Jewish cultural event in San Diego. This festival has traditionally screened documentaries and thought-provoking feature films. Opening up discussion is key to the festival's mission so there are plenty of Q&A's with filmmakers and panel discussions following screenings.

GI Film Festival

Established in 2015, the GI Film Festival San Diego aims to reveal the struggles, triumphs, and experiences of service members and veterans through compelling and authentic storytelling. Documentaries, shorts, narratives, and family-friendly films are presented, highlighting stories of heroism, resilience, and honor.

FilmOut San Diego

FilmOut San Diego, the city's only Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Film Festival screens features and shorts from around the globe. The programmers curate the festival by selecting around 25 of the best films from hundreds of submissions. Audiences can expect to see dramas, romantic comedies and documentaries all dealing with LGBT themes.

San Diego Italian Film Festival

Italian film lovers get a real treat every year at the San Diego Italian Film Festival where 15-20 of the best Italian films are screened. Italian movie stars often make their way to San Diego to present their films and do Q&As with the audience. The organization also holds monthly film screenings throughout the year and fun events like CineCucina or Dine on the Docks where movies and food are combined for a magical evening.

San Diego Black Film Festival

The San Diego Black Film Festival screens more than 100 films spotlighting African-American and African diaspora cinema. Comedy, drama, documentaries, animation, shorts and music videos are all part of the line-up.

More Film Festivals in San Diego

Smaller but growing film festivals cater to all kinds of niche interests and ages. There's a Surf Film Festival, the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival is a feast for horror fans, and the San Diego International Children's Film Festival has plenty of options for the city's wee films fans.

As you can see, San Diego is a city of film fans that support and celebrate the best the art form has to offer.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Accommodation

Welcome Back To Island Palms Offer!

Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Valid: Jun 30 - ongoing

Brighter days are just around the corner, and we are sure you are eagerly awaiting your next escape. Plan ahead now that we are re-opened, with this special offer for travel dates from now through...

Accommodation

Dreaming Of The Days Inn Offer

Days Inn By Wyndham San Diego Hotel Circle
Valid: Jun 30 - ongoing

Dreaming of a lazy summer getaway or a reason to get out of the house? We've got you covered. With our Dreaming Of The Days offer, we've got rates from $69 including free nightly parking. When you're...

Accommodation

Getaway To Holiday Inn Bayside Offer

Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside
Valid: Jun 30 - ongoing

Our Getaway Package is waiting for you when the time is right and you need a change of scenery! Book this package to include everything you need – a clean and comfortable room, daily breakfast,...

Events to check out

Event

Supergirl Surf Pro

Aug 14 - Aug 16, 2020

The world’s top professional female surfers are back in Oceanside, CA for the 13th Supergirl Surf Pro, a 3-day event August 14-16, 2020. The weekend will be jam-packed with world-class...

Event

Bike the Bay

Aug 23, 2020

Experience Bike the Bay, a scenic bayside ride, and also enjoy a rare opportunity to ride over the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge.

Event

USA Ultimate National Championships

Oct 22 - Oct 25, 2020

The USA Ultimate National Championships represent the pinnacle of elite ultimate in North America and crowns champions in three divisions: men’s, mixed and women’s. 

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish