Santa Fe Film Festival 2023 Now Open for Submissions with New Call for Television Pilots and Closed-Captioning

June 1, 2022: Update to this post – Earlier this year The Santa Fe Film Festival made a call to future filmmakers regarding their submissions to provide an SRT file or burned-in subtitles to be more inclusive of the deaf community.

In this Variety article “Film Festival Accessibility to Be Assessed in New Scorecard Initiative” you can learn more about this initiative and even check out this toolkit from FWD-Doc:

Find out more about this movement and why it was important for SFFF to listen to Kat, the filmmaker for Sign the Show and ask for festival filmmakers to consider this when sending their submissions.

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After a successful, in-person, and online viewing festival, the Santa Fe Film Festival team is ready for 2023 submissions and has opened a new category for television pilots and encourages filmmakers to include closed-captioning with their films for more inclusion.

There were 505 films from 36 countries submitted to the 22nd edition of the Santa Fe Film Festival. The festival selected 168 films and had 91 filmmakers and their teams in attendance over the 10-day festival with Q&As following the screenings so the filmmakers could connect with their audience.

In addition to awarding 22 winners and two individuals for their work, awards also included the first-ever CSA Casting Director awards. This year, the festival held two filmmaker awards luncheons, two red carpet events with press interviews and photos, workshops on promoting your film, how to finance your film, working with producing partners, how to ensure integrity with your project by vetting elements, a Casting Master Class from Sony Television Executive, and a presentation from Casting Society to round out the festival’s program to enrich and support independent filmmakers and help them with resources for their next project.

New to the 2023 Festival will be the ask for filmmakers to work to provide closed-captioning with their films by providing an SRT file or burned-in subtitles to be more inclusive of the deaf community. The 2022 Festival programming included a film from director, Cat Brewer, “Sign the Show,” which sheds light on the lack of inclusion for live shows and the limitation faced by those going to theaters to watch movies.

“We wanted to take steps to advocate for filmmakers to have their films include closed-captioning with their submissions as a way to bring together the community at large and include those movie lovers who have a hearing disability,” said Stephanie Piche, Executive Director of the Santa Fe Film Festival. “Having “Sign the Show” in our festival along with an ASL interpreter was such a powerful experience for our audience which included a Board Member who is hearing impaired, we knew we had to do more to advance this change in our festival and hopefully other festivals will follow.”

Also new for 2023 is the call for Television Pilots. With over 500 scripted television shows produced in the US, the Festival is also hoping that they can help bring visibility to these pilots and encourage filmmakers to see New Mexico and the tax credits offered as a place to shoot their series.

“As a voting member of the Television Academy and longtime proponent of web series dating back to the mid-2000s, we felt that it was time to open up this as an official category and bring in resources to help support these projects,” Piche said.

Future planning for the Festival includes more business of filmmaking from pitches to budgets, how to build your audience and market your film, interactive media workshops including Virtual Reality and Gaming (Mo-Cap) as more actors, producers, and filmmakers explore these avenues for storytelling.

Submissions are now open for the 2023 Santa Fe Film Festival, please visit their page on Film Freeway at Submissions close on October 31st, 2022.

For the complete list of films, synopses, and other special events happening during the SFFF 2022, please visit For further information about the Santa Fe Film Festival, or for press inquiries, contact Stephanie Piche, Executive Director of the Santa Fe Film Festival at [email protected].

About Santa Fe Film Festival
The Original Santa Fe Film Festival celebrates all facets of cinematic arts – here in New Mexico, regionally and globally. Our annual event honors everyone working both behind the scenes and on-screen to bring the best of film creation, production, and showings to the public. We constantly seek improvement in our respective crafts and provide filmmakers with resources to pursue their dreams. To that end, the Santa Fe Film Festival focuses on bringing together distinguished industry specialists and discriminating movie lovers through accessible screenings, panels, workshops, and parties.

The Festival will continue to grow as the leading exhibition and educational portal for all things cinematic in New Mexico. The Santa Fe Film Festival is a cultural, not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization. For more info, please visit

Stephanie Piche
Santa Fe Film Festival
[email protected]
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