Celebrated as "One of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World" by Filmmaker Magazine, the Topanga Film Festival, in its 11th year, programs short and feature films that challenge convention and tell stories that inspire new and original ways of seeing and understanding the world.
The pop-up, open air boutique film festival frequented by the Los Angeles film and music industry, environmentalists, foodies, and the eccentric Topangan community provides a unique opportunity to enjoy a wealth of international and local content that ranges from creative to educationally empowering.
After great success with the 10th Anniversary festival, TFF is looking to expand the festival with new categories for its 11th year. Categories added to the call this year include music video, experimental, and interactive installations. Also a new screenplay contest will be launched to further our interest in the art of storytelling and a horror competition to showcase the genre where many directors start.
Jury Prizes will be awarded to the best film in each category of competition.
A number of past filmmakers have seen their films acquired for distribution, and/or gone on to receive critical acclaim and Academy Awards.
The Topanga Film Festival accepts any of the following genres of short film into competition:
Nature & Wildlife
The Topanga Film Festival provides a unique venue for short films that challenge conventions and express an original voice and point of view. The festival showcases the possibilities of filmmaking at all levels.
To be considered for the shorts category films must be 15 minutes or under.
The Experimental program seeks risk-taking art-based work that utilizes cinema to create new ways of seeing. Films must be 15 minutes or shorter. Films must be a Topanga Premier. California Premier preferred.
The Music Video selections are based on combining the forces of music and cinema to tell stories through song and visual imagery.
Our narrative shorts programming gathers the best in limited timeframe storytelling from around the globe. Films must exhibit strong narrative structure, character development, and effective storyline. Films must be 15 minutes or shorter. Films must be a Topanga Premier. California Premier preferred.
Dance Film Showcase
The Dance Film Showcase strives to present the highest quality of visually engaging, sensory stimulating, movement-driven short film work.
We consider films under 15 minutes that engage at least one of these topics:
1) Dance for camera
2) Experimental film involving dance
3) Narratives about dance
4) Documentaries about dance
5) Films about movement
The Youth program showcases films by budding filmmakers under the age of 18.
To be considered for the competition, films must be under 10 minutes or shorter.
Nature & Wildlife
Films with a focus on nature and or wildlife. Films must be 15 minutes or shorter.
Films with a focus on new ways of creating and harnessing the planets energy sources. Any length of film is welcome.
Feature Documentary Film
With emphasis on projects that reveal the human spirit, we endeavor to showcase the best in documentary filmmaking with interest towards work that inspires cultural, environmental, and social awareness. Films must be feature-length documentaries, 60 minutes or longer. California Premiers strongly preferred, though World/North American/US Premiers are ideal.
Feature Narrative Film
In our selection we focus on discovering new talent in the field of independent narrative filmmaking whose passion shines through in the art of storytelling. Films must be feature-length narratives, 60 minutes or longer. California Premiers strongly preferred, though World/North American/US Premiers are ideal.
Knowing most director’s get their start with Horror as their first feature film we encourage Horror films that engage, provoke and go beyond the norm by telling powerful stories with engaging characters supported by compelling cinematography and dynamic sound scores. Films must be shorts 15 min or under or feature-length narratives, 60 minutes or longer. California Premiers strongly preferred, though World/North American/US Premiers are ideal.
Our screenplay competition will award best and runner-ups to the following categories: Comedy, Romantic, Sci-Fi, Drama. Scripts will be read by a high profile group of judges who work in the industry as writers, directors, and producers. Scripts must be 90-120 pgs.
Interactive media proposals may be submitted free of charge for installations in outdoor and indoor venues. Projects must be self-installed and self-contained with the only necessity being power. Set up, strike, and all materials to be provided by the artist. Venues include tents & outdoor areas.
The Topanga Film Festival is project of Topanga Film Institute, a 501[c]3 non-profit organization.