Q: What is SBIFF?
A: SBIFF, short for Santa Barbara International Film Festival, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) arts and educational organization that puts on an annual film festival. Additionally, SBIFF hosts year-round events, including: free children’s educational and community outreach programs, the Cinema Society, The Showcase, The Wave Film Festival and the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film.

Q: Can I attend the festival without a pass? Where do I buy them?
A: SBIFF is a pass based festival, but you can also obtain access to films and events by purchasing Mini-paks or individual event tickets. Mini-paks are punch cards that provide access to multiple films and can be used for yourself or shared with others. However, attendance is on a first-come first-served basis.

Q: When is the deadline for buying passes?
A: There is no deadline for purchasing passes but they are limited. If available, they can be purchased up to and even during the film festival.

Q: Where do I pick up my passes / tickets?
A: You can find current will call information by clicking here.

Q: Are there any events that are free to the general public?
A: YES! SBIFF previews 4 family friendly AppleBox Films during the 1st and 2nd weekend of the festival. Admission, popcorn and soda are free to the general public on a first come first served basis. The Film Festival also puts on 3rd Weekend, which takes place the weekend following the end of the Festival and consists of festival favorites.

Q: How can I get involved with the festival?
A: The festival is always in search of reliable volunteers and interns. To volunteer, you must be at least 18 years old and can register by clicking here. To intern, you can submit a resume to intern@sbfilmfestival.org

Q: As a volunteer, what is the time commitment and when am I notified about my shifts?
A: As a volunteer, you are required to work a minimum of 5 shifts over the 11 days of the festival. Shifts can vary from 3 to 5 hours.

Q: When will the film schedule and honorees be announced?
A: Honorees are announced in the Fall/Winter on a rolling basis. The film schedule is announced two weeks before the start of the Festival

Q: How do I get updates on upcoming events?
A: To receive festival updates please join our email list by clicking hereand follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Q: Where can I buy festival merchandise?
A: Festival merchandise is sold at the Metro 4 theatre during the film festival. We sell various items from shirts and fleeces to mugs and notebooks.

Q: What is the queue system and how does it work?
A: Because Mini-Pak holders are admitted on a first come first served basis, to help lessen your time in line, Q cards will be handed out one hour before each film. These cards are numbered and once you have a card, you may leave the line to get a quick bite to eat or do some shopping. Thirty minutes before the start time of the film, you will need to be back in line and in numerical order. After all passholders have been admitted, Q cards will be admitted in numerical order until the theatre is full. Please note the Q does not guarantee admission.

Q: Can I buy tickets to attend SBIFF parties?
A: Tickets are available for purchase to the Opening Night Film and Gala ONLY. The festival also has other happy hours, lounges, receptions and parties but access is reserved for Platinum passholders only.

Q: Where can I find a schedule or program during the festival?
A: The schedule is listed in the printed pocket guide and large grids, which can be found in front of each film venue as well as the Festival Hub (Hotel SB) and Festival Pavilion (Lobero Courtyard). The schedule can also be found at www.sbiff.org. Please note that schedule changes may occur so the website and the festival grids will be updated accordingly and should be checked regularly.


Q: Is there a list of sponsor levels, prices and benefits?
A: All benefits are individually catered to your brands needs and according to your donation to the festival. There are recommended levels and benefits which are listed in the Sponsorship Opportunities brochure and is available for viewing by clicking here

Q: Are there other methods of reaching the Festival attendees besides sponsorship?
A: If you or your business is unable to become an official sponsor of the Film Festival, on-screen advertisements as well as the option to place products in the festival passholder bags are available. Please contact the Festival office at 805-963-0023 to find out how you can participate.


Q: How do I submit my film?
A: All films must be submitted through withoutabox.com. If you are having any issues or questions, please contact our office at 805-963-0023 or at programmings@sbfilmfestival.org

Q: When will I be notified that our film has been accepted? When is the film schedule announced?
A: Filmmakers will be notified if they ARE or ARE NOT accepted by the end of December. The official lineup will be announced in the beginning of January. The film schedule will be published two weeks before the Film Festival.

Q: If my film screens at other festivals prior to SBIFF, is it still eligible for acceptance?
A: Yes, but we prioritize US and World Premieres and this may be a factor in our selection process.

Q: Do you accept works in progress?
A: Yes. We will consider rough cuts of films as long as a completed version will be available by the final week of December. Please note that your submission fee will be based on the date your final cut is received

Q: Does SBIFF provide travel and accommodations for accepted entries?
A: SBIFF provides limited hotel accommodations for filmmakers of accepted entries. SBIFF does NOT provide travel accommodations.

Q: Can submission fees be waived?
A: Submission fees can be waived for Santa Barbara county residents. To request a waiver you must contact programming@sbfilmfestival.org.

Q: Once accepted, must I wait for the SBIFF press release to announce our acceptance on our end?
A: Yes, once we have informed you that you will be part of the Festival lineup, you must wait to announce it until our press release in the beginning of January.

Q: How do I get access to the Festival for myself, my crew and/or my guests?
A: Filmmakers from accepted entries receive two Platinum Passes which grant that holder priority access to all films and events. Each accepted entry will also receive a set amount of priority access tickets for their screenings. A limited amount of additional priority access tickets are available for purchase. To purchase these, please contact the Festival at 805-963-0023.