The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival invests in the advancement of independent, innovative, and cutting edge cinema bringing 5 days of excellence in filmmaking to the inclusive and diverse community of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival (SFiFF) began in 2009 as a fringe festival that took place in a community center. By 2011 it was the largest event of its kind in New Mexico, screening over 100 films during a 5 day Fest. SFiFF has grown from humble beginnings to becoming one of the top annual events in New Mexico and has effectively extended the tourism season in Santa Fe into late October.
The 2012 festival honored Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals, Skins), Rudolfo Anaya (Bless Me, Ultima), and Judy Blume (Tiger Eyes) and included two sold out screenings at the Lensic Performing Arts Center and a Red Carpet event. The festival also organized a historic filmmakers brunch, bringing industry professionals and local filmmakers together for a discourse on the future of filmmaking in New Mexico.
In 2013 George RR Martin reopened the Jean Cocteau Cinema adding another world-class theater to the festival venues. In November 2013 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival was named one of Moviemaker Magazine's 25 Coolest General Film Festivals on the planet. The 2013 SFiFF honored John Waters with the American Director Award and Wes Studi with the American Actor Award.
The 2014 festival hosted over 10,000 attendees for the first time, and presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to Shirley MacLaine (Terms of Endearment) and George RR Martin (Game of Thrones). SFiFF was recognized nationally by IndieWire Magazine as "a young Sundance." 2015 SFiFF also presented Ted Hope (Head of Amazon Original Production) with the Visionary Award, Imogene Hughes with the Community Spirit Award, and Hampton Sides with the American Author Award.
The 2015 festival presented Gena Rowlands with a lifetime achievement award during A Tribute to Gena Rowlands. SFiFF expanded to the newly built Violet Crown to allow SFiFF to expand our program and create a dynamic opening night at Violet Crown.
In 2016, SFiFF presented Jacqueline Bisset with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Jay Roach with the American filmmaker award.
In 2017, the festival honored John Sayles and Maggie Renzi with the Lifetime Achievement Award, writer N. Scott Momaday was presented SFiFF's Lifetime Achievement Award by Robert Redford and SFiFF welcomed our returning guests John Waters, Chris Eyre, George R.R. Martin, and Wes Studi. The festival hosted a special Q&A with Ethan Hawke.
This past year for the 10th Annual Festival, SFiFF honored Bill Plympton with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and Alexandria Bombach earned the festival's Visionary Award. We hosted films from around the globe, alongside filmmaker Q&As, Masters Discussions, VIP parties in downtown Santa Fe, and a fabulous 10th Anniversary Gala. SFiFF was also named one of Moviemaker Magazine's 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee for its fifth consecutive year.
In addition to the annual festival, the SFiFF hosts screenings throughout the year including a free outdoor community screening every summer as part of the annual summer series "Festival de Santa Fe."