Founded in 1977, the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival is the longest-running, largest, and most widely recognized queer film exhibition event in the world. As a community event with an annual attendance of more than 63,000 (89,000 virtual attendance in 2020), the Festival is the most prominent and well-attended LGBTQ+ arts program in the Bay Area. In 2018 Frameline's Festival was named by MovieMaker to be one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World.

Frameline46: the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival returns to the Bay Area with its signature showcase of the world’s leading queer cinema. Frameline unites diverse communities for 11 days of innovative and socially relevant content. Discover emerging talents and embrace an unparalleled community of festival-goers at the world’s largest celebration of queer media. The Festival pays tribute to LGBTQ+ experiences through pioneering documentaries, gripping features, delightful shorts, cinematic classics, and more.

Each year, Frameline hosts 400 official Festival Guests, including directors, producers, actors, programmers, distributors, and buyers that range from small, independent entities to major studios such as Strand Releasing, Wolfe Video, The Film Collaborative, TLA Releasing, HBO, Showtime, and Warner Bros. The Festival is one of the largest annual business meeting places for theatrical and educational film and video buyers in Northern California.

Committed to showcasing the best and most diverse work by, about, and of interest to the LGBTQ+ community, we strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, transgender people, intersex people, asexual people, non-binary people, disabled people, and other underrepresented people and communities. The Festival is produced by Frameline, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to the exhibition, distribution, funding and promotion of LGBTQ+ media arts.

Frameline46 will be presented safely and could be online, at venues, or a mix of both. Frameline will provide updates on these plans as they emerge.

Since 1983 our audience has been responsible for selecting the Best Narrative Feature Film, Best Documentary Film and Best Short Film of the Festival. Putting the power in the audience's hands, the Frameline Audience Awards offer cash prizes to the favorite Feature, Documentary, and Short in the festival. In Frameline42 we started an Audience Award for Episodics.

Outstanding First Feature
A juried award for the most Outstanding First Feature to be awarded to the Director. Submitted film must be a San Francisco Bay Area Premiere to qualify.
Sponsor: Frameline

Outstanding Documentary Jury Award
A juried award for the most Outstanding Documentary Feature to be awarded to the director. The submitted film must be a San Francisco Bay Area premiere.
Sponsor: Frameline

Frameline, the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, accepts films of any length and genre about LGBTQ+ people and their communities.

All submissions must be made via FilmFreeway. We do not accept submissions by email. A separate Entry Form is required for each film being submitted. Once a film is submitted for entry, it may not be withdrawn.

We encourage filmmakers to submit by the Early Bird Deadline before fees increase. Entry fees are not refundable. Frameline only allots a small number of fee waivers for Festival alumni as well as filmmakers based in countries that cannot legally send money to the U.S. Discounted submission fees are granted on a case-by-case basis for filmmakers who demonstrate a financial need. No additional discounts are available with Student Discounts or Early Bird pricing. Requests can be directed to

Feature films previously exhibited publicly in the Bay Area — either theatrically, at another local festival, or via television — are not eligible for submission. There is no premiere requirement for short films.

For theatrical screenings, Frameline46 will exhibit all films via DCP. For streaming screenings we will reach out with format specifications. All non-English language entries must have English subtitles.

Rough cuts and works-in-progress are eligible for submission only if completed by May 9, 2022.

All FilmFreeway submissions will be marked "In Consideration" once payment, entry forms, and an online link of the film have all been received. Entrants will be notified of festival selections in early May 2022.

Exhibition copies must be sent to the festival prepaid. The Festival will pay for return or forward shipping. The Festival cannot accept nor assume responsibility for damage or loss of materials while in transit. In case of loss or damage during the Festival, the responsibility of the Festival is limited to the costs for repair or replacement of the print.

All films selected are eligible for the Audience Awards.
To be eligible for a juried cash award a film cannot have screened or been broadcast on television or on VOD in the San Francisco Bay Area prior to the Festival.

All entries will be reviewed in their entirety by at least two members of the Festival Screening Committee or by one Programmer. The Screening Committee is composed of industry professionals, filmmakers, students, longtime festival screeners, and movie lovers.

The Festival does not pay rental fees; instead, we choose to invest our resources in producing the best possible showcase for your work and promoting your work as widely as possible.

I give Frameline permission to use up to 3 minutes of footage or photographic stills from the work for broadcast, web publication or other promotional purposes. Frameline must be notified in writing of any press or photo restrictions.

Frameline must be notified in writing of any press restrictions, including hold reviews.

If accepted to the Festival I agree not to have a full copy of the film available online or thru VOD prior to the Frameline screening.

Overall Rating
  • Julian Quentin

    Thanks to the entire team at Frameline for the great International Premiere, despite the circumstances! I also want to mention my appreciation for their efforts in film promotion and also their openness for different formal styles as our film was lucky to be in a short film collection that was on the more experimental side.
    Though I would've loved to connect in person, the communication was with them was very personal and accommodating.

    September 2021
  • Gabriel Motta

    Amazing festival with amazing staff and a beautiful and diverse program. Thank you, Frameline, for including our short "Two Men by the Sea" in 2021's program! Hope to attend the event in the upcoming years.

    July 2021
  • Kevin Clarke

    I'm a long-time attendee of Frameline, but this is my first time as a participating filmmaker. It has been a fantastic experience. I was fortunate to receive an in-person screening of my short, which I thought was expertly paired with the documentary feature that followed. Our Q&A was excellent.

    July 2021
  • Tristan Scott-Behrends

    Even virtually Frameline was a wonderful experience with a great sense of community.

    July 2021
  • Great Festival ! Super friendly and professional. Great exchanges with the staff. Frameline shines :)

    October 2020