Sundance . . . Cannes . . . Albany!

Albany (short and really short) International FilmFest is a juried film festival that takes place each year in Albany, California. We are proud to showcase original, creative, fresh, and compelling independent short films from emerging and established Bay Area, national, and global filmmakers. We nurture a friendly, casual format in which audiences and filmmakers can engage in conversation. Albany FilmFest screens at Landmark’s Albany Twin Theatre, located in Albany’s Solano Avenue Business District.

Back in 2011, when we first envisioned a small, local film festival aimed at getting local residents excited about the idea of telling stories through film, our aims were modest. We held screenings at the Community Center, and offered free popcorn to filmgoers. When our first head judge, the legendary documentary filmmaker Les Blank, remarked that our homegrown FilmFest and ironically named "Gala" reminded him of a little homegrown festival in Utah he'd attended many years ago, we were flattered, and somewhat baffled. The next year, we began using the tagline "Sundance . . . Cannes . . . Albany!" Goals!

Over the years, we've surprised ourselves by growing organically from local, to national, to international in scope, becoming home to original films and talented filmmakers, and offering a forum for education and conversation between filmmakers and audiences. And, true to our roots, we've also kept our Albany storytelling goal growing through Albany Filmmakers Showcase, a free, fun, noncompetitive way for even first-time filmmakers to get a taste of the big screen. (Want a taste? Get your video popcorn here.)

Albany FilmFest is an ongoing project of Albany’s Community Media Access Committee, Arts Committee, and the staff of KALB-33. Our mission is to bridge business, community, and the arts, and to encourage diversity, originality, creativity, and open communication. Many, many thanks to the City of Albany, the Community Media Access Committee, KALB-33, the Albany Library, and to our generous partners in Albany and beyond.

Digital submissions through FilmFreeway or Filmmaker discounts available on FilmFreeway only.

Important things to know about us:

We're in California

Albany FilmFest is in Albany, California -- not New York. In fact, we are located at the heart of Northern California’s San Francisco Bay Area, directly across the bay from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. (FYI, there are 37 Albanys worldwide. Ours could possibly be the coolest.)

We're run by volunteers and aided by City staff

An all-volunteer film festival takes hard work, dedication (and the promise of free tee shirts every year). Our intrepid team has all of the above.

We support young filmmakers

We have two youth filmmaker categories, support youth media education in our community, and do all we can to encourage aspiring young filmmakers to explore and develop communication, storytelling, and creativity through film, video, and media. We have two competitive youth filmmaker categories, and have a separate children's screening.


Our films come from all over the Bay Area, the US, and the world, and our we draw our audience and sponsors from all over the Bay Area. The San Francisco Chronicle has featured us in its weekend events, and  East Bay Express has repeatedly included us in its list of 5 Best Things to Do This Weekend.

We cELEBRATE on Solano Avenue

Films screen at Landmark’s Albany Twin Theatre, a cool, deco-era two-screen theater in downtown Albany. Albany FilmFest is supported by the City of Albany, local businesses, and community members, and run by a dedicated team of volunteers and city staff. We welcome film-goers of all ages. We try to keep our prices low so that everyone can attend.