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Subversive Film Festival Gears Up for 2025

Santa Monica-based gala celebrates free speech, diversity of thought

A film festival known for bucking indie conventions is opening its doors to 2025 entries.

Filmmakers can now submit titles for the 2025 Santa Monica Film Festival.

The event, which just wrapped its 18th year, includes categories like feature film, short film, documentary, documentary short subject and episodic pilot.

This year’s festival, held in February, featured “Shot Dead,” the documentary about the life story of Trista Martin. Martin was a Broken Arrow, Okla., woman who died at 18 after receiving a Pfizer COVID-19 shot.

The gala received attention for the crime drama “Stolen Dough,” the animated feature “Where Are You From,” the international comedy “All At Once,” and the soundtrack-focused “Career Day.”

The festival also presented the documentaries “We Will Not Be Silenced” about the deletion of Brian Rose’s London Real channel, and “The Great Awakening” by Mikki Willis, the director best known for “Plandemic.” Willis’ work has been heavily criticized and censored by major social media platforms like YouTube.

The Santa Monica Film Festival describes itself as an “artist-led” organization showcasing emerging filmmakers. 


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The festival takes place at AMC Broadway 4 at the Promenade, the Laemmle Film Center, Aero Theater and Loulou in Santa Monica. Viewers who cannot be there live can view the festival’s featured presentations and speaking events via streaming at XOLO.TV.

Featured selection announcements and their theater and online schedules will be made in mid-December. The festival will be held February 1, 2025.

More information on entering the Santa Monica Film Festival is available at

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